Hydropower will continue to dominate New Zealand power generation until 2030, according to GlobalData


Hydropower in New Zealand held a 55.6% share in 2020 in its total annual electricity production. However, this share is expected to decline slightly to 51.1% in 2030. Nonetheless, hydropower generation in the country will continue to hold the dominant share of its generation mix until 2030, predicts GlobalData, a data and data company. leading analysis.

The GlobalData report, ‘New Zealand Electricity Market Outlook to 2030, 2021 Update – Market Trends, Regulations and Competitive Landscape‘, reveals that installed hydropower capacity increased slightly from 5.2 GW in 2000 to 5.43 GW in 2020, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2%. By 2030, installed hydropower capacity will experience negligible growth to 5.44 GW, with a CAGR of 0.01% from 2020 to 2030. Even though capacity additions are negligible, the huge installed hydropower capacity means that hydropower will continue to dominate electricity generation in New Zealand until 2030.

Rohit Ravetkar, Power Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Hydropower is the main source of electricity generation in New Zealand. The majority of hydropower plants are located in the South Island of the country. Electricity produced from hydroelectric sources in the South Island is then transported to the North Island through high voltage transmission lines. The country has already expanded its large conventional hydropower capacity and future additions will be minimal and limited to small hydropower plants. “

The majority of hydropower plants in New Zealand are run-of-river systems that can only store electricity for a few hours or days after production. To allow the storage of this produced electricity, in July 2020, the government allocated US $ 30 million to research and development of pumped hydraulic storage in the country.

Ravetkar concludes: “The heavy reliance on hydropower generation is a major challenge for New Zealand’s security of supply. As the country does not have nuclear power and does not wish to increase its thermal energy capacity, the country can look to the rapid development of the renewable energy sector to reduce its dependence on hydropower.

“For this, the government has put in place several incentive and subsidy programs in the form of tax breaks, subsidies for investment costs and favorable electricity tariffs for renewable energies. This is expected to lead to rapid growth in the renewable energy sector, with renewable energy capacity increasing at a CAGR of 5.6%, from 2.24 GW in 2020 to 3.88 GW in 2030. ”

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