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Electricity Could Still Be On In Remote Areas

Electricity Could Still Be Available In Rural Remote Areas

“Electricity could still be available in rural remote areas if stand-alone renewable electricity power sources were used”, said John Veix, Board Member of the New Zealand Photovoltaic Association (NZPVA).

Part of the answer could be provided by the New Zealand Photovoltaic Association - the industry group for Renewable Electricity. “Sometimes it just pays to get back to basics.” he said.

The key requirements are to make provision for the key components of cooking and space heating. Many rural homes usually have some form of independent heating and a ready source of firewood. If this heating has a wet-back, they can also provide their hot water from this source. Cooking could come from gas (instead of electricity) and in an emergency, the barbeque can double up to cook a reasonable meal.

The other major requirements are water for the home and stock, and refrigeration. It pays to have the water supplied by gravity feed to the house, so that without power at least you can survive without the pressure pump. How many water pumps were not working in the past 10 days?

It is essential to reduce the overall electricity demand, and interest is growing in highly energy efficient refrigeration units, especially freezers. Because of their high levels of insulation, these units can keep foods frozen for up to 3 times longer than a conventional same-sized unit, but use much less energy during normal operation.

If there are “critical loads” in the household or farm, for example electric fencing units, these could be catered for by a renewable electricity system which is self-sufficient. Often powered by a combination of micro-hydro, wind turbine and/or photovoltaics (solar electric panels), electricity can be stored in battery banks for those stormy days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind turbine is furled.

So, by being prepared, a household can at least survive without grid electricity, and as the events of the past week have shown, our dependence on electricity can be taken away by a whim of nature without much warning.

For more information on Renewable Electricity systems that can be run independently from, or connected to the local network systems, contact one of the NZPVA members listed on our web site.

For more information on the NZPVA, go to or phone the Executive Officer, Martin Shaw at 03-313-1655.


Association Name: New Zealand Photovoltaic Association Inc (NZPVA)
Website URL:
ABOUT NZPVA - The New Zealand Photovoltaic Association Inc is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and support the increased use of the sun as a reliable, sustainable and clean source of energy for the direct production of electricity for the benefit of New Zealand.


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