Renewable electricity generation bounces back

Published: 09 December 2021

The share of electricity generated from renewable sources recovered in the third quarter of 2021 after hydro generation returned to normal levels and new wind farms started producing power, according to data published today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly covers July-September 2021, and provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“The share of electricity from hydro generation jumped more than 8% on a year earlier as hydro storage levels rebounded from a prolonged dry spell. Hydro storage levels are usually at their lowest in the September quarter, but strong inflows led to storage being almost 40% above the historical average for the quarter,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights.

“Wind generation hit a record high with the new Waipipi and Turitea wind farms making their presence felt which led to an almost 19% increase compared to last year. It meant there was less reliance on fossil fuels, with gas and coal-fired generation falling by 27% and 31%, respectively, on September 2020.

“Overall, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources was nearly 84% – up from 77% a year earlier.

“Nationally, demand for electricity fell slightly with Norske Skog’s Tasman mill closure a key factor behind a 3% fall in industrial and commercial sector demand while residential demand rose almost 5% due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Fuel costs continued to climb in the quarter with higher international crude oil prices driving up prices at the pump. Regular 91 prices were up 7% and diesel was 9% higher than the June quarter.

“However fuel use for domestic transport was down by 23% (for 91 petrol) and 11% (for diesel) as the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the community prompted movement restrictions from mid-August,” said Griffiths.

To coincide with the publication of this edition of Energy Quarterly, MBIE has also added quarterly data into the New Zealand Energy Dashboard which offers a host of energy-related data insights:

Energy dashboard(external link)

New Zealand Energy Quarterly

Read about electricity cost and price monitoring

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Last updated: 09 December 2021