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Energy consumption keeps growing

New Zealand's energy consumption has continued to grow, 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 file shows total energy consumption was 426.34 petajoules in the year to September 1999, a 1.3% increase over the preceding September year.

Over the last 10 years total consumption growth has averaged 1.8% a year. The main area of growth has been the consumption of oil products, increasing at an average 3.5% a year. Oil product consumption now constitutes 48% of total energy use.

Petrol makes up 47% of oil product consumption and diesel 37%. Growth in diesel consumption at about 7% a year has outstripped growth in petrol consumption, averaging 1.7%.

"These figures clearly demonstrate the magnitude of the challenge posed by the climate change issue. Limiting emissions of carbon dioxide from the use of transport fuels will not be easy," Mr Hodgson said.

The data file shows electricity consumption has grown at around 1.8% a year over the last decade. Consumption of gas (excluding electricity generation but including petrochemical manufacturing and co-generation) has grown by about 1.9% a year. Most of this increase is attributed to increasing co-generation.

"One of my aims as Energy Minister is to shift the policy focus from production to consumption of energy," Mr Hodgson said. "Improving the efficiency of our energy use is the most profitable route to economic, social and environmental gains."

Contacts : Graeme Speden, press secretary, 04 471 9707 or 025 270 9055
Dr Ram SriRamaratnam, Ministry of Economic Development, 04 474 2180

http://www.moc.govt.nz/ran/emisg/emsu/

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