Wind energy is key to New Zealand's energy future and the achievement of a net zero carbon emitting economy.
Wind is free, clean, and abundant in New Zealand, and we have plenty of land on which to site wind farms. Wind currently generates about 6% of NZ's electricity with considerable potential for a higher percentage of total generation.
The technologies for harnessing wind have advanced hugely over the last two decades. Turbines are bigger and better. Capacity is increasing, as is efficiency and reliability. All the while, the cost of electricity produced by wind continues to reduce.
Internationally wind energy is growing to meet increasing electricity demand and replace high carbon emitting fossil fuelled power stations. For more information refer to the international trends section.
The New Zealand Government recognises the importance of renewable generation. The current energy strategy includes a target of 90% electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Under the agreement with the Green Party the Government will prepare a transition plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity generation, in a normal hydrology year, by 2035.
Achieving 100% renewable generation will requires a substantial increase in installed wind capacity to lift renewable generation from its currently level of around 85% of NZ’s electricity supply.
Renewable energy can shield the economy from global price and supply issues associated with fossil fuels. It helps address the need to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change. Renewable energy is consistent with New Zealand’s clean and green positioning around the world, supporting tourism and providing other business opportunities.