Can anyone spot the problem with this picture?

Only the Greens would promote this…in this way.

I think solar is a great idea, if implemented right, but focussing on a subsidy…which is what a buy back rate is, is silly.

Install solar for the right reasons…reducing your reliance on grid power…if you get a bonus with some buy back rate, then so be it, but make your decision to install solar on the savings not on the buy back rate.

If you want real answers on solar instead of the loony Greens then have a chat to the sponsor of the Map of the Day…What Power Crisis – he’s a top chap…isn’t loopy, and can look at loads of potential solutions.

Far better to look at solution rather than lame protests in the pouring rain.


– Twitter


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  • Jaffa

    It’s overcast, and raining?

    • Sally

      They should have done their protest in Whakatane – more sunshine there than any other place in NZ.

  • They are doing their solar protest standing in the rain?

    They don’t have a PR bone in their bodies, do they?

    • Old Man, Torbay.

      As well as the front guy sporting a red tie.

  • Monty

    Surely a fair price is what a willing buyer and willing seller will pay. If I generate power from what ever means then I need to find someone to buy it. At what ever price I can negotiate.

    If there is a limited market because I supply power only during the day in summer ( mostly ) when demand is lowest then the price I have to accept is then going to be low. But the greens are economically illiterate so it would be unreasonable to expect them the actually understand the essential principal of supply and demand

  • Andy

    There are several problems with solar PV. The buy back rate from meridian was 4 times the wholesale rate (I think it has dropped now) which means that non-solar users are subsidising solar users. Solar is not “free”. The kit is expensive (though dropping in price) and more solar on the grid means less margins for the lines companies, so they put their prices up to compensate. There is also a lot of energy and materials (read: mining) that goes into these things, that have a lifetime of maybe 20 years, and then probably and up in landfill

    For the most part, we are replacing one renewable resource (hydro) with another.

    I am looking at PV as an option for our new house build, but is has become a bit of a fashion accessory. It fits perfectly as personal eco-bling but I doubt that it has much if any overall benefit for society.

    In other words, a perfect fit for the urban Green voter

    • andrewo

      We did the numbers on solar last year. In essence there’s no payback because by the time you’ve broken even on the cost of the installation, the guarantee on the equipment has expired.

      New technology with better efficiency is on the way so I suspect that people who are installing panels now will own the ‘betamax’ version of solar installations in years to come.

      • Andy

        Thanks, that was my feeling too.

      • Monty Bank

        I recently read (can’t recall the source) an engineer who sounded like he knew what he was talking about said in 5 years the panels will improve by a factor of at least 4 and in 10 years storage batteries will themselves be economic.

        Patience will be rewarded.

        • No one uses storage anymore…install an inverter…use free solar when the sun shines…and pay a small amount for when it doesn’t…compromise solution.

          • I.M Bach

            The problem being; when you use less power from the grid they simply up the fixed charges to compensate and your bill stays the same, or roughly. As long as you’re connected to the grid they’ve got you by the short and curlies.

          • Bartman

            What’s more – for a small additional cost you have your ‘free’ solar electricity wired to your hot water circuit. Hey presto you avoid around 30% of your electricity consumption. Best to get good design advice up front, especially when building from new.

      • MaryLou
  • George

    Wet people with wet solutions on a wet day. The band Wet Wet Wet had an album called “Holding back the river”. Dam them all I say!

  • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

    Can anyone spot the problem with this picture?

    That’s easy NZ has more solar panels than Green supporters.Why do they always try and fudge the numbers.

  • Woody

    Dimwits, fancy protesting for Solar in the rain. Not only have they no economic sense, I doubt they have an understanding of the requirements to have an effective Solar setup.
    If I was installing Solar at our home, I would not be factoring in any economic gain from any potential sales as the likelihood of that gain remaining in place is doubtful. I would be doing my sums on what direct benefit I might be getting.

    I have already installed a reasonable amount of Solar on our motorhome which works very well.

    • Albert Lane

      We had a caravan with a solar panel. It charged two large batteries that powered an inverter, and it provided all the power we needed when we were off-road or not connected to mains power.

  • Drhill

    I though Solar Panels were heavy as anything, why is there someone holding one in each hand in the back row?
    Could they possibly be cardboard made to look like Solar Panels?

    • david W

      My understanding is that the new types are thin and light(er)

    • OneTrack

      They look like cardboard to me. Especially the young lady holding two – one in each hand.

  • kiwihornplayer

    Has anyone ever performed a cost analysis of the watts of energy required to mine, transport, and manufacture one solar cell compared to the total watts that single cell is able to produce over its useful life-span?

