Talk:Electricity sector in New Zealand

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Energy vs. Electricity[edit]

Energy use in society includes sources of energy used for heating, transportation and electricity. Electricity is in fact a way of intermediating energy from the original sources ( such as burning something or using the potential energy of falling water ) to the point of use.

It is unfortunately common but also misleading and wrong to talk about aspect of energy use in society as only including electricity when other uses such as gas for heating and cooking and gasoline/diesel for transportation are used as well. Eregli bob (talk) 05:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your basic point. Should we expand this article to cover other energy sources, or just rename it to reflect its current focus on electrical energy? -- Avenue (talk) 03:37, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I agree too. I think the focus here should be energy in general as opposed to just electricity. This would be in keeping with the other "Energy in xxxx" articles. And we should have Renewable energy in New Zealand and Wind power in New Zealand articles too, as is normally the case for each country which features renewables (see List of renewable energy topics by country). Johnfos (talk) 04:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I have moved the article to Electrical energy in New Zealand for now. It can be moved back once it gets expanded. Ingolfson (talk) 10:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
There is much confusion in the article, with "electricity" and "energy" being used interchangably in places. There was no consensus to change page title. Johnfos 01:15, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Since the article is still 99% my creation and is all of 4 days old, I think I have a certain right to be bold in changing elements. As for your comment about energy and electricity being used interchangably, I have taken some steps to address that, and they ARE used in such a way in press and public usage, so to try and avoid it totally here is unnecessary and in my opinion doomed to failure. You are welcome to expand it to include non-electrical energy, or to rephrase ambiguities. Ingolfson 04:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
An example of the ambigious usage in public
I would suggest that we retain this article and create a separate Energy sector in New Zealand article as an umbrella, along with subsidiary articles such as Coal industry in New Zealand and Oil and gas industry in New Zealand. dramatic (talk) 21:39, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean like Energy in New Zealand? I agree we need articles on the coal and oil & gas sectors. --Pakaraki (talk) 08:39, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Stub article created for Coal industry in New Zealand. --Pakaraki (talk) 08:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Stub article created for Oil and gas industry in New Zealand. --Pakaraki (talk) 08:20, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Removed section[edit]

I've removed the following section from the article as it is confusing. I'm not sure why hydro, wind and geothermal are being discussed separately to renewables. And I'm not sure why the renewables section talks about coal-fired power stations. Johnfos (talk) 08:33, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Renewable energy (section which was removed)[edit]

As of 2007, renewable energy sources made up 70% of the nation's (electric) energy production, with a commitment by the government to increase the share to 90% by 2025[1] (however, Greenpeace estimates only about 60% of New Zealand's energy as currently being from renewable sources).[2] Only one major coal-fired plant exists, the Huntly power station, and proposals for new construction/reactivation of other coal plants have been brought down by legal or political means.[2]

There is also a ban on government-owned electricity companies building new fossil fuel plants, which is considered for extension to the private industry.[3] This is part of New Zealand's Labour government's vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.[4]

From 2010, on, New Zealand Energy Strategy will see levies for Greenhouse effect emissions to be added to power prices depending on the level of emissions.[5]

The renewable energy section is about policy and percentages, mainly. That is also why it talks about coal plants - because such a discussion by nature also needs to discuss alternatives (if coal plants get built/used, there won't be a carbon neutral energy generation etc...)
The 'separate' discussion earlier in the article is to talk about specific installations/generation schemes, such as the Waikato Hydro schemes, or Project Aqua or specific dams wind farms. This is still stubbed.Ingolfson (talk) 10:55, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I have therefore reinstated the section and changed sme headinsg to make the difference clearer. Ingolfson (talk) 11:03, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


I propose a merge with Electricity in New Zealand. Possibly keep the other page's name, but the content of this page is a lot more substantial and better referenced. We might add some elements from the other one to it of course, that's the point about merging them. Ingolfson (talk) 09:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

This article about Electrical Energy is a subset of Electricity, and thats a key point, the other article could be expanded in time, and referenced, when editors get around to it. There is so much more to Electricity than simply energy, education for instance.. Think about other energy forms, lets say COAL.. well COAL has many other uses than simply energy, its chemical components are highly diverse. Petroleum/Oil? not just energy but pretty much everything in modern society, steam? natural gas? solar radiation? even the wind has components that are relevant to life apart from the energy, such as charge, pollen, spiders, geological particles from other countries. So let it go, work on it, spend the merge energy constructively on the articles themselves.. Electricity predates Electrical Energy by 18 months for what its worth lets not get precious though... move this energy stuff in there if enough people agree i spose might work, but seems to be more than enough for two articles, does it really matter... cross reference them is enough..~~mozasaurus aka paul moss —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite get your point. Article age has no bearing on it. My point is that the difference between "Electricity in New Zealand" and "Electrical energy in New Zealand" is too small, and the overlap too large - they cover almost 95% the same subjects and have strong duplication (yes it does matter, because someone who reads "electricity" doesn't know that the subject is better covered in "electrical energy", because he will stop searching for it). "Electrical energy" is also more extensive and better referenced. The "electricity" article has pretty much only one section (education elements) which would not fit into THIS article (and that could easily be kept by keeping the NAME of the "Electricity" article, but using primarily the content of the "Electrical energy" article. Ingolfson (talk) 08:55, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
With the names so similar, effectively the same subject, a merge and purge seems good to me. NickyMcLean (talk) 20:56, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
    • Removed the merge tags and turned the other article into a redirect after the contents (with the exception of some uncited material) had been moved over. Ingolfson (talk) 07:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Request for statistics[edit]

