Installation rate hits inflection point in New Zealand

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PV Magazine

Solar installation rates in New Zealand have grown by more than 220% in 2015, over the previous 18 months. New figures from the Electricity Networks Association show that while there were 1,630 PV arrays in New Zealand as of October 2013, that number has now climbed to 5,367.

While New Zealand boasts a wealth of renewable resources, solar is being increasingly adapted by households and businesses. Wikimedia Commons Read more:

While New Zealand boasts a wealth of renewable resources, solar is being increasingly adapted by households and businesses.
Wikimedia Commons

The continuing internationalization of the global PV industry continues, with New Zealand that latest country to show strong installation growth. Figures from the Electricity Networks Association show that the number of solar arrays in the country has trebled over the last 18 months.

Commenting on the trend, the Electricity Networks Association CEO Graeme Peters said that solar looks likely to present a challenge for local utilities, which operate as regulated monopolies. Peters said that battery storage is likely to be a “game changer” for electricity supply in New Zealand.

Installations throughout New Zealand were not entirely uniform, with residents of the capital city of Auckland being the most likely to install PV.


New Zealand benefits from considerable renewable resources, with over 60% of the country’s electricity coming from hydropower, with geothermal (10%) and wind (3%) also making notable contributions.

The Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand (SEANZ) reports that minimizing electricity bills remains the primary driver for homes and business to install rooftop PV. Utilities pay feed-in rates of up to NZ$0.08/kWh for PV, however rising electricity prices have proven an incentive for increasing solar adoption.

SEANZ’s communications manager Kristin Gillies told pv magazine that New Zealand’s Electricity Authority is currently consulting with stakeholders on reforms to pricing structures, with utilities advocating for an increase in fixed charges to rate payers. Gilles estimates the country’s installed PV capacity to stand at around 22 MW.


Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.



  • Ruben

    5000 solar installations in NZ, is this supposed to be a good news or bad news story for solar?
    Australia has 200 times as many as a reference.

    • Chloe54

      NZ has hydro power so it does not effect climate change, though people may wish to have solar power due to the high cost of power but there are no subsidies.

  • Russell

    “with residents of the capital city of Auckland” NO!!! the capital city is Wellington. Auckland is the largest city.

  • Jacob

    This is a bit of a crazy article. How hard was it to meet a Kiwi in NZ and get him to show you his power bill?

    So we can know what the final retail price is for a kWh there.

    • Chloe54

      28.77 kwh The article is poor for several reasons. It doesn’t explain that the NZ Government doesn’t give a subsidy for solar power which holds it back. The reason is because we have mainly hydro power and do not effect climate change due to coal fired power. The only big industry that does is the dairy industry in the north. That the writer thinks Auckland is the capital city is really poor. New Zealand electric power is very expensive and that is a good reason to change to solar power. It has tripled or more in price since the 80’s and wages have barely moved.

      • Jacob

        Good points. NZ gets most of its electricity from non-polluting sources anyway.

        Now rooftop solar can produce power for A$0.15-25/kwh so NZ needs a $0 upfront solar firm like SolarCity.

        Then people can get solar PV on their roof for $0 upfront and get electricity for cheaper than the grid if your figures are correct. NZ$0.29/kwh.