The Government is encouraging local authorities to give priority to renewable sources of electricity when issuing resource consents.
It has released a National Policy Statement on renewable electricity generation, aimed at increasing investment in wind, geothermal, hydro and tidal power.
From May, local authorities will be required to recognise the importance of renewable electricity when issuing consents under the Resource Management Act.
Environment Minister Nick Smith says the statement will help New Zealand meet its target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025.
He says it will also help reverse the rise in emissions from electricity generation, which have increased 122% since 1990.