Renewables share of electricity generation mix falls

Published: 10 June 2021

Low hydro lake storage levels and less wind led to a fall in the share of the electricity generation mix from renewable sources in the first three months of 2021 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 2021 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 2021 quarter was 79 per cent which was more than 3 percentage points lower than the same quarter a year earlier,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights. 

“The lower than normal rainfall and hydro lake storage levels for this time of year led to a 9 per cent decline in hydro generation as generators looked to conserve water in the hydro lakes and help manage supply security ahead of winter. Generation from wind fell by 4 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

“Tighter gas supplies also affected the amount of electricity generated from gas which fell by almost 18 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“Coal-fired generation was used to help make up the shortfall from other sources with a third Rankine unit at Huntly brought online during the period which contributed to a near doubling of coal-fired generation for the quarter compared to the same period a year earlier. The share of electricity generated by coal rose to just over 10 per cent.

“Nationally, demand for electricity fell 3 per cent on the same quarter in 2020 with a decline in demand from the pulp, paper and printing sector,” said Griffiths.

New Zealand Energy Quarterly

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