From a renewable electricity perspective, New Zealand’ s wind resource is globally admired and proven cost-effective. Wind currently comprises five percent of New Zealand’ s energy portfolio – enough to power around 3,000 Kiwi homes per year Country
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, New Zealand’s wind resource is “spectacular” - one of the best in the world.
Turbines installed in the Manawatu area in 2007 recently achieved the record for producing the most electricity by any wind turbine in the world – testimony to New Zealand’s excellent wind regime, says New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) chief executive, Eric Pyle.
“In terms of utility-scale generation, it is wind’s time,” says Pyle. “Large scale hydro is largely off the agenda now in New Zealand – and has been for the last 30-odd years because people value our remaining rivers. It is a values-issue rather than a legislative one.
“The well-explored geothermal resources are close to being fully exploited. Wind is crucial to New Zealand’s energy future.”
There are now 19 wind farms in New Zealand operating or under construction. Most existing wind generation is located in the Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington and Southland. Identified growth areas include Northland, South Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Otago.
Pyle says that with the technology now well-established and proven cost-effective, wind generation could easily meet 20 percent of this country’s electricity needs.
“Wind power can now compete directly with thermal generation on a long-run cost of wind versus the short-run – mainly fuel – cost of thermal generation.”
Pyle says that wind is currently in a prime position to make a significant contribution to New Zealand's electricity supply. With consented sites ready to go when needed, and the cost of development competitive with all other options, wind is a realistic and renewable energy source for the future...Read full article here
This article is from the latest Country Magazine.