A major University of Canterbury (UC) research project has begun looking at the national grid to make it smarter.
UC’s Dr Allan Miller who is heading the research said they are looking at ways to safely and economically embed new renewable generation into the electricity network, especially the distribution network to ensure a secure electricity supply.
New Zealand is targeting 90 percent of electricity generation to be from renewable sources by 2025, providing this can ensure a secure supply of electricity. Dr Miller said the target was challenging but realistic, given New Zealand's renewable energy potential, and expertise in renewable development. The government last week announced a grant of $6.3 million for the important UC research project.
"New Zealand currently generates about 75 percent of its electricity from renewable generation, making it a world-wide leader in this area,’’ Dr Miller said.
"However finding the additional 15 percent will be a stretch, remembering that the demand for electricity typically grows each year as well. It's not just finding 15 percent, but continuing to develop renewable generation to keep up with load growth.
"We believe that this will be made up predominantly from geothermal, wind, and solar, with much of the solar being from domestically installed (rooftop) installations. Geothermal generates at a fairly constant output for long periods. However wind and solar vary - as the wind blows and when the sun shines.
CAfE is the official energy agency for Christchurch. We are committed to developing Christchurch as an energy-smart city.