Electricity generation mix affected by gas constraints

Published: 13 June 2019

A constrained gas supply during the first quarter of 2019 led to a rise in coal-fired electricity generation, 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 2019 and provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“Renewable sources made up almost 80 per cent of electricity generation, which was down from 81 per cent on the same quarter a year ago,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights.

“Electricity generation from hydro fell slightly as hydro lake levels were below the historical average for much of the quarter. Generation from geothermal and wind sources was higher than the same quarter a year earlier, but gas generation was down 16 per cent as production at the Pohokura field was reduced while it underwent maintenance.

“Coal-fired generation spiked with an almost 138 per cent increase from the same quarter a year earlier and the highest quarterly volume since June 2013, but despite the jump, coal contributed only 6.6 per cent of the electricity generated over the period.

“The gas supply constraints resulted in wholesale gas prices remaining at elevated levels compared to a year earlier, but they were down from the peaks in the previous two quarters.

“Fuel prices dropped from the highs of the September 2018 to retreat close to the levels of the March 2018 quarter, but diesel prices remain 11 per cent higher than a year earlier.”

Read the New Zealand Energy Quarterly

Read about electricity cost and price monitoring

Last updated: 13 June 2019