American multinational investment company BlackRock has targeted NZD 2 billion ($1.21 billion) for climate infrastructure strategy to support New Zealand’s net zero goals.

The investment firm said in a statement on Tuesday that it plans to launch a New Zealand-focused strategy, via its Climate Infrastructure franchise, that will provide a platform through which institutional investors can invest in New Zealand’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

It said this country-led initiative, created on behalf of the nation’s institutional clients including the New Zealand
government, aims to support New Zealand in becoming one of the world’s first countries to transition to a 100 percent renewable energy-powered electricity grid by 2030.

The country also aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Drawing on BlackRock’s global infrastructure expertise and climate infrastructure investment track record since 2012, this initiative intends to create investment opportunities in target sectors.

These include wind, solar, batteries, electricity storage, electric vehicle charging, natural capital projects, green hydrogen, and the associated enabling infrastructure.

New Zealand has an 83 percent renewable energy penetration rate, but transition to a 100 percent renewable electricity
mix will require investment running to NZD 42 billion ($26 billion) in renewable power generation and distribution, as well as battery storage, in order to manage network reliability and deliver greater energy security for all New Zealanders.

This initiative is expected to give New Zealand companies access to larger pools of capital, thereby accelerating growth and climate infrastructure build-out.

The aim is also to facilitate greater transfer of knowledge and skills between New Zealand and rest of the world.

This will be enhanced by BlackRock’s global knowledge and technical expertise to help grow the local market.

“This pioneering initiative between BlackRock and New Zealand is a powerful example of the public and private sectors joining forces to mobilize capital and help a country achieve its energy transition goals,

“We believe New Zealand is at the forefront of low-carbon transition, and investors will benefit from the opportunities it creates,” said Rachel Lord, Chair and Head of Asia-Pacific, BlackRock.

BlackRock Equity Private Markets Global Head Edwin Conway said that transition to a low-carbon economy is top-of-mind for many of our clients.

“The intersection of infrastructure and sustainability represents one of the biggest opportunities in private market investments in coming years,” he said.

BlackRock New Zealand and Australia Head Andrew Landman said that BlackRock’s role as a fiduciary is to help clients reach their investment goals.

“In New Zealand, there is a clear preference to invest in a range of energy transition opportunities while facilitating delivery of the long-term private capital required to create a more secure, efficient, and greener energy future for all New Zealanders,” he said.

BlackRock Climate Infrastructure Asia Pacific Co-Head Charlie Reid said that New Zealand is one of the global leaders in climate finance and renewable energy, and this initiative offers institutional investors the opportunity to participate directly in New Zealand’s climate finance ecosystem.

Today’s news follows the 2022 BlackRock’s Equity Private Markets investment – which included an initial commitment of NZD $100 million ($60.68 million) – in solarZero, a New Zealand solar energy service provider.

Based in Auckland, solarZero’s solar and battery technology platform provides the necessary back-up to help manage the overall supply of energy, as well as power grid resilience.

This capability came to the fore during Cyclone Gabrielle in early 2023, when solarZero’s smart batteries supplied power to keep the lights on in homes for up to six days while off the grid.

BlackRock launched the firm’s Climate Infrastructure business in 2012.

The business has since developed a suite of strategies investing in climate solutions and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

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