Warm, dry conditions hinder renewable electricity generation

Published: 11 March 2021

A decline hydro and wind generation in the last quarter of 2020 led to a small decrease in the share of electricity generated from renewable sources 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 October-December 2020, and it provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“Hydro and wind generation fell in the quarter (each by around 3 per cent) compared to the same period a year earlier as a warm and dry end to the year impacted on renewable electricity generation ,” says Daniel Griffiths, MBIE Manager of Markets, Evidence and Insights.

“Hydro generation was affected by lower lake storage levels, generators preparing for La Niña weather conditions and a reduction in gas supply. The 84 per cent share of electricity generated from renewables was down a little over one percentage point on the final quarter of 2019.

“To compensate for the lack of renewable generation, fossil fuels took up the slack with thermal generation up 9 per cent.

“Nationally, demand for electricity was almost the same as he December 2019 quarter which indicates the seven-day period in October 2019 when Auckland was at COVID-19 alert level 2 had a minimal impact on demand.

 “The aviation sector continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 travel restrictions with aviation fuel use for domestic transport down 19 per cent on the comparable 2019 quarter despite increasing 18 per cent on the September 2020 quarter.

“Fuel use for international transport remained grounded with it 77 per cent lower than the 2019 December quarter

“However, road transport was strong with petrol use up 10 per cent on the previous quarter and only 2 per cent down on the December 2019 quarter while diesel use was up 9 per cent on the previous quarter and up 5 per cent on a year ago,” said Griffiths.

New Zealand Energy Quarterly

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