Micro-generation potential in New Zealand: A study of small-scale energy generation potential

Prepared for Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Microgeneration Potential in New Zealand by East Harbour Energy (formerly East Harbour Management Services), May 2006

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) has commissioned an assessment of the potential for microgeneration of energy services in New Zealand.  The Commissioner is focusing on microgeneration because of advances in these technologies, together with advances in the metering and monitoring systems, all of which may assist with future electricity supply. The Commissioner considers that microgeneration systems can also make a significant contribution to improving New Zealand’s environmental sustainability. The objectives of this project are to assess the potential of microgeneration in New Zealand by:

  • identifying which microgeneration technologies could currently be applied
  • calculating realistic and defendable estimates of the potential for microgeneration in the short (0–5 years), medium (5–10 years), and long term (up to 30 years).

The study covers residential energy services and those services for SMEs that can be obtained by on-site generation of electricity or substitution of electricity. The study of the New Zealand–wide potential for micro electricity generation technologies is based on current Government policies. It assumes critical policies including that current Government National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS) initiatives are achieved and, in particular, that a Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) of some form is adopted by 2010. These policies have been announced policies and are believed to be achievable. The study provides a baseline profile of current expectations for the uptake of each technology. It considers the economies of scale that will eventuate and the position of each technology in its development phases, but it does not analyse what the potential may be under different Government policies. It also assumes that the energy price increases that may affect the actual level of uptake during the 30-year period are consistent with today’s price relativities. Clearly, during the 30 years there will be significant real price increases that will affect specific technologies and thus individual investment decisions.

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