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Solar Thermal Energy for Domestic Use in New Zealand - Essay Example

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Solar Thermal Energy for Domestic Use in New Zealand

Meanwhile literature shows that the use of solar water technology in the country is still at its minimum. Solar hot water installations were at an average of 1,200 units per year and was expected to contribute as must as 15% of hot water requirements in New Zealand households. Yet, what few people realize is that solar thermal power can be utilized to generate electricity and totally eradicate the use of coal in electricity generation. The use of solar energy for electricity generation could reduce carbon emissions by atleast 270,000 tCO2 and generate employment to as many as 400 people (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority 2001). Installation of solar hot water energy systems costed about NZ$4,000 for a full installation, which generated about 2,400 kWh to 3,100 kWh of electricity annually. To see how much economic benefit this SHW installations offered, one can use the “payback period” or the “lifecycle cost” as indicators. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) calculated that over the 20-year lifetime of the system, energy production cost was only at 12 cents per kWh. Yet, it was important to note that this calculation was based on retrofits to existing homes, which typically costed more since the structure of the home had to customized to ensure that its energy demand was low. Meanwhile, installation of solar hot water systems on new homes were much cheaper because these systems were now built into the roof structure instead of around it. ...Show more


The purpose of this report “Solar Thermal Energy for Domestic Use in New Zealand” is to determine the extent of solar thermal energy use in New Zealand and explore the various enabling and limiting factors that affects its uptake rate.

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