New Zealand is electrifying our transport fleet and industry at an alarming rate – which is great news for our carbon emissions and climate targets, but have we put the cart before the horse?
In the last year, we’ve burnt more coal than ever before (and it’s all imported) to keep pace with the demands for electricity and peak demand response. This is simply not a sustainable future for our electricity supply, nor is it what is envisaged when we buy our EV’s to decarbonise transport.
Our political leaders have a target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030, yet here we are importing coal in 2022 to burn for electricity generation. It is simply not acceptable; in fact it is embarrassing!
Politically, we’re waiting and watching for two (possible) white elephants that are touted as solutions to our renewable energy shortage – the much talked about future of the aluminium smelter in Bluff, and the proposed development of Lake Onslow hydro battery project.
As a country, can we afford to put too many eggs in these baskets, especially considering both may never eventuate? Where would this leave our supply of renewable energy in the future?
The reality is, we need action now. We need to be building new, clean, reliable energy generation now – and lots of it! We’re unlikely to see major new hydro development and NIMBYISM makes large scale wind hard to consent and build – especially at the pace that we need new energy.
However, solar can be built at any scale, and in almost any location (unlike hydro and wind) meaning it is less reliant on our transmission and distribution assets to move the power to where the demand exists.
Is Solar Power a Silver Bullet?
No, really simply, solar power on its own is not a silver bullet solution. Solar is (and will continue to become) a valuable part of our total energy solution. What solar power does offer is a number of advantages that can benefit stakeholders from individual households, to business owners, large commercial and industrial clients, right up to our network providers and even Transpower.
Picture this; every unit of electricity that is generated and consumed at any given site is a unit of electricity that doesn’t need to be generated by a hydro dam (or coal plant) – it doesn’t need to be shifted by our transmission network and it doesn’t need to be distributed by your local lines company. It doesn’t even need to be sold to you by your electricity retailer. A unit of self-generated and self-consumed electricity from solar can generate benefits that positively impact the entire energy value chain. This reduction of congestion can also defer transmission and network investment, meaning we all save.
What can I do? How can I get solar working for me?
For one, you need to choose a reputable partner. We can’t stress this enough, but you should always partner with a SEANZ member for your project. SEANZ carefully scrutinise solar providers and ensure that they’re up to the task of providing a reputable, reliable solution and service.
Look for a company that has been established for a while.
The industry is seeing a flood of new interest, with many new entrants speculating to get a slice of the action. You really don’t want to end up with someone ‘learning solar’ on your roof.
Why Infinite Energy?
At Infinite Energy, we’ve been wholly dedicated to solar power since 2013. In this time, we’ve invested heavily into developing our people, knowledge base, and our communities. Our projects in this time have focused on delivering outstanding outcomes – projects that have been truly pioneering and that have received national awards and recognition.
We understand the energy landscape designing and building solar and battery systems that allow our clients to maximise their returns through value stacking.
This includes projects that dramatically and directly reduce energy costs, while also reducing network charges that store energy for use during periods of network congestion.
Our focus is on design. Design for outcomes, accuracy, aesthetics, performance, safety & compliance.
Every time we approach a new project, from initial consultation, to system design, to procurement, installation, and commissioning – we get a real kick out of seeing the reactions and pride from our clients.
Subsequently the stories of savings, ROI, avoided carbon emissions, energy independence only serve to remind us that we’re doing our small part to make the world a better place, one roof at a time.
Are you next? We’d love to speak to you about your energy needs – and how a properly designed and installed solar power and battery system can benefit you!