Benefits of Solar Systems in NZ

New Zealand's Solar Heating Potential

New Zealand currently provides more than 40GWh of equivalent electricity consumption per year through the use of solar water heating. It is widely thought that by 2010 this figure could be upwards of 600GWh per year. The total amount of solar energy that the New Zealand land mass collects is approximately 400 million GWh per year which gives an indication of the potential for solar energy use.

Currently the two major regions at the forefront of solar technology are Australia and Western Europe. The abundance of sunlight in New Zealand places us on an even par with the levels found in Melbourne and above that of the levels found in Europe. This shows that the future of solar heating in this country is very attractive and with greater knowledge of the technology, we can only assume steady growth. For more information on the potential of solar heating click here.


Why You Should Heat Your Water Using Solar Energy 

The various advantages of solar heating include:

  • It produces zero net emissions of greenhouse gases, enabling both industry and government to work towards meeting New Zealand's Kyoto commitments.
  • Solar energy is renewable, abundant and a natural energy source;
  • The rooftop of the average New Zealand house collects about 50 times as much energy from solar as is required for water heating;
  • Solar water heating supplies 50 to 75% of the annual water heating energy requirement when installed correctly;
  • The lifetime of solar heating technologies is usually greater than 20 years;
  • Solar heating can be easily integrated into the existing water heating systems of buildings;


National Benefits of Solar

From a national perspective investment in solar water heating should be encouraged by Government for the following reasons:

  • Potentially 1.7million investors in SWH cf 1 investor in an electricity power station
  • Investment risk moves from SOE to homeowners
  • Job creation from growth of SWH sector
  • SWH sector already has the people, standards, capability – it only needs some consolidation
  • The ultimate of distributed energy project – investors are the direct beneficiaries of their investment
  • SWH is a proven technology – unlike many other renewable energy technologies which are still in the developmental phase.
  • Avoidance of electricity demand by use of SWH results in increased hydro storage which is then available for peaking. SWH moves water heating into base load supply.