Though some would find the hysteria displayed by the teenage guest speaker recently at the UN 2019 Summit for Climate Change off-putting, it will take a lot more aggrandizing then that to turn Kiwis off clean energy. This is because grid parity is beneficial as much for the utility bills, as it is for planet Earth.
It’s time that the topic of grid parity in New Zealand, and the world in general, was revisited. There are few optimistic guesstimates out there that claimed grid parity would be global by 2020. That clearly hasn’t happened, but New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in particular, continue to lead the way in grid parity levels.
2017 image of Global Grid Parity
A Quick Recap on What is Grid Parity?
According to BDO Global, in a few years, energy created by fossil fuels will be on a downward spiral. Investors are sitting up and taking notice of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines producing power at a price point that is equal to or lower than that supplied by fossil fuels: aka Grid Parity.
Although reaching global grid parity is great news for renewable energy as an entity, getting to that point might scare off investors by the threat of a possible price down-turn.
Grid Parity Report
Lloyd’s Register has an updated report on the global drive toward sustainability and the technology that will be needed to get there. According to Forbes, 2018 was a record year for off-grid energy investment, averaging out at over half a billion USD locked into approximately 170 renewable power investments in that year.
The motivation behind the investments is the 3 billion plus people around the world who lack access to a reliable electricity source. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that more than 70 percent of all new electricity connections made all over the world will be made through mini-grid or off-grid renewable energy solutions by 2030.
New Zealand Helps Polynesia Find the Pathway to Renewable Energy
The states in the Pacific Islands have pledged to ambitious goals in order to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. This makes perfect sense in an area well known for its plentiful supply of sunlight and sunny days. The NZ Institute for Pacific Research has appointed the University of Auckland, in conjunction with Nexgen Energy Solutions, to write a report on how the swap to renewable energy will impact the electricity grids in these areas.
The use of renewable energy to increase access across the board to clean, reliable, and affordable energy in the Pacific States has been made a priority for those governments. This is one of the key investment concerns for New Zealand’s current aid program. It is also an extremely ambitious project, and if it is successful, it would obviously follow that New Zealand would be the next in line to have 100 percent renewable energy.
To all the folks in Whangarei or Palmerston who are thinking that they don’t have enough sunshine to rely completely on solar energy: There is more than one renewable energy source.
- Biomass: Wood waste; solid waste; landfill gases and biogas; ethanol; biodiesel
Annual average hours of sunshine in New Zealand
Electricity Generated from Renewable Sources 2016
Renewable sources listed as geothermal, photovoltaic solar and thermal solar, hydro, tidal, and wind, were analyzed and charted by the IEA. See global usage below.
Comparing the above information to the IEA statistics for New Zealand, you will be able to see the data correlates the Land of the Long White Cloud to the countries that are focusing on alternate energy sources in the immediate and long term.
Although the light blue markers showing Kiwi solar power is still thin and almost swallowed up by the considerable use of hydro, wind, and geothermal power, energy production agencies are focusing more on bringing solar power to a wider commercial and residential market.