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Thriving wind industry charts path forward

22 August 2005

Thriving wind industry charts path forward

New Zealand’s thriving wind energy industry will meet to reflect on the growing success of wind energy in New Zealand and to discuss how to maximise wind’s potential at the New Zealand Wind Energy Association’s (NZWEA) annual conference on 30–31 August.

The conference will feature a range of international and domestic speakers covering the full range of issues related to wind energy in New Zealand, and around the world. See the list of speakers and the conference agenda at http://www.windenergy.org.nz/events/conference05.htm

Chief Executive of the NZWEA, James Glennie, said wind energy has long been New Zealand’s preferred form of electricity generation, and it now has the potential to provide 20 per cent of the country’s total electricity supply.

“Wind energy has taken off in New Zealand over the last 18 months but nonetheless has a much greater role to play in providing New Zealand with a significant amount of reliable, affordable and clean electricity far into the future.

“This conference is the largest ever gathering of all the main players in the New Zealand wind industry. The high level of interest in this event is a clear reflection of the extraordinary growth of this dynamic sector of the New Zealand economy.”

Mr Glennie said New Zealand was embracing wind energy at precisely the right time.

“Turbine technology is sufficiently advanced to make wind the most cost effective form of new generation currently available in New Zealand. This is largely because New Zealand has some of the best wind resource in the world.

“With prices for hydrocarbons rising rapidly, the pressure to find new, renewable generation options to help meet growing demand is clearly increasing.”

Mr Glennie said wind energy enjoyed very strong public support in New Zealand and the conference would focus on how to maintain and build upon this high level of support.

ENDS

In 2004 the wind industry was the fastest growing energy sector in New Zealand with growth of 360 per cent. 200 MW of new capacity has been consented in the last seven months and 607 MW, including the recently announced West Wind project, is currently in the resource consent process.

The NZWEA has more than 50 member companies including some of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators, retailers and distribution companies.

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