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GLOBAL RENEWABLES ONLINE - JULY/AUGUST 2012
G
RO HAD THE
unique oppor-
tunity to speak with Tim Bish-
op, Co-Chair of Solar Action in New
Zealand, about the country’s commit-
ment to renewable energy. As an orga-
nization, Solar Action “provides a
unique overview of the New Zealand
renewable energy research and indus-
try.” As a member company of Solar
Action/ISES, there are a number of
benefits including receiving the NZ
Solar Action Bulletin (4 physical or
electronic issues per year), Renewable
Energy Focus Magazine (6 digital is-
sues per year), the ISES Newsletter (6
digital issues), ISES Membership Card,
a reduced fee at selected ISES interna-
tional and national conferences, re-
duced prices at Online BookShop, and
access to the Members Directory (vis-
ible only to members).
5 QUESTIONS FOR TIM BISHOP
What is the single biggest chal-
lenge in renewables right now in
New Zealand?
There are incentives for business-
es to improve their energy efficiencies,
but for residential consumers, there are
no direct incentives.
How has the industry changed
since you’ve been over there?
There is definitely a growing rec-
ognition of a coming need for renew-
ables. Industry has grown; there are
more legitimate installers, provider
and specifiers in the commercial and
residential areas.
What is Solar Action’s main fo-
cus for the next few years?
We need more demonstration
projects in different sectors. We have
large renewable projects, but without
demonstration projects it’s hard to see
how we can implement renewable
energy in specific industries. For in-
stance, more remote agriculture com-
munities need deployment of renew-
able technologies, so we need to see
expansion of these technologies. We
also are looking at how to train more
capable people in renewables, design-
ers, and engineers, get more training in
the pipeline.
What is the government’s role in
promoting renewable energy?
The government needs to provide
funding for demonstration projects.
And we also need to get rid of those
regulatory hurdles that are obstacles
for development.
What’s next?
We’ve done really well for large
scale energy. Now, we need to encour-
age renewable on the smaller scale, in
residential development.
“Solar Action is an
exclusively renewable
energy advocacy group,
with a focus on sustainable
energy use and develop-
ment.”
SOLAR ACTION AND ISES