New Zealand Energy Quarterly – December 2020

The New Zealand Energy Quarterly provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand and pricing across various commodities. This edition was released on 11 March 2021.

December quarter

Main highlights for this quarter

  • The renewable share of electricity generation fell to 84 per cent, 1.4 per cent lower than a year ago. This is a rise from renewable share of 77 per cent in September 2020 quarter.
  • The December quarter 2020 was warm and dry for most of the country.
  • Transmission outages to progress the Clutha Upper Waitaki project saw spilling at southern hydro lakes as less electricity was able to be generated through hydro stations in the South Island at the start of the quarter due to above average storage levels.
  • Hydro lake storage levels subsequently dipped below historical averages, on lower than normal rainfall. This combined with generators preparing for La Niña weather conditions[1] and a projected reduction in supply from Pohokura gas field in 2021, resulted in a 3 per cent decrease in hydro generation compared to December 2019 quarter.
  • Generation from wind was 2.8 per cent lower in this quarter. The reduction in hydro and wind generation led to an increased reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation. Coal imports were 41 per cent higher due to increased demand for electricity generation and in preparation for tightening gas supply.
  • Electricity generated from gas increased by 8 per cent, while generation from coal increased by 11 per cent compared to December 2019 quarter.
  • Aviation fuel use for domestic transport increased by 18 per cent compared to September 2020 quarter, however it was 19 per cent lower compared to December 2019 quarter. Petrol and diesel demand continues to recover, and has almost returned to December 2019 quarter levels, prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

More information on the response to COVID-19 by the energy sector

For more detailed data, see the relevant page:

Last updated: 10 June 2021