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Solar to light up all of India, new British solar farm makes history

The first solar farm in Britain's to operate without a government subsidy opens this week.  REUTERS/Darren Staples

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

A new programme in India aims to electricity every willing household by the end of 2018 using solar, energy storage batteries and LED lighting.

Britain’s first solar power farm to operate without a government subsidy is due to open in England as a sharp fall in costs has made renewable energy much more economical, reports Reuters.

Almost 75% of people polled in an Australian survey expect household batteries to be commonplace in homes in the next decade. Also in Australia, Queensland homeowners have almost doubled the amount of solar panel energy systems that have been installed in the past 12 months.

The US International Trade Commission has ruled that the country’s solar manufacturers are being injured by solar product imports. This gives the Trump administration an opportunity to increase duties on imported solar equipment, which would raise the costs of solar energy in the US, reports the Washington Post.

Te Papa's ambitious plan to completely power itself by sunlight within a decade would make it the New Zealand’s biggest solar farm, reports the DomPost.

Our chatbot Sunny features in a Newshub story on NZ companies using the latest advances in virtual customer service.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Governments of 11 European nations are providing subsidies totalling more than £80bn a year to fossil fuel industries, claim green campaigners.

France plans to invest €20 billion in its own energy transition plan to increase clean energy deployment by 70% over five years. The UK has set a new landmark for clean energy after the National Grid announced that the electricity powering the UK’s homes and businesses this summer was the greenest ever, reports the Guardian.

The Green Building Council is pushing for more energy efficient multi-unit buildings in New Zealand saying they are good for the environment, save businesses money and even deliver more productive workers.

Climate change

The world’s tropical forests are so degraded they have become a source rather than a sink of carbon emissions, according to a new study that highlights the urgent need to protect and restore the Amazon and similar regions.

Tauranga’s carbon emissions are higher per person than they are in Auckland, according to a new report.

A new Pacific climate change campaign, Have Your Sei, aims to limit the influence of big polluters at climate talks, reports RNZ.

Electric vehicles

Dubai has started tests with an autonomous drone to become the first city with flying taxis, reports Reuters.

British inventor Sir James Dyson has announced plans to build an electric car that will be “radically different” from current models and go on sale in 2020.

It's 10 years since Apple unleashed a surge of innovation that upended the mobile phone industry. Electric cars, with a little help from ride-hailing and self-driving technology, could be about to pull the same trick on Big Oil, reports Bloomberg.

Our government needs to stump up with financial incentives to increase the uptake of electric vehicles as has been done successfully in Norway, writes Rob Maetzig for Stuff.