Solar power in New Zealand

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Solar powered channel marker

Solar power in New Zealand currently only generates 0.1 percent of New Zealand’s electricity.[1] Although there are no subsidies for solar power in New Zealand, [2] the declining costs of solar power has caused a large increase in demand in this free market over the last few years. The price for a residential sized solar power system is now one third of the price that systems sold for in 2008.[2]


Solar photovoltaic systems have to date (January 2014) been installed in 50 schools in New Zealand through the Schoolgen program, a program developed by Genesis Energy to educate students about renewable energy, particularly solar energy. Each school has been given a 2 kW capacity photovoltaic system, with a total distributed installed capacity of 100 kilowatts-peak (kWp). From February 2007, through to January 2014, a total of 513 megawatt-hours of electrical energy have been recorded.[3]

As at December 2013, New Zealand's largest solar power plant was the 99 kWp array installed at the Yealand Estate winery in Blenheim.[4] A 100 kW system is planned for the Palmerston North City Council.[citation needed]


A 2012 study claimed that photovoltaics are already cheaper than grid power for small systems in all of New Zealand.[5]

Meridian Energy offered net metering as early as 2008, but since 2013 only offers this on the first 5 kWh exported to the grid, remaining exports are credited at a lower rate. If net metering is not offered, the largest system that becomes economical is one that generates no more than is directly consumed. For a homeowner that leaves during the day and does not consume hardly any energy until later in the day, net metering is essential. For a larger system, sized to provide all of the electricity used during the year, net metering needs to be available continuously, so that excess generated during the summer can be consumed in the winter. Net metering best practices recommend no limit, either individual or aggregate, and allowing perpetual roll over of kilowatt credits.[6] Since electric meters normally accurately record in both directions, net metering is an accounting procedure, and not something that requires notification or signing up for in advance. It is, however, something that power companies need to anticipate and accommodate.


Source: NREL[7]
Year Photovoltaics CSP

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Green energy". PowerSwitch, Consumer NZ. 
  2. ^ a b "The price of a solar power system". My Solar Quotes. 
  3. ^ "Schoolgen". Genesis Energy. 
  4. ^ Porter, David (15 January 2014). "PowerSmart tackles big solar double". 
  5. ^ "Grid Supply and Solar PV Electricity Rates". SEANZ. 30 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Net Metering". DSIRESOLAR. 
  7. ^ "PV Watts". NREL. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 

External links[edit]