China ramps up solar, record high temps hit NZ

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

January 2018 is tracking to be NZ's warmest month since records began in 1909. Niwa Weather

Solar and batteries

China’s record number of solar installations last year totalled about half of the global increase in solar capacity for 2017.

New data shows solar energy creates more jobs in the US than any other industry. However, some of those jobs are under threat following a decision by the US to impose tariffs on imported solar panel components. Time describes it as the biggest blow that US President Donald Trump has dealt to the country's renewable energy industry yet. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the solar revolution is happening so fast that the tariff will make little difference. Reaction to the tariff news from the solar industry, trade bodies, companies and countries is compiled by PV Tech.

The south Indian state of Tamil Nadu has announced plans to set up a 500 megawatt solar power park. Concentrated solar power technology could be the start of a new era in energy production, reports Big Think.

The World Bank plans to make energy storage an integral part of its ‘Scaling Solar’ programme aimed at developing countries and emerging markets.

Renewables and fossil fuels

There are strong global signals that burning gas for electricity generation is on the way out, reports Greenbiz.

Trump’s efforts to put US coal miners back to work stumbled in most coal producing states last year, reports Reuters.

Bathurst Coal, already censured for dirtying waterways around a Canterbury coal mine, has been fined another $10,000 for further violations, reports Stuff.

Climate change

The heatwave New Zealand is experiencing has the country on track for the hottest month since records began in 1909.

US mayors increasingly view climate change as a pressing urban issue, so much so that many advocate policies that could inconvenience residents or even hurt their cities financially.

Along the rocky coasts of Ireland's Aran Islands, scientists have found a new demonstration of the immense power of ocean waves - and a possible hint of what we should fear if climate change makes coastal storms more intense.

While planes spraying chemicals to cool the earth may sound like something from a conspiracy theorist’s top 10, solar geoengineering is being taken seriously, reports Newsroom.

Electric vehicles

British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta has plans to reopen a former Holden factory to build electric vehicles in Australia, reports Reuters.

Auckland Transport has added 20 EVs to its fleet. Nearly all of New Zealand’s current EV owners will buy electric again, reveals a survey by Flip the Fleet.

The world's first fully electric barges will start operating from European ports this year, reports the Guardian.