Process Heat Decarbonization Infrastructure - Regional Energy Transition Accelerator
Since June 2019, Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) has run the “Energy Transition Accelerator” (ETA) programme. This programme aims to support New Zealand’s largest businesses with developing an energy transition pathway to a low-carbon future. The ETA takes a long-term view of the opportunities and risks on the political and technological horizons and identifies technically and economically viable decisions and investments. The ETA programme is designed to help organisations future proof and capitalise on the energy and carbon saving opportunities that are in the pipeline from right now, out as far out as 2030 and 2050.
The number of companies that EECA assisted in the regions and insights from various other EECA programmes gave rise to the potential for a New Zealand’s first Regional Energy Transition Accelerator (RETA). The aim of RETA is to develop and share a well-informed and coordinated approach for regional decarbonisation.
The RETA programme looks ahead. It builds on EECA’s ETA programme and other EECA initiatives, which have highlighted that a number of barriers to reducing energy-related emissions can be best addressed at a regional level. Particularly those relating to fuel supply and infrastructure.
RETA's focus is on understanding localised opportunities and barriers faced by industry when seeking to reduce emissions from process heat – the energy used for heat generation in manufacturing and processing primary products. This currently makes up over a quarter of this country’s energy-related emissions. The RETA programme involves working across medium and large energy users and those who supply energy to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial processes – including biomass producers and suppliers, renewable electricity providers, government, regional economic development agencies, Iwi and industry groups.
The RETA programme's aim is to connect demand and supply sides and provide the information needed to build a robust business case analysis to boost and accelerate business decarbonisation within a specific region.
This analysis would be able to anticipate some of the coordination and information challenges faced by individual organisations when dealing with decarbonisation. Many of these problems are collective in nature, such as the need for common infrastructure or new markets.
There are two stages of a RETA project. The first phase aims to:
Provide process heat users with coordinated information specific to the region to make more informed decisions on fuel choice and timing;
Improve fuel supplier confidence to invest on supply side infrastructure, and;
Surface issues, opportunities, and recommendations.
The implementation stage aims, through collaboration with regional stakeholders, to:
• Identify and address the regional barriers or opportunities in process heat decarbonisation which could benefit from government support (e.g., the GIDI Fund), and;
• Identify and commit opportunities to fast-track process heat decarbonisation projects.
Kanchana Marasinghe is an Energy Transition Programme Manager at the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA). He has over 18 years of industry experience in the energy field.
Kanchana joined EECA in May 2018, and as a Senior Account Manager, he has worked extensively with some of New Zealand’s largest energy users, to develop and support the implementation of their decarbonisation pathways which has resulted in delivering large emission reductions.
He has worked in a variety of roles including Energy Efficiency Champion at Fonterra Group, an as their Southern Operation and Project Manager – Outer Island Electrification Projects in Maldives.
Kanchana holds a Master’s degree in Energy and Project Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Kanchana is also a CEM (Certified Energy Manager) and a CMVP (Certified Measurement & Verification Professional) from the Association of Energy Engineers – United States.