Solar and batteries leave fossil fuels in the dark ages

Rising CO2 levels, uncertain gas supplies and skyrocketing power prices are sure signs that it's time for New Zealanders to switch to cleaner, cheaper and more reliable solar energy with battery storage.

Dirty coal and gas are not going to be part of New Zealand's energy future and the sooner we can phase them out the better. The reasons for doing that are being highlighted this week and will continue to make headlines for weeks to come.

Two unrelated outages over the past six months at New Zealand's largest gas field have resulted in a gas shortage, affecting New Zealand's power sector. Now Genesis Energy is saying the best way to meet this shortfall is to burn more coal which it would have to import first.

It claims this is necessary for New Zealand to keep the lights on but it's more like taking us back to the dark ages. The idea seems even more out of touch coming just a week after a special UN reportwarned that the world has to take urgent and massive action over the next 12 years if there is to be any chance keeping global warming to a maximum of 1.5C. Reducing our CO2 emissions is critical today, not some time in the future.

The reduction in New Zealand's gas production is also causing a 13-month price spike in wholesale power prices which is predicted to continue through to November.

Solar power and battery storage provides an easy solution to the problems caused by fossil fuels. Solar will never run out. It produces clean energy and with battery storage it will make your home more energy independent and resilient.

We would only need solar panels to cover about 3.5% of New Zealand's total roof area to generate enough power to put an end to burning coal and gas at the Huntly power station.

That's not going to be difficult. Transpower estimates there could be 1.5 million solar homes in New Zealand by 2050. Based on today's housing stock our research shows that around 850,000 Kiwi homes are suitable for solar right now.

To make it easy and affordable for homeowners to make the switch we've removed the capital and installation costs with our unique solarZero energy service. Instead they simply pay a low, fixed monthly fee for our energy service that delivers 100% renewable electricity generated on their roof by a system that we own and manage for them for 20 years.

Find out how you can make the switch to cleaner, cheaper and more reliable electricity here