11 Jun 2021

New Zealand's use of coal for energy generation jumps

From Morning Report, 7:09 am on 11 June 2021

New Zealand is relying more and more on coal to power the country, despite its status as the world's worst fossil fuel.

Government figures show in the first three months of this year the same amount of coal was used to generate electricity, as was used in 2016 and 2017 combined.

Climate campaigners say that's shocking in a week where the prime minister said climate action was life or death.

Energy Minister Megan Woods said in a statement the government is looking for a fix. 

“New Zealand’s reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation during dry hydrological years like the one we are currently experiencing  is precisely why this Government is investigating a solution through the NZ Battery project.

"Being able to store more renewable energy like wind and solar is key to a low-emissions electricity system, would encourage even more investment in renewables, and provide more opportunities for the transport and industrial sectors to switch to cleaner energy use.”

Jordan Bond reports.