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Figures released this month by the government showed that New Zealand's net emissions of greenhouse gases climbed 42 percent between 1990 and 2013, driven by a rise of almost a third from the energy sector. While the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, globally many nations and more than 50 cities including Sydney, Vancouver, San Francisco and San Diego have announced they are aiming to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by as early as 2020.
New Zealand’s leading solar power company today launched a petition to ask Parliament and city councils to unite and adopt a plan to power the nation with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. The petition is focused on ensuring that New Zealand rejoins the clean energy race, before the global climate treaty at the United Nations meeting in Paris in December this year.
Despite 50 percent of Kiwi jobs being linked directly to New Zealand’s clean green image the nation is falling well behind the rest of the world. Last summer, Germany with its low solar radiance achieved 50 percent of its electricity from solar, while Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in the world announced that it is installing solar on 60,000 new homes a month with plans to be entirely solarised by 2020.
“Historically New Zealand has led the world in the development and integration of renewables into its electricity supply. Now thanks to New Zealand’s high power prices solar makes economic sense without government subsidies,” says solarcity’s founder and CEO Andrew Booth. “With 50 percent of our jobs being linked to our clean green image, our addiction to fossil fuels threatens to put one out of every two Kiwis in our nation out of work, seriously damaging the economy and the environment.”
solarcity recently launched solarZero, a programme, which it is hoped will be the tipping point for a mass uptake of solar and the catalyst needed to help New Zealand achieve their renewable energy targets, based on the success of similar programmes in North America5. solarZero homeowners buy solar power directly from their roof at a cheaper rate than traditional power and solarcity covers the cost of the panels, installation, monitoring and on-going repairs.
Booth comments, “Being clean and green is part of our nation’s DNA and the faster we embrace renewable energy, the less likely it is that we will have to adopt crisis measures to combat climate change.”
Simon Millar, CEO of Pure Advantage leant his support to solarcity.
“Pure Advantage support the leadership initiative shown by solarcity and believe the efforts by the company to catalyse a broader uptake of solar as a renewable energy source will succeed. Moreover, solarcity is "walking the talk" with innovative programs that should lead to increased consumer buy-in about the multiple benefits of renewables in general,” says Millar.
More details on how to join solarcity’s 100% renewable energy petition to Parliament are available here https://www.toko.org.nz/petitions/get-nz-back-in-the-clean-energy-race-this-petition-is-to-upgrade-nz-s-renewable-energy-goal-to-100