It would be interesting to see a chart showing contribution from specific sources (e.g. hydro, wind, coal, oil, geothermal, etc.) in relation to the total, but I don't think there's enough information in the article so far to construct that. -- Beland (talk) 02:34, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Data is available from the MED Energy Data File 2008. I have added a chart showing historical generation by type, using the MED data. --Pakaraki (talk) 22:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Here are two charts. Mrfebruary (talk) 10:12, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

NZ Electricity Generation
New Zealand Observed Electricity Consumption Sector

Here is a barchart of electricity generating capacity by energy source. Does this have a place in the page? Mrfebruary (talk) 01:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

NZ electricity generating capacity by energy source

Energy Efficient Countries[edit]

What is the definition of energy efficient when applied to a country? There is an unverified (except for unverified claim on an activist website) statement that NZ is one of the least energy efficient countries. What data is this conclusion based on? Suggest this statement should be clarified and verified, or removed. --Pakaraki (talk) 07:31, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Pakariki, this claim of yours isn't ture - it is referenced by the NZ Historical Atlas reference. Ingolfson (talk) 06:04, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Forbes Magazine has an article which appears to equate energy intensity with energy efficiency. This seems misplaced, as energy intensity of a country depends on the nature of its industries, not just on how efficient they are. A country that has very efficient industries in high energy intensity areas would be counted as low on this scale. The list of countries by energy intensity puts New Zealand as just better than the global average, which doesn't appear to support the statement in the article that NZ is "one of the least energy efficient". --Pakaraki (talk) 09:27, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
And the energy intensity article you linked to starts with "Energy intensity is a measure of the energy efficiency of a nation's economy." I will rewrite the corresponding part of the lede to suit. Also, your second comment, while true, does not change anything. If a nation decides to get much of its GDP via extremely energy-intensive processes, that does not mean this fact can then simply be ignored just because it's a pecularity of the local economy. Ingolfson (talk) 06:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Supply Issues[edit]

I have removed the following content from a section called "Supply Issues" that was previously under Transmission. It deals more with with energy security than transmission, and is now out of date.

For the 2008 winter, the chief executive of Meridian Energy, speaking for the electricity industry, warned in February that safety margins in both the capacity of the supply grid and power generation are very low, and limited cuts in supply may become necessary (such as cutting off hot-water supply systems from the power grid).[6] However, no substantial problems occurred, mainly because the levels of water remaining in the hydropower storage lakes remained sufficient.

The topic of energy security (as opposed to transmission security) may warrant a section on its own.Marshelec (talk) 08:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

energy intensity average[edit]

The first paragraph says "Despite being slightly above global average in the list of countries by energy intensity". It links to "List of countries by energy intensity" which shows New Zealand as 206.4 while the global averag is said to be 212.9. I might be reading the table wrong, but it seems like New Zealand is slightly below, not above. (talk) 01:16, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the wording looks a bit odd. As you point out, the NZ rate of 206 is below the world average of 213 (ie NZ is less energy intensive). Perhaps the wording was written ages ago when the figures were different. And the related comment about energy efficiency down in the history section is about 25 years old, so probably out of date now. From the List of countries by energy intensity, NZ has lower energy intensity than Australia, USA, Canada, Sweden, South Africa and many others, so it appears it is no longer correct to say that NZ is the "second least energy efficient country", as stated in the history section. It appears that this could do with some updating. (Equating energy intensity to energy efficiency seems inappropriate to me.) --Pakaraki (talk) 18:43, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ New Zealand Commits to 90% Renewable Electricity by 2025 (from the '' website, Wednesday 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-26.)
  2. ^ a b The New Zealand energy scene (from '', a Greenpeace website. Retrieved 2007-11-26.)
  3. ^ Big tick for wind as power of the future - New Zealand Herald, Monday 26 November 2007
  4. ^ New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2002 (from Ecos 7, April-May 2007, Page 136. Retrieved 2007-11-26.)
  5. ^ Energy strategy delivers sustainable energy system (from the website of the New Zealand government, Thursday 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-26.)
  6. ^ McNaughton, Maggie (15 February 2008). "On the edge - power cut warning". The New Zealand Herald.