Global solar set to overtake wind energy, NZ needs to fast track new clean energy

Cochin International Airport, in India, the world's first solar powered airport. Credit: Forbes India.

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

Solar will surpass wind in global energy capacity starting in 2020, making it the fourth largest source of energy generation behind coal, gas and hydro, according to Global Power Industry Outlook, 2018.

Last year set records for rooftop solar and battery installations in Australia, as well as large-scale renewable energy projects. And that was just a glimpse of the unprecedented level of activity expected in the next couple of years, says the Clean Energy Council.

Every new home in California is going solar by 2020. If solar-energy companies have their way, those homes also will come with batteries that will help transform the grid, reports Quartz.

American businesses are investing record amounts in solar. CNBC's Sustainable Energy looks at the top 10 corporations in the U.S. by their installed capacity of solar power. One of those companies, Amazon, has just completed a solar project in Las Vegas that takes up roof space equivalent to 3.5 football fields.

Forbes India looks behind the scenes of the world's largest solar powered airport.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Power prices soared over the last few evenings as energy utilities fired up coal, gas and even diesel generators to fill a spike in demand for heating during this week’s cold snap. Greenpeace says the situation highlights the need to fast-track the development of new renewable energy like solar, batteries and wind power, in order to deliver cleaner and more affordable power to New Zealanders.

Canada will fund an oil pipeline and its controversial expansion project in a bid to ensure it gets built, amid fierce opposition, reports the Guardian.

Climate change

April marked the 400th consecutive month with global temperatures exceeding the 20th century average, more evidence the Earth is warming, according to the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information, reports Bloomberg.

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet, reports the Guardian.

Over the coming years, thousands of New Zealand families are going to get some seriously bad news about climate change's impact on the value of their properties, writes Brian Fallow in the NZ Herald.

The Spinoff looks at what NZ has to do to achieve carbon neutrality in just over three decades.

Power prices

Customers who have not tried to switch power company in the past two years are probably being ripped off, according to one new market player, according to one marker player, reports Stuff. And Stuff also reports the number complaints about billing is rising and that a survey reveals that more than a third of us don't know how to read our power bills.

Electric vehicles

Drive Electric is providing first-hand advice on how to introduce electric vehicles into company fleets in NZ. And, Autocar  reports that NZ has joined an international forum of the world’s top electric markets to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles locally.

Car dealers are presenting a critical barrier to the wide-spread adoption of electric cars in Nordic countries, according to a new study, reports Drive.

Electric bikes are quickly filling the needs of urban commuters, especially in Europe and China, reports Bloomberg.