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New Zealand could reach 95% renewable power share by 2035

Te Apiti wind farm in New Zealand. Author: Jondaar_1. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 6 (Renewables Now) - New Zealand can realistically achieve around a 95% renewables share in the power generation by 2035, up from approximately 80% today, and 100% by 2050, according to local grid operator Transpower New Zealand.

The state-owned power distributor last week published its Whakamana i Te Mauri Hiko – Empowering our Energy Future report, examining the base case scenario, titled Accelerated Electrification, with a view to 2050.

The base case scenario revolves around the likely assumption that the New Zealand government will support electrification and decarbonisation of the economy, and that the population growth paired with electrified heat and transport will spur electricity demand to 70 TWh in 2050 from 42 TWh in 2020.

Transpower’s projections under the Accelerated Electrification scenario are summarised in the table below:

Technology: 2020 2035 2050
GW TWh GW TWh GW TWh
Hydro 5.3 25.6 5.5 25.1 5.5 24.8
Wind 0.6 2.1 2.9 8.9 6.5 19.6
Geothermal 1.0 7.5 1.7 12.5 1.7 12.5
Distributed solar 0.1 -- 1.7 -- 4.9 --
Utility solar -- -- 1.0 -- 1.0 --
Solar total -- 0.2 -- 4.3 -- 9.3
Other 0.3 1.2 0.3 1.2 -- 3.8
Coal 0.5 1.1 -- -- -- --
Gas 1.4 4.1 1.4 2.4 -- --
Added firming -- -- -- -- 2.2 --

Transpower said the 2035 accelerated electrification ambition will require 40 new grid-connected generation and battery projects, 30 connections to accommodate the electricity demand growth, 10 to 15 new transmission interconnections and other network investments.

The full report can be accessed at this link: https://www.transpower.co.nz/sites/default/files/publications/resources/TP%20Whakamana%20i%20Te%20Mauri%20Hiko.pdf

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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