Energy sector in New Zealand - statistics & facts

Although New Zealand’s energy demand is just a fraction of the world’s total consumption, it is still a critical input that helps drive economically important industries and fuel day-to-day living. Almost half of the energy consumed in the country was used on the transport of commodities and people. Although New Zealand had the third highest rate of renewable energy as a portion of primary supply in the OECD, around 60 percent was derived from fossil fuels. Oil can be directly consumed as transportation fuel, and gas can be used for heating, while other energy sources need to first be transformed in order to be consumed as electricity.

Oil and natural gas were the biggest contributors to the country’s primary energy supply. Despite this, over two-thirds of the petroleum products used as energy were imported, with the remaining produced in oil and gas fields in the Taranaki basin. The Marsden Point Oil Refinery is the country’s only oil refinery, producing premium and regular gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and fuel oil among other petroleum products. Natural gas is transmitted to distributors throughout the North Island via high-pressure gas transmission pipelines, and subsequently sold to consumers by gas retailers, the largest being Contact Energy and Vector.

New Zealand’s demand for electricity was expected to rise as growth in population, gross domestic product, and wealth drive consumption across residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Fortunately, New Zealand has abundant renewable resources across the country, such as geothermal, hydroelectricity, and wind energy, that are used to supply around 80 percent of its electricity needs. The New Zealand government has recently committed to sourcing 100 percent of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2035. These ambitious plans mirror global trends, with many countries working towards becoming primarily fueled by renewable energy.

As the New Zealand government joins other global organizations and governments in addressing climate change, policy will likely dictate changes in how energy is sourced in the future. Investments in renewable energy and low carbon solutions will contribute to the nation’s emissions reduction target set under the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, consumer habits are following the global paradigm shift, with green technology, such as electric vehicles, becoming more prevalent in everyday life.

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Energy sector in New Zealand

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