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Positive trends in latest energy data

Positive trends in latest energy data

New Zealand’s demand for energy is increasing at a lower rate than the economy is growing, according to the latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly published today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Overall energy demand increased by 0.9 per cent during the year to December 2013, which included a 3.9 per cent increase in demand for diesel and a 2 per cent drop in electricity demand. This compares with an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.6 per cent for the year to September 2013 (latest available figure), and suggests that New Zealand is becoming more energy efficient.

“We are producing more GDP for every unit of energy we use as a country,” says Bryan Field, MBIE’s Manager of Modelling and Sector Trends.

The role of renewables in electricity generation increased to 75.1 per cent in 2013, up from 72.7 per cent the previous year. The increase reflected new geothermal generation plants Ngatamariki (82MW) and Te Mihi (166 MW, which is not yet at full production), as well as the mothballing of the second 250MW coal and gas fired unit at Huntly power station.

These changes also delivered a reduction of 15 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity for the year. For the December quarter, these emissions were the lowest in 17 years.

The Quarterly Survey of Domestic Electricity Prices, which MBIE also published today, shows residential electricity prices increased 2.9 per cent in 2013.

This reflected a 2.2 per cent increase in distribution and transmission charges (which translates to a 0.9 per cent increase in the retail price), and a 3.4 per cent increase in energy and retail charges, (which translates to a 2 per cent increase in the retail price).


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