Energy Trusts of New Zealand executive officer Alan Jenkins was recognised for his contribution to energy policy during the past 40 years, particularly his earlier work in liquid fuels.
Jenkins started his policy work with the Crown’s fledgling Economic Intelligence Unit in the mid-1970s as the then-Muldoon government worked to adapt the economy in the wake of the oil crisis.
He was heavily involved in the Crown’s efforts to create a domestic LPG market, in order to maximise the benefits of the Maui gas development and to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel. He would go on to become director of liquid fuels at the Ministry of Energy as officials started working through the mechanics of deregulating the petroleum sector.
He became general manager for policy as the ministry increasingly turned its attention to the reform of the electricity sector.
In 1989 he left the ministry to join the Electricity Supply Association of New Zealand where he was heavily involved in industry’s response to that reform process, particularly things like the separation of Transpower from ECNZ and the creation of the wholesale electricity market.
A decade later he would head up the new Electricity Networks Association, a role he would hold until he took up his current role in early 2015.
Energy News Editor Gavin Evans says that across his various roles, Jenkins has worked to shape and improve industry processes and structures, always with an eye to protecting the interests of the public – either as taxpayers or as consumers.