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645 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1964612 26-Feb-2018 15:44
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Geektastic:

 

happyfunball:

 

Geektastic:

 

I'd really like to see some effort being made to get better uptake of home solar.

 

Many other OECD nations have subsidised that but for some reason NZ has not. We spend an inordinate amount of time using websites to save what generally amounts to the equivalent of a week's showing at Countdown off the annual electricity bill yet make no great effort to help people generate it for free from the sun...

 

 

NZ has excess electricity capacity, except at peak times.  What we need more than solar is just some energy storage, or shifting usage away from peak times.  Home generation makes sense during those peak times, otherwise its just good for saving on electricity bills isn't it?

 

As for subsidies, what would work is just reducing the barriers to adoption.  For example, consent fees for a home solar installation are horrendous.  Simplifying that process, perhaps allowing electricians to certify the install work instead of councils, would lower the cost considerably.

 

But then the councils will have to get the money someplace else I suppose.

 

 

 

 

It does not matter that we have companies which have excess capacity. We have to pay them vast sums of money for their product.

 

I'd rather they went broke and we all generated our own power. 

 

 

Nice idea. Many households could generate some of their own power but they will have trouble generating their winter peak needs unless each makes a huge investment, maintenance required also (what about rentals??)

 

Those pesky city dwellers will have trouble doing this for their industrial and commercial needs though. Mebbe one day if every surface of every building is covered in yet to be invented magic power-generating paint. 

 

Why are those wind turbines so ghastly? Would you rather have a coal mine and chimney?

 

 


gzt

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  Reply # 1964616 26-Feb-2018 15:56
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MikeAqua:

gzt: Massively increase our research spend for CO2 reductions in agriculture. It's a massive part of the economy and our research contribution should reflect that. We have an excellent agricultural science and technology background and an innovative farming sector that will put innovations into practice. The innovations created will more than pay for themselves and there will be many side benefits.

CO2 isn't the big issue in Agriculture, methane is.  That is proving very challenging to address.  Ruminant animals host methanogen bacteria for a reason - those particular bacteria are very good at their jobs. 


Relatively simple changes to agriculture practice could significantly increase carbon sequestration in pasture and arable soils, while improving resilience and profitiability.  Especially in drier areas, but also in wet locations as well.


This would in turn increase leaf mass, which increases the standard stock of CO2 fixed into plant tissue.


Yes good point morning post. Research is active in methane reduction also and there have been very promising early results.

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  Reply # 1964619 26-Feb-2018 15:58
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happyfunball:

 

Fred99:

 

Not according to this:

 

https://www.mysolarquotes.co.nz/about-solar-power/residential/regulations/

 

 

Interesting, we had a quote of $12,000 for a very small 4kw system and when I asked why, was told the installation and inspection costs were most of it.  My understanding is the actual install takes 1 day! 

 

Apparently the council has/had to inspect the work.  Or maybe thats not 'consent' but rather another permit. :)  

 

 

I had a quick look (at the Auckland Council website) and there are exceptions where consent may be required, building consent if the panels are also forming the roof cladding, resource consent if the home is in a "special interest" or "heritage" zone.  Otherwise it looks like no consent required.  It probably varies between councils.  I'm pretty sure it was only a few years ago (3 or so?) that Chch Council removed their previous requirement for consent for solar installations in all cases.

 

I don't know if the price you were quoted was expensive, but wonder if the high price quoted was because at this stage, there's just not a lot of momentum and scale of economy in the solar install business in NZ.  My son did a bit of work for one electrical firm who did a lot of marketing of their expertise in solar installation, but in the end most of their work was ordinary domestic wiring installation in new houses - only every now and then would they do some solar work.

 

I know an ex-kiwi in the UK who just posted on FB some photos of a project he's completing - 27,000 panels on 33 acres in Belfast.

 

That's further North (54.6 deg) than Campbell Island is South.  It has average 1285 sunshine hours a year.  That's actually less than anywhere in NZ, and only about 1/2 that of NZ's sunnier spots.  Yet they managed to create an argument that solar was viable, and then put $$$ where their mouths were.

 

 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1964650 26-Feb-2018 16:46
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Fred99:

 

I know an ex-kiwi in the UK who just posted on FB some photos of a project he's completing - 27,000 panels on 33 acres in Belfast.

 

That's further North (54.6 deg) than Campbell Island is South.  It has average 1285 sunshine hours a year.  That's actually less than anywhere in NZ, and only about 1/2 that of NZ's sunnier spots.  Yet they managed to create an argument that solar was viable, and then put $$$ where their mouths were.

 

 

My guess is that the larger the install, the more cost effective it is.  So much of the cost is in the install, permits, inspections, grid wiring and metering etc.  If every house installs its own solar, it would be very inefficient because of those overheads.  It makes so much more sense just to have a clean grid and everyone hooked up, unless you are far away from existing electrical wiring.  Not many people are.

