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Scott Willis

Hi Norman and all,
Firstly, thank you Norman for the challenge. I certainly appreciated the work you’ve previously done on the economics of PV, and as you know I am a proponent of analyses that take into account the change in energy culture that accompanies PV uptake (and improves the economics incidentally).
The Smart Grid Forum is up and running, and it incorporates non-government participants as well as those from govt. agencies. In our own neck of the woods we are trying to get practical things happening on the ground, with trials of smart grid tech happening in the Blueskin space. I am certainly following the SGF work and receive minutes and updates.

BUT I would value CEN’s role in solar increasing – in the first instance it would be more a ‘state of play’ in order to understand the very chaotic solar space, and perhaps continuing the hub, ‘collective entity’ if you like. And EnergyShare (http://www.energyshare.co.nz/) is a practical attempt at this already. The real challenge for us here (in Blueskin) to do more with our experience in solar is time, people and resourcing – we can’t see the wood for the trees as it were, and solar for us isn’t a social business, it is just part of the community service (information) that we provide, while we work on the main project and subsidiary work. From my own experience in PV at our own home, it felt as if putting up solar at home was as complicated as putting up community wind! (That said, the 2kW home array is up, the 2.55MW community wind farm is still in process…). What would it take for CEN to take a more active role in solar?

One of the big issues any general approach to solar will face is the great diversity of situations and arrangements, from inner city solar, to distributed collectives, to network led investment, to rural ‘viral’ solar creep…

Cheers, Scott