Energy is the material basis of human social activities. With the development of the world economy, the demand for resources has increased year by year. Due to the burning of fossils such as oil and coal, the carbon dioxide produced has an impact on the environment, and people are increasingly eager to improve the ecological environment and develop new energy without pollution. Solar energy is a clean and natural renewable energy source. It has the advantages of long-term, renewable and non-polluting. It will become a relatively important energy source. The development and utilization of solar energy has attracted the attention of the government. This article will focus on the benefits of using solar energy, analyze the solar power generation issues in New Zealand and the current state of solar energy utilization, propose relevant policy recommendations, and look forward to the future of solar power generation in New Zealand.
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Solar energy converts energy in the sun into electricity. It is a clean, natural renewable energy source. (Wikipedia, 2019). It can be used around the world and is available every day. Unlike some other energy sources, solar energy is inexhaustible. The development and utilization of solar energy will not cause air pollution, nor will it affect the natural ecological balance.
Home solar power works In a nutshell, a solar panel consisting of photovoltaic cells captures photons or particles in the sun and then converts the sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity through a PV cell. The inverter is connected to the solar panel by wires and then converts the direct current into alternating current. AC power enters the distribution box panel at home and is widely used to heat water, lighting or household appliances. (Wikipedia, 2019) There are many other benefits to using solar energy. HRV solar(2018) shows that Solar energy does not require any external power supply to work. The only cost is the manufacture and installation of components. Therefore, some people call it zero energy production costs.
Therefore, when a home installs a solar system, its electricity bill will drop. The cost they save will depend on the size of the solar system and its use of electricity or heat. In addition, if solar systems are connected to the grid, they can not only save on electricity bills, but also get paid for the remaining energy of the grid, thereby increasing the household’s investment income.
As the demand for solar panels increases, so does the number of solar panel production and installation companies, which can boost local job creation.
There are also some problems with using solar energy. First, solar energy is affected by geography and time. It is unstable. New Zealand’s biggest demand for solar energy is winter nights. In winter, rainfall is abundant, the sunshine time is short, and solar energy utilization efficiency is low. Second, the cost of photovoltaic materials and solar panels for solar power generation is too high. If a small area of solar panels is installed, the electricity generated will not be able to meet the household’s electricity needs. New Zealand’s solar development is still in its infancy, it operates in a completely free market, and the New Zealand government does not have any form of subsidy or support. As a result, the use of solar energy in the home has been slow to develop. According to an annual survey of SEANZ members, 400 solar systems were installed at home in 2012. (Wikipedia, 2019).
In the past few decades, with the advancement of modern technology, the price of solar energy systems has dropped by more than 50%. “In 2009, the average total contract price for a three-kilowatt standard PV system was approximately NZ$40,000, followed by a sharp decline to NZ$9,000 (Wikipedia, 2019).” As power generation costs increase and power costs increase, solar energy becomes A new economic method. Many homes are considering installing solar systems, and some families are trying to install small solar water heaters or solar lights, which is a good trend. To make it easier for users to install solar equipment, the New Zealand government’s energy management department provides a solar calculator to fill in home addresses and electricity usage. Calculate how long it takes for the house to install solar panels. “I have solar panels on my roof. My monthly electricity bill is about $20, including line costs. I have a box that can take power from the roof and heat the system for about 10 years.” (Hewie, 2015)In recent years, more than 20,000 homes in New Zealand have used solar energy to power their homes. Pullar(2015)reports that although this accounts for less than 1% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation, the growth rate is still rising rapidly. In the Nielsen area of the South Island of New Zealand, the number of households installing solar panels has also multiplied. The Power Network Association shows that the region is a leader in solar panel installation.
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Many countries (such as Japan, Australia, and Germany) now strongly support residents to install solar systems and use various preferential policies and subsidies to help clean energy. Japan has achieved great success in solar manufacturing technology and cost reduction. Avril, Mansilla, & Lemaire( 2012)state that Solar products have a market share of 30% in Japan. The Japanese government’s subsidy for home solar cells is equivalent to half the price of solar photovoltaic systems. At the same time, the price of public power grid acquisition of household power generation is also high. The Australian government will provide eligible applicants with a $1,000 tax rebate to install solar hot water systems in existing homes. (Australian Greenhouse Office, 2007) Rebates will be available to as many as 225,000 families in five years. (Yang, 2012) For customers, investing in solar systems is an attractive condition for improving economic efficiency.
New Zealand Electric Power Association President (SEANZ) Btendan Winitana stressed: “Family is currently facing an increase in winter heating costs. It requires strong government support to ease the burden. (Cited in NZHERALD, 2012)The government should play a leading role in advocating solar energy.” The government should seriously consider supporting the installation of home solar power systems. Solar power can be stored in a household battery or connected to the grid to sell excess electricity to the power company. It can bring economic benefits to users.
As we have seen. Solar power is an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source. It can be installed almost anywhere, bringing great convenience to people’s lives. With the gradual maturity of existing solar energy utilization technologies and the development of new ways, people living in houses that make full use of solar heating, cooling and power supply. However, due to many factors (economic, energy, technology, etc. ), there are still many programs that need to practiced and promoted. It may provide huge Financial and lifestyle benefits.
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- HRV SOLAR. (2018, August 21). How to maximise the benefits of solar power in New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hrvsolar.co.nz/blog/how-to-maximise-the-benefits-of-solar-power-in-new-zealand/
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