Wind power in New Zealand: Wind farm creating green growth opportunities

“New Zealand’s clean and green image is an important part of our international competitive advantage. NZWEA shares Pure Advantage’s belief that renewable energy has a role to play in ensuring that this image becomes reality,” say Mr Pyle, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

The report highlights the important role that renewable energy will play to New Zealand’s green growth future. It also notes how New Zealand needs to improve the sustainability of all of our production processes.

“Electricity is fundamental to economic activity and growth,” says Eric Pyle, Chief Executive of NZWEA. “Green growth must be underpinned by the use of sustainable energy sources. Wind energy has an important role to play in this. We estimate that at least that 20% of New Zealand’s electricity will come from wind by 2030.”

Growth in the wind turbines industry will also provide opportunities for New Zealand to capture its share of the new green economy. As New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race points out, the Danish experience with wind energy offers insights for New Zealand. Having developed a strong government framework in the early 1980s, the Danish wind turbines industry is now a dominant player in international markets and employs more than 20,000 people. Denmark has become a hub for wind energy research, manufacture, and marketing wind power technology.

“In New Zealand, we are already seeing examples of companies developing skills and expertise here and exporting these off-shore. We are already recognised internationally for

our expertise in developing and maintaining high-performing wind farms. Other companies are developing high-tech, niche products for the wind industry.”

“The potential for New Zealand to generate some real wealth from green growth in the wind turbines industry is there – we now need to focus on how best to harness it,” concludes Mr Pyle.

Wind turbines in New Zealand

1997: 4 MW
1998: 24 MW (+500 %)
1999: 35 MW (+45.9 %)
2000: 35 MW (- %)
2001: 35 MW (- %)
2002: 35 MW (- %)
2003: 36 MW (+2.9 %)
2004: 168 MW (+366.7 %)
2005: 168 MW (- %)
2006: 171 MW (+1.8 %)
2007: 322 MW (+88.4 %)
2008: 325 MW (+1 %)
2009: 497 MW (+53 %)
2010: 530 MW (+6.7 %)
2011: 622 MW (+17.4 %)