Hydro electricity verses wind turbines in the Waikato (New Zeland) – Essay Example

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Research plan To ensure that best information was gathered research was structured as follows; Step1. Develop evaluation and comparison aspects. Step2. Collect of data Step3. Assess the power needs and supply for Waikato Step4. Interview an expert Step5. Analyze the current and the previous power supply trends in Waikato Step1.Aspects for evaluation and comparison From interview data aspects for evaluation and comparison of, - an appropriate method for power production will need to be at from the following aspects; Duration – method should be fairly durable to avoid continued expenses on construction of the new plants. Minimal environmental impact- method should be one that reduces pollution to the environment.

It should not be hazardous to life or cause disruption to the existing activities. Cost effectiveness- method and its systems should not involve very high cost; have favorable construction and maintenance cost. Level of power generation- the plants must be able to meet the power requirements of residents of the region. Research into the above named aspects of power production, contribute largely to the discussion which will later on follow in this report. Step2. Collection of data Due to our need of clear information as pertaining to power production processes and systems, our research had its starting point being in the library where we read quite a number of books with related topics to get the previous trends of power production and supply.

Since we had the need for up to date and more information, we visit internet where we searched through search engines like Google, as many keywords related to power and energy as we could memorize. From a basic research survey of the literature, the basic requirements for the two power generation systems and the situation in the Waikato became very clear; initial research in the literature and online information from relevant government departments revealed the situation in the Waikato.

From this basic understanding, research continued into step 3. Step3. Assessing the power needs and supply for Waikato To make a comprehensive analysis of the power trends we had to look for information on power supply and usage in the Waikato. Since a comprehensive and summarized report on power usage was not available from any one source, therefore, some of the forty industries in the Waikato municipality and other facilities were researched for their consumption.

A comparison of records from the various offices was necessary due to disparity in the information given.


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Community views about the environment. (n.d.). Waikato Regional Council. Retrieved March 31, 2012, from http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Community/About-the-Waikato- region/Community-views-about-the-environment/

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Hydropower – power generated from water action

Turbines- gears used in the power generation process

Power plant- power generation station

Google-internet search engine

Grid- power networking

Rotor blades- arm of a wind turbine


Summary of interview with Richard Kingsford

Hydropower has been in the use for more than a hundred years in Waikato while wind power has just lasted for 10’s of years. The first hydropower (Horahora dam) in Waikato was founded in 1929 and operated till 1970’s when Lake Karapiro was formed while the first wind power generator in Waikato Te Uku has just lasted for a few years. The hydro power generation has been made possible by the existence of sufficient water supply from river Waikato. Construction of the hydro power schemes requires a lot of money after which their running costs is highly reduced. The engineering work involved in the construction of dam is of high standards as some are housed underground and therefore needs the involvement of the government. Wind power tapping has only been done in low scale due to the high cost involved but the raising prices of power is making it viable. Mr. Kingsford noted that the highest challenge to extraction of wind power is their location which requires only remote areas due to their nature of making noise. Hydro turbine lasts for over eighty years while wind turbines can last for between twenty to thirty years.

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