POST Online Media Lite Edition


New Zealand renewable energy supply reached 37%

Staff writer |
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released the annual Energy in New Zealand report. Data shows that renewable share of total primary energy supply was 37% in 2012, the third highest in the OECD.

Article continues below

The report also found most of New Zealand's production of renewable energy is used in electricity generation and renewable sources met 73% of New Zealand's electricity generation in 2012.

New Zealand produced 4.9 million tonnes of coal in 2012, unchanged from 2011. Solid Energy's production was flat for the year with Stockton and Strongman opencast mines picking up production to offset the closure of Spring Creek. Stockpiled coal was driven down in 2012 and this contributed to a 16% rise in coal supply.

The country produced 15 million barrels of crude in 2012, down 11 per cent from 2011. This meant New Zealand produced 31 per cent of its own oil supply in 2012, down from 36 per cent in 2011. Demand fell 2 per cent from 2011. However, diesel (which is the primary fuel for commercial land transport) rose 2 per cent from 2011.

New Zealand had 17 producing gas-fields in 2012, with almost 60 per cent of production coming from Pohokura and Maui combined. Total gas production rose almost 7% from 2011, with Maui up 6% on last year's production.

Almost half of New Zealand gas consumption in 2012 was for electricity generation. Highly-efficient combined-cycle and open-cycle gas turbines provide important coverage for New Zealand's diversifying renewable electricity generation portfolio.

In addition to hydro, wind and geothermal, renewable sources of energy used or being developed in New Zealand include wood and wood waste, landfill and sewage biogas, marine, solar and liquid biofuels.

Geothermal energy and woody biomass is used in direct-use heat applications around New Zealand, and an estimated 66 petajoules was used in 2012. Estimated production of liquid biofuel was 7 million litres in 2012.

Electricity consumption fell slightly by 1% with much of the fall in consumption coming from the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter and the Wood, Pulp, and Printing Industry.

What to read next

Renewable sources highest in Sweden, lowest in UK
South Korea to build 'control tower' to manage renewable energy drive
One thousand solar panels in Cook Islands officially opened