New Zealand generation stack updates

MBIE is responsible for maintaining data on New Zealand’s generation stack. This is a list containing information on the costs of existing and new electricity generation plants in New Zealand.

About the generation stack

The generation stack is used to assist with understanding and determining what electricity generation capacity is required to be built and when, in order to meet forecast electricity demand. It is a key input to modelling performed by MBIE, Transpower, and the wider electricity industry.

There have been two updates of the generation stack:

  • An update to information for all types of electricity generation plant technologies, commissioned in 2011 by the then Ministry of Economic Development
  • Updates commissioned in 2019 and 2020 on a technology-specific basis

2020 update

Electricity generation technologies and costs have advanced since 2011. This led MBIE (with the support of Transpower) to engage subject-matter experts to review and update the information on a technology-specific basis over 2019 and 2020. The resulting reports from these reviews, covering geothermal, hydro, thermal, utility-scale solar, and wind, are accessible below.


Lawless Geo-Consulting was commissioned to provide estimates of the possible timing, cost, and opportunities for future development of geothermal electricity generation in New Zealand. This work also included an assessment of the interaction between direct use of geothermal and electricity generation.

Future Geothermal Generation Stack [PDF, 2.1 MB]


Roaring 40s Wind Power produced an assessment of hydro electricity generation out to 2060. The assessment includes:

  • A review and update of information on existing and potential large-scale hydro plants
  • An analysis of the potential for embedded (small-scale) hydro plants

Hydro generation stack update for large-scale plant [PDF, 995 KB]

Embedded hydro generation opportunities in New Zealand [PDF, 2.5 MB]


This report, produced by WSP New Zealand, includes a review and update of information on existing and proposed thermal electricity generation plants in New Zealand.  This covers plants running on coal, natural gas, and/or oil products (such as diesel).

2020 Thermal generation stack update report [PDF, 2.5 MB]

Utility-scale solar

Allan Miller Consulting was commissioned to undertake modelling on the potential for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) generation in New Zealand out to 2060.  This work, as summarised in the report, includes projections of capacity and annual generation for transmission and distribution network connected solar PV farms.

Economics of Utility-Scale Solar in Aotearoa New Zealand [PDF, 3 MB]


This report, produced by Roaring40s Wind Power, includes an updated wind generation stack, an assessment of the potential for offshore wind in New Zealand, and the potential trend of technology costs.

Wind Generation Stack Update [PDF, 4 MB]

2011 update

The 2011 NZ Generation Data Update was a comprehensive review and update of technical and cost data on existing and potential future electricity generating plants in New Zealand. A key improvement in this dataset over similar existing datasets was the explicit separation of capital and operating costs into both a New Zealand dollar (NZD) component and Foreign Currency (FX) component. This makes it easy to see the impacts of exchange rate fluctuations, particularly on the capital costs of new generation.

Download the report

2011 NZ Generation Data Update [PDF, 4.8 MB]

Last updated: 18 December 2020