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Britain breaks solar records, Wellington first with electric bus fleet

Wellington's brand new fully-electric double-decker buses were launched outside Parliament on Thursday. Credit: Cameron Burnell/Stuff

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

Britain’s heatwave has helped break several solar power-generation records, and over the weekend the renewable energy source briefly eclipsed gas power stations as the UK’s top source of electricity, reports the Guardian.

The smart money will be on the development of solar energy as total replacement for our current reliance on coal, gas and oil, writes Tom O'Connor in Stuff

The US solar industry now employs more than twice as many people as the coal industry, reports CleanTechnica.

A sports stadium in Amsterdam is using the equivalent of 148 Nissan LEAF batteries with 4,200 solar panels on its roof to provide backup power and local grid management, reports Business Green.

And, the first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age but are being given a second lease of life, reports Renewable Energy World.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Germany produced enough renewable energy in the first half of 2018 to power every household in the country for a year, reports the Independent.

Tidal power is the only renewable source derived from the moon. Now an extraordinary array of devices promise to unlock this vital energy potential, reports the Guardian.

Climate change

Record high temperatures have been logged over the past week in the US and around the world, reports the NZ Herald. It also reports that scientists say much of Europe can expect to see average temperatures rise and extreme weather events increase over the coming decades, due to climate change. This year Germany's farmers expect a poor harvest due to a prolonged drought and an unusually long stretch of warm weather.

Stuff explains what the government is aiming to achieve with its zero carbon bill which is currently open for public submissions.

With Donald Trump indicating the US will not play a part in the fight against global warming, our Climate Change Minister James Shaw expects China to take up the leadership role, reports Newsroom.

Electric vehicles

A fleet of ten electric double decker buses was launched in Wellington on Thursday. It is believed to be the first battery powered bus fleet in the southern hemisphere, reports Stuff.

We did some calculations on the costs of fuelling an electric car compared to a petrol car. The results are great news if you're looking for a way of beating the new fuel taxes. Powering an electric car with solarZero is more than 80% cheaper than fuelling a petrol car.

When it comes to electric vehicle uptake, Norway has been described as a world leader. Last year more than half of new car sales were electric or hybrid, reports the Guardian.