How does a wind turbine work?
A wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.The wind causes the blades to rotate. As they turn, they spin a shaft attached to a generator. It is the generator that produces electricity. Find out more...
How many wind farms are in New Zealand?
New Zealand has 16 wind farms. These are located across the country, from the Waikato to Southland. Find out more ...
How much electricity do New Zealand's wind farms produce?
In 2010, 4 per cent of New Zealand's electricity came from wind - that is enough to power over 10 per cent of our homes.
How much electricity can a single wind turbine produce?
The amount of electricity a turbine generates depends on several factors, including the size of the wind turbine, the speed of the wind, and the amount of time the wind turbine is operating. Find out more...
How much land does a wind farm need?
Wind turbines need to be widely spaced through out a wind farm, but their footprint is usually 1 to 3% of the land area in the wind farm. As most wind turbines are located on working farms, this minimal land use means farming can continue around the turbines.
What do people think about wind energy?
Research proves that Kiwis want to be seen as a world leader in renewable energy and are proud of the country's strength in this sector. Of all the renewable energy sources, wind is one of the preferred options. Find out more...
What does a wind farm development mean for the surrounding community?
A new wind farm can become a catalyst for business and community renewal. It can create additional income for land owners and a wide range of business and career opportunities for others in the community. Find out more ...
What happens when the wind stops blowing?
New Zealand is a windy country – a wind turbine here will produce electricity for about 90% of the time.
Wind farms are only one source of generation in our electricity system, which draws on a number of forms of generation to ensure the lights always stay on. Wind has a natural synergy with New Zealand's extensive hydro generation, which provides a flexible resource for balancing natural variations in wind generation. Find out more...
What are a wind turbine's lifetime emissions?
Wind energy has the lowest 'lifecycle emissions' of all energy production technologies. Wind turbines produce no greenhouse gas emissions during their operation.
It takes a turbine just three to six months to produce the amount of energy that goes into its manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning after its 20-25 year lifetime. During its lifetime a wind turbine delivers up to 80 times more energy than is used in its production, maintenance and scrapping.
Is wind energy competitive?
Wind farms in New Zealand don't receive subsidies or benefit from other support mechanisms. This means a wind farm will be built only when a developer determines it can produce electricity at a cost that is competitive in the current electricity market.
A recent report from consultancy firm Deliotte shows that identifying and consenting the right sites, maximising yield, and capturing favourable market conditions and exchange rates were critical factors in making New Zealand's recent wind farms economically viable. Find out more...
More on wind energy
- NZWEA factsheets and case studies for information on wind energy in New Zealand.
- Read the Global Wind Energy Council's 2011 statistics on wind energy on a global level
- Visit the Global Wind Energy Council's website for information on wind energy in over 70 countries around the world.