    • Yeahright

      It’s called the cost to purchase. They ain’t selling at a loss.
      I have solar and it is going to take ten years to cover costs (at current rates), hopefully not incurring any on the way.
      At the end of the day I like the technology, costs come second, thirdly it offsets my big gas guzzler car

    • MrBarrington

      Yes… a number of studies have been done… google around your key words and you should find some interesting info… however, the general outcome is that as solar is quite inefficient at converting heat into energy the economics are poor… much better to build a nuclear power station than focus on solar…

  • Tom

    Summed it up in one word above:

    • zotaccore

      Yes. And afterwards they would have jumped into their petrol driven gas emitting vehicles and gone off for a group hug… their carbon footprints are probably greater than the average Kiwi’s. They really are a joke.

  • Iva b ginn

    This buyback scheme was tried in Australia I think that there was a subsidy as well as to put them on your roof and you got 25 cent pkwh. They found that they were loosing money so stopped any more instillation, now the price has dropped down in some cases to 9 cent a kwh which makes it completely inefficient and expensive.
    Gavin wonders why people don’t care, posting photo’s like this doesn’t help their cause. total bunch of no-hopers.

    • Goldfish

      Japan had a similar issue but on a larger scale:

      The Gweens are like Labour – propose “solutions” that have already been tried elsewhere and been an utter failure. But they always “forget” to mention those failures.

    • Dave

      The buy back scheme in Aussie is still on in some states, and it does stack up economically at 6 to 12 cents per KW/H for the power companies, as they don’t have to buy and transmit power, or build more and more coal fired power stations. But the crazies were giving 40cents per KW/h and still are to anyone who signed up to it prior to when the initial scheme was withdrawn approx 2 years ago. The ridiculous thing, they got $0.40 for power they produced, then only paid $0.29 for power they purchased when the sun stopped shining! Now, the national buy back rate is around $0.08 per KW/hour, the industry is in serious decline. Solar is still a good investment, its well worth it, but the subsidies masked the real benefits.

      • Iva b ginn

        I don’t have any issues with solar systems as we have been experimenting with them at the moment, The problem start when you bring subsides into the equation.

  • Goldfish

    Yesterday on the news there was a segment on Sylvia Park Mall which has just installed a huge stack of panels on the roof of the mall. The stated cost was $750K, and the hope to save $80K per year.

    The economics of that are rooted. It’s going to take 10 years to break even. Then there’s maintenance costs – they’ll need to be cleaned regularly (they’re right beside a motorway in an exposed an often windy location, so lots of dirt and crap in the air), and no doubt vandals will have a go at them as well. At the 10 year point they’ll be starting to get towards the end of their useful life and they’ll have to start planning to replace them.

    They’ve done this for the wrong reason. There was no mention of batteries for storage, so it wasn’t done to decrease reliance on the grid. This installation even has a limited shelf life as a PR exercise. When the experiment fails I hope the management are as open about it so everyone else can learn from it.

    • dgrogan

      The advantage here, is that the electricity generated is used during the day, when the mall is operational.
      Edit: They even give it away to shoppers with electric cars I understand.

    • ozbob68

      I don’t get it, they claim they are only generating 16% of the power required to run the Mall during the day, but they are giving away electricity in charging points for electric cars. Why didn’t they remove the charging points and direct more power to the Mall?

    • Gillie

      Photovoltaic (PV) small installations like this are not as clean as they are made out to be. tons of rare earth elements would have needed to be mined for the manufacture of these panels, the toxic by products of the manufacturing process are causing a big problem in the US at the moment as they are running out of space to put it.

  • dgrogan

    Electricity pricing is based on supply and demand. No electricity retailer requires additional supply outside peak usage times [solar electricity is generated outside these times, generally].
    Why should the taxpayer subsidise expensively generated electricity which nobody needs or wants?
    If householders want to get the best price for their excess solar electricity, they’ll need to install efficient batteries and switch gear to store it until it can be fed back into the grid at peak usage times. But even then, the high cost of the storage equipment would mean their returns are marginal, I’d imagine.

    • BlitzkriegNZ

      Can’t let facts and logic stand in the way of a greens protest though.

  • peterwn

    What a daft time for a protest – when the MP’s are gone and everyone is preparing for Christmas. Rather like Ken Mair’s protest camp at Waiouru in the middle of winter years ago.

  • D.Dave

    I have a solar panel, but it has die back, not buy back, just saying….. No rational person would make the decision on how much they can sell on. It is the savings that count. It is like our wetback, which reduces our power bill to under $200/month, it the savings that count.