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Time for strong leadership on energy

Transpower solar report shows it is time for strong leadership on energy

Transpower’s latest report on the future of electricity has busted myths and paved the way for government and the electricity sector to work together to enable the important role solar and batteries can play in building a more resilient, clean, affordable, and reliable energy system.

SEANZ (Sustainable Energy Association NZ) welcomes the report, called The Sun Rises on a Solar Energy Future, an addendum to last year’s ground-breaking report on New Zealand’s energy future, Te Mauri Hiko, which proposed that 1.5 million homes could have solar installed by 2050.

SEANZ welcomes the key findings of the report but warns that the speed of uptake by households and businesses may be quicker than Transpower’s modelling. The levelised cost of rooftop solar and batteries used in the report is higher than current street value, heightening the urgency of SEANZ call for government leadership and cross-sector collaboration to address potential challenges.

The latest report predicts a “significant and rapid increase in distributed solar and the addition of a significant amount of utility solar” but also highlights there are “challenges that will require identification, understanding, and careful planning and management” if this potential is to be fully realised.

SEANZ Chair, Brendan Winitana says: “This report confirms SEANZ’s position that the transformation of our energy network is already underway with solar uptake”.

“One new solar system is installed in New Zealand every 25 minutes and every month, in excess of 1MWH of battery storage is installed into kiwi households. This is the tip of the iceberg and just a portion of the value that can be delivered to all New Zealanders by maximising our use of energy from the sun.”

SEANZ’s recently released report “Sustainable Energy for a Sustainable Future” spells out the opportunity for solar and batteries to contribute to solving our urgent energy challenges of:

• 100% renewable energy before 2015,

• carbon neutrality by 2050,

• increased demand from population growth and electrifying our vehicle fleet,

• improve fairness and equity in the market,

• lower energy costs,

• reducing energy poverty,

• improving system resilience and reliability, and

• creating sustainable jobs.

“The current electricity market is not fit for today or tomorrow’s purpose and everyday that passes, kiwi households, the country, and the climate are paying the cost,” says Mr Winitana.

“It’s insane that currently, in the middle of summer, we are paying high electricity prices and burning record amounts of fossil fuels while affordable and clean energy is ignored and wasted.

“The Transpower report shows the value and potential of solar and batteries, however this is yet to be fully acknowledged and actioned by the government and many in the incumbent industry.

“Business, as usual, does not offer solutions to our urgent energy challenges, nor does it deliver on our ambition of better living standards and wellbeing for all New Zealanders.

“Regulation to streamline access to distribution networks and allow new technologies and new business models to compete is paramount to enabling clean, affordable, and reliable electricity for all New Zealanders.

“A truly competitive market will enable the benefits of mini and micro-grids with embedded solar and batteries and market mechanisms such as peer-to-peer trading, to benefit all electricity consumers.

“Smart homes and businesses can be the cornerstone of our sustainable energy network, powering our lives with energy from the sun.”

SEANZ invites all energy sector participants who share the vision articulated in the Transpower report to collaborate in a genuine cross-sector working party to enable the important role solar and batteries can play in building a more resilient, clean, affordable, and reliable energy system.

Transpower Report "Sun rises on solar energy" available here: https://www.transpower.co.nz/about-us/transmission-tomorrow/sun-rises-solar-energy-future

SEANZ report "Sustainable Energy for a Sustainable Future" available here: https://www.seanz.org.nz/sustainable_energy_for_a_sustainable_future


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