How Do We Generate Electricity In New Zealand?

Date Jul 13, 2020
Blog category Power
By Michael Speight

We use electricity every day but it isn’t something that we really think about all that much. In this blog post, we want to explore the many ways that New Zealand produces electricity for over 4 million Kiwis.

We’ll focus on the current levels of energy consumption in New Zealand and take a look at New Zealand’s current state of energy.

New Zealand Electricity Consumption in 2018

Before we look at how New Zealand generates its electricity, we wanted to go over the current levels of consumption in 2018. The current electricity demand in New Zealand can be divided into three areas.

Roughly one third of New Zealand’s electricity demand is from households, another third is from industrial sectors, and the rest is made up from wood, paper and metal manufacturers.


The Current State of Energy in New Zealand

According to the Ministry Of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the latest snapshot of energy showed that New Zealand’s renewable energy supply was 40%. This ranks New Zealand as the 4th highest renewable share country in the OECD. Our supply of energy comes from a range of sources including Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, Wood, Solar, Waste Heat, Geothermal, Hydro, and Wind. Non-renewable sources (coal, oil, and gas) make up one quarter of New Zealand’s electricity supply. In terms of renewable sources, New Zealand has three main generators of renewable electricity: Hydroelectricity, Geothermal, and Wind.

Geothermal has been around for a long time in New Zealand, powering a number of generations. New Zealand’s unique ecosystem makes geothermal an ideal form of electricity generation. The first geothermal power station opened in 1958 (over 55 years ago!). Wind generation has become very popular in a short amount of time. Wind generation currently makes up 5% of New Zealand’s electricity supply. Our two largest wind farms are the Tararua Wind Farm and West Wind Makara, which are located in the lower North Island. 

The conditions in the South Island have made Hydroelectricity a reliable and trustworthy source of energy in New Zealand. Hydroelectricity has been a part of the New Zealand Energy supply system for over 100 years.

There are currently over 5,000MW of installed hydro capacity in New Zealand and the popularity will continue to rise. You can read more information in our dedicated blog post about how New Zealand is Leading the Way in Renewable Energy

Compare Electricity Prices and Power Providers in New Zealand

We mentioned earlier that electricity isn’t something that most people think of – that is, until your electricity bill comes in. There are a number of methods for reducing your electricity bills in New Zealand, from reducing consumption, to being more efficient, to reviewing your current electricity provider. Switching power companies in New Zealand is relatively easy as most contracts have a break free clause where you don’t have to pay cancellation fees.

At glimp, we have a free tool that lets New Zealanders compare electricity prices in New Zealand. Simply input your details and see whether or not you are getting the best deal possible.

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