Too often we consider climate change targets to be something the Government must deliver for us. That the actions of the individual are too tiny to be of worth.
But when it comes to our Renewable Electricity targets, that is far from the case. In fact it is the individual household that will drive the change to end coal generated power in New Zealand. We are a country blessed with an abundance in renewable energy sources of hydro, wind, geothermal and solar.
The burning of coal at Huntly has become a lazy habit, that can be stopped by flattening our peak evening energy. We all can make this happen by changing behavior, embracing smart technology, installing solar and if you can, working from home.
Work from Home:
We saw during lock down fossil fuel generated electricity dropped from 17% to just 9% caused by a flattening in electricity demand and the removal of the evening peak. Driven largely by people being at home during the day. In fact, working from home is a huge win for the planet, because not only does it reduce the need for coal generated electricity, it dramatically reduces vehicle emissions.
Whenever you are changing appliances choose the most energy efficient option you can afford. And where possible select appliances where you can “delay start”. This enables you to utilize cheaper electricity rates during the day or late evening and reduces the peak time power needs. Also look seriously at swapping out traditional light bulbs for LEDs.
The key to eliminate coal electricity generation is to decrease our evening peak power usage. At this peak period avoid using major appliances such as the washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner or dishwasher. If possible, utilize crock pots and gas hobs when cooking dinner, or eat your main meal at lunch time as the oven is a major energy drain. Only heat and light the rooms that you are using. And of course, if you reduce your overall power consumption you are reducing the strain on the grid and saving money
Install Solar and Batteries:
To achieve 100% renewable electricity, we need to embrace hydro, wind, geothermal and Solar Energy.
, free power. Solar can also be stored in batteries to be used at peak times to heat your home or to cook dinner. It also provides back up emergency power when the grid goes down.
100% renewable electricity is tantalizingly close. We achieved over 91% renewable energy for a week during lock down, and a few times in the spring and summer of 2019/2020 we hit 93% renewable generation. Let’s work together to put an end to coal power in New Zealand.