Energy resilience needed in face of extreme weather events

Energy Resources Aotearoa has welcomed the latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly report which shows that renewables accounted for 94.7 per cent of electricity generation between October and December 2022. However, the organisation warns that climate change means that New Zealanders will experience more frequent and extreme weather events.

New Zealand’s electricity system needs a diverse mix of energy sources to protect against weather-related disruptions.

Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says:

"Over the past few months New Zealand has experienced unseasonably wet weather that has caused devastation across many communities. That weather has also filled up a lot of our hydro-lakes, which has meant New Zealand has set a new record for the renewable share of electricity generation.

"New Zealand is fortunate to have a largely renewable-based electricity system. But that counts for little if renewable generation cannot meet Kiwis’ energy demands - such as during a drought when the lakes are low. That’s where natural gas comes in to pick up the slack and enable our largely renewable system.

"It’s important that we don’t get caught up in this one record-breaking number. We know that weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable, and New Zealand should prepare itself for more extreme weather events such as storms and droughts.

"To deliver the resilient energy system that New Zealanders deserve, we need to take a strategic, long-term view of the impacts of climate change.

"Our members are ready to work closely with the Government to create greater investment confidence in the natural gas sector and further New Zealand’s energy resilience."