Earlier this month I attended the PV Conference and Expo in Chicago. With over 350 companies and organisations attending and lots of great speakers this event gave us a great insight into solar in the U.S. and the many challenges they face.
Each state or municipality has different budgets, different ideas and different energy suppliers. There is no mass rollout of smart meters and they face the same issues with demand charges and the withdrawal of net metering.
However, even in this complex environment they know that solar provides part of the energy answer to keep costs down and the supply reliable and safe. Solar is coming of age. Property owners are realising the benefits of solar generation not only for their wallets but also in terms of reducing their impact of the environment.
New Zealand should be embracing our opportunity as a test bed. We have a connected and coherent transmission and distribution network with excellent interoperability. We have companies prepared to invest to get the information required to deliver benefits to the value chain and most importantly the consumer at the end. We have the perfect opportunity to trial, review, iterate and build.
The opportunity exists now to give New Zealanders more control over their energy costs and enable us to all to contribute to meeting New Zealand’s climate change targets. At iGenerate, we want to make this clean, affordable energy available to everyone. As costs have come down Solar is no longer just for the few. It makes enormous sense for everyone. We are the first to see the sun, we should be leading the world in sustainable energy.