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Distributed small-scale wind in New Zealand: Advantages, barriers and policy support instruments


  • Barry, Martin
  • Chapman, Ralph


If future climate change goals being negotiated internationally are to have any chance of being achieved, developed countries need to undertake a major transition in their energy systems. This will require a rapid expansion of renewable energy generation, including wind electricity. Wind energy in New Zealand is commercially viable in many cases, yet opportunities for its exploitation are far from fully utilised. Many communities are showing resistance to wind farm developments, since large wind farms are often seen as intrusive. Building wind farms on a small scale may be a useful way of overcoming this problem. This study examines the pattern of recent wind industry development in New Zealand. It is argued that two key characteristics have emerged that are limiting the potential development of the industry: a trend towards large scale, leading to increased local opposition; and a small number of investors. Research methods include a review of international and local literature, and a rural mail survey questionnaire, with 338 respondents. We provide survey evidence that small wind farms, and community ownership of them, may be attractive to local communities, and that this point of advantage is helpful for the rapid expansion of wind generation in New Zealand.

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  • Barry, Martin & Chapman, Ralph, 2009. "Distributed small-scale wind in New Zealand: Advantages, barriers and policy support instruments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3358-3369, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:9:p:3358-3369

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolsink, Maarten, 1996. "Dutch wind power policy : Stagnating implementation of renewables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1079-1088, December.
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    3. Mitchell, Catherine & Connor, Peter, 2004. "Renewable energy policy in the UK 1990-2003," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1935-1947, November.
    4. Krohn, Søren & Damborg, Steffen, 1999. "On public attitudes towards wind power," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 954-960.
    5. Wang, Yan, 2006. "Renewable electricity in Sweden: an analysis of policy and regulations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1209-1220, July.
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    7. Blanco, Mari­a Isabel & Rodrigues, Glória, 2008. "Can the future EU ETS support wind energy investments?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1509-1520, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holstenkamp, Lars & Kahla, Franziska, 2016. "What are community energy companies trying to accomplish? An empirical investigation of investment motives in the German case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 112-122.
    2. Kelly, Geoff, 2011. "History and potential of renewable energy development in New Zealand," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 2501-2509, June.
    3. Wirth, Steffen, 2014. "Communities matter: Institutional preconditions for community renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 236-246.
    4. Thomas Hoppe & Antonia Graf & Beau Warbroek & Imke Lammers & Isabella Lepping, 2015. "Local Governments Supporting Local Energy Initiatives: Lessons from the Best Practices of Saerbeck (Germany) and Lochem (The Netherlands)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-32, February.
    5. Schaefer, Manuel S. & Lloyd, Bob & Stephenson, Janet R., 2012. "The suitability of a feed-in tariff for wind energy in New Zealand—A study based on stakeholders' perspectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 80-91.
    6. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:1660-1668 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. de la Hoz, Jordi & Martín, Helena & Martins, Blanca & Matas, José & Miret, Jaume, 2013. "Evaluating the impact of the administrative procedure and the landscape policy on grid connected PV systems (GCPVS) on-floor in Spain in the period 2004–2008: To which extent a limiting factor?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 147-167.


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