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Power price solution staring government in face

Media statement
For immediate release 16 December 2008

Power price solution staring government in face

The government will face more big power price hikes like Genesis’s 9 per cent rise unless it acts quickly to encourage more renewable generation, warned Sustainable Electricity Association chairman Brendan Winitana today.

“Overturning the thermal power station ban is only a short term solution,” said Mr Winitana.

“As the Prime Minister acknowledges we need more renewable generation. That’s why he should be looking at small scale renewable generation as part of the solution.

“Mr Key is an admirer of Australia – that’s great because Australia is following some 50 other countries around the world in introducing a feed-in tariff (FIT) in many states – a simple, easy to introduce mechanism to help more households and businesses generate their own power by, for example, installing solar panels on their roof.”

A FIT is a regulated renewable energy payment requiring electricity retailers to buy power from households and businesses which generate their own renewable electricity at a rate several times the normal retail rate. This provides a quicker pay back on the capital costs of the technology, with the cost spread over all customers. They all pay a little bit extra. It costs the government nothing.

“Small scale solar, wind and hydro are flourishing in countries like Germany because governments have seen their benefits – no emissions, greater security of supply and a tool to encourage a high skill, innovative new industry.

“New Zealand can seize that opportunity too, as Australia is doing. It will cost the government nothing. It may cost households a few dollars extra a month, but if that forestalls more price hikes like Genesis’s in the medium term, that would be a great result for all power consumers.

“Importanly, small scale renewables will mean less thermal generation and so lower emissions. It’s a win-win for the environment and power consumers.

“It is high time New Zealand embraced the opportunity. Over the next few months we will be working hard to develop our case to take to the new government,” said Mr Winitana.


Small scale renewable electricity or distributed generation refers to compact technologies that generate electricity within or close to the domestic or commercial property where it is used or a commercial installation servicing a community through local lines.
• Photovoltaic solar power – special solar cells convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity.
Small scale wind power – small turbines convert wind energy directly into electricity.
Small scale hydro power – compact micro and mini hydro units convert the potential energy of water into electricity.
SEANZ members include:
Meridian Energy, Vector, Mighty River Power, Contact Energy, Sharp Corporation of NZ, Black Diamond Technology (BDT), Tyco Electronics, Industrial Research Ltd (IRL), Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation (ESITO), University of Otago, Orion Group, BP Solar (Australia)

Sustainable Electricity Association New Zealand
Industry Awards for 2008

SEANZ Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Awards
Largest PV installation in 2008 (on-grid or off-grid). Winner: Elemental Energy for its cumulative annual rollout of PV for Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen initiative. Elemental has supplied a total of 15 x 2040 W (2.04kW) grid connect PV in 2008.

Most innovative approach for Solar PV (commercial or domestic). Winner: Industrial Research Ltd for their research on quantum dot technology which is fourth generation solar PV; to develop and commercialise a New Zealand based solar PV technology.

Excellence in design and implementation and customer satisfaction. Winner: Powersmart for the NIWA Head Office implementation of Evergreen Solar, 5.4kW Grid Connect.

SEANZ Wind Awards
Largest small wind up to 100kW. Winner: Empower Consultants Ltd 10 X 7.5kW (75kW) (Afghanistan) with installation support from Smart Energy. The project consists of 10 x 7.5kW Bergey turbines on 30m guyed lattice towers.

• Most innovative application of small wind (commercial or domestic). Winner: Elemental Energy for installing one of its off-grid systems utilising the Selectronic PS1 inverter systems and Skystream 3.7 wind turbine for an off-grid client in what is a first of its kind worldwide.

Performance ‘in the field’ over the last 5 years. Winner: Ecoinnovation for its cost effective and reliable wind turbine made from common and recycled Smart Drive washing machine motor parts, Chinese turbine bodies and blades with the generator, bearings and electronics made and fitted in New Zealand.

SEANZ Micro Hydro Awards
Largest micro-hydro installation. Winner: Genkit Nelson for its Glazebrook Station and Hunting Lodge remote area hydro installation of 3.25kW. This off-grid micro-hydro system coupled with a battery bank of 48 1000 amp hour batteries and a three cylinder, 27 kW, single phase air cooled generator, providing enough power to run three contemporary homes.

Most innovative application of micro hydro (commercial or domestic). Winner: Ecoinnovation for its “we do it, we live it, we promote it, we make and recycle it” Smart Drive micro hydro systems which are installed throughout New Zealand, the UK and Europe. The turbine is over 60% recycled and the energy required to manufacture the turbine is from 100% renewable energy sources.

Performance ‘in the field’ over the last 5 years. Winner: Ecoinnovation.

Commitment to helping the industry
This award is presented by SEANZ to the individual that has contributed to the development of the industry for 2008.
• Winner: David Reid of Reid Technology

SEANZ Life Memberships Awarded to:
Graeme Duder
• Bruce Page
Industry pioneers who have made a wonderful contribution to the sector in their many years of active work and commitment to renewables.

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