 

Unfortunately because of the high prices we pay for electricity it starts to look pretty temping to just have solar on your roof, but when we did the math 3 years ago, it just didn't add up financially or environmentally (clean grid in NZ anyway).  But I definately see the emotional appeal of going off grid and the geek in me wants it :)


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1964684 26-Feb-2018 17:05
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happyfunball:

 

Fred99:

 

I know an ex-kiwi in the UK who just posted on FB some photos of a project he's completing - 27,000 panels on 33 acres in Belfast.

 

That's further North (54.6 deg) than Campbell Island is South.  It has average 1285 sunshine hours a year.  That's actually less than anywhere in NZ, and only about 1/2 that of NZ's sunnier spots.  Yet they managed to create an argument that solar was viable, and then put $$$ where their mouths were.

 

 

My guess is that the larger the install, the more cost effective it is.  

 

 

Although all your points are valid, I suspect the project has been subsidised in the same vein as the 'cash for ash' renewable energy scam, err , scheme.


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  Reply # 1964697 26-Feb-2018 17:39
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elpenguino:

 

happyfunball:

 

Fred99:

 

I know an ex-kiwi in the UK who just posted on FB some photos of a project he's completing - 27,000 panels on 33 acres in Belfast.

 

That's further North (54.6 deg) than Campbell Island is South.  It has average 1285 sunshine hours a year.  That's actually less than anywhere in NZ, and only about 1/2 that of NZ's sunnier spots.  Yet they managed to create an argument that solar was viable, and then put $$$ where their mouths were.

 

 

My guess is that the larger the install, the more cost effective it is.  

 

 

Although all your points are valid, I suspect the project has been subsidised in the same vein as the 'cash for ash' renewable energy scam, err , scheme.

 

 

While I'm sure that's true, the "market model" just isn't going to work to reduce GG emissions:

 

If demand falls for fossil fuels, then prices should also fall - but an equilibrium will be restored by finding new markets unless there's regulation to prevent that from happening.
If demand doesn't fall, then forgetting economic consequences, we're screwed anyway.

 

The only way out seems to be incentives / schemes to make renewable attractive.  Having them "voluntary" won't work.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1964748 26-Feb-2018 20:06
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This is also true. A market like the current NZ one is distorted by assuming it is free to pollute.

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  Reply # 1964758 26-Feb-2018 20:40
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elpenguino: This is also true. A market like the current NZ one is distorted by assuming it is free to pollute.

 

No need to "assume".

 

From a greenhouse gas emissions POV, it absolutely is free to pollute.

 

In fact, in a capitalist system, you're thoroughly encouraged to pollute as much as possible, unless there's money to be made selling you a Tesla or a Leaf which you can wear like a badge pretending to others that what you're doing actually does makes a difference globally.  Musk flies around the place in a Gulfstream G650 ER. That's what you do with success. 

 

And therein lies the problem.  It's an ideological and political and nationalist debate, not a globally acknowledged scientific one


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  Reply # 1964759 26-Feb-2018 20:41
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Our solar HW in 2011 was $8k. Suitable for 5 BR home, multi adults. Thats cheap. Mine has been off since Nov, apart from 1 hour at night, often not used. Its a good saving, and as the cylinder is the battery, you use what it generates. PV is harder, its not much help at peak, as peak is evening. Battery assistance would help that greatly. No subsidy, but interest free for 5 years. 

 

With 1.6 million homes, plus businesses, supporting solar PV and HW must reduce the demand, and allow EV to pick that up. In NZ, its a niche thing, its not "normal" Thats the public perception. 

 

Like solar, EV's are not supported at all. Charging stations are, so some people have got their heads screwed on, the rest is user sort out your car. Ive never seen an ad for an EV, everyone should know about them, how much they will save on fuel, and maintenance. There should be a Govt push on new EV and pre owned. Some assistance in the form of interest free loans for part of the cost, so the user can save money, pay it back and still be saving.

 

This new Govt needs to step up.   


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  Reply # 1964769 26-Feb-2018 21:07
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tdgeek:

 

Like solar, EV's are not supported at all. Charging stations are, so some people have got their heads screwed on, the rest is user sort out your car. Ive never seen an ad for an EV, everyone should know about them, how much they will save on fuel, and maintenance. There should be a Govt push on new EV and pre owned. Some assistance in the form of interest free loans for part of the cost, so the user can save money, pay it back and still be saving.

 

This new Govt needs to step up.   

 

 

I almost hate to post this, but it's very much needed:

 

 

Of that "transportation" segment, only part of it will be from private motor vehicles.

 

While I agree that driving an EV may be a small part of a global solution, it's a very small part and IMO is getting far too much media attention already.

 

If the large % of the world population who can't currently afford to drive a private motor vehicle anyway could be elevated to a wealth level that would allow them to do so, what happens to the volume of GG gas emitted by all the other sectors when those people can also afford all the other trappings of a modern "western" lifestyle, and the energy dependent infrastructure to support it?


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  Reply # 1964798 26-Feb-2018 21:26
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I'd like a house tiled with those solar tiles Tesla invented. That's what we should be aiming at. Building it in at the start.





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  Reply # 1964813 26-Feb-2018 22:02
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Geektastic: I'd like a house tiled with those solar tiles Tesla invented. That's what we should be aiming at. Building it in at the start.

 

Dow Corning were already selling solar tiles more than a decade before Tesla's product hit the market.


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  Reply # 1964817 26-Feb-2018 22:16
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Fred99:

 

tdgeek:

 

Like solar, EV's are not supported at all. Charging stations are, so some people have got their heads screwed on, the rest is user sort out your car. Ive never seen an ad for an EV, everyone should know about them, how much they will save on fuel, and maintenance. There should be a Govt push on new EV and pre owned. Some assistance in the form of interest free loans for part of the cost, so the user can save money, pay it back and still be saving.

 

This new Govt needs to step up.   

 

 

I almost hate to post this, but it's very much needed:

 

 

Of that "transportation" segment, only part of it will be from private motor vehicles.

 

While I agree that driving an EV may be a small part of a global solution, it's a very small part and IMO is getting far too much media attention already.

 

If the large % of the world population who can't currently afford to drive a private motor vehicle anyway could be elevated to a wealth level that would allow them to do so, what happens to the volume of GG gas emitted by all the other sectors when those people can also afford all the other trappings of a modern "western" lifestyle, and the energy dependent infrastructure to support it?

 

 

I fully get that, and its good to have that chart here. 

 

Of the things that we can do, that isn't a lot that I can do as an individual. But I could get an EV. That will stop GG emissions from me. The GG from my vehicle will just stop. The money I save wont be used to freight in oil from overseas, but it will go back into the economy, and some of that will reduce the balance of payments for any goods and services that are NZ produced. If 500,000  me's do that there are lower emissions, and the other flow on effects. yes, its not much, but in 10 years there will be a lot of gas up there that now isnt up there. Of the other sectors on the graph come into effect, it all adds up. Should a Govt choose to spend $x, they should focus in the best bang, off course.

 

Solar is the same, its not a lot of benefit when we are over 80% renewable, but we arent 100% renewable so anything that reduce demand, and allow that demand to replace FF from power generation and the increase in EV is another small but beneficial move. 


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  Reply # 1964823 26-Feb-2018 22:26
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Fred99:

Geektastic: I'd like a house tiled with those solar tiles Tesla invented. That's what we should be aiming at. Building it in at the start.


Dow Corning were already selling solar tiles more than a decade before Tesla's product hit the market.



Whoever makes them we should be requiring that sort of thing in all new houses at the design stage.







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  Reply # 1964839 26-Feb-2018 22:53
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Fred99:

 

happyfunball:

 

Fred99:

 

Not according to this:

 

https://www.mysolarquotes.co.nz/about-solar-power/residential/regulations/

 

 

Interesting, we had a quote of $12,000 for a very small 4kw system and when I asked why, was told the installation and inspection costs were most of it.  My understanding is the actual install takes 1 day! 

 

Apparently the council has/had to inspect the work.  Or maybe thats not 'consent' but rather another permit. :)  

 

 

I had a quick look (at the Auckland Council website) and there are exceptions where consent may be required, building consent if the panels are also forming the roof cladding, resource consent if the home is in a "special interest" or "heritage" zone.  Otherwise it looks like no consent required.  It probably varies between councils.  I'm pretty sure it was only a few years ago (3 or so?) that Chch Council removed their previous requirement for consent for solar installations in all cases.

 

I don't know if the price you were quoted was expensive, but wonder if the high price quoted was because at this stage, there's just not a lot of momentum and scale of economy in the solar install business in NZ.  My son did a bit of work for one electrical firm who did a lot of marketing of their expertise in solar installation, but in the end most of their work was ordinary domestic wiring installation in new houses - only every now and then would they do some solar work.

 

I know an ex-kiwi in the UK who just posted on FB some photos of a project he's completing - 27,000 panels on 33 acres in Belfast.

 

That's further North (54.6 deg) than Campbell Island is South.  It has average 1285 sunshine hours a year.  That's actually less than anywhere in NZ, and only about 1/2 that of NZ's sunnier spots.  Yet they managed to create an argument that solar was viable, and then put $$$ where their mouths were.

 

 

 

 

My understanding is that Grid connect solar, Is counted as high risk electrical. Therefore needs to be inspected by an electrical inspector. This might be where the inspection costs are going to.






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