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New research to identify climate impacts on energy

New research to identify climate impacts on energy

The effect of New Zealand’s climate on energy supply and demand will be examined in a new 6 year programme worth more than $1 million. The research was announced in the budget last week and will be carried out by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and funded by the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology.

The current electricity crisis has drawn attention to the climate dependence of storage in New Zealand’s hydroelectricity lakes. “The amount of water that flows into these lakes each year is linked to large patterns of climate variation which affect the whole of the Pacific Basin”, said NIWA climate scientist Dr Jim Renwick. “We want to know how much these patterns, coupled with the long-term climate change, will affect future supply and demand of energy in New Zealand.”

NIWA will work closely with its industry partners and other agencies to help the Government and industries effectively plan their energy strategies in the face of climate variations from year to year or from decade to decade.

This research programme is closely linked with other Government energy use strategies to help ensure that energy supplies are sustainable and to help users manage risks. It will also have significant influence on how we manage our greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol through links and trade-offs between renewable and thermal electricity generation.

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