Otago Daily Times

Fund set up to promote switch from fossil fuels

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NEW PLYMOUTH: The Government has launched a $70 million fund to help industries switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy for process heat.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the fund while in New Plymouth yesterday.

It will allow businesses to access financial support to switch away from boilers run on coal and gas, to cleaner electricit­y and biomass options.

Ms Ardern said it was a ‘‘winwin’’ for both the climate and the economic recovery.

‘‘The $70 million fund will create jobs and stimulate the economy while demonstrat­ing our commitment to future proofing our recovery.

‘‘It provides muchneeded financial support to business to assist with the often costly transition of plant and equipment to clean energy sources.’’

Process heat makes up about a quarter of New Zealand’s energyrela­ted emissions.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said the fund would be key in reducing those emissions.

‘‘The new fund will target New Zealand’s largest energy users to accelerate their uptake of electrific­ation and other technologi­es that will dramatical­ly lower emissions from this sector, and create clean energy jobs.’’

The fund will be administer­ed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservati­on Authority, and will be available to New Zealandbas­ed businesses that demonstrat­e a commitment to decarbonis­ing.

‘‘Successful applicants will likely already have a plan in place to decarbonis­e their process heat, and will be able to demonstrat­e value for money as well as their contributi­on to the economic recovery by boosting economic activity and providing local employment,’’ Ms Woods said.

‘‘We’re requiring New Zealand businesses to implement these projects quickly, not only to get the benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions and greater economic activity, but to demonstrat­e to industry across New Zealand that there are proven viable solutions to their clean energy needs.’’

A minimum of $15 million is available in the first funding round. — RNZ

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