Cheaper And Greener Power For New Zealand

On Sunday the Green Party released a new policy to deliver cleaner, greener and cheaper power to New Zealanders.

There are 3 main barriers to increasing the uptake of solar energy in New Zealand and this policy seems to address these issues.

  1. The up-front capital investment
  2. Concerns over whether value of solar power will be added to the value of house
  3. Uncertainty over the ability to sell excess power back to the grid at a fair price

Under the Greens’ Solar Homes initiative, Kiwi families and households will be able to get low-cost loans from the government to pay for solar power installation, repay the loan via their rates, and enjoy free, sustainable solar power for decades. The Green's will also ensure that families get a fair, dependable price for energy that they sell back to the grid and fix the regulatory framework to make plugging into the grid easier.

Household electricity bills are rising rapidly and solar prices have dropped considerably in the last few years.

New Zealand experiences some of the best sunshine hours in the would and it is time the the Government got behind solar as another way to ensure we reduce the environmental footprint of the electricity industry by cutting greenhouse emissions and reducing the need for more big dams on our majestic rivers. 

It’s about giving households and businesses more energy freedom – more control over their use of power, and the option to be small scale generators.


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.


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.



Solar Electric In The News

Solar power is growing more and more popular these days. As power prices increase, people continue to look for better alternatives to avoid having to pay the high prices. Since solar provides free power, naturally this is the way people are looking to. A recent news article has stated that solar is the answer to raising power bills: News Article

If solar is something that you are looking at to help save on your bills, speak to us at Solar Electric Technology. We are the solar experts who can be trusted to provide the solar solution you need. With our many years of experience in the solar field and by using on the best quality solar products, we can design and build a system perfect for you. Get in contact with us now or use our price advisor to get a free quote on your new solar system!


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.

How do solar photovoltaic panels work?

How photovolataic solar panels work is a mystery to most. It is a some-what complex sience but the idea is simple. Covert light into electricity. So just how do solar photovoltaic panels work?

Photovoltaics work on the basic principle of converting light energy into electrical energy. Some materials are able to absorb photons of light and in return emit electrons, which when captured provide an electrical current. This is how your photovoltaic solar panel systems works to create electricity for your home. The panel produces the electricity through emiting the electrons, which are then captured and put through the system into your home. It is the basis of all solar power systems that use solar panels to produce the electricity.

The photovolatic solar panels which we supply with our systems are panels which do this job efficiently, providing as much electricity as possible. The efficiency of your systems comes down to how well your solar panel can produce the electrons and how well your system can capture them for use. We specially design our systems with the utmost efficiency in mind to ensure that you are getting the most from your money.

Talk to us today about photovoltaic solar panels for your home and find out more about how the system works and how you can benefit from it.


ReneSola Provides Lightsource Renewable Energy with 69.5 MW of Solar Modules

Solar Electric Technology is very proud to provide our customers with high quality products supplied to us from this PV industry leader.

300,000 ReneSola Modules Expected to Power over 23,000 UK Households

 ReneSola Ltd a leading brand and technology provider of solar photovoltaic ("PV") products, today announced it has signed a series of agreements to provide Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited ("Lightsource"), the largest solar energy generator in the United Kingdom, with 69.5 megawatts ("MW") of solar modules for installation on solar farms in the United Kingdom. Once installed, the modules are expected to generate enough clean electricity to power more than 23,000 U.K. households.

Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola's chief executive officer, said, "We have been working with Lightsource for almost three years now, highlighted by this year's significantly large order of modules. We are confident that our high-efficiency modules will enable Lightsource solar farms to operate at peak performance. The quality of our glass allows our modules to reach relatively high electricity production levels, particularly with regard to diffused light, which is characteristic of the cloudy and overcast conditions often seen in the U.K. With our local presence, particularly during what was a time of regulatory uncertainty, we were able to mobilise up to 15 MWp of delivery per week to our U.K. customers, which underscores the value of our global network of local offices."

Ms.  Kareen Boutonnat, Lightsource's managing director, said, "We are the largest consumer of Tier 1, bankable Chinese solar PV modules in the U.K. Our solar farms need to perform to the highest standards and we recognise that China is a global leader in the production of the most efficient modules. The scale of investment into facilities, research and carbon reductions by China is currently unrivalled. Such growth and investment into the British PV module manufacturing industry remains to be seen. We are pleased with the quality of ReneSola's solar modules and with the company's proactive support during the period of anti-dumping uncertainty. We are confident their modules will benefit our operations and hope to establish a long-lasting relationship that will help grow the U.K. solar market further."

About ReneSola

Founded in 2005, ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) is a leading brand and technology provider of solar PV products. Leveraging its proprietary technologies, economies of scale and technical expertise, ReneSola uses in-house virgin polysilicon and a vertically integrated business model to provide customers with high-quality, cost-competitive products. ReneSola solar modules have scored top PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) ratings with high annual kilowatt-hour output, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC). ReneSola solar PV modules can be found in projects ranging in size from a few kilowatts to multi-megawatts in markets around the world, including the United StatesGermanyItalyBelgiumChinaGreeceSpain and Australia. For more information, please visit


About Lightsource Renewable Energy

Lightsource Renewable Energy is the U.K.'s largest solar energy generator currently operating the largest fleet of solar plants in the U.K. Our recent calculations show that we operate 1 out of every 8 solar PV panels in the U.K.

