Enabling investment in offshore renewable energy – discussion documentLast updated: April 14, 2023
Enabling investment in offshore renewable energy – discussion document
Published: April 14, 2023
Submitting To: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Issue for Business: Under the Government's ERP, they have promised to create a regulatory regime for the feasibility, construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore renewable energy by 2024. MBIE's discussion document outlines how the regime could work and raised questions on how it should work. BEC supports, and applauds, the Government's commitment to creating this regime, and has provided feedback to MBIE's questions: 1.) BEC supports a developer-led approach, not a government-led approach. 2.) BEC supports a permitting regime that creates exclusive rights to undertake feasibility studies, and the exclusive right to apply for construction and operation once the feasibility has concluded. 3.) BEC supports a 'use-it-or-lose-it' provision and recommend periodic reports demonstrating how activities are progressing to safeguard against 'land banking.' 4.) BEC recommends resolving the issue of overlapping permit applications by implementing a merit-based assessment and a negotiation mechanism. 5.) BEC recommends a permit duration of ten years. 6.) BEC questions the need for a national interest test. A test will already occur with the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval of overseas funds. 7.) BEC supports the involvement of iwi, hapū and whanau, but believes any requirements should not be onerous and overly prescriptive. 8.) BEC recommends a broad technical criterion, and a narrow financial criterion, to ensure developers are suitable, competent and capable, without 'locking-out' a diversity of developers and worsening competition. 9.) BEC believes that the final decision on granting permits should be made by a relevant decision maker, not the Minister.