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Energy sector in New Zealand - statistics & facts

Although New Zealand’s energy demand is just a fraction of the world’s total consumption, it still helps drive economically important industries and fuel day-to-day living in the country. Almost half of the energy consumed in the nation was used for the transport of commodities and people. Although New Zealand had one of the highest rates of renewable energy as a portion of primary supply in the OECD, a significant percentage 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 to be consumed as electricity.

Fossil fuel in energy supply

Oil and natural gas were two of the main contributors to the country’s primary energy supply. Despite this, over two-thirds of 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.

Electricity generation

New Zealand’s demand for electricity was expected to rise as growth in population, gross domestic product, and wealth drive electricity consumption across residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Fortunately, New Zealand has abundant renewable resources that are used to supply around 80 percent of its electricity needs. The country’s renewables sector includes geothermal, hydroelectricity, and wind energy sources. 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.

The future of energy is green

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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Energy sector in New Zealand".


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