Source: https://www.tvnz.co.nz

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.

NZ Windfarms Chief Executive John Worth says the market is a difficult one, and they are just not seeing 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.

Wind power is also unstable, because sometimes the wind simply doesn’t blow, which adds to the risk.

The government is aiming for 100 per cent of the country’s power to be renewable by 2035 – right now we’re at about 85 per cent.

New Zealand Wind Energy Association Chief Executive Grenville Gaskell says 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,” Mr Gaskell says.

“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.”

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

Energy Minister Megan Woods says she, and the government, are listening.

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