Wind power in New Zealand: Wind power industry optimistic over growth prospects

The Wind Energy Association says new research predicting a big fall in the cost of generating electricity from windfarms could help the industry expand again.

The industry has experienced disappointing years with Meridian Energy cancelling a 630 megawatt wind farm project in Central Otago and other already-approved wind turbines projects possibly languishing for a decade until the economics improve.

However the association is citing research by London energy think tank Bloomberg New Energy Finance that predicts the cost of generating electricity by wind will fall by 12% in the next five years.

This is due partly to competition to sell wind turbines at a time when difficult economic times means there are fewer buyers.

The industry is dominated by Meridian Energy which is expressing optimism about plans to expand its portfolio from four to perhaps six schemes.