New Zealand used more than a million tonnes of coal in the first half of this year, more than in any full year since 2012, due to low hydro leaks and gas shortages during the quarter.
Coal burning between April and June accounts for 12% of the country’s electricity. According to the data released today By the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Coal imports were at an all-time high, reaching 632,000 tonnes in three months.
Renewable energy production in the June quarter fell to the lowest level of 75% since 2013. This is six percentage points less than the June quarter last year and was 85.7% higher in December 2019.
During the quarter, production from hydropower and geothermal sources fell by 5% and production from gas by 13%.
“Daily. [hydro] This quarter’s stock was well below historical levels and was seen in 2020. The inflow of lakes in this quarter was similar to that seen in 2020, adding to the historical average in the second half of the quarter. However, the amount of electricity generated from hydro was limited and other sources were expanded to ensure the safety of the supply.
The MBIE said gas production was the lowest in any quarter since 2011, reflecting a “tight gas supply”.
“Low production is largely due to ongoing delivery problems in Pohokura, New Zealand’s largest gas-producing field. In previous periods of low hydro-generation, a large portion of pure gas production was used for power generation. Thirty-three percent of net production was used for electricity in 2010-2013, compared to 23 percent in 2017-2020. The proportion of gas used for power generation in this quarter was 25 percent.
Wind power generation increased, with the completion of the YPP wind farm in Taranaki in March this year. 650 GWh was generated from wind, the highest in the June quarter, and the third highest for any quarter. Wind supplies only 6% of the country’s electricity.