Gareth Hughes of the Green Party has just launched a proposal that will help promote the uptake of solar power and other small-scale renewable energy systems in New Zealand. Hughes wants to introduce a regime that help New Zealanders reduce their cost of power while receiving a fair price for any power that they export to the grid.
With the price of solar panels dropping considerably over the last few years, many Kiwis are looking to save money on power bills by installing solar power systems, but the uncertainty around what price they will get from excess power that gets sent to the grid can make the investment less appealing.
In the proposal the Electricity Authority will be the ones who will establish the buy-back price for renewable energy and administers the regime.
To establish more certain for home owners buying a system, Gareth Hughes would like to see a 10 year power purchase agreement (at least) set for the buy-back price.
The benefits that the Greens foresee will occur with a higher uptake of small scale renewable energy systems include;
- Reduction in local and national grid transmission costs and losses due to power being created closer to where it will be consumed.
- Helping New Zealand to meet its 90% renewable energy target by 2025.
- Increasing the resilience of the electricity grid by increasing the diversity of energy sources.
- Boost economy and create jobs by employing local companies to install the renewable energy systems