General Info
  • Population (million)

    4.8

  • Land Area (sq km)

    268000

  • GDP (million USD)

    205.9

Power Generation Capacity by Fuel Type
  • Renewable Energy (%)

    40

  • Fossil Fuels (%)

    60

  • Nuclear (%)

    0

  • Other (%)

    0

Wind Energy Statistics
  • Installed Capacity (MW)

    690

  • Offshore Installed Capacity (MW)

    0

  • Small Wind Capacity (kW)

    205

  • Share of Wind - electricity generation (%)

    5

Policy & Regulations Overview

There is no subsidy/incentive scheme in New Zealand for wind farms.
The wholesale market clears using locational marginal pricing. This means that all plants receive the highest cleared price, adjusted for location factor. This can act as a price support mechanism for renewables by increasing the price received.
All wind farms require a resource consent under the Resource Management Act (RMA). This involves an application of the proposed project in which the public can submit their views on the effects (positive and adverse) a proposal. There is no third party right of appeal in New Zealand.
The purpose of the RMA is to promote the management, development, and protection of New Zealand’s natural and physical resources. The Act allows for a National Policy Statement (NPS) which outlines objectives and policies for matters of national significance that are relevant to achieving the purpose of the RMA and to guide decision making on resource consent applications. The NPS for Renewable Electricity Generation, 2011, refers to the need for decision-makers to recognise the national significance and benefits of renewable electricity generation. It also outlines provisions for renewable electricity generation activities into regional policy statements and regional and local plans.
The Government’s New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS) reinforces the national significance of renewable electricity generation. The goal of the NZEECS is for New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy by encouraging businesses, individuals and public sector agencies to take action on increasing energy efficiency and unlocking our renewable energy sources. It contains a target for 90% renewable electricity generation by 2025 (average hydrological year) provided it does not compromise security of supply. The New Zealand Government has also set a more aspirational target of 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Currently, 84% of New Zealand’s electricity is generated from renewables.
Overall, New Zealand’s Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019 provides a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies. It sets the target of net zero emissions from greenhouse gases by 2050.

Wind Resources Overview

New Zealand has a strong wind resource due to being a long island nation in the middle of the Roaring Forties wind regime, which brings prevailing westerly winds over the country. New Zealand has multiple diverse wind regimes as a result of having hilly terrain and coastal locations. Several locations in New Zealand can reach mean wind speeds of over 8 m/s. Particular regions of New Zealand with high wind speeds are Wellington, Manawatu, and Southland.

Wind Industry Overview

New Zealand’s wind industry is expected to increase with approximately 2500 MW of consented projects, including at least two new projects under construction currently (Waipipi - 133 MW and Turitea - 222 MW). Currently, New Zealand’s largest wind farm is the Tararua wind farm with 134 turbines with a total capacity of 161 MW. New Zealand wind farms have an average capacity factor of 40%.
The majority of wind turbines installed in New Zealand are manufactured overseas. Several internationally recognised turbine manufacturers have offices across New Zealand such as Vestas, General Electric and Enercon. These companies are mostly involved with the handling and installation of wind turbines. Many other entities are involved in the delivery of wind farms such as electricity generators/retailers, construction companies and electrical/maintenance companies.
A common constraint for developing wind farms in New Zealand is the access to the sites. Because the best wind resources are often in remote areas, limitations arise regarding electricity transmission and access ways from ports to sites.

Author

Chiraag Ishwar