According to Statistics NZ, on average, most of the country received between 1,672 and 2,098 hour of sunshine each year from 1972 to 2016. Based on the 2017 Annual Climate Summary by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the major cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington receive more than 2,000 hours of bright sunlight every year, with the most sunshine hours exceeding 2,600 in the wider Nelson region.
January receives a mean over 200 hours of sunshine due to longer more settled days, while June receives a little over 100 hours due to shorter days and wintery weather.
With solar PV technology, you can harness the sun’s free energy and use it to power your home or business, rather than buy power from the grid. More sunshine hours could mean more dollar savings in terms of energy costs.
Solar generation currently makes up 0.2% of the country’s total energy supply. But price reductions in solar PV equipment have seen an increase in demand with homeowners and businesses.
According to this study, if the trend of falling PV prices continues along with rising electricity spot prices, regions such as Nelson-Tasman (with high irradiance) as well as Auckland, Northland and Taranaki (with reasonable irradiance and higher spot prices) stand to benefit the most from solar PV.
Why go solar?
One could argue that New Zealand is already rich with renewable energy from wind turbines and geothermal plants, so why the need for solar?
Well, solar PV technology is unique among other renewable energy technologies. It has a massive potential to decline in cost and improve in performance at the same time. In fact, the average turnkey price for a standard PV system of 3kW has dropped from NZ$40,000 to NZ$9,000 since 2009.
Buying power from the grid costs you around 26c to 30c per kilowatt hours, depending on your region. On the other hand, generating power with solar costs about 26c to 28c per kWh (relatively less than it costs five years ago), and this number continues to fall.
PV currently costs more in $z/W or c/kWh than other renewable energy sources. However, it remains an attractive alternative because of its modularity, ease and speed of installation and suitability for a wide range of end-use applications and sites.
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, the potential value of solar is higher than its costs alone would indicate. Although its output is weather dependent on an hourly or daily basis, the power generated is well predictable over longer periods.
Solar PV is a long term investment. It might seem that solar provides little economic benefit at first glance, but the technology actually pays back after 5 to 7 years and continues to save you money for another 15 or 20 years.
To make your investment worthwhile, it makes sense to compare the generation capacity of a solar power system you are considering to the number and intensity of sunshine hours your location receives throughout the year. Our solar experts will be able to help you figure out the potential costs and savings of installing solar for your home or business.
Request for a free quote or call 0508 449 274 today.