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    New Zealand Renewables Key View

    May 14, 2022 - Fitch Solutions Sector Intelligence


      THIS COMMENTARY IS PUBLISHED BY FITCH SOLUTIONS COUNTRY RISK & INDUSTRY RESEARCH and is NOT a comment on Fitch Ratings' Credit Ratings. Any comments or data are solely derived from Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research and independent sources. Fitch Ratings analysts do not share data or information with Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research.

      New Zealand Renewables Key View

      • 13 May 2022
      • New Zealand
      • Renewables

      Key View: Growth in New Zealand's non-hydro renewables sector will remain largely positive, as the government's aims to decarbonise the economy and increase the share of renewable energy to 100% by 2030. There is still significant upside risk to our non-hydro renewables forecast due to an uptick in investor interest for larger-scale projects in recent months, although we remain conservative at present given existing opposition and overcapacity in the system and will likely only revise if we see concrete developments in these projects. We expect wind power to see the strongest growth over the coming years, although solar power will also grow rapidly from a much lower base.

      Renewables Headline Forecasts (New Zealand 2021-2026)
      Indicator 2021e 2022f 2023f 2024f 2025f 2026f
      Generation, Non-Hydropower Renewables, TWh 11.209 11.905 12.235 12.450 12.696 12.960
      Generation, Non-Hydropower Renewables, % y-o-y 5.4 6.2 2.8 1.8 2.0 2.1
      Capacity, Non-Hydroelectric Renewables, MW 2,344.3 2,480.2 2,667.5 2,873.6 2,905.3 2,937.1
      Capacity, Non-Hydroelectric Renewables, % y-o-y 14.6 5.8 7.6 7.7 1.1 1.1
      e/f = Fitch Solutions estimate/forecast. Source: National sources, Fitch Solutions

      Key Forecasts And Latest Updates

      • We have updated our forecasts this quarter to reflect the latest industry data, which shows a more modest decrease in electricity consumption in 2020 as well as weaker geothermal (and hydropower) output. New Zealand's economy recovery is expected to translate to stronger consumption rates in 2021, though this is still some downside risk due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
      • We have also revised our capacity growth on expectation for progress in several wind and geothermal projects in the pipeline. We forecast non-hydro renewables capacity to grow by an annual average of 2.9% between 2022 and 2031, which will also take generation from 11.21TWh in 2021 to 14.3TWh in 2031 correspondingly. This growth will be supported by open investment environment, stable political outlook and ambitious renewable energy targets.
      • Geothermal power makes up around two-thirds of renewable energy generation and its role is expected to increase over the next decade as New Zealand phases out thermal power (particularly coal-fired power). Geothermal electricity will account for just under 20% of total power output in New Zealand by 2030, by which time New Zealand will have the fifth-largest installed geothermal power capacity globally.
      • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has partnered with NZ Super Annuation Fund to evaluate the feasibility for the construction of a 1GW offshore wind project in New Zealand's South Taranaki Bight. The capacity of the proposed offshore wind facility could later be increased to 2GW. Feasibility study is likely to be completed in 24 months. Subject to securing required regulatory approvals, the facility is due to be operational by the end of 2030.
      • Meridian Energy has unveiled plans to build a 100MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in Auckland, New Zealand. Called the Marsden Point BESS, the storage facility will come up on a 1.05sq km site as part of the Rukkaka Energy Park solar-plus-storage complex. Meridian is conducting ecological and geotechnical site assessments as part of the due diligence process for the project, with operations scheduled to begin in the middle of 2023, according to a press release from Meridian Energy.
      • Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand has agreed to provide around 4sq km of land for the construction of the Kowhai renewable energy park at the airport. The first phase will feature a 150MW solar power plant, which will cover around 2.2sq km of area. Solar Bay has committed NZD100.0mn (USD67.5mn) to support the first phase of the energy park. Output from the first phase will serve around 30,000 homes. Scoping work is due to be completed by early 2022, with operations slated to begin in 2025.
      • The government has selected Fotowatio Renewable Ventures Australia as a joint venture partner to develop up to 500MW of solar capacity in New Zealand over the next five years. Most of it is expected to be built on the North Island, with the first location expected to be confirmed in early 2022.
      • Solar Bay is looking to invest NZD100mn to build a 150MW solar farm at Christchurch Airport. This will be the market’s largest project to date and will also support the development of green infrastructure at Kowhai Park in the future, including green transport, green data centers and green vertical farming .
      • BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate and Elemental Group have partnered to develop offshore wind farms in New Zealand. Earlier, BlueFloat Energy launched "Haumoana - New Zealand Offshore Wind Capacity Building", a report which highlighted New Zealand's untapped potential for the resource and opportunities to develop the sector.
      • New Zealand’s first green hydrogen plant has begun operations in December 2021. The 1.5MW plant is located in Taupo, and is supported by the Mokai geothermal power plant. The project is established by Halcyon Power, a 50-50 joint venture between Tuaropaki Trust and Obayashi Corporation. We believe that this project demonstrates the feasibility of green hydrogen in the market and sets the stage for larger-scale projects in the market.
      This report from Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research is a product of Fitch Solutions Group Ltd, UK Company registration number 08789939 ('FSG'). FSG is an affiliate of Fitch Ratings Inc. ('Fitch Ratings'). FSG is solely responsible for the content of this report, without any input from Fitch Ratings.


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