Let's build the People's Power Station and help fight climate change

Kia Ora New Zealanders, 

The shutting down of society as we know it has given us all a lot of time for reflection. In our hearts, we all know that we can’t think we’re going to go ‘back to normal', because things weren’t normal before. 

A key question for me as the COP26 Conference is set to begin in Glasgow is whether this time of reflection will give us all a chance to permanently alter the course of the climate crisis. I believe it might well do so, pulling forward the date at which demand for oil and gas peaks and then collapses, never to recover, and allowing our land and our communities to gradually heal.

With only 9 years remaining to turn around the climate crisis, the way in which we, as elders now choose to “return to normal” over the coming weeks and months will determine the very future of the next generation. The time is now to ask whether we want to continue spending $11.2 billion dollars a year [1] importing oil when we all see in our bank accounts and in the quality of the air we breathe the benefits of powering our cars and our economy on our own, locally generated renewable energy. 

We live in one of the world’s fairest, cleanest countries and have a reputation for showing the world how to achieve greatness. I am proud of how in the face of COVID19 we have shown the world a better, fairer, and kinder way to stop the virus in its tracks. Yet again our nation which was the first to give women the vote, the first to go nuclear-free has, has risen up and done what's needed to be done to meet the challenges we have faced. 

What saddens me is that there's very little that our children can do to stop the climate changes we as elders have put in motion. But there is hope - this current crisis has shown us that given purpose we can all rise to the occasion and effect change. Just look at the air quality improvements experienced during last year’s lockdown. Imagine the impact we could have if we made some of these changes permanent. Replace cars with electric vehicles, limit our use of petrol-based vehicles and change our shopping and working habits. We have to meet this challenge today as we emerge from this crisis to give the next generation a future we can be proud of. 

We know that climate change seems like an impossible challenge, but in the face of this challenge through our love for this country, we can stop it. We know the challenges. We've heard them. We've talked about them for years. Now by shopping locally, getting rid of plastic bags, consuming less, not more, re-powering our communities with solar power, and switching to electric vehicles, we have the beginning of a plan.

What's stopped us from meeting these challenges to date is not the absence of sound policies. What's stopped us is that we haven’t provided our own communities with the tools they need to be part of the change we need to make.

For years we have been told by some that the rising costs of power are a fact of life, that climate change is a hoax and that when disasters strike on our doorstep and our farmers run short on water, we've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. The oil companies write the checks and our communities get to pay the bills.

Let’s be the generation that reshapes our nation to stop climate change. Let's start this change on our own roofs - the roofs of our homes, schools and businesses to give the children the tools and resources they will need to succeed in our changing world. Let’s save money on power, stop importing oil, repower our nation from our own rooftops and use the money we save to shop locally, recruit more teachers and nurses, create new clean-tech jobs to ensure our children have everything they need to succeed.

Let’s be the generation that tackles climate change head-on. Let's be the generation that says right here, right now, that we will be 100% renewable 20 years faster than any other nation on earth. Freeing our nation from the tyranny and expense of oil. Turning this time of crisis into a moment of opportunity for innovation, and job creation, and an incentive for businesses that will serve as a model for the world. Let's be the generation that makes future generations proud of what we did. 

Let's take the global focus on COP26 to build a people's power station across every roof in New Zealand. To power our nation in a new way where every electron is used for good. 

The GridforGoodTM we have started to build alongside over 5,000 kiwis is already one of the largest community power stations in the world. Each of our solarZero guardians is at the heart of the way to power our nation - a way that’s not just about solar, clean technology, energy efficiency and electric cars - it is about what we can achieve together.

By ourselves, the changes we need to make will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail. There is power in hope, let us begin a change today that marks a new beginning and make good on the promises we make every day to our children to give them the best chance at a brighter future.

Ngā mihi
Andy Booth
solarZero CEO and Founder

1. Overseas goods trade – 2018 in review