Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
A wealth of indigenous renewable energy (in particular hydro and geothermal) already supplies about 30% of total energy demand and about 70% of electricity supply. However, owing to its location, New Zealand also has an excellent wind resource that will be increasingly harnessed in the future. The Government's National Energy Strategy and Domain Plan for Energy Sector 2006-2016 acknowledge the importance of the country's wind resource amongst the renewable energies in helping to provide a sustainable source of energy and security of supply in the coming years.
At end-2003 total installed capacity stood at just 36 MW but during 2004 three wind farms (Te Apiti, Tararua 2 and Hau Nui 2) came online bringing total capacity to 168 MW. With just one 100 kW turbine becoming operational during the following year, capacity effectively remained unchanged at end-2005. Five of the planned 97 turbines at Te Rere Hau wind farm were added during 2006 bringing the total to 171 MW.
The situation is set to improve in 2007 with the 58 MW White Hills and 93 MW Tararua 3 wind farms being completed. Furthermore, projects representing over 1 500 MW are in various stages of authorisation - an indication that the NZ wind sector has ambitious plans for growth.