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Renewable electricity generation continues to increase

Renewable electricity generation continues to increase

Renewables now make up 79 per cent of New Zealand's electricity generation, Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, Hekia Parata, announced today.

Strong hydro inflows and generation from new wind and geothermal sources has seen renewable energy generation increase from 74 per cent to 79 per cent in the March quarter.

Our high level of renewable generation and the use of gas over coal at the Huntly Power Station has also resulted in the lowest quarterly electricity emission in ten years.

"This is great news,'' Ms Parata says.

"Generating more of New Zealand's electricity from renewable sources will help us meet demand and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

"Renewables and energy efficiency are a big part of our energy picture. We are a world leader in geothermal energy. Our rivers and lakes have long provided hydro-electricity and our wind resources are world class.

"Our Government has a target of 90 per cent of electricity generation to be from renewable sources by 2025, we are well on our way to achieving that.''

Today's Global Wind Day is also a chance to celebrate the growing contribution wind energy makes to New Zealand's energy supply.

"In 2005, wind accounted for only 1.5 percent of our electricity generation In the 2010 year it was up to 3.7 percent and is steadily climbing - in the March 2011 quarter it accounted for 4.2 percent of electricity generation,'' Ms Parata says.

''The recent granting of resource consents of Contact Energy's proposed Hauauru ma raki wind farm development on Waikato's west coast is an exciting development for wind electricity generation in New Zealand.''

The wind farm is the largest to be consented in New Zealand and will generate up to 504 megawatts of power from 168 turbines, which is enough renewable energy to power around 170,000 homes.

"Capturing the upside of existing and emerging renewable technologies is a source of competitive advantage to New Zealand,'' Ms Parata says.

"It will provide us with access to environmentally friendly energy in a future where the world will face increasing environmental constraints.''

Data on the supply of major fuels, electricity generation and greenhouse gas emissions to the end of December 2010, is available in the latest edition of the New Zealand Energy Quarterly, which will published by the Ministry of Economic Development http://www.med.govt.nz/energy/data today at 11am.

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