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The world’s largest virtual power plant in NZ

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

While spring seems to be lingering, summer officially arrived last Saturday. We celebrated the start of our favourite solar season, and the public launch of our revolutionary new solarZero service, with a free Gig for Good on Auckland’s waterfront. One of the highlights was the official launch of our virtual power plant by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw (pictured above). The project, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, will create a generation and storage network that will help provide energy to the grid when it is unable to cope with demand, or there is a fault. This story was covered by the NZ Herald, RNZ and Maori Television.

The number of Australian homes with solar PV systems has passed the two million milestone - that's over a fifth of all homes, reports PV Magazine. And, if builders start putting solar panels on all new American homes in 2020, the US could more than triple its current solar power capacity by 2045, reports Solar Power World.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Ports of Auckland is planning a station to make hydrogen from tap water, which will be used in vehicles and port equipment. It plans to apply for resource consent early next year and hopes to have it completed by the end of 2019, reports RNZ.

Climate change

The annual UN climate summit is underway in Poland. It is the most important international meeting for countries to discuss and coordinate the fight against global warming. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to world leaders to act boldly to avert a catastrophic rise in temperatures before the end of the century. Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough echoed his warnings, saying the "collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons," reports the NZ Herald.

With frightening international climate research released almost daily, people who are paying attention are deeply alarmed by the yawning gap between talk and walk. However, that may all be about to change. In the last month, there’s been a sudden surge of new energy in the climate movement, writes Cordelia Lockett in The Spinoff.

The NZ Government will channel $100 million into a 'green' fund to marry private investors with climate change solution start-ups, reports Stuff.

A sweeping new report has highlighted the enormous global impact climate change is already having on our health and wellbeing, reports the NZ Herald. And, the New Zealand Defence force has issued a stark warning about the effects of climate change and how it will be forced to adapt to increased disasters, reports Newshub.

Power prices

Genesis Energy will increase its prices by 3 to 4.5 per cent throughout the country next month, reports Stuff.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles could do to mobility what the smartphones did to telecom. That means the major auto makes need to wake up to the reality that is electric vehicles, otherwise they run the risk of going the Nokia way in the mobile phone industry, reports Live Mint.