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NZ ends new offshore oil and gas exploration

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

Belinda Henley, left, runs a panel discussion on the role of solar and batteries in NZ's energy future with business leaders Sir Stephen Tindall, Andrew Booth, CEO solarcity, Karen Silk, General Manager of Commercial, Corporate and Institutional at Westpac NZ, Stewart Fowler, Managing Director of Panasonic and Geoff Ross, Executive Chairman of Moa and trustee of Pure Advantage.

Solar and batteries

Along with Panasonic we unveiled our latest battery technology for solarZero which is going to help Kiwis take action on climate change and cut their power bills by half. The battery comes as standard with our all installations and we’ll be retrofitting it to homes of our foundation customers who already have solar panels. Here’s coverage by Newsroom of our upgraded solarZero service 

At the same time we released a white paper titled ‘solarZero, Streaming the Sun - A New Grid for Good’. It explains how solar and battery storage are going to help New Zealand meet its climate change goals while saving the nation billions of dollars in trying to fix and upgrade the current electricity system.

And, BloombergNEF reports the tumbling cost of batteries is set to drive a boom in the installation of energy storage systems around the world in the years from now to 2040.

Renewables and fossil fuels

The ban on new oil and gas exploration in NZ waters is now law, reports the NZ Herald. Meanwhile, oil and gas explorers in Taranaki are gearing up for a busy period that could see as many as 20 wells drilled or planned in the next two years, reports Stuff

Delegates at a major international energy summit, held in Wellington last week, described the global transition away from fossil fuels as a great opportunity for innovation and growth, reports RNZ.

Climate change

Three new NIWA supercomputers will enable scientists to carry out more research into the effects of climate change, reports RNZ.

A newly-released draft tourism strategy says the NZ industry needs to plan for the possibility that international tourist numbers drop because of the impacts of climate change, reports Sharechat.

The US Supreme Court has rejected a bid by President Donald Trump's administration to block for now a trial in a lawsuit filed by young activists who have accused the US government of ignoring the perils of climate change, reports Newshub.

Power prices

Power prices in Northland are rising at more than twice the national average, reports RNZ.

Newsroom reports as many as three independent electricity retailers are expected to close in the coming weeks because of an unprecedented spike in wholesale electricity prices they say is caused by the big five 'gentailers'.

Trustpower says a dry year in 2019 is a "real possibility" and warns that some retailers may not be prepared for it. It says supply and demand in the electricity market has largely moved into balance and the potential for greater price volatility is not yet reflected in retail prices, reports the NZ Herald.

Electric vehicles

A Russian firm has revealed pre-orders for its electric Scorpion hoverbike are now open. It will fly 5m above the ground, reaching a top speed of 96 km/h, reports Driven.

Hyundai and Kia say they will make solar sunroofs available on some electric car models after 2019, reports Cleantechnica. And, the Hyundia Kona Electric has been named the top plug-in car of the year by Stuff.