Green solar power policy

February 16th, 2014 at 4:01 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Government will loan households up to $15,000 at low interest rates to help them install if the are elected.

Party co-leader Russel Norman launched the new energy initiative this afternoon in Auckland, estimating that it would save a family $100 on electricity bills a year.

“Power prices have risen 22 per cent since National came to power, which means energy companies are making big profits while ordinary New Zealanders struggle to pay their bills,” Dr Norman said.

Under the proposed scheme, New Zealanders would be able to borrow the full cost of installing photovoltaic panels and then pay it back via their council rates over 15 years.

Greens had a target of 30,000 installations in three years, and hoped that the boost for the solar industry would create 1000 jobs and also make the technology cheaper by increasing demand.

The party said that a typical solar-powered system cost $10,000, and households would be able to get loans of up to $15,000.

Interest on the loan would be charged at the Crown’s low sovereign interest rate – currently 4.1 per cent. This rate was not fixed, and could increase over time.

Greens’ policy document said that a 3kW solar-powered system would produce $1000 of electricity a year.

Because households would be paying off the loan at $900 a year, it was expected to save families $100 each year for the first 15 years.

Solar power is a great supplemental power source. However it costs a lot more than other power sources. It can make sense to borrow to install a solar power kit, but you need to be damn sure you’ll be at the place you currently live in for at least the next 15 years.

Also the slightly lower interest rate may not result in much greater take up than at present (and remember the more the Government borrows, the more that rate of borrowing will increase).

A $10,000 loan for 15 years at 4.1% according to Sorted is $74 a month or $888 a year. So yes in theory you can save $2 a week under this policy – but that is not much for a 15 year commitment. But at 6.0% current floating rate, is it only $84 a month so are people going to flock to solar power being it is $10 a month cheaper for a 15 year loan? I’d be amazed.

And what if costs of solar installations increase, if demand does increase? If they cost $15,000 not $10,000 then the cost is $111 a month for 15 years.

This isn’t a terrible policy. There are far far worse policies around. Greater uptake of solar power would be a good thing – but mass uptake will only occur when the costs of solar power becomes comparable to other power types.  I just don’t think a 4.1% interest rate compared to a 6.0% interest rate will make much difference to uptake.

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111 Responses to “Green solar power policy”

  1. TheContrarian (1,094 comments) says:

    My personal feeling is that all new buildings should be fitted for solar. It doesn’t have to be much, enough to keep the hot water heating chugging along even. But it makes sense.

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  2. dime (10,222 comments) says:

    Contraries – your idea sucks.

    Why on earth should we inflict another cost onto “ordinary kiwis” who are trying to build a home for their “family”.

    As for the greens new turd, no way they get 30,000 unless they make it law

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  3. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    A banana republic future awaits NZ the moment the Luddites gain political and economic power!

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  4. alex Masterley (1,538 comments) says:

    Will a saving of $100.00pa on power charges mean a flood to borrow the 15K needed to fund installation of solar power?
    I think not.
    $100 saved will disappear in the flood of new taxes a grelab government would impose on us.

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  5. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Masterley

    Duh! The Green economy will make more than enough money to pay for this and the enforced reduction in dairy farming.

    Do try and keep up.

    BTW, how was the safety video, or did your have to pretend to be asleep?

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  6. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    Apropos my comment at The Standard on this:

    So the government loans the money; but that money it loans is actually mine because I pay it to them via taxes. And so the government is going to lend me my own money at a cheap rate to solar power my own home, which I pay rates on.

    I will then repay this loan (to myself) via my rates to the council (who is acting on behalf of me collecting it). If I default on the loan to myself, the council can sue me and sell my home, because the Rating Powers Act allows this.

    And so the end result of this absurdity is that if I default on a loan to myself the council can sell my home and collect my loan to me. Do I then get my loan (to myself) back?

    Wouldn’t it be easier just to lower taxes and other regulatory costs and let people spend their own money on their own solar energy? Or is that too simple for the Greens?

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  7. Michael (913 comments) says:

    Solar power tends only to be available when it’s not at high demand – on warm, sunny days. When demand is highest – cold, stormy, winter days – is when it won’t provide.

    And it’s ironic that the people going on about how this government is reducing the dividend payments from SOE electricity generators is trying to reduce demand and force high cost supply on them. Wonder how that will impact the dividends…

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  8. dog_eat_dog (787 comments) says:

    You’d have to own your own house for this to be any good. More feel-good pap for the upper-middle class from the heroes of the poor, the Greens.

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  9. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    This policy is ok but it’s far from compelling, the cost and payback period is still too marginal to be widely attractive.

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  10. alex Masterley (1,538 comments) says:

    TDM,

    Thank you for removing the log from my eye.

    And, It was the bloody hobbit safety video….

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  11. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Bummer. All that wasted expectation.

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  12. alex Masterley (1,538 comments) says:

    That it was.

    On the plus side the two koru club lounges I visited were entirely devoid of politicians so thank heavens for small mercies.

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  13. Yogibear (375 comments) says:

    Classic waste of money from the greens.

    This policy hugely benefits me as I’m looking at building a new house and going off the grid due to the distance from the road (and the prohibitive cost of running power over 1km). But I’m certainly not their target market, nor are the other major beneficiaries, namely people building new homes outside the rural urban boundary.

    Cretins would be better trying to fix the existing building stock if they want real savings. As the Business NZ research shows, you’d get more power bill savings fixing up crappy weatherboard homes than NZ Power or solar investment.

    [exits to the Monorail song from the Simpsons]

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  14. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    So the government loans the money; but that money it loans is actually mine because I pay it to them via taxes

    More accurately, the money is average and lower-income workers’ taxes being used to subsidise Russel’s middle-class dinner-party pals.

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  15. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    Not financially attractive enough returns from it for it to be a serious consideration to most homeowners, The Australian system was/is significantly better with the subsidies and returns the retailers would pay for them, quite a good idea for a new house or business though.

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  16. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    I tried both Excel and Sorted on this – they both show $15k @ 4.1% over 15 years as $111 per month.

    There is no storage system noted and NZ isn’t known for it’s 24/7/365 hours of sunshine.

    For most of the time the sun is shining, most houses will have no one home to use the ‘free’ electricity. However, they will be at home at night when the sun has set and using all manner of power hungry appliances.

    So they will still be on the grid (so will still have the fixed monthly charge to pay), will still be drawing power from the grid (so will still have usage charges), plus will have a $333 bill each quarter for the solar panel repayments.

