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The government is injecting $30 million into an investigation that may lead to 100 percent renewable electricity generation.

Fishing huts at Lake Onslow in central Otago.
Photo: Flickr / Shellie Evans

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said the government is looking into a recommendation by the Interim Climate Change Committee involving hydro schemes which pump water to manage peak demand, solve the problem of dry years for storage lakes and the irregular supply of renewable energy sources such as wind.

“Pumped hydro moves water to an upper reservoir when there is surplus renewable energy generation and demand for electricity is low. It is released back down to a hydro power station to generate electricity when demand is high,” Woods said.

“It works like a battery because the stored energy in the water is released when it is used in the hydroelectric dam. This opens up huge possibilities for cheaper electricity and increased supply.”

Megan Woods
Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Announced at the Hayward Substation in Wellington today alongsid