New Zealand - Direct Uses




individual space heating + district heating



animal farming



Greenhouse heating



fish farming



Industrial processing



Bathing and swimming



Other (irrigation, frost protection, geothermal tourist park)



 geothermal heat pumps





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: Interest and use of geothermal heat pumps (both ground- and water-sourced) is accelerating in the country. The geothermal heat pump industry is in its infancy but is finding niche markets in areas of high end housing or facilities where there is greater demand for heating and cooling such as airports, libraries, swimming pools, residential care facilities and hospitals. One of the significant areas where geothermal development is occurring is in Christchurch which suffered major damage in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. These quakes destroyed much of the central business district and rebuilding is underway. This rebuilding of the central business district has enabled distributed energy nodes (district energy hubs) to be established. Some of these will use open source geothermal groundwater based energy technology to supply about 90% of the energy load to a node with the peak 10% topped up from other sources. Direct geothermal energy use in the country is dominated by Norske Skog Tasman (NST) pulp and paper mill at Kawerau. Prior to 2013 this one site accounted for half of the total New Zealand direct geothermal heat use. With the reducing global consumption of newsprint, one of the two paper production lines was closed at the beginning of 2013. Several new industrial developments are using geothermal energy directly. In 2010 a tissue mill owned by Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolget at Kawerau converted from natural gas steam production to clean steam production using geothermal steam and energy to run it reboiler steam generation equipment. The Miraka milk drying factory, located on land above the Mokai geothermal field, commenced operating in August 2011. The plant also uses reboiler technology to produce clean process steam from geothermal steam. (Carey, et al., 2015).

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:393.22
Direct use in TJ/year9,552
Direct use in GWh/year2,653.5
Capacity factor0.77

Direct use applications are found in both the North and South Islands. The most common application for the lower temperature resources is for bathing (9 sites identified), with space and water heating to a lesser extent, and occasional direct use for frost protection and irrigation. Higher temperature resources found in the Taupo Volcanic Zone are used for greenhouse heating, prawn farming, glasshouse heating, kiln drying of timber (at Kawerau), and for special tourism development (Rotorua and Wairakei).

The Kawerau facility, pulp and paper manufacturing, now accounts for 56% of the national geothermal direct-use. It is also the largest industrial use in the world and is set to expand further to adjacent industrial users.

Geothermal heat pumps are only just taking off in the country. There are now multiple companies in the country that can supply the necessary services for both residences and commercial users. The majority of the applications appear to be water source installations. Most installations are in the colder part of South Island at Queenstown, though there are installations in Auckland with the luxury housing market. Commercial buildings owners are recognizing that geothermal heat pumps should be considered, and an initial project has been installed at the Dunedin airport (South Island).

The various applications are:

19 MWt and 181 TJ/yr for space heating;
24 MWt and 379 TJ/yr for greenhouse heating;
17 MWt and 273 TJ/yr for fish farming; 224 MWt and 6104 TJ/yr for industrial process heat;
74 MWt and 1,733 TJ/yr for bathing and swimming;
28 MWt and 843 TJ/yr for other uses (irrigation, frost protection, geothermal tourist park);
7.22 MWt and 39 TJ/yr for geothermal heat pumps.

The total for the country is 393.22 MWt and 9,552 TJ/yr

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010