Despite Buy-back Drop Solar PV Still Works

Contact Energy and Meridian’s announcement to significantly lower buy-back rates from solar PV this week has caught the headlines and created a bit of storm. While it’s disappointing that power companies keep shifting the goal posts on buy-back rates, thus complicating peoples’ investment decisions, solar still makes a lot of financial sense.

There’s been a bit of hysteria from people exclaiming the reductions equates to some sort of mortal wound to the solar industry. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While a higher buy-back rate would improve the business case for solar PV, it’s already exceptional without subsidies.

Every week Solar Electric Technology installs systems with returns on investment ranging from 10-20%! Pay back periods are now down to six or seven years, sometimes lower. The most important aspect of making solar PV financially attractive is using the power produced onsite. If this can be achieved the majority of the time, it will work, if it can’t it probably won’t – it’s not rocket science.

There are new technologies such as the NZ made ImmerSUN from Enasolar which work with appliances such as hot water cylinders to make sure they are charging on solar power during the day to minimise the amount of power exported to the grid. Clothes washing, dish washing, and electronic charging can all be done during the day. Solar can be made to work for most households.

Businesses primarily use power during the day and their returns from solar are generally better than for households. Businesses hit the sweet spot of being able to install larger systems, meaning less expensive per unit costs and economies of scale combined with power being consumed onsite during the day.

It would be great if power companies stopped changing their minds every five minutes so better informed market decisions could be made. In the meantime – just cut the power companies out during the day by going solar. Make a sound financial investment and lower your carbon foot print. It’s a win-win.

Interested in how solar cold work for you? Check out our solar PV packages.

Ground Mounted System

Ground mounted frames, can be an excellent alternative for times when roof space is limited, or the client would like the option to "add on" in the future.
We recently completed the installation of a 5.2kWp grid tie solar system in Christchurch on a ground mounted frame.
The client wishes to add  on another 5.2kWp grid tie system in the future, so that he has a 10.4kWp size system in total.
Generally our clients choose to fit the panels to their roof, as it is usually cheaper and they don't necessarily have the space on the ground to place the panels.
Our ground mount frames are very strong and are engineered to handle very high wind zones, making them an excellent choice when roof mounting is just not an option.
Ground Mount 2
Ground Mount

Recent 3kWp Installation

We have recently completed an "Off Grid" installation in the Brook Valley which is situated 5 min's from Nelson City Centre.
The home we were installing on was built by Hybrid Homes. The company specialise in building sustainable, eco friendly homes 
The "Off Grid" installation once again proved to be extremely cost effective. The final cost of the entire system,  costing less than it would have cost to connect power to the property. And the cherry on top…Our client will never need to pay for power again!!
The house runs off of a 3kWp solar array with a back up diesel generator and a solar water heating system to heat their water.

3kWp Installation Brook

The Nelson Mail- Aaryn Barlow says Solar Electric Technology is showing the way, fostering “Green Industries”

Aaryn Barlow is to again contest the Nelson seat for the Green Party in this year's election but will be chasing only the party vote, he said today.

"I'm excited to have been selected to represent the Greens again. New Zealand is at a crossroads environmentally, socially and economically and has the opportunity to elect its first truly progressive government in a generation this year," Barlow said. Local issues included the immediate effects of climate change, Nelson's low "sunshine wages" and the need to foster new "green industries", a field in which Nelson companies like Switch Lighting, Absolute Energy and Solar Electric Technology were showing the way.

Barlow, communications head for the Nelson Environment Centre, said last month his demotion on the party list was "unexpected" but he was committed wherever he ended up on the final list.

RenaSola Named “Top Brand PV” by EuPD Research

ReneSola Named "TOP BRAND PV" in Benelux by EuPD Research

RenaSola recently announced it has been awarded a "TOP BRAND PV" seal in the union of states of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg ("Benelux") by EuPD Research, the leading market intelligence company in the sustainable business sector and an independent brand management appraiser of module manufcacturers inGermany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Benelux, and France.


Surveys  which were conducted between Nov 2013 and Jan 2014, which took into account factors such as, unaided brand awareness,distribution & overall effectiveness of brand management allowed the EuPD Research market analysts to identify the preferences of solar PV installers in Benelux when recommending module brands. The "TOP BRAND PV" seal identifiesReneSola modules as having differentiated themselves from their competition in the perception of customers and industry participants.


"This achievement is the result of years of research and development by ReneSola's technical experts, along with the tireless efforts of our European sales and marketing teams," said Mr. Jijun Shi, president of the European region of ReneSola. "Recognition like this inspires us to work even harder to duplicate such success across all our major markets and establish the brand image, competitive differentiation, and credibility among consumers that the 'TOP BRAND PV' seal represents."


The company was founded in 2005.ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) is an international leading brand and technology provider of green energy products. The company has a powerful global presence, and an impressive & expansive OEM and sales network

What is the “Tier system” and how does it work?

ReneSola Ltd are a leading brand and technology provider of solar photovoltaic ("PV") products to our company. The company recently announced at the InterSolar North America solar exhibition and conference that the Company has been upgraded to "Tier 1" status on the prestigious Bloomberg New Energy Finance ("BNEF") PV Module Maker Tiering System.  

What is the Tier system & how does the Tier system work?

