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Barriers facing small scale distributed generation

posted Mar 20, 2012, 8:26 PM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Mar 20, 2012, 8:56 PM ]
Feedback to the Electricity Authority on the potential barriers facing consumers wishing to invest in small-scale distributed generation, and possible options for dealing with these barriers.

Only two submissions were received from non-major generator & retailer parties:

Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Summary

"We seek amendment to broaden the scope of the discussion on the barriers to distributed generation beyond what was covered in this discussion document. We believe that narrowing the discussion to an upper limit of 10kW and a presumption that photovoltaic source was suitably representative of all sources, constrained the value of the analysis. We believe that in investigating current barriers to distributed generation the scope of the discussion paper  does not provide the capacity to put into effect the objective of the Electricity Authority:To promote competition in, reliable supply by, and the efficient operation of, the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.Broadening the scope to a 5MW scale, evaluating a range of energy sources, and  including additional matters discussed below will allow for a more thorough and accurate assessment of the barriers to distributed generation"

Full submission: [pdf]

Walter Unterberger - Excerpts

"It started to have to write to the different power companies, who would buy the excess power generated and at which rate. The rate differs from as low as 3.5 c/KWh from Mercury to “one for one” from Meridian, which means the import and export tariff is the same. For the investor there is the uncertainty of the continuation of the payout and the level of payout, as there is no contract offered and conditions could be changed any time. Then one has to deal with the local line company, which gives the permission to feed in their network. Certifications for thepanels, the inverter, an inspector has to come on site in order to approved everything including the quality of the installation. When all those hurdles are taken one has to rapport to the power company with the approval of the inspector so that the export meter can finally be installed. It takes 30 working days or 6 weeks for this meter to be installed!"

"To my opinion and the experiences I have had, incentives, fiscal or monetary, have to be put in place before photovoltaic solar installation will take off in this country on a larger scale or the system prices become still a lot cheaper. The dealings with the authorities could be streamlined and handled by professional people. We should look what other countries are doing successfully to take advantage of this cleanest source of energy on this planet and the relevant authorities and agencies have an obligation to become proactive for the benefit of the people of this beautiful country"

Full submission: [pdf]

Submissions from:
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council
  • Genesis Energy
  • Meridian Energy
  • Mighty River Power
  • Orion New Zealand
  • Powerco
  • Transpower New Zealand
  • Vector
  • Walter Unterberger
All submissions: