Big rise in NZ solar generation

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

Climate stripes, created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins, show how NZ has warmed over the last century.

Solar and batteries

Solar generation for NZ in the June period was up 31 per cent from a year earlier, reports Energy News (paywall). And, renewable power generation reached a 37-year high, hitting 85 per cent, reports Newsroom.

South Australia is entering a new phase of its transition towards a 100 per cent renewable energy grid, with solar starting to become the biggest contributor to the state’s grid in the middle of the day, reports Renew Economy.

Renewables and fossil fuels

The world's supply of oil hit a record last month reaching 100 million barrels a day for the first time ever, boosted by rising production in the U.S. and several OPEC nations, reports the NZ Herald.

Massive public support for an immediate shift to renewable energy sources is causing problems for US utility companies, reports Vox.

Climate change

Newly found documents from the 1980s show that Shell and Exxon privately predicted the global damage that would be caused by their products, reports the Guardian.

If we don’t act on climate change, the destruction potential of slow-moving storms, such as Hurricane Florence that hit the US in the weekend, will only get worse, writes atmospheric scientist Michael E Mann in the Guardian.

Ed Hawkins, climate scientist and the creator of the climate spirals data visualisation, has produced a graphic of temperature stripes that clearly shows NZ has warmed over the last century, reports the Spinoff.

Power prices

Economist Dr Stephen Poletti says tacit collusion may have handed New Zealand power generators $5.4 billion in excess profits over six years, reports Stuff. In response Greenpeace said distributed generation, like solar, and storage is going to be essential if we are to cut the mega-profits of electricity companies, at the same time as generating the renewable electricity we will need in the future.

The government's electricity price review revealed prices have surged up almost 80 per cent since 1990. It also found that people who don't shop around are paying up to 50 per cent more. Frances Cook from Newstalk ZB talked to the head of research at Consumer NZ, Jessica Wilson, about the issues.

Hawke's Bay organisations are stepping forward to help power customers deal with ever rising bills, with 450 low-income families receiving help to stay warm and healthy, reports the NZ Herald.

Electric vehicles

The electrification of commercial transport, aviation, shipping and trains is a huge market opportunity, that moves us closer to hitting the Paris goals, reports BNEF.

VW has announced a plan to get 27 electric vehicle models into production by the end of 2022. Audi has launched its first mainstream EV production model, the e-tron, reports Driven. And, Lucid Motors, the electric car startup that aims to compete with Tesla, will receive an $1 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, reports The Verge.

Two and a half thousand e-scooters are set to hit the streets of Auckland in the coming months, courtesy of bike-sharing company Onzo, reports the NZ Herald.