A Kiwi company has chosen today - Global Divestment Day - to launch a radical new initiative in solar power, whereby its customers buy solar power - not solar panels.
Divestment. It's a word fossil fuel companies don't like to hear, but are increasingly hearing nonetheless.
Today is Global Divestment Day, a public call to action encouraging people to avert the catastrophic effects of global warming by diverting funds from fossil fuel investments and adopting renewable energy sources such as hydropower and solar instead.
Global Divestment Day focuses on the future of New Zealand by challenging consumers and businesses to move away from fossil fuels. Taking a step towards this goal Mr. Deepak Desousa from Henderson, Auckland will be the first person in the country to have solarZero installed.
It's an initiative of New Zealand company solarcity, whereby customers have panels installed on their roof but, rather than buying those panels, they instead buy the power produced from them at a rate lower than they can buy it from power companies. Furthermore, that rate is locked down for 20 years, giving customers freedom from spiralling power prices and the ability to forecast two decades ahead.
Andrew Booth, founder and chief executive of solarcity explains: "85% of Kiwis want to go solar but have been put off by the upfront cost of the panels. For the first time in New Zealand there is now a simple way to go solar with little or no upfront costs. This first-of-its-kind $0-down plan is designed to let families generate cheaper power without having to choose between helping the environment and saving money.
"We can deliver power at a price that's 10% below the current provider and fix that price for 20 years. That's a huge benefit when you consider the cost of power has increased by 69% over the last 10 years. Mr. Desousa is leading the way for Auckland by being the first to show that with the power of solar we can help guide Kiwis towards a sustainable energy future."
To help the nation achieve the government's goal of achieving 90% renewable energy by 2025, solarcity has joined forces with the University of Otago to launch the solarLab initiative. This is a study into solar energy usage, that will be conducted through real-time research of 120 solarZero systems installed onto residential and commercial properties, including schools and businesses. The aim of the study is to better inform and guide New Zealand towards a sustainable energy future. As part of the study, there is also the opportunity to beta-test the latest technologies in the energy efficiency and solar space.
Booth comments, "Not only do we want to give people the option of buying solar power instead of panels but we also want to find out more about how we use energy as a nation to help move New Zealand toward a sustainable energy future, which is the purpose of solarLab. We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century and if more people go solar, that country could be New Zealand.
"Our country with its dependence on farming will be at the coalface of climate change as the weather patterns start to change. Despite the evidence of the severe impact of climate change, we as a country and Auckland in particular remain hooked on coal and gas. We are the last generation that can stop climate change, we have huge reserves of sunshine, so making use of it is simply a matter of common sense."
Find out more about solarZero here.
Learn more about Global Divestment Day here.