What is solar power?
Put simply - the energy released by the sun that reaches Earth. The Sun is a star, generating nuclear fusion at its core which becomes energy that radiates into space (including towards earth) as heat and light. It’s no secret that the Sun is an essential part of maintaining life on the planet. Sunlight is an essential part of photosynthesis, the process by which plants get their energy. Animals need plants for oxygen and food. It also warms our planet to make it habitable, playing a key role in water cycles. There’s links to sun and its impact on mood - who doesn’t feel happier on a sunny day?
How is solar energy collected?
This solar radiation is harnessed by our planet in many natural ways. Solar Power Systems either use the sun’s warmth to heat water or they convert the light from the sun into electricity using special equipment, often centred around technology known as photovoltaics (photo = referring to light, volt = referring to electricity) or PV for short. Read more in our dedicated section on How Solar Power Works for a deeper look at the process of converting sun into electricity and check out our guide on Solar Power Systems to better understand the equipment involved.
The future of solar energy in New Zealand
Solar power, while still representing a small percentage of power sources in New Zealand, is growing in popularity. The reduction in equipment and installation costs is certainly a contributing factor. Power companies are offering buy back rates from solar power generated by customers, helping them save even more on power.
Opting for solar energy solutions in new builds is increasingly attractive, as Kiwis look to be both financially better off and more sustainable.
Is solar power right for me?
To decide if solar power is a good option for you, and which type of system, we recommend you talk with multiple solar power system providers and consider your house and its location carefully. Some maths will be required to calculate how long it’ll take before the investment of a system will be paid off (and from that point, what sort of savings you can expect to enjoy).
If you’re already generating solar power and are interested in finding out about how you can sell this back into the grid, check out our page on solar power buy back.