Our vision is to become a utility scale operator of renewable generating assets selling energy into the market and operating and maintaining a fleet of utility scale power stations generating clean, sustainable electricity.

Our core activities are the development, design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of solar PV projects and we have a team of professionals in each discipline who manage these activities from initial design and planning through to technical maintenance services. In total, Lightsource employs over 150 full time professionals across these areas of activity.

In the three years since Lightsource was formed, we have delivered over 300MW of solar PV projects, investing over £0.5bn in the process. Based on published information, we estimate that over one third of solar farms in the U.K. are Lightsource operated projects.

Japan now one of only 5 countries to achieve 10 Gigawats

Japan is now one of only five countries that have achieved 10 gigawatts of cumulative solar photovoltaic capacity, according to new research from NPD Solarbuzz.

Germany was the first country to reach this mark, followed by Italy, China and the U.S. Like Japan, both the U.S. and China reached the 10 GW-milestone fairly recent – within the past few months.

The increase in Japan’s solar capacity can be traced back to efforts from the Japanese government to increase the country’s renewable energy sector in the wake of nuclear falling out of favor after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Solar PV deployment in Japan slowed in the mid-2000’s, partially due to a ten-year energy plan approved in March 2002 that favored the expansion of nuclear generation. The plan called for the expansion of nuclear capacity by 30 percent by 2011.

With the government’s focus now shifting towards renewables, a new law approving feed-in tariffs for renewable energy was passed in June 2012. According to this, solar energy priced at 42 yen ($0.53) per kilowatt-hour, a rate that is more favorable then even Germany (see related story).

Solarbuzz believes that this generous FIT has been instrumental in the rapid growth seen in Japan’s PV market.

Specifically, the PV market in Japan broke the 10 GW barrier in August of this year. It reached 10.5 GW at the end of August.

Rooftop solar PV installations have been the dominant segment in the Japanese PV market and remained so till the end of August 2013 with 89 percent of the market. The remaining 11 percent was spread across the ground-mount and off-grid segments.

This growth in the solar sector, as well as in other renewable markets such as wind, is seen by many as continuing into the future. Japan’s renewable energy sector is seen as becoming one of the world’s most dominant in the coming months (see related story). However, this is by no means the first time that Japan’s solar industry has risen to the forefront of the global market.

Japan was actually an early leader in PV, becoming the first country to break through 1 GW of cumulative solar in 2004 and until 2005 it had the largest installed PV capacity of any country in the world.

The early leadership position of Japan was also credited to favorable conditions spurred by government programs supportive of solar. If 2012 saw a favorable solar FIT, 1994 saw a favorable subsidy program.

In 1994, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry launched a subsidy program for residential PV. This subsidy initially covered 50 percent of the cost of a PV system.

The early growth of the Japanese PV market also established Japanese manufacturing as the first dominant force in the PV industry. Manufacturers that benefited from the first phase of government initiatives included Sharp, Sanyo and Kyocera, all three who are now leaders in the domestic PV industry.

While the growth of the domestic PV market is seen as continuing into the future, there is some concern as to Japan’s capacity to support this demand.

Project developers have been experiencing shortages in module supply, with several domestic manufacturers already fully booked through the remainder of 2013 and 2014. Project developers have also been experiencing difficulty in acquiring suitable land and grid connections for their planned installations.

There are also some concerns over the sustainability of the Japanese FIT program as well as whether or not the existing grid can support the anticipated influx of renewable energy.

Despite these challenges however, Japan is currently forecast to be the second largest country for PV demand during 2013, with China set to become the global leader for this year according to Solarbuzz.

Solarbuzz believes that the growing markets of both China and Japan will establish the Asia Pacific region as the driving force for PV demand over the second half of 2013. 

How can a grid tied PV solar system benefit your home?

When choosing a solar electric system for your home, there are two options to consider. One option is to go with a grid tied pv solar system. What exactly is this system and how does it work?

A grid tied solar system is one that is connected to your regular electrical supply. The power produced by the solar panels is fed into the main power lines and then into your system. It works together with the power you recieve from your electricity supplier. The benefit of this system is that when your system produces more power than you use, the power if fed back to the supplier. In this case, your electric meter will go backwards, essentially giving you 'credits'. This will mean a lower bill or possibly not one at all.

Another benefit of a grid tied pv solar system is that you don't have to pay for the batteries to store the power that is created, unlike with an off the grid system. And since you are connected to the main utility grid, you will always have access to electricity, regardless of whether your solar system produces enough power that day.

We at Solar Electric Technology can design and build a grid tied solar system specially for your home to suit your needs. Talk to us today and start reaping the benefits of a grid tied system!