Renewables increases share of electricity generation mix

Published: 18 June 2020

Renewable sources made up almost 82 per cent of the electricity generation mix in the first 3 months of 2020 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 2020 and provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“The share of electricity generated from renewable sources for the March 2020 quarter was 81.9 per cent which was almost 2 percentage points higher than the same quarter a year earlier,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights.

“There were increases in wind (up 8.2 per cent), geothermal (up 3.8 per cent) and hydro (up 2.1 per cent) generation during the quarter. Generation from non-renewable sources declined 8.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

“Coal-fired generation fell by nearly a quarter, to contribute just over 5 per cent of the electricity generation mix, and gas-fired generation also edged down.

“Dry conditions saw a greater need for irrigation, which saw electricity demand by the agricultural sector increase 20 per cent to its highest level since 2015. Nationally, demand for electricity rose 2.2 per cent.

“The March quarter included less than a week of the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown, so its impact on the energy sector will not be fully evident until the June quarter data. However, there were early signs of its impact with a reduction in international flights leading to a 12 per cent decline in aviation fuel use compared to a year earlier.

“We have also introduced more real time monitoring to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the energy sector. A range of real time data is summarised in the Energy Factsheet and presents information on electricity demand, oil stocks, retail fuel and gas use and production,” says Griffiths.

View the latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly

Read about electricity cost and price monitoring

Read the COVID-19 Energy Factsheet

MBIE media contacts

Phone: 027 442 2141

Last updated: 18 June 2020