Transpower's recently released ‘Whakamana i Te Mauri Hiko Monitoring Report’ indicates how New Zealand is tracking our energy futures.
It is a comprehensive read - you can read it in full here - with key takeouts being:
- Residential solar installations continue to grow in number and capacity, driven by falling costs
More New Zealand households are installing solar PV systems on their rooftops to take advantage of lower electricity costs.
Growing by an average of 31% per year, installations are in approximately 1.9% of households.
A record 30 MW of residential solar was installed in 2021, up 72% on the prior 12 month period. According to Forsyth Barr, growth in solar installations will continue and it is expected ~55 MW of rooftop solar will be installed in 2022
- Commercial and industrial solar installations have also been increasing.
The average capacity of new commercial installations is becoming larger, and emerging technology improvements such as light weight solar panels, has the ability to increase capacity of existing commercial roofs.
- Distributed solar costs forecast to continue on sharp decline.
Component price increase, material shortages and supply-chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic are expected to soften solar growth in 2022.
- Battery technology and flexible demand providing solutions to meet peak and energy demand and support system reliability
Recent announcements across New Zealand’s electricity industry suggest that both micro-grid and large grid-scale batteries could soon play a bigger role in NZ’s power system.
- Grid-scale battery projects are emerging in New Zealand
WEl Networks, Meridian Energy, Contact Energy, Vector and Transpower all have active or are investigating projects in this space and it is expected that further large scale projects will occur by 2030.
- Distributed energy resources are also gaining traction here
Distributed energy resources (DER) are growing in large volumes globally as consumers seek to benefit from their own controllable systems, and networks take advantage of wider energy system benefits. Recently announced national projects include unbundling electricity services to allow for a greater range of choices and suppliers available to consumers, supporting the uptake of distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar. Also recognising that Solar and battery systems are not the only DER available. Others include smart appliances and EV charging.