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Thermal Generation Reaches Record March Levels

New Zealand Energy Statistics: March 2006 quarter

7 June 2006

Thermal Generation Reaches Record March Levels

High levels of gas- and coal-fired electricity generation in the March 2006 quarter resulted in a record level of thermal generation for a March quarter and a March year, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The volume of electricity generated by hydro and wind (5,264 gigawatt hours) was the lowest recorded in a March quarter since March 1990. Hydro and wind generation supplied 57 percent of the total electricity generation, the lowest ratio of hydro to thermal generation in a March quarter since the series began in 1959. The average contribution of hydro and wind to total electricity generation in March quarters in the previous 10 years was 70 percent.

The March quarter generally has the lowest demand for electricity generation in the annual cycle, but the contribution of different fuel types to the generation of electricity within each quarter can be volatile, being dependent on conditions such as the lake levels for hydro generation.

Total electricity generation in the March 2006 quarter was 9,283 gigawatt hours, 0.9 percent higher than in the March 2005 quarter. After adjusting for seasonal variations, the volume of electricity generated in the March 2006 quarter was virtually unchanged compared with the December 2005 quarter.

Geoff Bascand

Acting Government Statistician

ENDS

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