    And the Greens try to claim the average household will save money? How many houses would be able to save more than $111 a month through partial use of solar – being at home when the sun is shining and consuming almost all of your electricity then and then only.

    In the words of the sage Darryl Kerrigan – Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’

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  17. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    The Greens are being a bit disingenuous with their claim that a 3kW system will produce $1000 p.a of solar power.

    Running the numbers, I would need everyone of Auckland’s yearly sunshine hours (2003, according to wikipedia) to be producing at full capacity – which is fucking impossible, unless you spend umpteen thousand dollars more and make some kind of fandangle contraption that will track the sun. Considering the heat intensity of those sunshine hours is not consistent, there is no way on god’s good earth, even with aforementioned contraption, that one could get remotely close to $1000 of production per year.

    Also, what they neglect to say, is that if you produce enough energy to sell back into the grid, you’ll only get about 30% of the price you pay for electricity from the grid.

    Why the fuck does our media not go after these cunts, rather than just print their press releases willy-nilly. Either theyre too thick, or complicit in the whole green-shenanigans.

    Edit: Oh, and what bhudson said above – the power will all be produced whilst everyone is at work/school/out in the sun enjoying themselves, effectively making it wasted.

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  18. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    BHudson & mister nui

    Most of the systems sold in Australia were on a gross feed in tariff, i.e. directly feeding to the grid and buying back so you would be getting paid a return on each kwh produced, you would need a pretty large system to break even or get a profit from it though so most systems were subsidising the cost of electricity for the consumer.

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  19. Than (514 comments) says:

    I have two concerns about this.

    First, photovoltaic cells lose efficiency over their lifespan. By the 15 year mark they would be producing something like 60-80% of their nominal installed output. This needs to be factored into any cost calculation.

    Second, the selling back into the grid part. How well would the electricity grid handle a geographically dispersed semi-random input of up to (3 kW x 30,000) = 90 MW? If improvements were needed to handle this sort of load (and there almost certainly would be) that would be millions (or tens, hundreds of millions) of additional cost that would presumably fall on the government.

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  20. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Rowan,

    In NZ, as mister nui pointed out, the return for feeding into the grid is minimal. (And is also capped at your monthly fixed charge if I recall correctly, so very difficult to see how the average working household is going to be able to save real money with this scam scheme.)

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  21. deadrightkev (610 comments) says:

    “This isn’t a terrible policy.”

    Yeah it is. If someone wants to put in solar they can do it without sucking the taxpayer. Ditto for home insulation.

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  22. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    BHudson
    In Aussie the returns started of at around 60-68c/kWh produced in NSW and Vic, which is significantly more than anything offered here. It has been chopped back now and was around 26c for new installs when I was last there.

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  23. TheContrarian (1,094 comments) says:

    “A banana republic future awaits NZ the moment the Luddites gain political and economic power!”

    Yeah because utilising and/or developing new energy technologies is being a Luddite. Idiot.

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  24. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    In Aussie the returns started of at around 60-68c/kWh produced

    Rowan, that is more than 3 times the cost of electricity!!!!

    Obviously, the subsidy was paid by the gummint…. Remind me again where the gummint gets its money from?

    Typically Australian policy, take heaps with one hand, filter it through a gummint bureaucracy and give a bit back.

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  25. edhunter (554 comments) says:

    Funnily enough a quick search here across the ditch tells me I can get a 4.5kw system installed for $6500.00 & a 3kw system for as little as $2800.00.
    Maybe Windflow are about to diversify into solar & be announced as the winner of the govt contract to provide said $10-15000 3kw systems to the nation, hey the greens need to prop up their pension fund somehow.

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  26. cha (4,144 comments) says:

    For most of the time the sun is shining, most houses will have no one home to use the ‘free’ electricity. However, they will be at home at night when the sun has set and using all manner of power hungry appliances.

    Have a wee think about why home installations will be tethered to the grid…

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  27. UrbanNeocolonialist (315 comments) says:

    Greens are generally colossal fuckwits, but this is a good idea.

    Reduces the spending that must be made on new generating and transmission infrastructure (a big issue as population grows), and at same time comes at almost zero cost to consumers or taxpayers (the govt is borrowing this money at the same rate as all other borrowings).

    Default can probably be guarded against by using the houses in question as collateral and with administration through IRD and their draconian powers there should be almost no non-collectable debts. A much better idea than foreign approach of feed-in tariffs.

    Most beneficial if used for solar hot water heating rather than photovoltaic. And it would be better still if people retained their grid connection so that they did not need to buy expensive and wasteful batteries. Eg if set up so that if they put a kWh into grid then they can take a kWh out at no cost at a later date.

    And why not extend it further to things like installation of improved insulation, LED lighting, heat pumps or other energy saving systems can be fitted to houses?

    No reason for National and Labour not to adopt this policy for themselves – and would take some wind out of the Green’s sails.

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  28. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The monetary competence of fools, no wonder these left-wing losers need to leech off taxpayers’ troughs to survive. They have no financial abilities, shown by their personal successes, yet they reckon they can cure all monetary ills . . . CRAP!

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  29. Warren Murray (316 comments) says:

    Hudson has nailed it. The real incentive is not whether the interest rate is slightly lower, but whether the energy savings are greater than the interest costs.

    The model that the Greens are proposing is similar to the retro insulation scheme, which they got National to adopt. Loans were available and repaid through the regional council rating system. Problem is that when i bought one of my houses, it had an extra rating charge for the insulation commitment entered into by the vendors. I made them clear it on settlement, not everyone would be so canny. At the time, i was able to borrow more cheaply than the interest the council were charging (not that it really mattered, just another detail which shows a flaw in this latest scheme, it assumes the cheapest money comes via the Govt or Council).

    Another defect in the insulation scheme, which i expect would also arise in this proposal, is it creates a new industry built on subsidies. When i enquired about getting one of my other houses re insulated, the variances in prices were astonishing. All were tapping into the subsidy, yet it turned out they were creaming it. The cheapest price was a couple of thousand dollars less than the highest price, but even the cheapest was much more expensive than buying the product at Bunnings and installing it myself.

    I heard from a mate that some installers would over estimate the product needed, giving them the opportunity to use the excess at the next job, a big rort. My own experience supports what i was told.

    The insulation scheme subsidy is more targeted now, but i think a lot of firms made hay while it lasted.

    This solar proposal, if implemented, will probably see the same behaviours repeated.

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  30. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    However it costs a lot more than other power sources.

