New Zealand Aotearoa Community Energy Dataset

What is the New Zealand Aotearoa Community Energy Dataset (NZACED)
This is a dataset of local or community owned renewable energy initiatives in New Zealand. It ranges from consumer trust owned networks, to community and Iwi owned renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. To provide some context for the current state of the sector, we’ve included a full range of projects including those that are currently on hold or have not been successful, through to early feasibility and fully operational projects. 

In some large trusts, community or individual participation may be theoretically possible but is not common. Other projects in the dataset are run by volunteers with comparatively small outputs. All meet the broad criteria of community investment and control, but might not be what some assume ‘community’ to mean.

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Why is collecting this data important?
This dataset provides insight to the scope and nature, barriers and opportunities in the local and community energy sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. To successfully transition to a low carbon economy, it is critically important to understand the contribution of decentralised energy initiatives being developed or already underway.

Where can you find a detailed breakdown of this data and how it was collected?
An overview of the dataset, including a typology of different projects, is described in detail in: Berka A, MacArthur J, Gonnelli C (2020) Explaining inclusivity in energy transitions: Local and community energy in Aotearoa New Zealand, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 34: 165-182, ISSN 2210-4224.

What energy projects are (not) included in this data?
We have used a broad and inclusive definition of local and community energy to compile this dataset:

Any clean energy activity:

  • Managed in an open and participative way,
  • That has positive local and collective outcomes

That means the data includes any type of collective energy project, irrespective of ownership or legal status. However, residential rooftop installations and /or wind are not included in this dataset. Iwi, charities, community development organisations, municipal and consumer trusts are included.  This distinction highlights the difference between a focus on individuals versus participants and/or direct beneficiaries of a collective energy project. 

Every effort has been made to ensure the dataset is as complete and accurate as possible, but errors are inevitable in a fast-changing environment. We would love to hear from you if you have updates or edits to a project, or would like to add a new community energy project to the dataset.

Please email the NZACED administrators on to discuss information that could be included.

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