NZ’s Energy System Performs Well But Requires More Security Focus

Credit: Original article can be found here

New Zealand has once again scored well in the global
energy ranking that compares how a country balances energy
security, equity, and sustainability – the energy
trilemma.

Each year the World Energy Council’s Energy
Trilemma Index
ranks countries on how well they achieve
the energy ‘trilemma’. The trilemma uses historical data
to assess past energy policy performance to help explore
what policies work best, in which contexts.

This year
New Zealand ranks 9th out of 127 countries. New Zealand has
consistently ranked in the top 10 countries for its Energy
Trilemma score and has consistently been the best-performing
country in the Asia Pacific region.

Although countries
like Canada have more storage and countries like Switzerland
and Sweden are highly sustainable, New Zealand has done a
good job of balancing all three dimensions.

“The New
Zealand energy system continues to be sustainable and
relatively low-carbon,” said BusinessNZ Energy Council
Executive Director Tina Schirr. “Our sustainability
performance has improved over the last 10 years thanks to
our ongoing development of wind and geothermal energy
sources.

“One worrying result in the Trilemma Index is
that New Zealand’s energy security has declined notably.
This is largely because of an increasing dependence on
energy imports and lower storage of local oil. This trend is
likely to continue following changes in operation of NZ
Refining.

“New Zealand’s equity score – which
includes our performance in providing affordable, wide
access to energy – has been stable, although the
‘affordability of electricity for residents’ measure has
declined over the last decade.

“Interestingly, MBIE
data shows real residential electricity prices increased
between 2009 and 2015 but have since then reduced. From
2017, industrial electricity prices have generally increased
– something to keep in mind as we encourage further
electrification to meet decarbonisation targets.

“One
way to increase security and affordability is to ensure a
diverse energy mix, which we explore in New Zealand Energy
Scenarios – TIMES-NZ 2.0. Future solutions could look quite
different from how we produce and store energy today.
Distributed systems are one way to diversify the mix with
the potential to provide flexibility as well as
decentralised storage.”

Ms Schirr said this year’s
Index result show New Zealand continued to achieve strongly
overall but raised the question of what could be done better
to improve New Zealand’s energy security in
future.

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