    Not anymore. Photoelectric, in the proper situations, is now cheaper than diesel electric (widely used in India and the Pacific but about to be supplanted) and some mains supplied generation in the U.S. (they use a lot of aging coal and oil fired generation).

    It is increasingly a rational option and taking steps to support it is not unwise as it will relieve the need to invest in large generation projects.

    It ought be particularly appealing to people who believe in self sufficiency, small government and personal property rights as locally placed photo-electric removes issues created by invading properties to place large generators and transmission infrastructure while reducing any need for problematic regulation. While also removing several failure modes.

    There really is little need but being bloody minded to resort to ideological bickering to oppose encouraging this technology, it’s generally a win for every side of political and ecological debates.

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  31. Andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Reduces the spending that must be made on new generating and transmission infrastructure

    No it doesn’t, not to any real extent anyway because the infrastructure has to be built to meet peak demands, which in New Zealand are generally in the winter months, when the sun doesn’t shine and the available solar energy is at a minimum so these expense solar systems are doing SFA to reduce the load

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  32. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    In Aussie the returns started of at around 60-68c/kWh produced.

    Someone is out of date or being ripped off – modern photo-electric is on the order of AUD 0.25c per kwh, in circumstances that suite it (I believe, I’m trying to find a reference to check in case I am miscalling these numbers) which is about the retail price in NZ now but 10c over Australias.

    It must be remembered that your location is relevant to the calculation (local climate, distance from equator) and most of Australia is well suited while more southerly locales in NZ become a little marginal.

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  33. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    There really is little need but being bloody minded to resort to ideological bickering to oppose encouraging this technology, it’s generally a win for every side of political and ecological debates.

    Fentex, I’m not opposed to Solar Power, if people want it, they can go right ahead and install it. In fact, I have solar water heating on my place, and generally, I would recommend it to those that can afford it.

    What I am opposed to is;
    People (generally poor to middle class) being taxed so that wealthier people are subsidised to install something, which they can most likely afford anyway.
    Damn lies in a press release, which only take 2 minutes to smash to smithereens. Why can the greenies just not tell the truth on anything, instead of mislead with half truths?

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  34. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    If it were genuinely win-win we’d already be adopting the technology, without subsidy.

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  35. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    What he is saying Fentex, is that people were being paid 60-68c for every kW/h they produced. When you can buy power for 16c per kW/h in Australia, then it makes it a terrible scheme.

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  36. georgedarroch (303 comments) says:

    Many of the important aspects have been covered in a little detail above, so here are a few additions.

    This is also a climate change related policy. This is important to the Greens and New Zealanders who consider climate change important, I don’t expect it to be important to National.

    The policy appears similar to the California model (PACE), in which legislation is altered to ensure the loan attaches to the person rather than the property. Because the average ownership of a house is less than payback period of a system, this is important. The installing property-owner is taking on the risk that the system will pay less than expected, and the risk that the new property-owner will not want to take over the loan, and will thus devalue the property. These are possiblities. The California experience doesn’t indicate that these are common or likely, but no doubt opponents of the scheme will contend that they are.

    The price of solar photovotaics continues to drop significantly year on year (following a PV ‘Moore’s Law’), and this presents a significant potential upside for uptake.

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  37. Mags (38 comments) says:

    As Andrei says, peak demand still needs to be met – typically in winter at 6pm (no sun) when everyone is home from work and heating houses, cooking etc. Solar or other ‘renewables’ like wind, will always have the problem of needing spinning reserve to meet peak demand, all they can do is maybe make the storage in the hydro lakes last a bit longer.

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  38. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    Mister Nui
    Yes it was far to popular at that price so it was slashed, very attractive at $0.60+c/kwh, not so at $0.20+c, should have initially been priced at around $0.40+c initially then there would have probably been a heap more installs without the need to slash the FIT. You are right at the high FIT the poor neighbour on one side of the fence was literally subsidising the wealthy neighbours panels.

    Fentex
    Check your figures, the price of Elec in Aussie is around $0.25c/kwh on a standard meter, for a smart meter in Sydney (which you need for all solar panel instals) the peak rate was over $0.40c/kwh, with a cheap ofpeak rate, the panels were paying around $0.25c when I was last there about 2 years ago, it varies between states.

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  39. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    I live very rurally and have investigated solar power. The cost of a decent battery array to store all that solar power for use at a time when you need it – like at night for lights, the TV, internet etc plus the wiring of the house to switch from mains to battery and so forth is $10-15K. The Greens Policy doesn’t seem to factor that in. Also, the batteries only have a useful life expectancy of about ten years anyway.

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  40. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    Not a reason to vote for the greens, together with their cannabis policy and labours business tax policy its frightening the amount of damage that could be done with labour and the greens in power. I don’t think either is to much of a threat to National at the mo, not saying that National is great, they certainly aren’t but they are the best of a bad lot at the mo.

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  41. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    However it costs a lot more than other power sources

    According to this page, which includes a calculator to compare prices, photo-electric is now cheaper than all other electricity suppliers in the UK.

    I read a article somewhere last week that I haven’t managed to re-locate that illustrated that in the U.S photo-electric is now cheaper than the most expensive mains supplier there.

    I don’t know it for certain, not having access to the relevant numbers, but I suspect that at current costs given the rate at which power prices are increasing in NZ that photo-electric could pay for itself on the order of ten years (in the UK it’s currently 6 years).

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  42. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    infrastructure has to be built to meet peak demands, which in New Zealand are generally in the winter months

    Reining in the enthusiasm, yes. Much of NZ is unsuitable for hoping to completely replace at the least mains supplemented photo-electric. A combination of cheaper generation and capable batteries is needed to do that in colder southern climes.

    It’d be easier if we built better homes too, with better insulation than is installed as a rule.

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  43. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    What he is saying Fentex, is that people were being paid 60-68c for every kW/h they produced

    I completely misunderstood that.

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  44. adze (2,130 comments) says:

    This is clever by the Greens. Not because it’s a good idea to hit up the taxpayer for $15k a pop when demand for power is low and there are easier ways to increase efficiency, but because it’s an idea that would appeal to those who like “free” stuff from the government, and it’s a great way to keep the pressure on the current government over power prices.

    But the latter is the real reason for this policy. It’s another way to further spike the government’s partial privatisation agenda, and little has little to do with developing policy on its own merit.

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  45. alloytoo (582 comments) says:

    “Power prices have risen 22 per cent since National came to power…”

    Can this be verified?

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  46. adze (2,130 comments) says:

    I am actually a big fan of solar, the cost of PV solar has been coming down rapidly since the 1970s but the issue is storage. Battery tech has yet to catch up.

