Counting cost of solar

Tuesday December 11, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I was surprised to hear Mangaia is getting one month of free power.


Someone has to cover the cost as the generator will still be needed, so meitaki ngao to the taxpayers, or will the local council be out of pocket?

I wonder if all pa enua got a month of free power when it was switched to solar. The two of us were left behind with the solar project due to living 3km too far away from it on Mauke. The cost to join was $1200 a metre! So we will continue happily living without refrigeration and 240v power. Years roll on and batteries and generators fail They are too costly to replace so we’ve adapted. We use 12v for lights and USB-chargers for phones, radio and MP3.

Solar power is great for reducing our carbon footprint, but the technology is costly and as one of the solar installation people here pointed out, in about 10 years, perhaps less, the island will need to replace batteries. Today that would cost around $3 million. That means Mauke’s 100 or so householders need to pay around $3000 each a year. So while some are complaining that they should be paying less now on solar, they should in fact be paying triple or be ready to adapt to how things were here only 30 years or so ago.

Simple living has its benefits.

            June Hosking

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