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New Zealand considers pumped hydro to bridge energy deficits

March 21, 2023

Energy Storage News:

The government of New Zealand is considering the viability of pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) among its options to plug energy deficits of between 3TWh and 5TWh.

As the country increases it share of renewable energy on the grid, along with solar PV and wind, hydroelectric power (hydropower) will play a major role in the energy mix.

However, in ‘dry years’, which the government said are hard to predict coming but have occurred roughly twice per decade in the last 20 years, can cause that energy deficit, equivalent to about 10% of New Zealand’s annual energy needs.

That finding comes from NZ Battery Project, which the government set up in 2020 to help tackle that problem and overcome the shortfall issue without the use of fossil fuels.

Minister Megan Woods, who has a portfolio that includes energy and resources as well as infrastructure, said yesterday that NZ Battery Project has been progressed to its next stage, which is to explore the feasibility of pumped hydro energy storage as an option along with what was described as “an alternative, multi-technology approach”. 

[Andy Colthorpe]

More: New Zealand considers investing US$9.8 billion in 5TWh of pumped hydro to bridge energy deficit

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