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  47. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “I am actually a big fan of solar, the cost of PV solar has been coming down rapidly since the 1970s but the issue is storage. Battery tech has yet to catch up.”

    But if you pump the excess power into the national grid you don’t need storage batteries and you get paid.

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  48. Ross12 (1,488 comments) says:

    Would Central Govt. be dictating the price paid for the feed in excess energy ( to the grid) or would it be left to the individual companies to offer their own deals? Given the NZ Power idea I think I know the answer.

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  49. J Bloggs (252 comments) says:

    “For most of the time the sun is shining, most houses will have no one home to use the ‘free’ electricity.”

    Except for those who work from home, or are at home parents, or at home on the weekends……..

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  50. corrigenda (142 comments) says:

    But, but, but. !!!!!! Do you recall a few years ago when we had a so-called power shortage. One consumer thought he would do his bit to use less power and installed, at the cost of (then) over $7,000, a complete gas hot water system. The power companies would be grateful he is using less power. NOT SO. They immediately RAISED his unit price to keep their income from his property at the same level, or so that was their excuse when challenged by (not sure which) Fairgo or Paul Holmes. So don’t be in too much of a hurry, you may get shafted from both sides! Also, the cranky Greens will promote ANYTHING to keep in front of the public in an election year.

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  51. anonymouse (705 comments) says:

    The gotcha in this plan, is to make it work the greens will have to compel power companies to buy generated solar at your current net price,

    So in effect everyone else who does not pick up the offer will pay the price for this scheme,

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  52. ChrisM (109 comments) says:

    Fentex

    If you actually read the trade papers (not the PR releases which at least a lot more credible than what the Greens put out), you would know that solar panels are so cheap because there is a massive oversupply and the factories are selling them at below manufacturing cost (also known as dumping). Even with the artificially increased demand, Suntech has gone bankrupt and there has been thousands of layoffs in the manufacturing cities.

    The quality is very poor as well – with a lot of untried materials. The failure rate has been up to 22% and there has been fires traced to the equipment. By five years, they would be generating very little power and people would still be paying off their loan.

    Anyway, why are the Greens promoting the sale of Chinese goods. Aren’t they against FTAs? And the manufacture is one of the dirtiest industries around.

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  53. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Have a wee think about why home installations will be tethered to the grid…

    @cha,

    For that you get less than 1/3 of the value of the power fed in, capped at your fixed monthly charge. It’s is turning the households into matrix-like drones (albeit at low interest rates.)

    If they gave a good goddamn about people saving money, their $15k installation would include some non ecologically-destructive storage capacity.

    Or perhaps the unspoken part of the policy was how the Green-State would force the excess solar power to be bought at retail value – now that would be a ‘super-subsidy’.

    That way I could pay for someone else to get a low interest loan for something that doesn’t really help me at all. Now that is Greens thinking.

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  54. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    cha

    I’ve seen grumbles to the effect that this highly attractive grid tethering concept hasn’t quite worked out the way the punters might have expected. I’ve also been told (following my own enquiry) that the anticipated market for this is ain’t so good (by people who flog the off-grid kit). I haven’t taken it any further or done a lot of work from what little I’ve done on it, the concept of flogging power back into the grid is a bit of a lemon.

    On that basis, the relevant bench-mark is more likely to be the cost of connecting to the grid.

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  55. Pongo (374 comments) says:

    Cheap loans to better off people that own their own homes, it may save them a few bucks on their power bills. Doesn’t NZ have about 80% renewables anyway….what is this supposed to achieve for the environment ? Swapping hydro for solar.
    Is there a single media outlet that can’t see the numerous flaws in this policy, so under a left wing government someone earning 150k gets a baby bonus and a subsidised loan to pop some trendy solar panels on their Herne bay mansion. WTF.

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  56. nasska (12,108 comments) says:

    At $10-15K per installation we are probably set to be screwed anyway.

    Same 3kWh system in England can be completed for 3995 pounds Sterling (about $8K NZ).

    Ref: http://www.directsolar.co.uk/3kw-solar-system/

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  57. PaulL (5,450 comments) says:

    Predictions:
    1. Net metering. Aka selling back into the grid at the same price you buy. Of course, the power generators can’t sell at the price you buy, so they’re advantaging home generation over “corporate” generation. This generally turns into a subsidy from poorer people to upper middle class people.

    2. The financials probably don’t quite work out. So there will be people who sign up for 15 years of debt and don’t end up better off. Hence why only upper middle class greenies will do it

    3. There must be costs of administering these loans via councils. Surely we could use people who are good at loans….say, banks?

    4. Yes, panels themselves keep getting cheaper. But there are two problems. a) the ancillary stuff (inverters etc) aren’t getting cheaper as quickly. b) it never makes sense to buy today – your payback is better by continuing to use the grid for another year, then buying panels next year. You’ll have them for 15 years, makes sense to buy the next generation which is more efficient.

    5. If it makes sense to buy solar, it shouldn’t need a scheme like this. Every no hoper will come out of the woodwork and install them badly – wait for stories of leaks, shorts, poor installs with partial shading (which destroys the net return of the system) etc etc.

    6. Agree, the Green’s super scheme will do very nicely indeed out of this.

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  58. nasska (12,108 comments) says:

    Davinci

    It’s a lemon whichever way you look at it. Stuff had an interesting article on the subject last year.

    ….” There is currently no policy in New Zealand regulating the price electricity companies pay for power, so prices ranged from as low as 3.5c a kWh to 25c a kWh.

    Meridian Energy buys solar electricity at 25c for the first 5kWh generated, and 10c after that.

    Meridian customers lose their “prompt payment discount” for exported solar power, which Wood said offered nothing more than a “feel-good factor” for consumers.

    He said Contact Energy, which offered a buy back rate of 17.285c excluding GST, was the best offer. “…..

    Ref: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/9329703/Are-solar-energy-systems-worth-the-cost

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  59. convicted radical (65 comments) says:

    You’re dreaming…….

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  60. holysheet (474 comments) says:

    Whats wrong with some good old alcathene pipe. Ive got one of those small pools your not supposed to have. connected it to 50 metres of black alcathene pipe and viola hot water running into the pool.

    cost
    Pool $75.00
    larger pump $76.00
    pipe and fittings $150
    all up cost 301.00
    It heats approx 4000 litres but only on a hot day when the sun is shining. Doesn’t work on an overcast day.

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  61. Camryn (481 comments) says:

    Like Bjorn Lomborg says… paraphrasing… our current “green” technologies are shit. Spending money to install solar now is like creating a household computer ownership scheme in 1960… stupid.

