Geothermal surpases 14% in New Zealand

Geothermal power now represents 14% of all power supply in New Zealand, due to new capacity added by the new Ngatamariki plant and is expected to rise with the 130 MW Te Mihi geothermal plant expected to come online in near term.

Recent figures from New Zealand show that power generation from geothermal in the country has reached a new peak last month.

The new Ngatamariki plant of Mighty River Power, with only initial 41 MW online yet and the remaining 41 MW expected to come online this month, has started to feed the national power grid. So today, 14% of the overall electricity supply in New Zealand is provided by geothermal. Hydro represents 54 percent of supply and gas-fired power generation around 20 percent.

The overall geothermal power generation will increase further as the 130 MW Te Mihi geothermal power plant of Contact Energy will come online in the near future and the second stage of the Ngatamariki plant will come online.

Overall, the new geothermal capacity is positive for the country, as it helps secure more baseload power to the grid smoothing out supply from more volatile renewable sources such as wind and hydro.

Financial analysts in the country predict that there wont be much more of large scale geothermal development when the new plants have come online. Slowing economic growth and a drive for a decrease in electricity consumption by businesses and the private market will decrease overall demand. There will though be room for some small scale geothermal development, so the analysts.