According to our forecasting model that uses the actual data from the first 11 months of 2023 and forecasted data for the remaining 1 month, the electricity consumption in New Zealand is heavily dependent on low-carbon energy sources. Indeed, an impressive 88.44% of its energy derives from low-carbon technologies, a commendable feat highlighting New Zealand's initiative in this sustainable practice. Over half, specifically around 61.49%, comes from hydropower, which makes the largest contribution towards this percentage. Geothermal and wind technologies also comprise significant portions of 17.51% and 7.93% respectively. In contrast, fossil energy usage is quite limited with gas and coal making up 7.31% and 3.93% respectively while biofuels account for a nominal 1.2%. It is also highly commendable that New Zealand is a significant net exporter of electricity which aids neighboring countries in their emission reduction efforts.
Going forward, to further amplify its low-carbon electricity generation, New Zealand could focus on expanding its stature in solar, wind, and nuclear energies. Solar energy, in particular, could offer a viable and potentially lucrative alternative given the country's geographical location and the ample amount of sunlight it receives. Furthermore, investment and research in advanced nuclear technologies could provide reliable, clean, and sustainable power to meet the increased demand stemming from other sectors like transport, heating, and industry.
Looking back at New Zealand's low-carbon electricity history, hydro energy has become a significant and constant source of growth over the years. However, it has also experienced varying fluctuations. For example, the late '70s and early '80s witnessed considerable growth in hydroelectric power, but also some downturns, such as in 1976. However, the overall trend throughout the 1980s and 1990s has been predominantly positive. The new millennium began with a downturn but quickly recovered with solid growth in 2002 and 2004. However, 2005 marked a notable decline, the greatest since our records began. Despite this variability, the consistent utilization and development in hydro power, notably in 2022 with a 1.9 TWh increase, illustrates New Zealand's commitment to low-carbon electricity, setting a leading example for other nations to emulate.