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  62. Nostalgia-NZ (5,322 comments) says:

    Saving $100 a year, where’s the appeal in that.

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  63. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    I’ve seen grumbles to the effect that this highly attractive grid tethering concept hasn’t quite worked out the way the punters might have expected.

    National power grids are big complicated beasts not, as a rule, designed for trickling power back into piecemeal from anywhere on suppliers whim rather than consumers demand. Micro grids using modern clever computing devices are better suited to the concept but present a bit of a chicken and egg problem in that they’d be great to have but can’t be dropped in at once to replace existing infrastructure.

    As I think photo-electric only makes sense for what you use of it yourself then the exact numbers to judge it on shouldn’t include the concept of pushing back to our grids (by my reckoning) as I think requiring payment for miniscule returns to our existing grid is only regulating a subsidy.

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  64. marcw (260 comments) says:

    The concept of solar energy with payback is fine, but…

    Who will regulate the buyback rate?
    The equipment to meter the feedin – who maintains that?
    Inverters need to be maintained, and generally need replacing after about 7 – 10 years. Who pays?
    Cleaning the solar panels is necessary to maintain efficiency, who pays?

    If you are home during sunny hours and can use the extra energy, that is good, or if you can time-shift to do washing, dishes etc, that is good.

    At best, it is a marginal scheme financially, but has lots of financial risk too. The price is feel good greeny emotion – not sure if it’s worth it for me.

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  65. hj (7,182 comments) says:

    Power won’t be so cheap when the Alpine Fault erupts.

    ‘What will happen to the rivers and lakes?

    Landslide dams with breakout flash flooding are very likely. Aggradation will deposit high sediment volumes in riverbeds lasting for many months. Huge sediment and gravel deposits will have downstream effects for years. Areas such as the Shotover River may be radically transformed.

    Rock avalanches falling into the water bodies may cause tsunami in lakes, rivers, and fiords. Areas such as Lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka, Hawea, Te Anau, Manapouri, Tekapo, Milford Sound Doubtful Sound are at risk from tsunami induced by massive landslips into the water.
    Electricity supply

    Damage to hydro electrical generation plants and transmission lines will result in an immediate shutdown of South Island power generation and widespread disruption of reticulation. Electricity supply is likely to be unavailable for many weeks or even months in some remote areas.

    The Clyde Dam has been built to very high specifications and it is unlikely it would suffer catastrophic damage.

    Damage to buildings and infrastructure will cause uncontrollable fires.

    The nature and location of the earthquake indicate that a relatively small number of people will be killed. However, a large number of people will suffer disabling injuries.”

    http://www.orc.govt.nz/Information-and-Services/Natural-Hazards/Great-Alpine-Fault-Earthquake/

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  66. Spam (368 comments) says:

    Low interest loan? Hmm. What happens when someone who buys into this scheme can’t afford to pay it back? Will Russel be on Campbell live explaining why the debt collectors are quite right in trying to collect this debt from people who have a noose around their neck from his wonderful policy?

    Watch it go to interest free loans for those on low incomes, or some other stupid idea like mandating it for landlords or for housing New Zealand houses.

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  67. Spam (368 comments) says:

    Oh – and did Russel calculate the savings based on the actual price of electricity, or what it is going to cost in the new utopian society under Kiwipower. I expect that Kiwipower is going to be so awesomesauce that electricity will be free.

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  68. coge (190 comments) says:

    Greens are hopeless with real world numbers. Didn’t they offer something similar during the Clark Govt? Only certain Govt contracted suppliers & installers would be part of the scheme, of course they charged like the proverbial. No one took up the scheme as it was economic lunacy. Cheaper to do it privately.

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  69. Ross Nixon (517 comments) says:

    The Palmerston North City Council announced a few months ago that they are installing photovoltaic cells to provide 10% of their main site’s energy requirements. They also stated that the payback period was *one* year! I guess this is an ‘economy of scale’ thing, being a larger than domestic installation…. but I’m hoping there will be good competition in the domestic market to bring the cost down. A payback time of 3-5 years must be easily achievable.

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  70. unitedtribes (30 comments) says:

    I hope this a substitute for their even nuttier power policy

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  71. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Solar is a Technical Purchase not an Ideological purchase

    Companies like Kyocera have Solar installation that are 20-25 years old and maybe some older installs that
    are just cooking just fine

    Guess What it is OLD AND PROVEN tech TECHNOPHOBES

    Now the thing with Solar like everything is the LOONIES from the LEFT
    and the LOONIES from the RIGHT and the LOONIES from the CENTRE RIGHT AND LEFT

    Spoil it LIKE THE SPOIL everything because

    Rather than taking a Pragmatic technical approach to Energy and Infrastructure
    they make everything large or small an ideological debate or back handers

    WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR TRAMS DORKLAND? AUCKLAND

    Australia is has an will implement Solar

    DO YOU WANT COAL Tony Does

    Solar is infrastructure

    I am getting some I am getting Good Solar at a Good price
    it is like anything with Due Diligence

    Can tell you a lot about Solar

    But will tell you one thing
    NZ has massive Solar potential
    your temperatures rarely get over 32degrees

    You get enough sun to make it feasible the reason it is not
    is

    There are too many D heads

    You need to go back to debating
    something dear to your hearts
    IF or IF NOT to GIVE DA KIDS DA BASH

    eh New Zealand

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  72. Simon Arnold (102 comments) says:

    ChrisM @ February 16th, 2014 at 7:00 pm touches on an interesting contradiction.

    The $15k is basically buying ones future power in one hit, in the form of silicon and metal imported predominantly from China (at a low price courtesy of a free trade deal).

    I’d have thought the Greens would have preferred to see power (or the avoidance of demand for power eg insulation) that was more “NZ made”.

    I should add that (knowing a bit about energy technologies) now is hardly the time to be encouraging our population at large to be “going long” on PV, which is what this policy is doing.

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  73. Newbie (56 comments) says:

    If I understand right, if your house is on tie-grid and there’s a power cut somewhere, the power to your house will also be cut.

    That being the case, it defeats the purpose of being prepared for emergencies. Thankfully, power cuts are rare, but if there’s a major power cut (eg, earthquake) you won’t be able to access the power despite having the equipment to generate it!

    (I’d be interested to know if there was a way of over riding this power cut thing.)

