A new report from economic analysts Infometrics shows that New Zealanders will be better off by up to $ 390 per person per year with more wind power.
The economic modelling of New Zealand, commissioned by NZWEA, compared the ‘business as usual’ case in 2030 with one where 20% of electricity is generated by wind farms.
In every scenario, New Zealanders are better off with more wind. “This shows the importance of wind farms to every household in the country in financial terms, in addition to the environmental benefits of renewable energy,” says Eric Pyle, CEO and the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.
Infometrics used a sophisticated model of the New Zealand economy which allows them to run a number of ‘what if’ scenarios and identify the resulting changes such as household income, GDP and balance of trade.
The ‘business as usual’ is based on the Ministry of Economic Development analysis which shows wind capacity doubling to 8% of electricity. The Infometrics modelling looked at a number of scenarios, based on increasing wind energy’s contribution to 20% electricity.
The results show;
- $60 per person per year benefit with carbon (CO2) priced at $50 per tonne (the figure planned under the current ETS).
- $90 per person per year if traded carbon emissions cost $100/tonne.
- $390 per person per year if the wholesale gas price rises to $17/GJ (it is currently over $9/GJ and forecast to increase) and carbon at $50.
- $170 per person per year if the transport mix changes to include 800,000 electric vehicles and carbon at $50.
The benefits mainly stem from substituting costly fuels for free renewable resources, and the savings from not having to buy carbon credits.
“To put these figures into perspective, current electricity cost per person is around $400 per year,” says Eric Pyle. “I believe we can grow wind generated electricity to 20%, from 4% today, because it is a cost effective form of electricity. This report indicates that every Kiwi will be financially better off with more wind farms.”
21 November 2011
For further information please contact:
Nigel Parry, Communications Manager
New Zealand Wind Energy Association, Wellington
Tel: +64 (0)4 499 5047 / +64 (0)27 212 2296