In the question you asked above about concentrated solar power (solar thermal). This data was compiled by Vidal et al (Nature Geoscience, 2013, attempted link here to their supplementary data. In terms of resource consumption, CSP isn't too bad (PV is one of the worst) - not sure how effective it would be in NZ except for a few special areas in summer. The move to the electric fleet is the critical one - there are currently over 3,000,000 registered cars and 600,000 trucks on NZ's roads. Just short of 4,000,000 all up. If we replaced these with electric vehicles in an average battery capacity of 50 KWh, this would be around 200,000 MWh of storage capacity. If this could be charged up during the day via PV, and drawn down during the night time, this would be displace all of our thermal generation. Of course, that would also require us having significant new generation to charge up during the day, and would require the whole country not being covered with cloud for a week or two during winter......interesting times, and requires long term planning to really pull this off.
In response to the question asked by Steven Crawford, above - the analysis of the net benefit (or otherwise) of solar power (photovoltaics) in NZ has been done – in it’s current form solar has little or negative GHG benefit in NZ if a lifecycle analysis is done (published by Luke Schwartfeger and Allan Miller, EEA Conference & Exhibition 2015, 24 – 26 June, Wellington, available here. The long and the short of it is that geothermal (300 MW consented currently) and wind (more than 1 GW consented) are both around 10x better (3-5 g CO2/KWh) as far as GHG emissions than solar (~ 50 g CO2/KWh, taking into account the carbon in a lifecycle analysis). Unless we can crack the storage problem (electric vehicle fleet which is connected to the grid during the day and drawn down at night??) solar is essentially pointless from a GHG perspective in NZ. This will likely only change in NZ moves to a fully electric fleet which requires consistent delivery of energy on a daily basis which only solar can relatively reliably provide (along with geothermal).