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Reduced hydroelectric output but continued supply

5 October 2017

Reduced hydroelectric output but continued supply

Lower rainfall in the South Island led to well below average inflows to southern hydro lakes, and a reduction in hydro generation in the June 2017 quarter, according to the New Zealand Energy Quarterly released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly covers the period April to June 2017. It provides quarterly data and analysis on energy supply, demand, prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the June 2017 quarter there was higher rainfall in the North Island and while this led to a significant increase in North Island hydro generation, and went some way to cover the lower output from the South Island, the overall picture is that hydroelectric generation was 2.2 per cent lower than the same period in 2016,” says James Hogan, MBIE Manager Energy and Building Trends.

The supply was maintained by increased gas-fired electricity generation, which led to the renewable share of electricity generation falling just below 80 per cent – the lowest quarterly level in two years.

Electricity demand from the residential sector returned to 2015 levels. Residential demand was up 4.3 per cent from the June 2016 quarter, when warmer than usual temperatures lowered household electricity use.

“While there was low rainfall in parts of the South Island, increased rainfall in the rest of the country lowered the need for irrigation in this quarter. As a result, electricity demand by the agricultural sector was down 17.4 per cent from the June 2016 quarter,” says Mr Hogan.

Methanex conducted routine maintenance in the June 2017 quarter, driving a 19 per cent fall in industrial use of gas. Despite this, total energy use of gas increased 2.4 per cent as more gas was used to generate electricity.

There are no significant changes in energy prices and associated greenhouse gas emissions in this quarter.

New Zealand Energy Quarterly:

Read about electricity cost and price monitoring:


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