raytaylor: It requires a lifestyle change.
In australia and various other countries, power companies are opting not to buy back power any more since they are not required to.
So net metering might not be around for much longer, increasing the payback time.
Personally right now i wouldnt look at anything less than a 8kw system if i was net metering since the panels are so cheap now, and the inverter / grid tie is pretty much the same cost no matter what size you go for. You might as well make back what you can while net metering is still around.
The solar industry needs to be pushing for some drastic law changes
- Mandated net metering option by all power companies
- All new houses of at least 5 bedrooms or more need a solar installation before occupied.
- All new houses need a north facing roof if the pitch is more than 25 degrees so a future home owner can opt for solar if they want to install a system in the future.
Mandated Net metering in NZ would be a silly idea. Why? Because power companies can buy power cheaper on the wholesale market than what net metered solar power would cost them. Which means they would need to increase their prices. This in turn means that people without solar panels would be effectivly paying money to those who do have solar panels. These costs would tend to fall onto mostly poor people. Who already have trouble paying for power.
It won't help the environment. (And would probably end up harming the environment) As peak demand is in mornings and evenings. Yet peak solar output is around midday. So alot of people will be exporting during the day. Meaning their solar power will be displacing renewable generation (0 environmental benefit, owner of renewable power station gets less income) Yet at peak usage times the solar system is unlikely to be producing any usable power. Meaning the power used during peak usage times will be generated using fossil fuels.
Because solar is weather dependent, It is unable to be used as base load generation. This means all solar generation capacity has to be matched by backup generation. Which would usually be fossil fueled generation. Because fossil fuel power plants can quickly have their output ramped up and down. And solar doesn't reduce the amount of lines capacity required either.
Net metering works fine in countries which have most of their electricity generated by fossil fuels or nuclear. But in NZ it would just mean more "peaking" fossil fuel plants would need to be built.