There is a pyramid system designed & provided by Pike Research below, which lays out thier version of how the ranking system works.

Tier 1 Solar Panel Manufacturers:

According to Pike research, the Tier 1 manufacturers make up a very minimal percentage (approx 2%) of the total number of manufacturers on the market. There are a number of very distinctive characteristics that set them apart from the other tiers in the pyramid.

One of those differences, is that they are vertically integrated.  This means the company manufactures their panels from scratch. They do not use other companies products and parts to manufacture their panels. The company controls the entire production process from begining to the end, resulting in a high quality finished product.

Majority of the Tier 1 installers  will heavily invest in the Research & Development for their products and are always looking for the latest technology & design features to ensure their product is top of the line and innovative.

Tier 1 installers use automated manufacturing techniques that ensure the highest level of quality whilst also being cost effective to the company. 

In order to be eligible for "Tier 1 Status"  for Pike Research the company must have at least 5 years  in the industry of  producing solar panels. 

Solar panel manufacturer Tier rankings

Click to Enlarge. (Source: Pike Research)

Tier 2 solar panel manufacturers:

The manufacturers which are ranked as Tier 2  make up around 8% of the market. Having been producing panels for longer than Tier 3 manufacturers (approx2-5 years), their investment into the  R&D side of their business is relatively minimal compared to Tier 1  manufacturers. Not all choose to use robotic automation either. 

Tier 3 solar panel manufacturers:

Tier 3 manufacturers make up the bulk of the market  approx a 90%  share, according to Pike Research, however they have  the least experience in the industry. They will  assemble their panels by using components manufactured by other companies, because they have no R&D set up of their own. Also  their production processes are reliant on manual labour. Due to  solar panel manufacturers around the world facing hard times, due to a large drop in sales, it is almost forseable that many of these companies may not be around in the next few years due to  industry consolidation.


YHI (New Zealand) Ltd Testimonial

26th August 2013

To whom it may concern

YHI (New Zealand) Ltd is a National wholesaler of Tyres, Wheels and Battery’s with ware houses in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

The Christchurch branch consumes about 2,500 KWh of power per month and it was decided that, as an environmentally and financially conscientious company, a Solar Energy system should be installed.

After successfully tendering for the installation, Solar Electric Technology Ltd was commissioned to install a 10KWp Grid Solar System with a 3 phase German made SMA Inverter at warehouse at 22 Clarence Street South, Addington, Christchurch.

Along with the successful quote, Solar Electric Technology gave friendly and professional advice regarding recommended specifications, materials and installation time lines.

Frank and Lance arrived early, completed the installation of the panels and inverter, cleaned up and had the system online well within the estimated time line of 1.5 days.

Frank and Lance also managed the entire network application with our power supplier; all I had to do was supply the relevant details.

YHI Christchurch now has an on line, fully operating, money saving, environmentally friendly Solar Energy System.

We are so impressed with the return on investment we are intending to install Solar Energy Systems at other key YHI ware houses throughout New Zealand.

I highly recommend Solar Electric Technology as your “one stop shop” should you be considering installing a Solar Energy System in your home or business.

I wish Frank and Lance every success in the future


Yours Faithfully

Paul Hauschild

South Island Manager


New Zealand’s Most Award Winning Café, Now The Most Energy Efficient Café In The Country!

The Morrison Street Café has long been an industry leader in its field and so, the trend is set to continue with the recent installation of a 7kWp grid tie solar system. The system was designed and installed by Solar Electric Technology Ltd.

Solar is a fantastic option for a commercial application such as this, due to the bulk of the cafe’s energy being consumed during the day, while the solar is being generated.

The cafe offers great ambience, excellent food and of course brilliant coffee.

So pop on in to Morrison Street Café enjoy great coffee and see first-hand why this award winning café, chose to step into the future with a tailor-made system from Solar Electric Technology Ltd.



India looks to install the first floating power station

India has just been listed as the world's fourth-largest energy consumer by theU.S. Energy Information Administration.

The country's shortage of domestic energy supplies has heightened its interest in renewable energy.

With a high percentage of India’s electricity coming from coal powered plants, Coal remains India's primary source of energy and the country has the world's fifth-largest coal reserves, with BNE Delhi retaining a near-monopoly on the coal sector.

India currently has 211 gigawatts of installed electricity capacity, however because of insufficient fuel supply; India suffers from a severe shortage of electricity generation, leading to rolling blackouts. These blackouts obviously have a negative impact on the country's exports.

While India's primary energy consumption more than doubled between 1990 and 2011, according to the International Energy Agency, India's per-capita energy consumption remains lower than that of developed countries.

West Bengali capital Kolkata may soon get India's first floating solar power station by the end of next year, after searching for new energy alternatives.

The facility has been proposed by Indian solar expert S.P. Gon Chaudhuri.

These stations will require around 3,000 square feet each, to generate 20 kilowatts of power," Gon Chaudhuri said.

"There are many water bodies that could be used for this. Such floating solar stations would generate more energy as research has shown that if the panels stay cooler, they generate more energy, up by 16 percent."

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India, has underwritten the research and expects the project to be implemented by 2014. Current cumulative solar installations in India stand at 1,761 megawatts. In 2012 India installed 980 megawatts of solar power installations, with about 557 megawatts installed thus far in 2013.