Aussie’s large scale solar and battery project, Arctic temperatures soar

Arctic temperatures in February 2018 are averaging well above normal, and peaking up to 25 degrees higher than normal.

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

The first large-scale solar and battery storage project to be connected to the grid in Australia has started providing power to 3,000 homes and businesses in Queensland, reports PV Tech.

The unbeatable mix of solar and batteries is edging natural gas out of US power markets. Early estimates show that Europe installed about 8.6 GW of solar power systems in 2017, a 28% increase over systems installed in 2016. And Mexico's solar industry has shot out of nowhere to become a world leader, reports Greentech Media.

Malaysia and the Philippines have joined the growing list of countries heading to the World Trade Organisation to request consultations with the US over its 30% solar import tariffs.

New Zealand's first solar panel-powered electric bicycle recharging station has opened in Auckland.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Based on existing technologies, the world could be powered on 100% renewable electricity by 2050, according to a groundbreaking new study.

Electricity generated from renewable sources increased from 14% to 18% in the US last year - double the level of a decade ago, reports CleanTechnica.

BP expects the global hunger for oil to grow for years and not peak until the late 2030s.

Climate change

Temperatures in the Arctic are 25 degrees above normal for winter. This huge spike is another striking indicator of its rapidly transforming climate.

Sea-level rise - one of the biggest consequences of global warming - will still be happening 300 years from now, even if humans stop emitting greenhouse gases before the end of the current century, according to a new report.

Scientists may need to create a new Category 6 for cyclones as the effects of climate change make them more extreme.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says cyclone Gita and other recent extreme weather events highlight the importance of long term planning against the damaging effects of climate change and sea level rises. The $27 million cost to insurers following the storm that hit NZ in early January demonstrates the importance of adapting to climate change, says the Insurance Council. Northland's coast has been newly charted showing where 13,500 properties potentially stand in the path of tide and time.

The aviation industry needs to adapt to climate change which is already grounding flights around the world, reports the Guardian.

Climate change is driving massive business change and there's money to be made from shifting to cleaner energy, writes Liam Dann in the NZ Herald.

Electric vehicles

More than 50 Tauranga City Council staff are owners of electric bikes as part of a council initiative to encourage fewer single-occupant cars into the city centre.

Kiwi Gareth Shute reviews his experiences of driving an electric car for the past two years, in The Spinoff.