Favourable hydro and wind conditions drove renewables’ higher proportion of generation, New Zealand’s ministry of business, innovation and employment (MBIE) explained.
Renewable sources accounted for 85% of electricity generation between 1 April and 30 June 2018 – the highest Q2 share for 37 years.
Meanwhile, generation from non-renewable sources fell by 27% from a year earlier.
Wind generated 560GWh in the period, up 12% year-on-year, and 24.1% quarter-on-quarter.
The increases come despite no new capacity being added in the country since Pioneer Generation’s 6.8MW Flat Hill wind farm was commissioned in 2015.
Hydro (6,843GWh) produced more power than any other source in the second quarter of the year, ahead of geothermal (1,841GWh), gas (1,340GWh), and then wind.
Hydro also produced more compared to the previous quarter (up 18.4%) and on the same period last year (up 12.9%).
James Hogan, the MBIE’s manager of energy and building trends, said renewables’ higher share came despite national electricity demand being unchanged for the quarter compared to the same period last year.
He also pointed out that the quarter coincided with the planned shutdown of the Marsden Point oil refinery and a reduction in output from the Pohokura gas field.
New Zealand currently has 623MW of installed wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. It has not added any new capacity since 2015.