Renewable energy sources contributed about 80% to the total electricity generated in New Zealand in 2014, latest figures released by the government show.
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, like geothermal, hydro, wind, and biogas technology, was 79.9% in 2014. This is the largest share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation since 1996. In 2013, this share was 75.1%. The share of renewable energy sources in power generation has been increasing since 2009.
Electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 7.17% in 2014 over the generation seen in 2013. Power generation from geothermal, hydro, and wind energy projects increased in 2014 while generation from wood and biogas projects declined marginally.
Geothermal power registered the biggest increase in generation amongst all technologies — fossil fuel-based or renewable energy. With 6,847 GWh generated from geothermal power projects in 2014, it overtook natural gas-based power generation for the first time in 40 years.
Wind energy projects generated 2,187 GWh in 2014, up 9.4% from the power generated in 2013. With this significant increase, wind energy overtook coal-based power generation and became the fourth-largest source of power generation in New Zealand.
Fossil fuel-based power generation, on the other hand, declined by 18.4% between 2013 and 2014. Power generation from both gas and coal-based power plants declined by an average of 18%. Only oil and waste heat registered an increase in power generation amongst the fossil fuel category.
New Zealand has set a target to generate 90% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.