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  74. OneTrack (3,375 comments) says:

    anonymouse – “The gotcha in this plan, is to make it work the greens will have to compel power companies to buy generated solar at your current net price,”

    If the Greens are in power, surely the power companies wouldn’t be involved. In the brave new Labour/Green world of envy, NZ Power is buying the power from the power companies (at least until they are nationalised), so, surely consumers would be buying power from NZ Power, at the price that Russel sets in his Beehive office. And NZ Power would be buying power back from the consumer at…..whatever price Russel sets.

    What could go wrong?

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  75. Akld Commercial Lawyer (166 comments) says:

    Hmmm, I smell a snowjob coming. There is merit in small generation plants closer to load – to reduce line losses and provide more nimble responses to peak and troughs in demand. That is where the technology such as Bloom energy servers are heading. A sort of dual fuel genset that is being used in the server farms for the big US brands. Poor old NZ was a generation early with Maui gas – and this might have been a better use than burning it at Huntly. Sadly, once we tapped the field, we were faced with having to use it.

    Anyway, the proportion of electricity generation that is generated by hydro is just over 50%. The Waitaki schemes in aggregate are a bit over 30% and readers of KB will know about Manapouri. And a very high proportion of electricity usage in the South Island is from hydro and the rest is transmitted north – as will Manapouri when/if Tiwai Point is re-configured and and national grid upgrade continues (Transpower has some excellent material on its website for all to follow).

    The engineers tell me that solar is probably another generation (i.e. our kids generation) away from being seriously viable for the average NZ household in both engineering and economic terms – for the same accumulation of reasons noted by others on this thread. But it will need to be used in conjunction with other measures such as smarter home design – perhaps something to think about as some of the lessons from Chch start to filter into the Building Code not just in terms of how we build houses (lighter roof, footplate and topplate tied together etc) but also more thermally efficient.

    To me, this is not an announcement about the small catchment of home-owning middle class folk with green sympathies – but another prong on the attack on the economic orthodoxy associated with larger scale renewable generation from hydro as being the most cost-effective use of scarce capital in this funny little economy. The wider plan is to undermine the sort of meat & potatoes analysis coming from the Electricity Commission because it will lead to the next Project Aqua. Their agenda is a green one – its the same one that has us looking closely at the nations’ dairy herd, banning fracking etc etc.

    There will not, of course, be any of this analysis from the MSM – they are too lazy to do anything than pull some old data down from the next about solar and leave things there. By the by, the NZ taxpayer is busy installing a large solar plant in Afghanistan as a parting gift as our NZDF engineers leave. And the installations making headlines in the US seem to be industrial scale ones -imagine the RMA appeals over loss of amenity values for (say) a solar farm on Waiheke Island!

    I await the next prong of the Green snowjob on Power NZ.

    (Oh – there are an estimated 1,769,000 privately owned households in NZ (Statistics NZ – from the latest census). Quite a big debt burden if you take the Greens at face value isn’t it?)

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  76. Simon (785 comments) says:

    So bad hard to know where to start.

    Anyway has Wussel made disclosure that he doesnt have financial interest in solar power companies? He needs to do this first.

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  77. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    Ok so here is the plan. We tax you hard then lend that money back to you with interest accruing. I know if you saved it you’d be earring the interest but don’t be capitalist ok… Give it to us, we’ll lend it back to you so you can spend it.

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  78. Crusader (328 comments) says:

    Power won’t be so cheap when the Alpine Fault erupts.

    Exactly hj. Then the true cost of the clean air policies becomes evident. Cold houses, without cooking or hot water. For months. In South Island winter. Then even the Greenies will be regretting policies that stopped folks having wood burning stoves in cities. The Feb 2011 earthquake was in summer. Next big one could be in middle of winter. Be prepared folks. Do not rely on any council or government agency to come to your rescue.

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  79. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Houses are too expensive. Why doesn’t the government borrow hundreds of billions of dollars and then lend it to home-buyers at the crown sovereign interest rate? Sure, the government would have a huge debt on its books, would have its credit rating reduced, and would take on all the risk of people defaulting on their home loans. But it can’t be any riskier than having billions of dollars worth of solar subsidies sitting as debt on the government’s books.

    On the other hand, even at their optimistic figure for the amount of electricity generated which assumes a lot more sun than most of the country gets. And ignoring deterioration of the panels over time. The saving is $100 a year. I spend that amount on lunch every couple of weeks. Is there anyone in the country that would fork out $15,000, take on financial and technology risk, fill out a ton of forms, and have workmen climbing all over their roof for a benefit of $100? A benefit which might disappear completely if there is a slight change in interest rate or there is a cloudy summer. It’s just insane.

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  80. Farmerpete (58 comments) says:

    At $100 per year savings that means it will take 150 years to get payback on the system. i.e. 150 yrs by $100 = $15000. Of course this doesn’t factor in interest costs or take account of price rises but by any reckoning it is lunacy.

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  81. Duxton (659 comments) says:

    Solar power is only worth the investment if the buyer/houseowner buys the add-ons that will allow unused power to be exported back to the national grid. Anything else is a wasted investment

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  82. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    I guess having spending on solar power tax deductible would be too easy.

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  83. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    but you need to be damn sure you’ll be at the place you currently live in for at least the next 15 years.

    My understanding is that the plan is for the debt to attach to the property, to be paid for by, essentially, an additional rate.

    The plan is that if you leave the property before it’s paid off, the new owner of the property will have the obligation, not the person who initially signed up.

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  84. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    What gear is the 10- 15 k based on?

    if you paid 10k for a 3.0kw system

    just telling you

    YOU ARE BEING RIPPED OFF BADLY
    SO BADLY IT IS NOT FUNNY

    LIKE ROGERED – LIKE CRIMINAL

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  85. Lance (2,719 comments) says:

    A few points.
    Anything reliant on govt subsides and other subsides like artificially high feed in tariffs will ALWAYS end in tears.
    Just look at Aus, I mean really look. At the end of each crazy flurry of activity the industry is left in tatters as the rip off merchants and incompetents clear out for the next quick buck. Leaving the competent companies behind to try and pick up the pieces.

    Also solar thermal (hot water) is far better value than PV, even now. This a big topic but there is a euphoric excitement about PV that doesn’t actually standup to close scrutiny. Solar thermal has storage that doesn’t require increased national level spinning reserve, a massive headache with Solar PV. Solar thermal also requires vastly smaller roof space as it is 400-500% more efficient at harvesting the suns energy than PV.

