Towards a renewable electricity system

Globally, 75% of electricity is generated from fossil fuels, primarily coal.  Generation from renewable sources comprises only 9%, the rest from nuclear.  In New Zealand 70% of electricity is already generated from renewable sources, predominately Hydro.  As New Zealand is isolated (grid wise) and an increasing amount of variable renewable generation (mainly wind) is being installed, New Zealand makes and ideal case study for examining the shift from fossil to renewable based electricity. 

The focus of this research project is understanding and overcoming barriers to increased renewable electricity generation using New Zealand as a case study.  Specific areas of investigation include

  • System modelling – half hourly supply-demand modelling incorporating transmission constraints, demand side management, and decreased fossil generation
  • Demand side management – potential for increased response during peak demand times and in the context of increased variability from additional renewable generation
  • Electrification of Transport – Quantifying the energy and power demand due to electrification of public/private transport services 
  • NZ Electricty system - click to view


Lincoln Staff

Dr. Shannon Page

Dr.  Jean-Paul Thull


Research Fellows

Dr Ian Manson - Canterbury University

Professor Arthur Williamson - Canterbury University





Agathe Grenier, Shannon Page, The Impact of electrified transport on local grid infrastructure: A comparison between electric cars and light rail, Energy Policy, Vol. 49, October 2012, pp. 355-364

Mason, I.G., Page, S.C. and Williamson, A.G. (2010) A 100% renewable electricity generation system for New Zealand utilising hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass resources. Energy Policy, 38(8), 3973-3984

Mason, I.G., Page, S.C. and Williamson, A.G. (2010) Transitioning to a 100% renewable electricity generation system: balancing the roles of wind generation, base-load generation and hydro storage. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand: 4th International Conference on Sustainability Engineering and Science, 30 Nov-3 Dec 2010

Mason, I.G., Page, S.C. and Williamson, A.G. (2010) Could New Zealand have a 100% renewable electricity generation system? Christchurch, New Zealand: 2010 Electricity Engineers' Association (EEA) Conference, 17-18 Jun 2010.0









Page last updated on: 01/03/2013