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NZ's Energy And Fossil Fuel Use Grow Steadily

New Zealand's total energy use and fossil fuel consumption continue to grow steadily, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Economic Development.

Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson today released the latest edition of the Ministry's biannual Energy Data File.

The July 2000 edition of the file shows that:

 Total energy consumption increased by 0.7% in calendar 1999 to 438.4 petajoules. Over the past ten calendar years (1990 to 1999) consumption growth has averaged 1.7% a year. Primary energy supply has grown by an average of 3.1% a year over the same period.

 Total petrol consumption in the year to March 2000 increased by 2.4%. Consumption of fuel oil and diesel also increased, while consumption of aviation fuel and LPG decreased.

 Net crude oil imports in the year to March 2000 increased by 25% on the previous year, while New Zealand's production of crude oil and related products decreased by 18%. New Zealand's self-sufficiency in oil declined to 36% from 44% the preceding year.

 Coal production in the year to March 2000 was 3.6 million tonnes, an increase of 8.8% on the previous year. Consumption increased by 8.4%.

 New Zealand gas production in the year to March 2000 rose by 7.5%, with 75% coming from the Maui field. About 41% was used for petrochemical production, 41% for electricity generation and 18% for commercial and domestic purposes.

 National average electricity prices the year to March 1999 were 1.4% less in real terms than for March year 1998. This came from decreases in real average electricity prices for residential users (2.1%) and commercial users (3.7%), offset by an increase in prices (1.2%) for industrial customers. (More recent price increases for domestic consumers are not included in the data).

Mr Hodgson said the statistics showed the new Government faced a major task in making New Zealand more energy efficient, with less reliance on fossil fuels.

"In the past decade, and particularly the last two or three years, almost all energy statistics have been heading in the wrong direction. We are becoming more reliant on fossil fuels and the growth in use of transport fuels is significant.

"Our fossil fuel consumption works against our international commitments to combat climate change. We have to slow our energy consumption trends and then reverse them, by becoming much more energy efficient.

"Fortunately energy efficiency has no losers. It benefits the economy, the environment, the health of New Zealanders and even offers modest employment gains."

Ends

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