The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index
has become part of the energy dialogue both globally and in New Zealand. The Index illustrates the need for countries
to balance energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.
New Zealand has one of the world’s leading energy systems when it comes to sustainability, security and affordability.
It is the only country that has had a triple A grade in all three areas since 2000.
This year, New Zealand remains in the top 10, ranking 10th out of 128 countries assessed. Despite declining energy
security, New Zealand continues to rank highly thanks to growing environmental sustainability and stable energy equity.
A lower energy security rating was driven by a reliance on energy imports and relatively lower oil and gas storage when
compared to other countries. This is a useful reminder of the need for balanced policies to achieve a successful energy
New Zealand remains in a strong position in terms of striking a balance between energy equity, sustainability, and
BusinessNZ Energy Council Chair Hon David Caygill says the growing score on the sustainability dimension and the
declining score under energy security shows the interconnectivity of the index dimensions.
"This year’s result is driven by a growing proportion of generation from renewables. While this is a positive outcome,
careful investment in the resilience of our electricity system is required.
"We must be wary of 'betting the house' on a given technology. Robust trialing, piloting, and clear policy frameworks
will assist appropriate technology development.
"Early next year, along with EECA, we will release an updated set of our
energy scenario results. These will help those interested to consider how New Zealand’s energy performance and our
trilemma performance may develop over time."A summary of the three pillars:
Environmental Sustainability - New Zealand shows a stable growth in sustainability performance. This is largely driven by a growing proportion of
electricity generation from renewables and decreasing total carbon emissions.
Energy Security - a reduction in energy security is primarily driven by a growing dependence on energy imports and a decline in
primary energy supply diversity. This emerged as a risk in our BEC2060 energy scenarios.
Energy Equity - a measure of access (including ‘modern’ energy access) and affordability of energy, is slightly improving.