Vector today welcomed the release of the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice to government and fully endorses its views on transforming the electricity sector to urgently reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint.
The report outlines how critical it is for distribution companies to be equipped, resourced and incentivised to innovate and support the adoption in their networks of new technology, and business models to encourage electrification, in particular for increasing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs).
Vector Group CEO Simon Mackenzie says that for some years the company’s strategy has been focused on solving the issues the Commission’s report has outlined.
“We have long recognised that the current energy system cannot flex to the demands and challenges ahead of us, including climate change, electrification, and customer expectations. Our focus has been on customer solutions, affordability and have long called for a Ministry of Energy to lead a co-ordinated approach.
“Dr Rod Carr and his team have done an admirable job of highlighting the need to transform our energy systems, and the opportunities for energy companies like Vector to support New Zealand’s decarbonisation effort particularly around the inevitable increase in electric vehicles and the need to optimise the demand-side of energy, starting with customers. We see our role as innovating, creating digital platforms that enable decarbonisation without compromising reliability and affordability for customers.
“For several years, we have been leading the adoption and thinking around new technologies. This has led us to develop strategic partnerships with world class technology companies to enable our network to effectively manage a world where EVs, batteries, solar and peer-to-peer trading are not only demanded by customers but necessary if New Zealand is to meet its carbon reduction targets.
“This is about creating smart networks that put customers at the heart of the energy system, moving us away from the centralised, linear model we have today to one that will enable a different sort of energy future.”
Over the past few years, Vector has invested and partnered to progress its strategy, including:
- Co-development with mPrest, the Internet of Things platform DERMS to enable complex control and management of new technologies, such as EV chargers, solar and batteries, into our networks
- Strategic alliance with Amazon Web Services to develop the New Energy Platform
- An EV trial across Auckland to understand customer behaviour and the impact on the network (this trial will finish later this year)
- Working with EECA to ‘electrify’ Waiheke which aims to be the first fully electric island
- Launched and managed an EV charging network in Auckland
- Developed innovative solar and battery solutions in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
- Worked with a UK think tank, led by Laura Sandys, on the report Re-costing Energy
- Actively engaged with our regulators, Government and industry to share knowledge and work collaboratively to deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders.
Vector will continue to review the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice providing feedback during the consultation period.