Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Energy efficiency key action to help meet renewable goals


Nationwide uptake of energy efficient technology, such as LED lighting and heat pumps, could significantly reduce the cost of meeting New Zealand’s ambitious renewable electricity goals, according to new modelling.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has investigated the role energy efficiency can play in supporting the government’s ambition towards 100% renewable electricity by 2035*.

This ‘Energy Efficiency First: The Electricity Story’ modelling supports work led by the Interim Climate Change Commission (ICCC) on that scenario.

EECA’s modelling finds widespread uptake of energy efficient technology in factories, businesses and homes would mean a lot less new renewable generation would need to be built, to supply New Zealand with very high levels of renewable electricity. This would require less capital investment and reduce national electricity costs.

EECA’s Chief Executive Andrew Caseley says the usual mind set is to build more renewable generation, but investment in energy efficient technology is often overlooked.

‘Energy efficient technology is a key solution hiding in plain sight. Mass uptake of these technologies would lead to significant electricity demand reduction and savings in factories, buildings and houses, so they would effectively play the same role as new renewable capacity.’

The study shows the savings from system wide uptake of modern technologies like LEDs, heat pumps, energy efficient water heating and electric motors could provide the system with the equivalent of 4,000 GWh of extra capacity, before any new renewable generation would be required.

Mr Caseley says while there are costs to large-scale introduction of energy efficient technology, it is still cheaper ** than building new geothermal, wind or other renewable generation.

‘The other benefit of course is that consumers will need to spend less on electricity as a result of that investment.’

Mr Caseley says ‘overlooking the impact of energy efficiency creates a risk that we might build more generation than needed. This could result in higher than necessary costs, along with other impacts[1]’.

‘It’s time electricity efficiency receives the priority that it deserves’.

‘There’s no doubt that energy efficient technology can reduce electricity emissions, along with consumer and system costs. It is absolutely critical that everyone involved in planning and investing in any part of the electricity system understands the potential role of energy efficient technologies in our electricity system.’

* In a normal hydrological year
** For the first 4,000 GWh (See Page 3 graphic, or Figure 6, Page 16 of the Overview Report).
Energy Efficiency First – Electricity – Overview Report
Energy Efficiency First – Electricity – Technical Report

Q and A
How much of our electricity is currently renewable?
***Electricity Authority figures for 2013-17 (Electricity in NZ 2018) show New Zealand’s fuel sources are 81% renewable: Hydro 59%, Geothermal 17% and Wind 5%.
More recent figures are here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1903/S00401/renewable-power-climbs-in-2018-despite-increased-coal-burn.htm

What scenarios did the study model?
Six scenarios were modelled (see ‘scenario development’ in the technical report). These covered:

• a base case scenario

• two scenarios in which only additional generation is used

• one ‘hybrid’ scenario in which an optimum combination of additional generation and energy efficiency is used.

In short, the modelling found that the most optimal and cost-effective highly renewable electricity system will require a combination of additional renewable build and investment in energy efficient technologies (i.e. the ‘hybrid’ scenario).

How could electricity efficiency make achieving high levels of renewable electricity, cheaper?
EECA’s modelling estimates that the cost of deploying widespread efficient electricity technologies to meet existing electricity demands are much lower than the cheapest new renewable generation, on an equivalent basis. For example, 4,000 GWh of electricity efficiency could be delivered for an average cost of $25 /MWh, compared to $60-$70 /MWh for new wind or geothermal. See Page 3 graphic, or Figure 6, Page 16 of the Overview Report.

What kinds of energy efficiency measures are required to meet the scenario set out here?
More efficient technology including; LEDs for lighting, heat pumps for water heating, cooling, refrigeration.
For example if all homes and commercial properties used only LEDs there would be a 30-35% reduction in electricity use for lighting.
If all current electrical space heating and water heating was delivered via heat pumps, we could expect savings of around 40% for these end uses. See Appendix A of the technical report.
Not all available energy efficiency is used in the hybrid scenario, only those which are cheaper than new generation on a like-for-like basis (cost per MWh).

What is required to do that?
System wide investment and uptake of energy efficient technology. This could be achieved through a range of mechanisms. Regulation to phase out inefficient technology is the strongest and most effective lever to deliver the scale of energy efficiency required to meet renewable energy targets, however subsidies and other forms of incentives such as third party investment or alternative business models could also deliver large-scale, rapid change. Many existing products available on NZ’s shelves and online are already regulated to ensure the worst performing technologies are not for sale.

How much would it cost per household to convert appliances to energy efficient ones?
For the average home, installing LED lights is expected to cost around $200 to $400, leading to consumer savings of $100 to $300 per year.
Converting the main living areas of an average home to heat pump space heating is likely to cost $2500 to $4000. This is likely to lead to consumer savings of $300 to $600 per year.

How much would it cost business to convert to appliances to energy efficient ones?
For commercial premises such as an average size school, a lighting upgrade could cost around $60,000, leading to energy savings of around 45,000 kWh per year and cost savings of around $15,000 per year.
High temperature heat pumps cost around $1M per MW of heat output. For a business running 5000 hours per year this would represent a saving of $60,000-80,000 per year if replacing electrical heating.

How does this fit with new demand for electricity- like electric vehicles?
All of the efficient technologies proposed here provide the same or better functionality as the old inefficient technologies they replace, meaning we can meet our electricity needs using less electricity. This was modelled as a reduction in demand, but it could also be looked at as freeing up demand for other uses, like electric vehicles or industrial heat pumps. If demand saved through energy efficiency is replaced by other uses, then the need for new generation is higher, but the GHG emissions savings will be even higher if we replace inefficient uses of high carbon fuels with efficient low emissions electricity.

When does peak electricity demand occur?
Peak electricity demand occurs mainly on winter evenings, requiring extra generation. This is often when hydro storage and inflows are at low levels. As a result, it is more likely that thermal generation from fossil fuels, such as gas and coal will be required at peak times than at other times. Many of the energy efficient technologies modelled also reduce peak demand which contributes to some of the savings observed.

Why did the study not include future electricity demand growth?
We utilised a present day base case model of the current New Zealand electricity system, including actual demand from 2017. This was chosen to remove a key uncertainty, which is demand growth between now and any future modelled date. Estimates of future demand growth may include or exclude energy efficient technology uptake, so it can be hard to separate out from business as usual. This carries a risk of double counting or other mis-estimation.

Note to Editors
EECA is the government agency that works to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand's homes and businesses, and encourages the uptake of renewable energy.
Our purpose is to mobilise New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use.
EECA provides information to households through ENERGYWISETM energywise.govt.nz and to businesses through EECA BUSINESSTM eecabusiness.govt.nz.

1] For example extra investment in transmission lines, changes to pricing, security costs and risks.

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1907/EECA_Energy_Efficiency_First__Electricity__Technical_Report_July_2019.pdf

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1907/EECA_Energy_Efficiency_First__Electricity__Overview_Report__July_2019.pdf

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>

ALSO:

XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Contributes To 1.6 Percent Fall In March Quarter GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1.6 percent in the March 2020 quarter, the largest drop in 29 years, as the initial effects of COVID-19 restrictions impacted on economic activity, Stats NZ said today. This quarter’s GDP results showed a widespread drop ... More>>

ALSO:


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB: Investor Confidence Falls To Four-Year Low

As the world grapples with the fallout from the most significant pandemic the world has seen in a century, economic concerns are weighing on investors, dragging investor confidence down to a four-year low in the first quarter of the year. For the three ... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Funding For R&D In New Zealand – Expert Reaction

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods has today announced $401.3 million funding for research and development through Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund. The fund includes $150 million for an R&D loan scheme, ... More>>

ALSO:


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>

ALSO:

Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>


DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Potatoes New Zealand: Protecting NZ Fries As Part Of PNZ Pandemic Recovery & Transformation Plan

Potatoes New Zealand has met with Minister Faafoi this week to discuss investigating the potential importation of heavily discounted frozen potato chips into New Zealand. With MBIE’s support we are undertaking an investigation to gather evidence of the ... More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO:


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO: