Government officials have ripped up their previous assumptions about the future of energy and are now modelling for an economy where 44 per cent of cars will be electric by 2050 and petrol consumption has almost halved.
Based on current trends, 22 per cent of homes will be generating their own solar power by 2050, up from just over 1 per cent today, with the country having already passed the point of peak petrol consumption, officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment now assume.
Models like these are notoriously hard to get right. There is a general bias to use history to the predict the future however as we have seen time and time again this is generally unreliable. Just like tourist numbers, smart phones, once there is critical mass the curve becomes like a hockey stick.
For Solar this should come when the payback comes lower than the median home ownership. Currently, as long as you use the power coming from the roof the payback will be around 8 years and the median homeownership in New Zealand is 5 years. With the price of panels dropping 90% in the past ten years we should not be too far away. Our guess is Solar panels will be standard by 2050 and all new homes will have them so 30% would be our pick. Read more here.