Development Potential

The information on this page is now out of date. The NZGA will be updating this page with the latest potential for geothermal development estimate. 

Geothermal energy has the potential to make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s energy requirements, either through electricity generation or, with even higher levels of efficiency, as a direct source of heat. However, because geothermal steam cannot be transported for more than a few tens of kilometres, the opportunities for direct use are limited and large-scale electricity generation is the most attractive option.

New Zealand has substantial geothermal resources that are accessible and untapped. A comprehensive assessment of New Zealand’s high temperature geothermal resources is that by Lawless (2002), the total resource is estimated as equivalent to a about 3600 MWe of electrical generation, using only existing technology. Almost 1,000 MWe is currently installed, so existing development represents about 30 % of the total high temperature resource