    To sell power back to the grid has 2 problems.
    1. It usually requires that other people subsidise it as it is way to low to be worth it normally (often generators only get 2 cents a unit)
    2. A microgeneration plant will need to raise the voltage to ‘reverse’ the power flow. This is small and no big problem when one or two installations in an area are doing this. But when multiple installations are in the same area the voltage can rise too much and trip out the local inverters and cause problems with appliances in surrounding houses. This phenomenon is a reality in parts of Australia where heavily subsidised Govt PV Grid Tie installations have to be capped.

    As I said this is a massive issue and it looks like the Greens have not done their homework on this.

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  86. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Remember in Aus which is actually a continent not a country
    in many places there is NO GRID

    So they have to make it work and they do

    Some people here have been off grid 20 years?

    They have a beast of a battery/grid inverter by an Aus company called selectronic
    not cheap not the only one but…….awesome

    The Left and Right can talk IDEOLOGICAL C R A P until the cows come home on this and they will
    and they will put in schemes and tarifs and remove them and put them back in

    I MEAN YOU PRETEND RIGHT WINGERS WANT PEOPLE TO FEED POWER INTO THE GRID FOR FREE DO YOU?

    GOD YOU SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF GOD DAMNED COMMUNISTS

    AND HEY IF YOU HAVE NOT NOTICED THE COMMIES will get SOLAR RIGHT eventually

    THEY HAVE TO THEIR CITIES ARE POLLUTED C R A P HOLES

    Solar Helped keep the Grid Stable in the Heatwave
    less power outages were required

    Ironically in High Temperatures Solar becomes less efficient
    does not stop working just less efficient

    That is one problem NZ does not have

    Like I said you need to go back to talking about if or if not
    TO GIVE THE KIDS A BASH IN THE HEAD

    That is what you are best at NZ

    To get the right Answer you need to ask the right Question

    Solar works but what types and how IT is your problem

    While ideological retards have agued about
    SMACK ING THE C R AP out of kids as part of Parental Guidance

    Did anyone ask How is the Best way to Nurture the children in NZ?

    Murder Rate just below Mexico for christs sake

    It is your approach to everything IDEOLOGY WITHOUT PRAGMATISM
    IDEOLOGY WITH OUT TECHNOLOGY

    That is why the best you can do is have your Prime Minister hold
    up chinese milk powder with a Koala on it

    IMPLEMENT SOLAR SHUT UP AND DO IT and SEE IF YOU CAN GET IT RIGHT

    IT’s not like anyone’s any good and getting Coal out of the Ground are they?

    Hey and while your are at it
    PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS NOT A SOCIALIST CONSPIRACY

    Try for more than ONE ELECTRIC TRAM

    You know electricity is better than burning COAL for FUKISHIMAS sake

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  87. Psycho Milt (2,429 comments) says:

    It’s weird, but every time I see one of these SHOUTY ALL-CAPS RANTS

    I get a mental image of an ex-wiife somewhere worried the restratining order isn’t going to protect her.

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  88. Southern Raider (1,777 comments) says:

    NZ Herald headline today claims “Experts back solar plan” but then only quote one energy analysis and you have no idea if she qualified yet independent.

    Did Herald journalists actually go to school. When I give my two year old a lolly she damn well knows it is only one, not many.

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  89. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Solar has merit but it wouldn’t be smarter for me. I’d be much more interested in a similar scheme for double glazing – it makes more sense to reduce energy needs as much as possible before adding alternative energy generation.

    Solar is not smarter for me.

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  90. Brian Marshall (205 comments) says:

    I agree Pete, that would make better economic sense. If this was about reducing people’s power prices, there are better ways of doing it than going solar. And if it was such a good idea we’d be doing already without subsidies.

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  91. OneTrack (3,375 comments) says:

    “… and it looks like the Greens have not done their homework on this.”

    Again? But, but, engineering and economics is so “hard” and it wasnt required for my “Indigenous Wimmins” degree.

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  92. OneTrack (3,375 comments) says:

    Graeme – “The plan is that if you leave the property before it’s paid off, the new owner of the property will have the obligation, not the person who initially signed up.”

    The reality is, when you try and sell the house, any prospective owner will offer you less for the house because they will know that there is the requirement for them to pay that loan off. The other likely result is there will simply be less buyers because some people just wont want to screw around with it.

    The outcome is the initial buyer is going to be hit for the full cost.

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  93. alex Masterley (1,538 comments) says:

    Southern Raider, I saw that point too. The plural of expert suggests more than one but after I saw that dear old Molly Melliush was the expert I concluded no others would appear. perhaps to balance Molly, Bryan Leyland should be asked for comment.

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  94. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    I tweeted on double glazing being smarter for me and Russel Norman responded:

    Can’t do everything at once. We did solar hot water, then insulation, now solar electricity. One step at a time.

    I replied “I understand that, but I would prefer to see reducing energy needs as a priority rather than additional generation.”

    @RusselNorman:

    Well we did achieve 230,000 homes retrofitted with insulation, ie energy efficiency. Solar Homes next part of journey.

    I’ve done the insulation on the scheme, added heat pump and efficient fire. Double glazing is smarter next step.

    Why not offer either solar or double glazing? It’s just a loan, simple to offer for the best choice for individuals.

    I get the impression that offering the most sensible choice doesn’t fit with carefully packaged Green marketing. I hope they will consider widening and improving their policy.

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  95. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    A useless policy endorsed by a pommie ex-unionist . . . a effen crock!

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  96. Lance (2,719 comments) says:

    @Pete George
    Interesting that Russel thinks Solar Hot water has been done.

    More like ‘done like a dogs dinner’.

    A cock up that only the govt could manage. So fucked up was the implementation that the public lost interest. I don’t blame them, half arsed pseudo-experts and meddling by hangers on (academic’s etc) the combined intellect of which couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery.
    EECA is used as a swear word by competent Solar Hot Water professionals.

    The the icing on the cake was a totally fucked up govt report that criticized Solar Hot water because it didn’t solve the winter power shortage. The only problem was that wasn’t the FUCKING requirement set to the industry, it was loud and clear that cheapest is best yet that was not what was evaluated. Arrgghhh.

    Wankers one and all.

    Now the same wankers wan’t to totally fuck up Solar PV. There will be a train wreck – a – comin….. again.

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  97. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    http://pvoutput.org/

    http://pvoutput.org/

    http://pvoutput.org/

    For anyone considering Solar it is live Data of PV installations

    PVOUTPUT.ORG

    Before talking anything technical that might benefit all the people of NZ
    Ensure you consult your obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi

    Solar is Infrastructure – How is that classified under the Treaty

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  98. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    :evil: Power prices have risen because EVERY GAUD DAMN FREAKING TIME power companies have tried to build new generation plants, fuckwits like Russel Norman stand up and scream OH NO!!! YOU CAN’T BUILD THAT HERE!!

