INDEPENDENT NEWS

Better off by up to $390pa each with more wind farms

Published: Mon 21 Nov 2011 01:46 PM
Economics report shows Kiwis will be better off by up to $390pa each
with more wind farms
A new report from economic analysts Infometrics shows that New
Zealanders are better off by up to $390 per person per year with more
wind power.
The economic modelling of New Zealand, commissioned by NZWEA, compared
the 'business as usual' case in 2030 with one where 20% of electricity
is generated by wind farms.
In every scenario, New Zealanders are better off with more wind farms.
"This shows the importance of wind farms to every household in the
country in financial terms, in addition to the environmental benefits of
renewable energy," says Eric Pyle, CEO and the New Zealand Wind Energy
Association.
Infometrics used a sophisticated model of the New Zealand economy which
allows them to run a number of 'what if' scenarios and identify the
resulting changes such as household income, GDP and balance of trade.
The 'business as usual' is based on the Ministry of Economic Development
analysis which shows wind capacity doubling to 8% of electricity. The
Infometrics modelling looked at a number of scenarios, based on
increasing wind energy's contribution to 20% electricity.
The results show;
* $60 per person per year benefit with carbon (CO2) priced at $50
per tonne (the figure planned under the current ETS).
* $90 per person per year if traded carbon emissions cost
$100/tonne.
* $390 per person per year if the wholesale gas price rises to
$17/GJ (it is currently over $9/GJ and forecast to increase) and carbon
at $50.
* $170 per person per year if the transport mix changes to include
800,000 electric vehicles and carbon at $50.
The benefits mainly stem from substituting costly fuels for free
renewable resources, and the savings from not having to buy carbon
credits.
"To put these figures into perspective, current electricity cost per
person is around $400 per year," says Eric Pyle. "I believe we can grow
wind generated electricity to 20%, from 4% today, because it is a cost
effective form of electricity. This report indicates that every Kiwi
will be financially better off with more wind farms."
ENDS
Note to editors
NZWEA is an industry association that supports the continuing
development of wind as a reliable, sustainable, clean and commercially
viable energy source. We aim to fairly represent wind energy to the
public, government and the energy sector. Our members include about 80
companies involved in New Zealand's wind energy sector, including
electricity generators, wind farm developers, lines companies, turbine
manufacturers, consulting firms, researchers and law firms.
For more information visit www.windenergy.org.nz

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