by Gareth Hughes
Solar power is a great solution for New Zealand to deliver cheaper locked-in electricity bills, increasing clean energy generation and greater resiliency while building jobs and globally the future for solar is bright. International analysis just out from Bloomberg shows solar developers around the world will install record capacity this year. They report:
About 44.5 gigawatts will be added globally, a 20.9 percent increase on last year’s new installations, according to the average estimate of nine analysts and companies. That’s equal to the output of about 10 atomic reactors. Last year new capacity rose by 20.3 percent, after a 4.4 percent gain in 2012.
The solar industry is seeing tremendous growth around the world: in the U.S. every four minutes another panel is installed on a home or business’ roof, and Australia already has one million homes with panels. Here in New Zealand, we are seriously lagging behind and missing the opportunity. That’s why we’ve launched the Solar Homes policy, to help Kiwis take advantage of low-cost loans paid through rates to make it easier to install their own panels. With the Government bending over backwards for the oil industry offering tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies, criminalising protest activity at sea and removing any public say from risky exploratory deep sea they are looking to the fossil fuel past and ignoring the smarter, greener clean energy future.
This election we are giving Kiwis a choice: under National rising power bills, energy assets flogged off and risky deep sea drilling, or with the Greens cheaper power bills and a vision for a clean energy future, with insulation under your roof and solar panels on the top.