8 January 2010
"Record wind generation from July to September 2009 reflects successful progress with new wind farms and highlights wind energy's valuable contribution to New Zealand's electricity system," says Fraser Clark, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.
New Zealand's wind farms set a new generation record in the quarter ending September 2009, providing 3.3% of total quarterly generation, according to official statistics in the Ministry for Economic Development's Energy Quarterly, released earlier this week.
Wind generation for the 2009 September quarter was 372 gigawatt-hours, a 41% increase on the previous September quarter generation of 264 gigawatt-hours. As well, wind generation for the 12 months to September 2009 was 1244 gigawatt-hours, up 20% on the previous year. This increase is largely attributable to the successful commissioning of wind turbines at Meridian Energy's West Wind wind farm, near Wellington, and NZ Windfarms' Te Rere Hau wind farm, in the Manawatu.
"These statistics show wind energy is making an important contribution to New Zealand's electricity supply.
"Past experience shows we need more diversity in generation types and energy sources to provide a secure supply of electricity in the future," says Mr Clark.
"With 496 megawatts of wind turbines installed, and a further 80 megawatts under construction, wind energy is providing much needed diversity in our electricity system. And the ongoing investigation and consenting of new wind farms sites across the country is essential for ensuring future generation can meet growing electricity demand." In its latest annual assessment of electricity security of supply the Electricity Commission indicated that investment in new generation is needed to maintain security margins beyond 2013.
"Within 20 years wind energy is expected to be supplying 20% of New Zealand's electricity, bringing with it benefits such as suppressing spot prices and long-term price certainty. Wind energy is a price taker in the electricity market, as such it generally displaces higher priced forms of generation, which in New Zealand is often coal and gas," concludes Mr Clark.
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2) The MED Energy Quarterly is available at: http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____42379.aspx