Huge community solar growth tipped for US, climate change now playing out in real time

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

Extreme global weather, like this flash flood in Athens, is 'the face of climate change' says one the world’s most eminent climate scientists. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

Solar and batteries

The US community solar market could grow up to 50-80 times its current size by 2030 to serve nearly nine million new solar customers, reports Solar Power World. And, a steep global decline in the price of solar modules in recent weeks is nearly offsetting the effect of the Trump administration’s 30 percent tariff on imported panels, according the head of a major US solar company, reports Reuters.

The United Nations has honoured India's Cochin International Airport with 'Champion of Earth' award for being the first airport in the world to be completely powered by solar energy, reports India Today.

A team from the University of Exeter has discovered an innovative way for generating solar energy that could one day result in solar panels, no bigger than a book, producing enough energy to power a family-sized house, reports

A Thai-based renewable energy technology company plans to invest $3 billion in a battery 'gigafactory', hedging on Southeast Asia’s uptake of electric vehicles and smart grids, reports Renewable Energy World.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Wind and solar will produce nearly half of world's electricity by 2050 as cheap renewables and batteries remake the world’s power systems, writes the lead author of New Energy Outlook in Bloomberg. And Europe could use renewables for more than two-thirds of its electricity by 2030, with more than one-third coming from wind and solar, reports Imperial College London.

An English soccer team has become the first professional sports team in the world to be certified carbon-neutral by the United Nations, reports the NZ Herald.

Climate change

The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “the face of climate change,” one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “playing out in real time”, reports the Guardian. July was a month of historic, even unprecedented, climate horrors that even the most alarmist climate observers would not have predicted a year ago, reports NY Magazine.

A new study has warned that unless we mitigate current levels of carbon dioxide emissions, Western Europe and New Zealand could revert to the hot tropical climate of the early Paleogene period, 56-48 million years ago, reports Science Daily. And, the Guardian reports that new research says the Indian subcontinent will be hit by extreme heatwaves that kill even healthy people within hours.

The NY Times takes and in-depth look back at the period from 1979 to 1989 when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. 

Power prices

Kiwi households could save $372 million on power bills by switching to cheapest deal, reports Stuff.

Electric vehicles

BMW says it is investing 1 billion euros in a new car factory in Hungary capable of building electric cars, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, Tesla is burning through cash to deliver on it promises, reports the NZ Herald.

China is launching an electric car battery recycling standard as old batteries are expected to come back in high numbers as EV adoption ramps up in the country, reports electrek.