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Renewable energy reaches 12-year peak


Wednesday 13th July 2011 1 Comment

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Renewable electricity generation reached a 12-year peak last year, with 74 percent of all power coming from renewable resources.

The figures were released today in the Ministry of Economic Development's annual Energy Data File, which details energy prices, reserves, supply, transmission and use.

The increased level of renewable electricity was due to new wind and geothermal energy projects, as well as good rainfall into hydro lakes.

Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata said New Zealand was making good progress toward developing the full potential of its diverse energy portfolio.

Large gains had been made in wind and geothermal generation, while steady progress was being made to develop bioenergy, solar and marine energy resources.

"We are well on the way to achieving our target of 90 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025," she said.

That target was last reached in the early 1980s. New Zealand currently ranks third behind Iceland and Norway in terms of renewable energy supply, according to the latest data from the International Energy Agency.

Parata said although renewable energy development was progressing, New Zealand would still need to continue with fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

Gas and coal generated a quarter of the electricity used last year.

"Our fossil fuel sector continues to be crucial in supplying our energy needs and makes a valuable contribution to our economy," Parata said.

The Government was taking a balanced approach to building a sustainable energy and resources future, she said.

"We are focused on renewables, the exploration of our natural resources, energy efficiency and the pricing of carbon as we manage our environmental responsibilities and economic opportunities."

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Comments from our readers

On 13 July 2011 at 8:23 pm peter mckinnon said:
Actually we're 3rd in the OECD - 28th in the world.
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