Regional Heat Demand Database

Publication date: November 2022

Download the methodology overview [ ]

About the database

The Regional Heat Demand Database is an interactive data visualisation tool that enables users to view process heat fuel demand by region and sector. In November 2022, the tool was updated to display data for all South Island regions. The tool will be progressively updated in 2023 with North Island data.

Read the methodology overview(external link)

Over half of New Zealand’s process heat demand is met by burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, and in 2020 burning fossil fuels to supply process heat emitted 8.8 million tonnes of CO2-e or about 29% of New Zealand’s overall energy emissions.

Some of these emissions can be reduced by redesigning the underlying processes, but decarbonising the remaining heat needs will require switching from fossil fuels to low-emission fuels, such as wood fuels in boilers or electricity in electric boilers or heat pumps.

These changes will have implications. Switching to electricity will increase loads on electricity networks, at both the distribution and transmission levels, and may require investments to increase capacity. The cost of switching to wood fuels will depend on fuel availability, which varies regionally, and on the amount of competition for the resource.

To help inform these decisions and better plan for the future, the Regional Heat Demand Database records both where existing process heat demands are, and information about the demand such as sector, region, and current fuel source. This database is the most recent comprehensive and holistic assessment of heat demand across New Zealand and making this available in a timely manner will enable decisions to be made to change course to enable fuel switching and decarbonisation.

About the data

The data in the Regional Heat Demand Database includes an anonymised aggregated view of sites with a heating capacity above 500 kW that use fossil fuels as their primary fuel source for process heat. The data is aggregated but can be filtered by region and sector.

The information includes an anonymised summary of:

  • Site counts by region and sector
  • The type and amount of fuel or fuels used to supply the heat e.g., coal, diesel
  • The output of the equipment used to supply the heat e.g., steam, hot water < 100 degrees Celsius

  • Rated capacity, in MW

All South Island regions are currently displayed in the tool. The North Island regions will be added in 2023.

Keep up to date on new data releases through the EECA Newsletter

How to use the database

The main page of the Regional Heat Demand Database is an interactive map of New Zealand which includes the completed regions. The main page includes the ability to toggle on and off specific aspects such as site count, heat demand, average demand and GIDI decarbonisation impact.

The selections in the region and sector drive what is shown in the map of New Zealand and in the corresponding charts on the right-hand side of the screen.

Each of the charts in the Data visualisation tool are available for download as an image or as an open dataset and available to use under a creative commons licence.

Regional heat demand database methodology overview(external link)