We often hear about how solar power will save us money, but how much exactly? Well according to a report released today by Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand (SEANZ), solar PV and storage could save New Zealand households hundreds of millions of dollars in electricity costs.
Dr Rob Passey, lead author of the report said allowing solar technology to prevail will have a positive effect on greenhouse gas levels and household savings and community welfare.
“By 2040 New Zealand solar households could have saved between $NZ 1.35 – 3.4 billion but the benefits are not restricted to just solar owners” Dr Passey said.
He continued “Solar households have already saved the country NZ$ 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”
On top of reduced electricity costs and greenhouse gases, Dr Passey insists solar systems are more reliable than grid energy.
“Solar and batteries could also provide households and communities with self-reliance and resilience during extreme weather and natural disasters such as the recent earthquakes” said Dr Passey.
The established players in the energy industry stand to lose the most with the uptake of solar and Chairman of SEANZ, Brendan Winitana has called for co-operation by industry leaders in the promoting the renewable technology.
“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” Mr Wintiana said.
The report is particularly critical of imposing a “solar tax”, claiming it could lock New Zealand in to old technology.
“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 and batteries” Mr Wintiana said.