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International Rivers. Hydroelectricity. A quick, easy summary Read the Full Story Water was used to generate 54.9% of the electricity used in New Zealand in 2007.


In 1924 hydro schemes generated less than one petajoule (a measure of energy), but by 2007 hydro generated 83.8 petajoules. Hydroelectricity is a renewable energy source with no harmful emissions into the environment, but can involve major changes to the landscape. Hydro schemes Hydro generation requires a reliable source of water, and a place where it can fall and drive electric turbines. The first hydro generation stations were set up by small operators such as gold dredgers, and local councils supplying lighting to towns.

Government schemes In 1896 the government passed a law that prevented people from building hydro schemes without their permission. North and south grids During the First World War government planned high-voltage transmission grids in the North and South islands. But power generation could not keep up with demand. National grid Dams and canals. Untitled. EECA: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. Hydroelectricity has been the backbone of New Zealand's electricity supply system from the start, and hydroelectric dams are a well-known feature of the New Zealand landscape.

EECA: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

New Zealand generates more than 50% of its electricity from hydro generation¹, much of it through large hydro dams such as Benmore, Manapouri, and Clyde. How it works Hydroelectricity uses gravity as its energy source, with water used as the medium to covert the energy, via a turbine, into electricity. The basic requirements are a continuous, year-round supply of water, and a vertical distance, or ‘head' to drop the water down. All hydroelectric schemes work the same way. Dams, both large and small, provide some head to hydroelectric schemes, but mostly provide storage that ensures large volumes of water are always available and allow the generation to be switched on and off as required. Untitled. As one of New Zealand's largest hydropower plants, the Clyde Dam, in Central Otago, represents the big end of the scale.


(Photo: Alan Blacklock) For more on small hydro schemes see 'Energy in rural Māori communities'. Dennis Jamieson charts hydro’s central role in powering New Zealand, and looks to the future of the resource. Hydropower is a vital component of New Zealand’s energy supply. The proven performance of existing hydro, combined with concerns about other fuel sources, is leading to renewed interest in hydropower. Cheap power? Hydropower has never been 'cheap'. How our water resources suit hydropower Many countries with hydropower rely on snow or large reservoirs for a good supply of fuel.

Increasing pressure on water resource allocation for a wide variety of uses has highlighted the need for water plans to ensure the most effective use of the resource. : Hydro power. A small hydro generator can be a cost-effective way to power a rural property - or a small village. : Hydro power

Hydro generating systems come in all sizes. Most domestic-sized systems produce and output that is less than 5kW of electricity - enough to power a single property depending on usage pattern. These are called ‘micro-hydro’ schemes. Mini-hydro schemes, which are larger than micro-hydro, typically have a peak output of between 5 and 20kW, but can be larger. Some mini-hydro schemes are large enough to provide electricity for small community or village set-ups.. How micro-hydro works In a typical micro-hydro system, water flows downhill through pipes into a small turbine, and the turbine drives an electricity generator. Untitled. Hydropower in New Zealand - GEOG397 Topics. Clyde Dam in Central Otago, one of New Zealand's largest hydropower plants.

Hydropower in New Zealand - GEOG397 Topics

<ref> NIWA (2012) </ref> Introduction Hydropower is now one of New Zealand’s most important sources of energy, not only because of its major contribution to the energy sector, but also because of its non-carbon renewable status. Sourcing renewable energy is as important as ever, as fossil fuel and climate change become major threats to energy security. This page aims to assess the current state of hydropower in New Zealand. History of Hydropower in New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development graph showing the contribution of hydroelectricity to energy generation in New Zealand since 1975. Early History of Hydropower and the 'Big Dam' era Hydroelectricity has been a significant contributor to the New Zealand energy sector for over 100 years. Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society members with boxes of petitions for the 'Save Manapouri' Campaign. History of Protest Three Gorges Dam, China.