New Zealand’s Green Party has released probably the most ambitious part of its economic plan to woo voters ahead of the country’s general election later this week.
The Green Party, which may look to come to power through a coalition with other like-minded parties, has proposed a comprehensive clean energy plan. The party want 100% renewable energy target by 2050, in addition to several other measures in the clean transportation and energy efficiency domains.
The party is banking on the supposed failures of the incumbent National Party. The Green Party, while announcing its clean energy agenda, stated that the government is spending NZ$46 million every year in subsidizing imported oil. The electricity prices under the National Party’s rule have risen 27%, despite a 2.6% fall in residential power demand since 2008, the party further claimed.
The Green Party’s clean energy agenda puts significant emphasis on solar power and distributed electricity generation. The party proposes setting up New Zealand Power, an entity that will purchase electricity from solar power systems installed atop households and schools. Such a program can reduce families’ power bills by NZ$300 every year, the party claims.
The clean energy agenda also includes investment of NZ$10 million to further strengthen the electric car charging infrastructure, and a further NZ$10 million investment in a cash back program to promote the sales of electric cars. The program will see a Green Party government offering NZ$1,000 to the first 10,000 buyers of electric cars in the county.
According to the Green Party, switching completely to electric cars makes great sense in New Zealand, primarily due to two reasons: first, the costs of electric cars are is falling rapidly, and second, the useful range of electric vehicles is now thrice the average daily vehicle distance travelled per person in New Zealand.
While the National Party has a clear lead in the opinion polls, and is expected to make a stronger government than the current one, the proposals by the Green Party are highly commendable. New Zealand has faced its fair share of international criticism as it withdrew from its international obligations to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.
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