    And then they complain because power is too expensive.

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  99. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Some excellent Technicians participate on this Forum

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/143?g=371

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  100. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    The reality is, when you try and sell the house, any prospective owner will offer you less for the house because they will know that there is the requirement for them to pay that loan off. The other likely result is there will simply be less buyers because some people just wont want to screw around with it.

    I wasn’t disagreeing with this as a possibility. It will be a selling point for some, and a discouragement for others.

    But DPF’s argument that you will have to intend to live there for 15 years before signing up to this isn’t true given the way the scheme is designed, is all.

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  101. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Power prices have risen because EVERY GAUD DAMN FREAKING TIME power companies have tried to build new generation plants, fuckwits like Russel Norman stand up and scream OH NO!!! YOU CAN’T BUILD THAT HERE!!”

    You mean that nuclear power plant on Matiriti Matangi Is RRM? You be fine with that?

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  102. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    So, the consensus is that it’s an absolutely crap idea.

    Meaning that the melons will absolutely look to implement it.

    But then maybe Norman could just print the money to pay for it.

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  103. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    Some excellent Technicians participate on this Forum

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/143?g=371

    That is an interesting link. Having read some of the topics there where people go into depth about the cost of their photo-electric systems and expenses, debating changing rates, maintenance, opportunity costs etc, it seems the worse case is a return on investment in ~10 years in Australia with best cases possibly substantially better (though hard to pin down for all the variables).

    It encourages me, especially given our higher power prices.

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  104. Lance (2,719 comments) says:

    @Fentex
    Beware the Aus installs are subsidized.

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  105. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    And Australians tend to have a lot more sun than most of us, especially in winter.

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  106. Fletch (6,532 comments) says:

    Got this from facebook – solar power has been tried and mostly failed in the U.S, with solar companies going bankrupt hand over fist – even govt sponsored ones like Solyndra. The panels are inefficient (as Google, the company found) and must be kept VERY clean. Hard to do in a dusty country such as New Zealand.

    As one solar company after another goes out of business, here is what investors do not know and promoters will not tell you: Solar panels do not work that well.
     
    Sometimes not at all. But for several years, most solar systems, big and small, were so heavily subsidized, they were practically free. So lots of people did not really care.
     
    Not enough to check the output of their systems. The few who did often had a big surprise.
     
    Shares of First Solar (FSLR +0.61%) recently took a 10% hit on one day after the company told investors its panels made in 2008-2009 had problems. Here is how the stock has performed over the years:
     
    It is not a surprise that First Solar’s panels failed. It is surprising anyone found out. 

    Solar systems fail in a lot of different ways. Let’s look at four.
     
    Dirt: Google (GOOG +0.24%) was among the first to figure this out, maybe because it was among the first to do a large-scale solar array.
     
    Unlike the owners of most solar systems, Google was eager to learn about how its system performed. Six months after installing its system, Google learned it was only getting about half of the power it expected.
     
    That was the first shock. The second was realizing that a large solar array was not just one system but thousands. Each panel a mini-power plant. And the only way to figure out if the individual panels were working was to test each one.
     
    There go your solar savings

    The gang at Google figured out that the farmer next door had plowed a field, kicking up the dirt, knocking down its power. Solar panels have to be cleaned, sometimes often.
    And the place where they need the most cleaning is where solar panels work the best: The desert. But that is where water is scarce and expensive.

    MORE – http://money.msn.com/technology-investment/post.aspx?post=1caf21ea-2252-440d-8273-89a35459fcb0

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  107. Lance (2,719 comments) says:

    Seems like Meridian get it

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9730481/Industry-questions-solar-economics

    Also if people actually think the gear is going to hum along without failures (especially the inverter) and degradation for 25 years they are away with the fairies. Can you think of ANYTHING electronic you own that you expect to last for more than 10 years?

    Inverter failures after a couple of years are common in Aus.

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  108. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    Take money the government should be investing in major power infrastructure and lend to households… Brilliant … all care no responsibility – then call this sustainable.

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  109. ben (2,280 comments) says:

    $2/week saving? What if the life of solar cells is less than R. Norman thinks? Apart from reducing the time for free power post 15 years, it will presumably increase maintenance costs. Not a lot of room to move with $2/week saving – only a minor miscalculation in durability will translate to higher costs. Which would be about normal for top down political spending promises.

    What if the actual delivered energy is less than on the sticker? That is par for course on wind energy – not sure about solar. But again – only a minor deviation due to local conditions will turn this into a loser for households. Then what, Russel?

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  110. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Hell Give up while you are ahead NZ

    How many people does it take to change a light bulb

    The Tenant to report the property Manager
    the manager to inspect and notify the Landlord
    the Land lord to book the electrician
    the electricain to analyse that the light bulb needs changing

    ALL UP COST $250-$300

    I could fly back jeststar and DO IT MY SELF

    That is conventional electricity – good lord

    Solar takes technical knowledge professionalism and integrity

    those are the scarce resources not Sunlight as Victoria and Tasmania
    have effective solar and climates similar to NZ

    I had to reject a “KIWI” solar sales mans proposal

    Panels in the Shade
    Panel Bad Chinese not German as Marketed
    also Lied about them Being used of an AUs GVT install?
    mind you he quoted me 6800 for dog turd solar

    mind you maybe he was just following order from his boss

    Seriously you can get a Good 4.5kw system for 6.5-10kAUS

    so a 3.0kw for 10k even given the exchange rate is a RIPPPPPPPPP OFFF

    esp if it is the same type of SCUM BAG I gave the flick

    Solar is Great it is just that F wits are spoiling it for everyone

    electricity it is a great thing
    IT IS INFRASTRUCTURE

    But hey like the electric light rail you had
    nearly 100 years ago

    I TRUST
    YOU WILL FIND A WAY TO STUFFFFF IT UP
    UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY

    For everyone

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

    Solar has been around 20-30 years
    certain companies will still be doing it in another 30

    You will still be arguing IDEOLOGY

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  111. Rowan (2,611 comments) says:

    Better to borrow the money from the solar companies as many of them will have low interest deals similar to what the greens are offering. At the end of the day this sort of policy will do nothing to the renter/beneficiary/student/low income household who are the real parties who could be better of with any savings, it will just be these parties who end up subsidising the true cost of the solar, i.e. robbing Peter to pay Paul. Another reason not to vote for the greens.

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