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Slims River diverted by climate change, and power prices continue to rise in NZ

A view of the ice canyon that carries meltwater from the Kaskawulsh glacier away from the Slim river. Credit: Dan Shugar, University of Washington Tacoma.

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

After solar panels were installed on the Kentucky Coal Museum last week, a coal company, also in Kentucky, are now proposing turning a former coal strip mine into a solar farm.

Just a few years ago experts the world over bemoaned the prohibitive cost of solar power. But today it is widely considered to be the best and most affordable hope for decarbonising the world’s energy system. Renew Economy looks at how solar became the world’s best hope for a post-fossil fuel energy system. 

Renewables and fossil fuels

Even Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world, realises the end is near for fossil fuels and has announced an investment of about $50bn in renewable energy projects over the next 10 years, as part of its efforts to increase power generation.

Climate change

An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.

More worrying news for the climate, in what scientists call a clear sign of a warming world, Earth's temperatures in March were the most above normal on record without an El Nino spiking temperatures, reports the Herald.

Our academic institutions are starting to do their bit to stop climate change. After the University of Auckland voted to divest from fossil fuels, now the University of Otago has agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a third within three years.

Power prices

Two households use exactly the same amount of power, with the same retailer. But one pays hundreds of dollars more a year for it. The difference? Where they are in the country. Stuff reports on the "postcode lottery" for power pricing in New Zealand.

It looks like power prices for grid users will continue to rise as Minister of Energy and Resources, Judith Collins, rules out any inquiries into rising power prices in NZ.

Electric vehicles

Uber is launching a new environmental initiative to add more electric vehicles to its fleet, starting with the US city of Portland, Oregon, the company says. This fits in with Portland’s commitment to 100 percent renewable energy use by 2050, just announced by the city's leaders this week.

And in New Zealand, Stuff reports that up to 100 car parking spaces in Wellington could be converted for the exclusive use of car-sharing and electric vehicles before the end of next year. Electric vehicle uptake has been slow in New Zealand and this move is designed to encourage the use of electric vehicles