The Future is Electric

In 2022, Powerco along with other electricity distribution companies, generators and retailers commissioned the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to undertake an independent, sector-wide look at how the electricity industry can help meet Aotearoa New Zealand’s net-zero at 2050 goal.

The resulting report ‘Climate Change in New Zealand: The Future is Electric’ found that the electricity sector is critical to enabling Aotearoa to reduce its emissions, by increasing the use of renewable electricity generation (solar, wind and hydro), and electrifying transport (moving to electric cars) and industry (switching from coal or gas to electricity).

Through increased electrification, Aotearoa can make up to 70% of the gross emissions reductions required to meet the net-zero target.

The level of investment in the electricity sector required to create enough capacity will be unprecedented, and requires collaboration between industry, regulators and customers to be successful.

We sat down with Powerco CEO James Kilty and our Head of Policy, Regulation and Markets Dr Andrew Kerr to talk about the report’s findings, the work Powerco is doing to prepare for the increase in demand for electricity, and the challenges and opportunities they see as Aotearoa moves towards becoming net-zero.

Watch the full video here, or watch parts of the discussion below:

Climate Change in New Zealand: The Future is Electric

An overview of James and Andrew’s discussion.


Growth in electricity demand

Demand for electricity is expected to increase 70% by 2050. James and Andrew talk about the report’s findings on what will be driving that growth in demand.




The future of gas

James and Andrew talk about the future of natural gas as Aotearoa New Zealand reduces its emissions.




The regulatory framework

Meeting increased demand for electricity will take an all-of-industry approach. James and Andrew talk about how changes to regulatory settings can enable companies like Powerco to meet that demand.



James Kilty, Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Kerr, Head of Policy, Regulation and Markets