Energy and solar news summary #8

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

Higher power prices are looming according to the National Business Review. Mighty River Power says recent decisions to close three coal and gas-fired power stations are already pushing up the price of wholesale electricity. The company also says the closures will start to have an impact on the security of electricity supply by about 2019.

The Electricity Authority is looking for a fairer way to pay for the national grid which currently makes up about 7.5% of the average household power bill. It's complicated. Business writer Pattrick Smellie gives his take on what's happening.

Economist Geoff Simmons, who works for the Morgan Foundation, says New Zealand should be doing more to deal with climate change. He says that despite much of our power coming from renewable resources, rather than dirty fossil fuels, our high net carbon emissions put us amongst the 10 worst offenders in the developed world.

Nearly all of Perth's daytime electricity needs will be met by rooftop solar panels within a decade, according to the State Energy Minister. In the past six years demand for solar has been running at 20-30%. about 170,000 households in the grid covering Perth now have a system.

A former chief executive of America's biggest electricity utility has called on governments to focus on distributed energy technologies, like solar, to provide electricity to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Several large solar power plants under construction in the US say they will be able to offer electricity at prices cheaper than power from natural gas-fired generators, even though gas is abundant and cheap.

And, there are now three cities in the US running 100% on renewable energy, including solar.