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Guest lecture

How Competitive is the New Zealand Electricity Market?

Event series: 


The NZ electricity market has been operating since the mid-1990s, and has undergone significant change since that time. The wholesale electricity market has evolved from having only two generators competing in the spot electricity market in 1996 to six major competitors and around 70 other sources of competing generation. An active hedge market is now well-established, providing highly transparent prices on contracts looking out four years ahead. The retail market has also become far more competitive, with 14 retailers operating in the market and another 10 parties looking to enter. Despite these improvements residential electricity prices have continued to increase at a faster rate than inflation. This seminar provides an overview of the NZ electricity market, discusses the reasons for price increases and outlines the broad initiatives the Electricity Authority has underway to further enhance competition.

About the speaker

Before being appointed inaugural Chief Executive of the Authority, Mr Hansen was extensively involved in the evolution of the New Zealand electricity market, as a senior executive and director, independent advisor and economist. This background includes chairing several sector technical and advisory groups and acting as principal advisor to a number of industry bodies.

For most of the past decade, Mr Hansen has been part of the market services company M-co, originally as Chief Economist and most recently as Chief Executive. Mr Hansen also worked for the Law and Economics Consulting Group where he provided strategic and regulatory advice to utility and infrastructure clients.

A Masters graduate with first class honours in economics from the University of Michigan, Mr Hansen’s prior roles span a wide range of policy development and operations at the New Zealand Treasury and Reserve Bank, and undertaking policy analysis at the Business Roundtable.

Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.

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Last updated: 
Wednesday, 2 April 2014