Our research centre
The Energy Centre aims to be widely regarded as the independent and balanced authority on New Zealand’s energy priorities and initiatives.
Based in the Economics Department, the Energy Centre was founded in late 2004 and is part-funded by a private trust and other industry partners.
The Centre has strong links to the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Science. It nurtures active cooperation with other university disciplines and groups, including the Electricity Power Optimization Centre (EPOC), the Electric Power Systems Group, the Transport Research Centre, and the New Zealand Centre for Supply Chain Management.
The Energy Centre is an institutional member of the International Association of Energy Economists.
The Energy Centre’s mission:
To provide research policy analysis and educational programmes to help business and government confront energy issues of national significance to New Zealand.
The Energy Centre will accomplish this mission by:
- Undertaking energy research and business and policy analysis and reviews that examine energy-related issues important to New Zealand’s future.
- Reporting our findings and observations to the energy sector, government and academic communities.
- Providing energy-related education that creates future leaders for academia, business and government.
- Offering The University of Auckland Business School as a respected neutral venue for deep dialogue about critical issues and problems facing New Zealand’s energy future.
The main output areas of the Energy Centre are:
- Education, including two energy economics courses, scholarships, masters and PhD students.
- Research focused at New Zealand's energy sector, especially in the areas of electricity, gas and fuels markets as well as transport and climate change.
- Outreach to disseminate research findings, initiate discussions and stimulate interest in the area of Energy Economics through publications and submissions as well as regular seminars and workshops.
Annual reports are available to view in PDF format from the Other publications database by Publication type: Annual reports.
Quarterly reports are available to view in PDF format from the Other publications database by Publication type: Annual reports.
Since 2009 two specialised energy economics courses (Econ 372 and Econ 783) are being taught through the Economics Department, one at the undergraduate and one at the graduate level. On top of that there is the option of doing an honours/masters dissertation/thesis on an energy subject.
A growing group of staff, PhD and other students share research experiences with industry outsiders in regular Energy Centre seminars. If you want to know more about theses courses send an email to:
Econ 372 Energy & Resource Economics
Examines the economics of resource use with a particular emphasis on world oil markets and issues surrounding energy security. Energy markets are analysed with an emphasis on the electricity market. Issues surrounding energy economics and climate change, energy efficiency and policy measures to promote renewable energy sources are discussed.
Econ-783 Special Topic: Energy Economics
An in-depth analysis of energy and resource economics. Topics include resource allocation and optimisation using dynamic programming and environmental management. Electricity markets are treated comprehensibly including issues surrounding security of supply and incorporating renewable electricity generation. Risk management, futures markets and derivatives are discussed. Energy and climate change and CO2 mitigation policies are considered in detail including carbon taxes and cap and trade schemes. Finally policies to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy are analysed.
Other relevant courses are:
- ECON 373 Environmental Economics (15 points)
- ECON 304 Firms and Markets (15 points)
- ECON 702 Industrial Organisation
- ECON 721&723 Econometrics
- ECON 775 Economics of the Environment
- ECON 782 Regulation and Competition Policy
Many other faculties also offer energy-related courses that might be eligible for your degree (check with your postgraduate adviser).
The Energy Centre and several staff are also keen to support dissertations in energy and climate change-related subjects. Pick up the Postgraduate Study in Economics-Student Information Handbook for more information on suggested subjects and supervisors. The Energy Centre has a library of data and literature on the New Zealand and international energy sectors/markets to facilitate postgraduate research (see also: Energy Industry guide).