SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy: MBIE Electricity Demand and Generation Scenarios

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking submissions on New Zealand’s electricity demand and generation scenarios, with several changes and updates proposed in the report since it was last released.

The 2023 projection of electricity demand and supply to 2050 will consider developments in new and emerging technologies such as solar, electric vehicles and green hydrogen, alongside the potential construction of offshore wind farms. 

MBIE’s scenarios are published so the Commerce Commission can assess capital expenditure proposals from national grid operator Transpower. The ministry asks whether stakeholders agree with its four economic scenarios below and whether anything else needs consideration.

·       A reference scenario assuming that current trends continue

·       A second reference scenario that assumes the Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter closes in 2035

·       A growth projection assuming the country experiences both higher economic growth and increased immigration, with policy and investment focused outside of the energy sector; and

·       A constraint scenario assuming adverse international trends negatively impact New Zealand’s economy, leaving little room for local growth or innovation

MBIE is also seeking confirmation of its generation stack - the plant available and that may be built, that it uses in its electricity modelling. While the lists reflect its current knowledge, MBIE also notes modelling may include other generation types, depending on the consultation and announcements from developers.

Following publication, the ministry could also produce regular reports on the Energy Outlook, which presents projections of future energy supply, demand, prices, and greenhouse gas emissions, a Generation Stack Report cataloguing its known list of existing, proposed, potential, and generic generation plants, and regular updates on the Levelised Cost of Electricity Generation (LCOE) for generation projects within New Zealand.

MBIE is accepting submissions until 5 pm on Monday 22 May.