Wellington, New Zealand — New Zealand’s ambition to become fully dependent on renewable energy by 2030 has relied on glacier rivers and lakes as its source of electricity.
This year’s experience points to the challenges of that strategy.
The dry weather lowered the water level of the lakes that supply hydroelectric generators, causing power shortages throughout the South Seas nation. New Zealand burned more steaming coal to turn on electricity and warm homes, despite its contribution to air pollution. Some industrial users have suspended plants or curtailed production to reduce stress on the system.
New Zealand derives more than half of its electricity from hydropower. Hydropower is an energy source that has become increasingly popular around the world in recent years as countries are considering the phasing out of fossil fuels, especially coal.
According to Our World in Data, a non-profit research project at the University of Oxford, hydropower accounts for about 16% of the world’s electricity mix and more than half of the electricity generated in countries such as Canada, Brazil and Norway. In the United States, hydroelectric power plants produce 7% of the country’s electricity.
New Zealand’s renewable energy dreams check reality
Source link New Zealand’s renewable energy dreams check reality