NewZealand: Greenpeace prepares for the first ever “solar tax”

Greenpeace just called its legal experts to assist people who’s stung by the first-ever tax for using solar. Simon Boxer, Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaigner, called this “a solar tax, through and through”. “Unison and any other power company considering doing something similar should prepare for a fight,” Boxer says. “This will include helping people challenge it by making a complaint to the Electricity Authority.” he says. “As the Electricity Authority is the watchdog of New Zealand’s power, we expect them to step up to the plate, protect solar and regulate to prohibit power providers from penalizing solar users. There is no word for this other than a tax. Unison claims solar users need to pay their fair share of the grid costs, but they already are. Like everyone, solar users contribute to the grid when they use it. The new fee means that if someone chooses to put solar on their roof in the Unison service area, they will now pay a higher rate for their electricity. It’s only aimed at solar. People who install a wood burner, gas fire or any other heating system in their home to lower their power bill will not have to pay the same fee.” Boxer says. “The most outrageous part about it is that solar power being generated today is actually strengthening local grids. The power solar users create is fed to their neighbors at very low cost compared to importing it from large power stations. It’s obvious that Unison’s solar tax is aimed at slowing and stopping solar adoption. Power providers want to stick to the status quo because it’s...

NewZealand: Power Companies Neglect Solar Technology

According to Sustainable Electricity Association New Zealand (SEANZ), emerging technologies in the electricity and transport sectors are being stifled by outdated policies and signals from power companies by essentially trying to put a solar circle in a square hole. Electricity Association New Zealand ‘s statements come after the release of a new report by Concept Consulting, titled “Electric cars, solar panels, and batteries in New Zealand; Vol 2: The benefits and costs to consumers and society”, which tells that “technologies of ‘tomorrow’ are emerging within ‘yesterday’s’ industry arrangements”. Brendan Winitana, SEANZ chairman says, “Anyone spending over $40,000 on a brand new vehicle should be considering an Electric Vehicle (EV),” , but this is just not the case. “This report shows that the low price of carbon and lack of electricity pricing plans around charging means that the economics of EV’s is marginal and when we consider how long it takes to turn-over New Zealand’s vehicle fleet and how many people are in a position to purchase a new EV, a lot more needs to be done to encourage their uptake,” he added. Sustainable Electricity Association New Zealand believes that the problems lie in pricing signals that power companies communicate to customers, which the report says has had a negative impact on the uptake of Solar photovoltaic (PV), says Winitana, who also believes that solar PV must grow to ensure a net benefit to consumers and New Zealand. “A report just released by University of Canterbury’s Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) shows that the steady rise in the number of people installing Solar photovoltaic (PV) is about to balloon in...

Government on Clean Energy Technology

There was a report produced by energy economist at Concept Consulting. The Green Party said that the solar and electric vehicles is further evedence that the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) isn’t working, and that the National Government needs to fix what’s holding New Zealand back from making the most of clean-energy technologies. “This report shows that National needs to join the 21st century and set up the right market structures to encourage new clean-energy technologies,” Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes added. “The Government’s broken ETS and old-fashioned electricity pricing rules mean that people won’t ever get the full economic benefits of electric cars, home insulation, and efficient appliances, unless we fix the rules. “National has been making excuses instead of showing leadership, which is holding Kiwis back from getting cheaper, cleaner electricity. “More time-of-use power pricing can help make sure Kiwi households face a level playing field when making choices about their energy use, and encourage efficient electric car charging and batteries to complement home solar systems. “Unless we fix the ETS, decisions about energy use are distorted because no-one pays the full cost of pollution or reaps the full benefits of energy efficiency. “Unfortunately, it’s only now that people are opting to go solar that the power companies are waking up to what the Greens have been saying for years: we need to fix the ETS and get better real-time power price signals to keep costs and pollution down. “I agree with the report that solar isn’t the best option for everyone, but it’s important that people who do choose to go solar aren’t penalized with unfair...