Huntly coal to close

The Herald reports:

Genesis Energy announced its last two -burning electricity generators at Huntly Power Station will be permanently withdrawn from the market by December 2018, signalling the end of large scale -fired generation in New Zealand.

The decision is being hailed as another step towards having 90 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity supply generated by renewables by 2025.

A key thing to note is this is a commercial decision by Genesis, not a Government dictate. But it is very useful, as it will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

At their peak, the coal units emitted around 5000 kilotonnes of CO2 per year – amounting to around 5 per cent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s significant.

“New Zealand’s share of renewable electricity generation is already the fourth largest in the world and the shift from coal will help us to achieve our ambitious goal of having 90 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity supply generated by renewables by 2025.”

MBIE data has renewables at 79.3% of all generation. If coal is excluded it goes to 83.5%. So making 90% will still be some way off.

Our current profile is:

  1. Hydro 56.1%
  2. Geothermal 16.7%
  3. Gas 15.5%
  4. Coal 5.1%
  5. Wind 5.1%
  6. Wood 0.9%
  7. Biogas 0.5%

Possibly of interest is the renewable share over time. It has been:

  • 1975 – 90.4%
  • 1984 – 80.4%
  • 1990 – 80.8%
  • 1999 – 70.6%
  • 2008 – 65.4%
  • 2014 – 79.9%

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