A new study by New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority suggests that wind energy could supply as much as 35% of peak electricity demand in the future.
The study examines technical limits to the integration of wind generation in the New Zealand national power system and finds the level to be much higher than previously thought.
A huge wind resource and integration with the abundant hydro-electric capacity enables significant technical penetration for wind technologies that can use pump-storage to smooth power delivery.
The report estimates that a 20% market share for wind would require between 800 and 2000 turbines in about 50 wind farms. Currently, wind accounts for 2.5% of NZ’s electricity generation.