Marine in New Zealand

Tidal energy

The country has a good marine resource with a coastline in excess of 15 000 km and an estimated tidal energy potential of 1 000 MW. In recent years a drive towards an increased use of renewable energy has moved the utilisation of the tidal resource nearer to fruition.

The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) established the Marine energy deployment fund in order to support the advancement of marine energy in general. For the period 2008-2012, a sum of NZ$ 8 million in total has been made available for distribution as grants. The funds are intended to assist the development of pre-commercial projects.

It was announced in May 2008 that a grant of NZ$ 1.85 million from the first round of the Marine energy deployment fund had been awarded to Crest Energy Ltd. Subject to the necessary consents being granted, the company intends to eventually install two hundred 1 MW turbines in Kaipara Harbour, one of the largest in the world, located on the north-western coast of North Island. The first stage of this project is the installation of three turbines, grid-connected on land via a converter station.

The third round of the Marine energy deployment fund, worth NZ$ 2 million, opened on 31 July 2009, closing on 23 November 2009; decisions on any grants are awaited. A fourth round will be held in the second half of 2010.

Wave energy

New Zealand provides funding from the Marine Energy Deployment Fund to promote marine energy by offering NZ$ 2 million per annum between 2008 and 2012 for the deployment of prototypes in New Zealand waters. To date this has been awarded mainly to tidal energy developers apart from the Wave Energy Technology – New Zealand (WET-NZ) consortium, which comprises two Crown Research Institutes (Industrial Research Limited (IRL) and the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and a private company, Power Projects Limited. This has deployed small-scale devices (~2 kW) in the sea.


The Marine section of this area of the website collates information on Wave energy, Tidal energy and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion technologies. For further details please refer to the WER 2013 report marine chapter.