Auckland Council votes to divest from fossil fuels, Tesla overtakes GM as most valuable US carmaker

US startup Vivint is going head-to-head with Tesla in the solar-powered smart home market. Credit: PV Magazine

We're all about saving you energy and have rounded up the latest solar, climate and energy news so you don't have to.

Solar and batteries

Coal power really does belong in a museum. Illustrated perfectly by The Kentucky Coal Museum installing solar panels to save on energy costs. The irony is strong with this one.

Elsewhere in America, California is getting so much power from solar that wholesale electricity prices are turning negative.

US startup company, Vivint Smart Home, is going head to head with Tesla in the solar-powered smart home market.

A Canberra start-up Reposit Power is using smart technology to help solar and battery users find the cheapest available power, and increase the overall efficiency of distributed generation and the grid, reports the Herald.

Renewables and fossil fuels

After years of campaigning from 350 Aotearoa and other environmental groups, Auckland council has voted to withdraw all investments from oil, gas, and coal companies.

Trials will be starting on a world first in wind power - a fully scalable technology with integrated energy storage and regeneration. This enables the storage of surplus energy under good wind conditions and re-generation of power for delivery in the absence of wind, providing continuous power regardless of wind conditions.

The Government of Canada continues to strive to be a global leader in clean technology with the 2017 budget aiming to boost growth in the sector.

As the cost of clean technology continues to fall, the world added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016, at an investment level 23 per cent lower than the previous year, according to new research.

Portland and Multnomah County in Oregon, USA, have pledged to completely transition to renewable energy sources by 2050. And also by 2050, New South Wales will see 95% renewable generation if current trends continue.

Climate change

Three recent studies point to just how broad, bizarre, and potentially devastating climate change is to life on Earth, and a coalition of 17 US states filed a legal challenge last Wednesday against efforts by Donald Trump’s administration to roll back climate change regulations, deepening a political rift over his emerging energy policies.

With increasingly extreme floods, droughts, fires and storms lashing the country, it’s hard to deny climate change has a human footprint. The Wireless looks at what we in New Zealand are already doing, and what we can do in the future to stop it.

Power prices

It’s time for an inquiry as power prices continue to rise for most Kiwis. "Power prices have skyrocketed 148 per cent since National made so-called reforms of the electricity sector in 1998 which were meant to lower prices," says NZ First energy spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.

Electric vehicles

Ford unveils its first 'pursuit rated' hybrid police car for high-speed chases and Ford will need to use those pursuit skills to catch Tesla who have now blown past GM to become the most valuable car company in the US.

Audi and Porsche have announced plans to collaborate on a shared electric car platform that both companies hope will take their cars into true next-generation territory.