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Welcome to the Electricity Information Portal. From here you can access all historical electricity information published by the Modelling and Sector Trends Team. Information is available on New Zealand’s electricity supply, demand, and transmission and distribution. Electricity prices are presented in the prices section.
Electricity generation in New Zealand
Hydroelectric generation has been a part of New Zealand’s energy system for over 100 years and continues to provide the majority of our electricity needs. Currently there is over 5,000 MW of installed hydro capacity. The majority of it is found in the South Island.
Geothermal generation has, for a long time, been an integral part of New Zealand’s electricity landscape. It began over 55 years ago with the opening of the Wairakei power station in November 1958. Most of New Zealand’s installed capacity is situated in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Geothermal generation is around 15% of New Zealand’s electricity generation.
Wind generation has grown quickly as a source of electricity in New Zealand. The first wind farm, Hau Nui, was commissioned in 1997. Now wind generation makes up around 5% of New Zealand’s electricity generation. Most of New Zealand’s wind farms are located in the North Island. This includes the country’s two largest farms, Tararua Wind Farm and West Wind Makara, which are located in the lower North Island.
Electricity generation from the combustion of coal, oil, and gas provides baseload, backup and peaker electricity supply. Generation from these fuels is around a quarter of New Zealand’s electricity generation. Most of New Zealand’s thermal plants are found in the North Island, close to domestic coal, oil, and gas resources.
Electricity demand in New Zealand
Around a third of New Zealand’s electricity demand is from households and over a third is from industrial sectors. The majority of industrial electricity demand is from the wood, pulp, paper and printing sectors and the basic metals sectors, with the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter being the largest single user of electricity in the country. The commercial sectors consume around a quarter of New Zealand’s electricity demand. The remaining demand comes from the transport sectors and the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors, which consume only a small amount.
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