Story: Hydroelectricity

Hydro power

Hydro power

These charts show the position of hydroelectricity in the New Zealand economy in two different ways. The first chart shows how much of the electricity used in 2007 was generated by hydro power stations. Several other energy sources – gas, coal and renewables (geothermal power, wind and wood biomass) – were used to generate electricity.

The renewable primary energy chart shows the first form in which energy appears. In some cases it is then transformed: geothermal power or woody biomass gets turned into electricity. Energy sources do this with varying degrees of efficiency. Hydro generation is nearly 100% efficient, with virtually all of the water power available transformed into electricity. In contrast, geothermal generation is very inefficient – only about 15% of the available power becomes electricity.

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How to cite this page:

John E. Martin, 'Hydroelectricity - Hydro, 21st century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 3 July 2022)

Story by John E. Martin, published 11 Mar 2010