Sunday, April 17, 2005



Energy: More wind

While I'm on the subject of energy, Hawke's Bay Wind Farm has applied for resource consent to build a 220 MW farm near Te Pohue. They have to get that consent, of course - but if successful, they could be generating by 2007.

For those who think that wind will never amount to anything, or that it cannot supply our needs, 220 MW represents one and a half years demand growth in one hit. Factor in the 120 MW of wind farm consents granted in the last six months, and we are looking at meeting our entire demand growth for the next few years from wind alone. And while it won't generate all the time (New Zealand wind farms "only" run at 45% of their maximum capacity - compared to 58% for hydro), every MWh generated by wind is gas that does not need to be burned and water that does not need to be spilled. When our biggest worry is a dry year, that's a nice capability to have.

8 comments:

Lets put wind farms next to the pilons!

Posted by Anonymous : 4/17/2005 11:03:00 PM

Lets not forget the windfarms can have a huge visual/amenity impact (not always negative, they do look kewl) and also a huge historic/archaeolgoical impact - the footprint of these installations on the ground is huge.

Posted by Jono : 4/18/2005 12:05:00 PM

That's not a footprint.. next to hydro, it's more like a toe-print.

Posted by huskynut : 4/18/2005 12:15:00 PM

Why not rejig the electricity pricing machanism to take account of geography and provider cheaper electricity for those with regional capacity? It'd be a reverse form of polluter-pays for communities to be incentivised to build more local (clean) generation capacity, and provide a better incentive for manufacturing to move back to the provinces instead of localising in a few main centres.
I mean, should a Southlander whose backyard/ favourite hunting/ tramping valley has just been flooded to provide zigacapacity be paying peak-demand rates b/c Auckland has just switched on all it's tellies?
The main barrier of course is the having to modify the current bidding model/game which globally works beautifully at what it's designed to do - generate massive profits to the industry.

Posted by Huskynut : 4/18/2005 01:50:00 PM

Yeah, and next to a coal or oil fired station, its an ass-print. Which conservation values shall we scarifice, yours or mine? I am just saying everything has a price, everything has an impact. Sadly, my boring midden sites dont inspire the public like bubbling brooks or cuddly kiwis.

Posted by Jono : 4/18/2005 05:37:00 PM

:) I always thought that old Huntly plant looks pretty cool on a driveby..

Posted by Huskynut : 4/18/2005 06:37:00 PM

The big advantage of wind power is that it won't run out. ALL hydro dams MUST eventually silt up, reducing their storage to nil and their generating capacity to run-of-the-river.

Posted by Ian Orchard : 4/18/2005 09:32:00 PM

Maybe the Waikato farmers should put pressure on the Awhitu pony club to drop their opposition to a windfarm on the South Heads of the Manukau Harbour and thus save them a few unsightly pylons.

Posted by Uroskin : 4/19/2005 03:55:00 PM