Smelter and sunshine cut power demand

Electricity generation throughout the country was down this quarter compared to the equivalent period last year partly because of reduced production at the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's New Zealand Energy Quarterly report shows the total electricity generation this quarter was 3 per cent down on the 2011 September quarter.

The report says the drop in electricity generation was largely due to reduced production at Tiwai Pt and milder weather across the country this year.

The share of electricity generated from renewable energy was 73 per cent this quarter, up from 64 per cent in the June quarter 2012.

Ministry spokesman Bryan Field said the increase was derived from higher hydro lake levels, which resulted in a 28 per cent increase in hydro generation.

As a result, electricity generation greenhouse gas emissions were down by 3 per cent on the previous September quarter, he said.

"Electricity prices were also stable during the September quarter and the electricity price faced by the average New Zealand household increased by just 0.4 per cent".

This level of increase was close to inflation during the September quarter, which was 0.3 per cent, Mr Field said.

The ministry report provides an update of energy statistics and trends on electricity generation; greenhouse gas emissions; the production and supply of oil, gas and coal; and petrol and diesel prices and importer margins.

The Southland Times