Fall in renewable electricity shows importance of natural gas

New figures out today showing a four percent decline in renewable electricity generation over the last quarter highlights the importance of natural gas as a back-up, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

Reduced inflows into hydro schemes mean that natural gas-fired electricity generation increased 13% from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“Renewable electricity is great for New Zealand but supply will always fluctuate due to weather conditions. It’s important we have natural gas as a lower-emitting back-up to ensure the lights stay on and prices are affordable,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“As we develop more renewable electricity in future this role will become even more important, not less.

“This was highlighted by the Interim Climate Change Committtee this year who noted the importance of natural gas in keeping electricity prices down, and in doing so encouraging decarbonisation through electrification.”