(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand wind farms contributed a record 13.3% of weekly power generation earlier this month as the South Pacific nation continues a push to produce more electricity from renewable sources.
The increased share compares with an average of 6% in 2022 and reflects a combination of more wind generation capacity and lower electricity demand as the weather warms up, the Electricity Authority said in a statement Tuesday in Wellington. Last week, total wind generation exceeded 100 GWh for the first time, the regulator said.
New Zealand produced 87% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2022, with hydro production accounting for 60%. As sites for dams become harder to justify, power companies have switched to more geothermal, wind and solar projects to help reduce reliance on gas and coal-fired generation.
The previous government wanted New Zealand to be producing all its power from renewable plants by 2030. The new center-right administration sworn in this week has said it will reform planning laws and speed up consents for new infrastructure projects, with the aim of doubling renewable electricity.
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Still, the new government will also restart offshore exploration for natural gas, aiming to ensure thermal plants can maintain production in the event of drought or other weather events that threaten security of supply.
The wind generation record was achieved as Meridian Energy began production from its Harapaki site, which was the third new wind farm to be commissioned this year, the authority said.
“As more of Harapaki’s wind generation comes online and electricity demand eases during summer, the share of wind generation will continue to set new records,” it said in the statement.
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