We’re running a bit late with this one: recorded last week before the big wind left Gareth powerless for six days (a bit like Glenn’s PC), John Cook ruminates on the result of the Australian election, the boys marvel at the Mail’s myth making about Arctic sea ice, and look forward to the release of the first part of the next IPCC report. And much, much more. Show notes below the fold…
At long last: John Cook from Skeptical Science rejoins the Climate Show team for the first show of 2013. He hooks up with Glenn and Gareth to review Australia’s big heatwave, and stays around to dig into the new Greenpeace report on dirty energy, discuss Obama’s inauguration speech and Boris Johnson’s climate blunder, the latest scary news on sea level rise and the implications for the future. Plus much much more…
This is a guest post by Jason Kemp of DialogCRM. It originally appeared at Jason’s blog last week, but I thought it deserved an airing here because it directly addresses many of the issues HT’s readers have been keen to discuss. With luck, this won’t be last time Jason’s work pops up at Hot Topic…
Many NZ consumers will be wondering if solar power for the home is a practical option. In simple terms despite New Zealand having mostly renewable energy our power costs to the home have continued to climb in the past few years despite low inflation. In real terms power costs have pretty much doubled for me in the last 4 years and some of that is due to changing power use but most of it comes from cost increases made by the lines companies and the electricity retailers.
“The price of power in New Zealand is more than 70% higher than in Australia and the United States. There is very little point switching power companies in the face of such high prices. Homeowners would be far better off switching to solar.”
I suspect having an unprofitable aluminium smelter sucking up huge amounts of power at a huge discount and a government hell bent on selling shares in power companies ( that we already own – double dipping anyone?) complicates the math on why NZ power costs are extortionate but having high power costs should incentivise us to investigate alternatives – shouldn’t it? Continue reading “Domestic solar PV: practical for NZ?”
Welcome to the sixteenth and final post in the Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air – A New Zealand Perspective series.
To recap, we started with a bit of energy accounting and worked out that Kiwi’s use around 88 kWh/d/p (methodology for what the kWh/d/p means is here), and that of this, about 33kWh/d/p came from sustainable sources or we couldn’t substitute. As a result, we’ve been looking for how to shift the remaining 55kWh/d/p of our current energy use to renewable energy sources. We approached this in two ways:
How much could we increase our energy generation capacity in renewable sources?
Here, we looked at hydro power, geothermal and wind (and a summary on the big three), solar, biofuels, marine and waste energy and did some basic calculations on the overall potential of these sources. Then:
How much could we achieve a BIG reduction in our personal and national energy consumption, and where those savings would come from.
We went through the areas of energy use for Kiwis, including road, air transport, home energy use and general consumption before doing some calculations on the overall reductions we think we could make.
What might it cost to achieve an all-renewable energy economy?
Today, we’re looking at how this might translate into action at a national level. This post contains both some costing, and suggestions for action that might effectively be channeled into effective change.
Welcome to the sixth post in the Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air – A New Zealand Perspective series. Today we’re crunching the numbers on solar potential in New Zealand. For the background to the work please our introductory post here. Also check out our earlier posts on the potential of hydro power, geothermal and wind, and yesterday’s summary. Note: the units are in kWh/day/person – ie. if you ran a 40W lightbulb for 24 hours, it’d take ~1 kWh over the space of a day. We then divide it by person to give you a sense of the scale of the resource proportionate to the size of the population. Be sure to check out the methodology. For reference – we’re looking to replace around 55 kWh/d/p of energy currently generated by fossil fuels.
So, solar! We’ve got a lot of it, or do we? Our lower latitude means that New Zealand’s solar potential is certainly rather better than that of the UK and the current world leaders Germany. A roof inclined at the optimal angle in NZ gets on average 181W/m2 in Northland, 178 in Auckland, 195 in central Otago, 185 in Canterbury. (This is based on averaging all available NIWA hourly radiation data at suitable measurement sites). This is impressive compared to the UK average of 110W/m2 and 130W/m2 in Germany.
There are 4 ways to harness solar energy: