New Zealand news

New Zealand focused news on energy efficiency, smart monitoring, smart metering, smart grid infrastructure and alternative generation in New Zealand. Covers residential, commercial and industrial topics. Relevant overseas news will be published now and then. Click next page at page bottom to see older news items. Use the talk page for discussion. For RSS readers: subscribe this feed for maximum compatibility.

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Greenstage Grey Lynn electric vehicle and technology expo

posted Nov 8, 2012, 3:01 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Car-loving Aucklanders can plug into the future at the Greenstage Gathering of electric vehicles, at 19 Newton Road in Auckland on Sunday November 18th, starting at 10:00 am. They will admire, inspect and possibly ride in a range of commercially produced and New Zealand made electric vehicles – including the Greenstage GS750V, a lithium-powered electric race car in a Saker GT chassis, and one of the first Tesla Roadsters imported into New Zealand. And they can learn from the owners and inventors about this exciting emerging market. The Greenstage Gathering will feature many other leading innovations in electric vehicle design currently being developed in New Zealand, including the Switch EV Ute from Peter Sewell, the Scott Drive powered Honda Prelude, Vik Oliver’s RepRep 3-D manufacturing toolset, the Tumanako Dashboard with wireless charge point activation, as well as implementations of the SolarNetwork platform, Greenstage’s enterprise level smart-grid and energy management platform"

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Venture Southland - $4207 on energy conference

posted Nov 8, 2012, 2:47 PM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Nov 8, 2012, 2:48 PM ]

"Venture Southland spent nearly $23,000 on the Southland Energy Conference earlier this month, recouping more than $18,500 through sponsorship. The conference, held on October 4, included a series of talks on how to increase energy-efficient buildings in all sectors of the Southland economy and how to develop sustainable energy sources. It included a section for dairy farmers, talking about energy savings that could be made by introducing new technology to the industry. Guest speakers included scientists, academics and three employees of Auckland-based Beacon Pathway environmental consultancy. A day of council workshops took place on October 5 featuring representatives of the region's four councils and some of the speakers. Total expenditure on the conference was $22,871.68, with $18,664 recouped in sponsorship, resulting in a loss of $4207.68, Venture Southland figures show"

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Tasman looks at alt-energy planning process

posted Nov 8, 2012, 2:36 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Alternative power installers are welcoming Tasman relaxing its rules around installing small-scale hydro and solar energy generation. Councillors attending last week's environment and planning meeting agreed to ask staff to identify opportunities to amend the Tasman Resource Management Plan to improve the process for installing mini and micro-hydro and photovoltaic solar systems. The move came in response to the Government's National Policy Statement on Renewable Energy Generation"

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NZ Retailers Association seeks efficiency model participants

posted Nov 8, 2012, 2:32 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Energy Shop - a new scheme launched today aims to improve profitability in New Zealand’s retail sector - through lower energy costs. The New Zealand Retailers Association has partnered with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to improve energy efficiency and cut costs for retailers, nationwide. "The Energy Shop scheme is a great opportunity for retailers to enhance their environmental credentials while reducing energy costs," says Karen Chaney, EECA Commercial Programme Manager. Under the scheme around 200 retailers will get EECA Business funding towards energy assessments and developing energy management plans. The programme will target 50 small, 100 medium and 50 large retail sites. Depending on the size of their energy spend, those sites that achieve a 10% energy saving will benefit by between $600 and $76,000 a year"

Textile industry identifies 8.4GWh saving

posted Nov 8, 2012, 2:28 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"An energy efficiency programme could save ten textiles companies up to $381,000 this year. The ten companies signed up to the Textiles Sector Energy Efficiency Programme following its launch in July this year. The Textile Industry of NZ Association Inc (Textiles NZ) programme is funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and provides member companies with half-price energy assessments. The specialist advice on how to reduce on-site energy use has revealed a total of 8.4 gigawatt-hours of annual energy savings - equivalent to the energy use of 730 houses"

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Shopping centre installs recycling solar bathrooms

posted Oct 31, 2012, 5:32 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Bayfair’s new sustainability policy is evident in the refurbishment of its public bathrooms. In addition to the pre-plumbing of grey water harvesting tanks, solar panels have been fitted to provide heat to water, and LED lighting which will result in at least a 50 percent energy saving. Other measures include air conditioning systems, water-saving tap sensors, foam soap dispensers, recycling bins, and speedier hand-dryers which reduce energy consumption levels by up to 60%. Display screens showing the water and power savings in real time have been installed to incentivize shoppers to try similar economies at home"

EECA and solar economics

posted Oct 31, 2012, 5:29 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Photovoltaics - the cells that convert sunlight into electricity - have suddenly plunged within reach of the average punter. Manufacturers of good quality panels for Europe have a glut since solar subsidies shrivelled, says Seanz chairman Brendan Winitana. Seanz calculates that right now solar is cheaper than buying from the national grid. The strong dollar helps, says installer and PV design lecturer Jeroen Brand of Alphatron Pacific, who estimates solar works out at roughly 10 to 15 cents a kilowatt-hour (plus GST) over a system's 25-year life span. This compares with an average 27c/kWh cost for conventional electricity. Seanz says solar is cheaper even after factoring in the cost of not using the money to pay a chunk of the mortgage (6 or 7 per cent a year) - especially given the pace of power price hikes. It sounds like a bargain. So why does government agency Eeca want to rain on the party? This is where we get to the fine print"

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EECA building design assistance launched

posted Oct 31, 2012, 4:54 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Expert advice to help developers design and construct commercial buildings that use up to 70% less energy than the average building is available through a new programme launched today. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Commercial Building Design Advice programme will offer building owners and developers funding for expert design advice at every stage of development. New Zealand’s commercial buildings account for about 9% of annual energy use - worth around $1.7 billion every year"

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Tararua turbine noise negotiations

posted Oct 31, 2012, 4:52 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"Residents frustrated by wind farm noise in the Tararua Range are negotiating with the company that owns the turbines the Environment Court has ruled are too loud. Palmerston North City Council has held talks between the residents and NZ Windfarms Ltd, which wants to sell the 97-turbine Te Rere Hau wind farm ruled too noisy by the court in July. Pahiatua Track resident Lee Huffman said the company had offered to monitor turbine noise levels, which could prove a win for residents. "You could not have a better group of people trying to find some solutions because this has been going on for years for us. There would have been a lot of people who would have said this is too much, but we have kept striving." However, the noise problems from the turbines had not been remedied since the wind farm was found in breach of its resource consent, Dr Huffman said"

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UoC looks at carbon dioxide to methanol conversion

posted Oct 31, 2012, 4:48 PM by ema-1 ema-1

"A University of Canterbury (UC) lecturer is researching the possibility of producing fuel from air and electricity. The technology removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produces methanol, a liquid fuel similar to petrol. UC researcher Dr Aaron Marshall said efficient conversion of carbon dioxide into methanol would revolutionise energy technologies. He has received a Marsden Fund study grant to look into cutting-edge technology. ``We still need energy to carry out the process. Basically we make fuel (methanol) from carbon dioxide in the air and electricity. But in principle we would not need oil/petrol if this could be done efficiently on a large scale using renewable energy like wind or solar power. Methanol can be used in normal car engines"

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