Research by the Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand (SEANZ) has revealed that solar installations in the country have increased by 370% over the past two years, bringing the industrys worth to approximately NZ$40 million (US$33.6 million). Current installed PV capacity now stands at 8.2 MW across the country.
"Revenue is growing at a rate of 100%, and exports are currently 25% of total revenue," said SEANZ chairman, Brendan Winitana. "We are seeing strong enquiry from consumers, and have attracted more installers to the sector."
SEANZ believe that the two key drivers behind PV growth in New Zealand are cost and control: New Zealand homeowners and businesses are increasingly eager to take advantage of the ever-cheaper installation prices, and to wrest control away from the utility companies.
"It has never been cheaper to install solar systems and harvest the energy of the sun," added Winitana. "The equivalent of 50 solar installations are taking place [in New Zealand] each month, and SEANZ’s bi-annual survey shows that the majority (77%) of solar generating capacity is on-grid, enabling the home or business owner to sell any surply energy back to the grid."
Improved storage technology will take New Zealand’s solar revolution to the next level, believes Winitana, prompting greater numbers to install rooftop solar and a battery back-up in order to increase self-consumption and storage of clean energy.
"Battery innovation will make a tremendous difference to overall load on the grid," predicts Winitana. "It will reduce consumers’ cost of electricity as they access stored energy that their home systems have generated, and will also further support the uptake of electric vehicles."