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Electricity Generation Reaches Record Level

Embargoed until 10:45am – 5 December 2006

Electricity Generation Reaches Record Level

Increased levels of hydro and wind generation in the September 2006 quarter resulted in a record level of electricity generation (10,809 gigawatt hours) for any quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Although hydro lake levels were at a similar level to that for the September 2005 quarter, hydro and wind generation increased 8.4 percent and supplied 58 percent of the total electricity generated this quarter. The September quarter generally has the highest level of electricity generation in the annual cycle.

In the September 2006 year a record level of 39,920 gigawatt hours was recorded for electricity generation, the highest for any 12-month period since records began. Thermal generation was the biggest contributor to this increase. Hydro and wind generation provided 57 percent of the total electricity generation, the lowest proportion ever recorded for a September year. The highest proportion ever recorded was 87 percent in 1980.

The seasonally adjusted volume of electricity generated in the September 2006 quarter fell 0.3 percent compared with the June 2006 quarter. This follows an increase of 2.0 percent in the June 2006 quarter.

Gas production for a September year has continued to decrease since 2002 and at 160,452 terajoules is at its lowest level since 1985.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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