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8/10/2018 — Alternative Energy
RMA turbulence for wind farms

Wind power has long been billed as the way of the future, but power companies looking into this field say it could be a struggle to stay viable.

Who better to comment on this than the chief executive of NZ Windfarms Ltd (NZX: NWF) whose company underwent corporate and structural changes in the past year to eliminate red ink.

Worth told TVNZ the market is a difficult one, and as a result there was not a lot of investment in wind farming.

"We operate in a difficult wholesale market where when the wind blows it tends to compress the market price,” he said.

Worth said wind power is also unstable, because sometimes the wind simply doesn't blow, which adds to the risk.

The Coalition Government is aspiring for 100% of NZ's power to be renewable by 2035. It was currently about 85%.

New Zealand Wind Energy Association chief executive Grenville Gaskell told Channel 1 changes to the Resource Management Act could help ease the burden.

“Under the current RMA policy settings, it's very difficult for small players to be able to fund the cost of a consent,” Gaskell reportedly said.

“One thing the industry is completely united on is that RMA changes are required to enable new consents to progress and also where necessary existing consents to be amended.”

TVNZ said there are seventeen wind farms in New Zealand, with some operated by large power companies, but no new farms have been built since 2015.

Commenting, Energy Minister Megan Woods claimed the Government was listening.

“We're aware of it, I've listened to what the industry are saying and we've started that work,” she said.

Source: tvnz.co.nz

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