Record-breaking weather impacts power generation

On: 21 June 2018

A combination of the hottest month on record and an early snow melt led to a lower proportion of renewable electricity generation and higher levels of other sources of generation in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same the quarter last year, according to the New Zealand Energy Quarterly released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly covers the period January-March 2018 and provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“January was the hottest month on record and the snowpack disappeared two months earlier than usual. The low hydro storage and calm conditions at the start of the year combined to see the renewable share of electricity fall by 5 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2017,” says James Hogan, MBIE Manager Energy and Building Trends.

“Hydro storage recovered in February and March after ex-tropical cyclones Fehi and Gita but hydro generation was down 6 per cent for the quarter. The still, settled conditions resulted in wind generation declining by 22 per cent.

“As a result thermal generation increased to pick up the shortfall with gas up 27 per cent and coal up 105 per cent but despite the record-breaking January renewable generation was still 81.1 per cent.”

The warmer conditions resulted in a reduction in residential electricity demand but higher commercial and industrial demand led to a slight increase in national demand.

Read the New Zealand Energy Quarterly.

Read about electricity cost and price monitoring.

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