A report released today and by members of the Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand (SEANZ) shows New Zealanders could save hundreds of millions of dollars in electricity costs if conditions for high uptake of Solar PV (PV) and batteries are allowed.
Lead author of the report Dr Rob Passey of IT Power Australia said their findings, based on Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) projections, showed the benefits in greenhouse gas emissions and savings to households were positive under all scenarios but improved with greater uptake of PV and batteries.
“By 2040 New Zealand solar households could have saved between $NZ 1.35 - 3.4 billion but the benefits are not restricted to just solar owners Dr Passey said.
“Solar households have already saved the country NZ$ 860,000 in avoided greenhouse gas emissions. MBIE modelling shows that solar installed with batteries will become the norm and that avoided greenhouse gas emissions costs could total NZ$ 0.5 billion in savings to the country between 2016 and 2040 said Dr Passey.
Solar and batteries will not only benefit all households by lowering peak demand and therefore the costs of the electricity network, they can reduce electricity costs through avoided greenhouse gas emissions, lower wholesale electricity costs, reduced line losses, and fuel price hedging.
“Solar and batteries could also provide households and communities with self-reliance and resilience during extreme weather and natural disasters said Dr Passey.
SEANZ Chairman Brendan Winitana said “the benefits for New Zealand were clear, yet the regulator and some of the incumbent electricity industry are actively trying to stall the uptake of solar with misinformation and the introduction of a solar tax.”
“Households who reduce their electricity use through energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, efficient lighting or low-flow shower heads are not penalised, similarly, if a customer moves to gas they are not levied a ‘gas tax’. The focus should now be on how to make the most of the coming opportunities driven by increased customer choice, rather than by selectively penalising specific new technologies.
“The modelling in this report clearly shows no economic justification for a tariff on solar users. Attempts to maintain the status quo and focus on simply building networks will likely leave customers with a legacy of sunk costs which they will have to pay for, locking New Zealand into old technology and old business models.
“Kiwis have a right to know how much they can save and how the whole economy can benefit from a mass uptake of solar PV, despite signals to the contrary from some of the industry" Mr Winitana said.
SEANZ Communications Manager
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