Coal use declines as gas generation recovers

Published: 12 September 2019

The amount of electricity generated from coal dropped significantly in the second quarter of the year as gas supply began returning to normal levels, 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 April-June 2019 and provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

"Renewable sources made up just over 83 per cent of electricity generation, down from 85 per cent for the same quarter a year ago,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights.

"Coal-fired generation spiked in the December 2018 and March 2019 quarters to cope with reduced gas supply when the Pohokura gas field was undergoing maintenance, but fell by 33 per cent this quarter. Coal imports hit a record high for a quarter as stocks were replenished.

"Warm and dry conditions for the June quarter led to a decrease in hydro generation by over 5 per cent compared to the 2018 quarter. Electricity consumption was flat compared to June 2018 as lower residential consumption was offset by higher agricultural and industrial use.

"Fuel prices rose in this quarter, with petrol rising 6 per cent and diesel 4 per cent, but prices remained shy of those recorded in the second half of 2018."

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