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NZIER report highlights wind energy’s benefits for

NZIER report highlights wind energy’s benefits for consumers

The NZIER report examining the relationship between wind and hydro generation, released yesterday by the Major Electricity Users’ Group, confirms that wind energy is making a positive and growing contribution to New Zealand’s electricity system, says the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

“The report simply tells us what many in the energy sector already know,” says NZWEA Chief Executive Fraser Clark. “Wind speeds vary less than rainfall, and there is a synergy between wind and hydro generation, especially when generation is spread across the country.”

In fact, the report concludes that its findings imply a ‘complementarity between wind and hydro power’ and ‘confirm the role of wind and hydro power in suppressing spot prices’.

“We are surprised New Zealand’s major electricity consumers are not more bullish about a technology that can help to check rising electricity prices,” says Mr Clark.

“An important point that can be taken from this report is that increased amounts of wind generation will have positive benefits for electricity consumers, especially in reducing the risks associated with dry years.

“More wind generation will increase the diversity of energy sources in New Zealand’s generation mix, effectively reducing New Zealand’s reliance on hydro generation. Given recent dry years and power savings campaign, New Zealanders are well aware of the risks associated with reliance on hydro generation, such as high spot prices and electricity shortages.

“Overall, wind energy as part of a diverse generation mix will contribute to maintaining a secure and reasonably priced supply of electricity. Electricity systems are complex by nature, and for this reason there is no one panacea to security concerns.

“New Zealand has one of the world’s best wind resources. The benefits of using wind to generate 15% or even 20% of our electricity can be realised without a wind farm on every ridgeline – more likely a wind farm on the occasional ridgeline in appropriate locations across the country,” concludes Mr Clark.


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