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The Growing Popularity of Solar Worldwide

Solar power is just as successful at generating interest as it is electricity.

The rapid uptake of domestic solar systems has been driven by headline-grabbing schemes and innovations around the globe. From big-ticket items such as China’s proposed solar power station orbiting 36,000km in space or Tesla’s game-changing Gigafactory, to solar powered electric vehicle charging stations (one in Tauranga) and the continued evolution of PV panels and battery storage technology.

Even traditional giant fossil fuel companies realise there’s been a worldwide shift towards renewables. This month, BP announced via its annual energy outlook, it expects wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to be the world’s main source of power by 2040.

In terms of how quickly this new technology has caught on, this would make solar power part of the fastest-growing source of global energy in history. When you compare the time it took to move from a 1% share of the world’s energy generation to 10%, it took gas more than 50 years, oil nearly 45 years and renewables less than 25 years.

Transpower’s Te Mauri Hiko project released at the end of 2018, demonstrates the inevitable conclusion of solar’s increased popularity. It estimates around 25% of future power in New Zealand will be technology based, at or near where it is needed (ie: solar panels on houses and commercial buildings).

The reasons for solar’s worldwide growth are:

  1. The continued decrease in the cost of solar panels.
  2. The response to a growing demand for a solar installation industry.
  3. The demand for battery storage and the rise in popularity of electric vehicles.
  4. People’s desire to reduce their energy bills, play their part in tackling climate change and become more self-sufficient.


This sums up solar’s popularity perfectly for Harrisons Energy Solution’s General Manager Phil Harrison. The company has always been about using the best and latest technological advances to create healthy, liveable homes while giving as much control as possible to the everyday Kiwi consumer.

Harrisons has tapped into solar’s increased popularity with:

  1. Trusted brands playing major roles in the market. For example, companies such as LG increasing their product warranty on panels to 25 years just shows the progress they’ve made in reliability.
  2. Demonstrated advances in technology. From smart monitoring and automation which can result in greater capacity for storage or panels which generate more power.
  3. Support for real, environmental change. Harrisons backs a Greenpeace petition signed by 22,000 New Zealanders to date, demanding Energy Minister, Megan Woods ends oil and gas subsidies, and use that $88 million per year on solar panels and batteries for 500,000 homes by 2030.

Phil has seen solar grow from a small industry which some thought was overly complicated or out of their reach in terms of price, to one which is dominating debate and commanding headlines both in New Zealand and around the world.

“The popularity has grown alongside a shift in the awareness,” he says. “We’ve seen a big lift in sales of batteries over the past year, and that’s because most people considering solar are already aware of the technology and want to know more.

“Companies like Tesla are driving the interest with their new operating systems and high-end contemporary products. People are now looking at what sort of system they’d need at home if they wanted to run an electric vehicle.”

Solar has managed to convert technology into actual success stories on the ground. From solar micro-grids throughout Africa and solar farms in Thailand, to Tarewa Mega Centre in Whangarei using solar to run its air-con - success stories are everywhere.


For more information on how solar power and battery storage can revolutionise your home and lifestyle, contact Harrisons Energy to book a consultation or find your nearest Harrisons Energy expert and we’ll guide you through the process.

Sources: BP’s annual energy outlook and Transpower’s Te Maui Hiko

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