Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Controversial Beauty?

I came home on Monday from a weekend in Wanganui playing in a Croquet Tournament (about which I'll probably blog despite promising a moratorium on such blogs). I decided that, instead of coming through the Manawatu Gorge, I would come across the Saddle Road slightly to the North from Ashurst to Woodville. It comes over the top of the mountain ridge instead of though the Gorge which separates the Ruahine Range (which runs down from Hawkes Bay in the North) from the Tararua Range. The ranges house the largest wind energy farms in the Southern hemisphere: the Te Apiti Farm and the Tararua Farm.

Looking South to the Tararua Wind Energy Farm (The Handbag in the foreground). The windmills are visible through 360 degrees from the point at which I was standing.

Majestic beauty

Whether one is in favour or against generating energy by using wind farms they are likely to provide an increasing amount of New Zealand's electricity. This Country adheres very strictly to a non-nuclear policy to the extent that warships which are powered by a nuclear reactor are not permitted in territorial waters. New Zealand does, however, have supplies of geothermal energy to tap in addition to plentiful hydro sources: Electricity production by source (2001): fossil fuel: 31.6% hydro: 57.8% nuclear: 0% other: 10.7%. These figures were prior to the establishment of the main wind farms. Wind generation currently provides about 2.5% of New Zealand’s electricity. On an annual basis, this is enough electricity to meet the demand of 145,000 homes.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting blog: as a retired engineer, I've read a lot about renewable energy research -- tidal, wind, wave movement and so on. In Germany last year I saw lots of wind-farms on the horizon in Thuringia and Saxony: Germany has a Green Party in government, I think, and they are ahead in policies like recycling waste, and sustainable energy. I have been to New Zealand, and thoroughly approve of the 'non-nuke' policy, and the work being done on conservation. The air in NZ is about the clearest I've ever seen, good on you, kiwis.