Kiwis to embrace wind as New Zealand celebrates Global Wind Day

» By | Published 09 Jun 2011

“Although you can’t see the wind, you can feel its power.”

That’s the way the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) began its campaign to encourage local residents to celebrate the nation’s first involvement with Global Wind Day festivities next Wednesday.

Fraser Clark, chief executive of NZWEA, says the 4.2 million New Zealanders should recognise on 15 June the contribution that the wind power sector makes in meeting the country’s current and future energy needs.

New Zealand has one of the best wind energy resources in the world and citizens should be proud that their nation is developing the emissions-free sector, Clark said.

“We need the ability to check rising electricity prices as traditional fuels become more expensive or constrained, as well as the ability to produce electricity without creating greenhouse gas emissions. Wind addresses both of these issues, without changing how productive land is already used,” he added.

Next Wednesday, as New Zealand celebrates Global Wind Day for the first time, the association wants Kiwis to “embrace wind” and realise the real value of wind energy, how important it is to the nation’s future and how much it already contributes.

“Global Wind Day is a chance for the country to show its support for a vital link in our energy chain,” the NZWEA says. “On Global Wind Day, we want to see New Zealanders embrace wind energy by displaying their own mini wind-turbines, like you used to do when you were a kid! In the garden, on your car, or in a plant pot on your desk. Show you care about where your electricity comes from. It does matter after all.”

Wind power currently generates about 4% of the nation’s electricity – or enough to power 10% of homes, according to NZWEA. To achieve the government’s target of 90%  renewable electricity by 2025, wind’s contribution will need to grow five-fold to 20%.

The association notes New Zealand has 16 wind farms already operating or under construction. These wind farms have more than 450 turbines with a combined installed capacity of over 600 megawatts.