Yes to wind

Page - December 18, 2006
Greenpeace supports the use and development of wind energy in New Zealand because it is clean, abundant, renewable, reliable, and affordable. It is the fastest growing source of energy in the world, and its prices are competitive with the cost of electricity from new coal-fired power plants.

Wind can provide New Zealand with clean, renewable energy.

We all know that fossil fuels contribute to pollution and global warming. Harnessing the natural power of the wind is essential to tackle climate change. Many experts consider New Zealand to be the "Saudi Arabia of wind", with a quality and size of resource to make the rest of the world envious - but wind power needs your support.

Visit the website dedicated to wind -

We have developed this website to provide you with comprehensive information about the power of wind. There is also information about how you can support wind as a renewable clean energy source for New Zealand.

Wind's success in Europe and beyond

Wind energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world. Global wind capacity has quadrupled over the past five years growing from 7,600 Mega Watts (MW) at the end of 1997 to more than 31,000 MW at the end of 2002 - enough to power 16 million average European homes.

In 2001 some 6,500 MW of new wind energy generation was installed internationally, representing annual growth of almost 40 percent. Germany alone installed more than 2,600 MW in 2001. Wind energy is seeing activity in many areas of the world with wind power currently meeting over 18% of Denmark's electricity needs. Other countries are rapidly adopting wind including Germany, Spain, India, and the USA 3. Australia has just approved the construction of the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere capable of meeting the electricity needs of 200,000 people.

Wind energy in New Zealand

New Zealand has one of the most under-utilised wind resources for power generation in the world. New Zealand's Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority research shows New Zealand can conservatively produce 3,070 MW using wind, currently we produce around 36 MW.

Visual impacts and employment opportunities from wind

The visual impacts are often over-stated. The lattice towers of the Tararua turbines minimise visual pollution and the turning blades generate minimal noise. The Tararua wind farm has also provided a unique opportunity for local employment with several of the farms surrounding the site diversifying into tourism to accommodate the high number of people wishing to visit the site.

Wind generates more jobs than other forms of energy, such as coal, but without the negative health and environmental impacts such as air and water pollution and landscape destruction. Unlike land flooded for hydro generation, 97% of the land occupied by wind farms can continue to be used for grazing.

Greenpeace supports wind energy as on of the key solutions to climate change through the reduction in greenhouse pollution it provides. However Greenpeace also considers that local effects must also be considered and mitigated and supports a full and robust consultation process including local communities and iwi.