Why Wind

New Zealand is at an energy crossroads. The choices that Waiheke makes now, will determine our energy sources for years to come.

The NZ Government predicts that major risks of the climate change for New Zealand could include more droughts, high winds, floods, water shortages and growing pest and disease problems. (1)

Clean, renewable forms of energy, such as wind power, are essential if we are to tackle climate change and solve the energy crisis.

Here's Why wind power, in particular, deserves your support:

  • Wind is clean. Wind power does not contribute to global warming, nor does it produce dangerous waste.
  • Wind is abundant and reliable. New Zealand has some of the best wind resources in the world. A study by the New Zealand Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) estimates that we have enough energy potential to provide three times the current electricity generation rate.(2) Wind power, in combination with a full range of renewable energy sources, such as wave, biomass, water, geothermal and solar, could meet all of our electricity needs. Technology is being developed to store wind power as hydrogen which can then be used to power fuel cells in power stations and in vehicles.
  • Wind is affordable. Wind energy is one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy. It is competitive with coal. If social and environmental costs are included in electricity supply, wind energy is cheaper than gas generation. In the last decade the cost of wind power has declined by about 20%. Wind energy will be even more cost effective in the future as turbine technology continues to improve and planned emission charges will make fossil-fuel forms of generation more expensive.(3)
  • Wind farms create jobs. As overseas experience has shown the wind industry could bring new employment opportunities to New Zealand. In Germany for example an estimated 45,000 people are employed directly and indirectly by the wind industry.(4) The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority estimates that wind energy produces 27% more jobs per kilowatt hour (kWh) than coal and 66% more jobs than natural gas.(5) Depending on the size of the facility, 7-12 permanent jobs would be created.
  • Wind energy is popular. Wind energy is the most popular energy technology. A public opinion survey conducted by UMR Research in May 2004, showed that for the New Zealanders, wind power is the most preferred energy-generating source.
  • Wind farms are major Tourist Attractions. Being the most popular energy technology, wind farms have demonstrated that they increase tourism, especially where they are in locations accessible to the public.
  • A wind farm will add to theWaiheke Economy and Employment. 30-40% of the construction costs of the wind farm will be spent directly into the Waiheke economy.
  • Notes

    1. NZ Climate Change Office: Impacts on NZ
    2. Greenpeace report "Winds of change", 2003
    3. Greenpeace and EWEA report "Wind Force 12", 2003
    4. Greenpeace and EWEA report "Wind Force 12", 2003
    5. Mazza, Patrick. 2001 "Harvesting Clean Energy for Rural Development: Wind." Climate Solutions Special Report. Olympia: Climate Solutions.

 
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