Planning, commitment needed for electricity transformation

23 May 2018

Transpower today released a report highlighting the challenges and opportunities inherent in transforming New Zealand’s energy sector in the face of technology innovation, growing demand and climate change.

Transpower’s ‘Te Mauri Hiko - Energy Futures’ report was developed by a diverse team of experts over the last seven months. It analyses a range of future energy scenarios, focusing on technology innovation, demand and supply shifts, increasing electrification of the economy and how to ensure security of supply.

“As the owner and operator of New Zealand’s National Grid, Transpower plans carefully for the future and takes a long-term view,” said Chief Executive, Alison Andrew.

“Globally, energy systems are transforming rapidly. We have produced this report as part of our contribution to New Zealand developing solutions we will need to reduce climate and economic risk, while still allowing us to remain agile enough to maximise opportunities during a period of transformation.”

“Transpower believes electricity demand is likely to double by 2050. It’s a conclusion driven by our finding that increasing electrification of the transport fleet and industrial heat processes will represent the best use of available energy resources and emerging low-cost energy technologies—and is the most efficient way to decarbonise New Zealand’s economy.

“New Zealand is unique in the world in that it relies on weather-dependent renewables and has limited energy storage options. Assuming a phase-out of thermal generation, more and more electricity generation will be intermittent, posing increasing security of supply challenges, particularly during dry years and winter demand peaks.”

Alison Andrew said there would be fundamental challenges in realising the opportunities facing New Zealand, including meeting demand peaks, which would require careful planning to overcome.

“We will only secure the opportunities in our energy future if we coordinate, plan meticulously for the future and invest in a secure, flexible and resilient electricity system. The report notes that we cannot as a country sit back and be a follower of technology and innovation; we will need to be close to developments in energy innovation and we will need to be in action sooner than many realise.

“This report is designed to generate conversation and debate and to contribute to the energy and climate-related work currently underway in our industry and government.”


For further information, please contact:  

Chris Dutton, Senior Communications Advisor, 027 809 6658.


To download a copy of the Te Mauri Hiko – Energy Futures whitepaper, visit or