Can Enough Solar Power Be Generated To Power A Home?

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Can Enough Solar Power Be Generated To Power A Home?

Yes, it is possible to generate enough solar power to power a home in New Zealand. The amount of solar power that can be generated depends on several factors such as the size and orientation of the solar panels, the efficiency of the panels, the local weather conditions, and the electricity consumption of the home.

New Zealand has excess amounts of sunlight, more than enough to power the entire country with solar energy. NIWA scientists provide ample evidence to support this claim, stating that "The solar energy arriving at the roofs of New Zealand homes over the course of a year is twice the country's total annual energy consumption, or 16 times the energy used in those homes."

The Different Regions of New Zealand And Potential Solar Power Production

In New Zealand, electricity production via solar power systems varies from region to region. This can be dependent on:

  • Latitude and locations located closer to the equator will generate more solar power

  • The amount of cloud cover a region/area experiences

NIWA has taken multiple years of weather data and estimated the solar energy we have available around New Zealand. NIWA's solar radiation map (seen below) displays areas that experience the greatest amount of sunlight in a given day. Locations with a higher proportion of clear-sky days such as Nelson, Blenheim, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay, correspond with higher solar irradiance.

Solar Radiation New Zealand
Resource from NIWA Science

New Zealand's Potential Solar Compared To The Rest Of The World

There's no doubt about it, all areas of New Zealand are worthy of having a solar power system installed. Sure, Invercargill receives lower amounts of solar radiation in comparison to other parts of New Zealand, however, Invercargill gets more sun than Germany, which has one of the highest rates of solar power per capita in the world.

Annual Solar Generation for Different Sized Systems (Chart For Main Regions)

This chart indicates the approximate annual energy production of different size systems, ranging from a 1.6kW system to an 8kW; in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.  This data is collected from SMA's Sunny Design Web.

Last updated: March 2019

Approximate Yearly Generation From Different Solar Power System Sizes & New Zealand Regions (in kilowatt hours)
System size 1.6kW 2kW 3.2kW 4kW 5kW 6kW 7kW 8kW
Auckland 2321 2861 4617 5858 7254 8805 10,075 11,673
Wellington 2125 2610 4218 5364 6643 8074 9215 10,681
Christchurch 2100 2587 4178 5303 6564 7979 9112 10,566
Dunedin 2095 2581 4168 5291 6547 7961 9090 10,541