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Renewable energy target needs more wind power

31 March 2006

National renewable energy target needs more wind power

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association today said the Government could still meet its renewable energy targets for 2012 if it allowed network companies to develop wind farms.

The Government announced earlier this week that it would need to update the national energy and efficiency strategy because its targets looked unlikely to be met.

The Wind Energy Association’s Chairman Mr Murray Kennedy said that wind energy development would be a major contributor to the original target for 2012, but the target could still be met if network companies are allowed to build wind farms in their own right.

If more farms were built in some of the remote areas in New Zealand, the nation could reduce transmission costs and add to the local security of power supply.
Mr Kennedy said that the Association was very disappointed that Eastland Network had been recently prohibited by the Commerce Commission to build a wind farm in the Gisborne area.

Many of the network companies are community owned and this would enable the people in the area to feel more involved in wind generation.

The Wind Energy Association believed that any network company investing in a wind farm should have full governance control.

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association supported the work carried out by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority but noted that they were restricted from achieving a number of targets by current Government polices Mr Kennedy concluded.

The NZWEA has more than 60 members including some of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators and lines companies.

In 2004 the wind industry was the fastest growing energy sector in New Zealand with growth of more than 300 per cent. 170 MW is now installed and operating. 90 MW is currently under construction, more than 400 MW of new capacity has been consented in the last 12 months and just over 600 MW is currently in the resource consent process.

ENDS

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