New Zealand has excess amounts of sunlight, more than enough to power the entire country with solar energy. NIWA scientists provide ample evidence to support this claim, stating that “The solar energy arriving at the roofs of New Zealand homes over the course of a year is twice the country’s total annual energy consumption, or 16 times the energy used in those homes.”
In New Zealand, electricity production via solar power systems varies from region to region. This can be dependent on:
Latitude and locations located closer to the equator will generate more solar power
The amount of cloud cover a region/area experiences
NIWA has taken multiple years of weather data and estimated the solar energy we have available around New Zealand. NIWA’s solar radiation map (seen below) displays areas that experience the greatest amount of sunlight in a given day. Locations with a higher proportion of clear-sky days such as Nelson, Blenheim, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke’s Bay, correspond with higher solar irradiance.
Resource from NIWA Science
There's no doubt about it, all areas of New Zealand are worthy of having a solar power system installed. Sure, Invercargill receives lower amounts of solar radiation in comparison to other parts of New Zealand, however, Invercargill gets more sun than Germany, which has one of the highest rates of solar power per capita in the world.
This chart indicates the approximate annual energy production of different size systems, ranging from a 1.6kW system to an 8kW; in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. This data is collected from SMA's Sunny Design Web.
|Approximate Yearly Generation From Different Solar Power System Sizes & New Zealand Regions (in kilowatt hours)|