Kiwis get affordable solar battery service and exploratory drilling stops in NZ

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

Yesterday we became the first company in NZ to launch an affordable solar battery storage solution for home solar across the nation through our solarZero+ energy service. Here’s the full media release plus stories that featured on NewsHub and StuffWe chose to launch yesterday to mark the birthday of Alessandro Volta who was the inventor of the electric battery. He was born in Italy on Feb 18, 1745. The 'volt', a unit of electrical measurement, was named in his honour in 1881.

Exploratory drilling for oil and gas has ground to a halt in New Zealand amid low oil prices. Greenpeace says the failure of the government’s oil agenda highlights the need to invest in our natural renewable resources. Genesis Energy says it might have to make "irreversible decisions" about the ending coal-fired generation at Huntly power station. Sustainable Business Network CEO Rachel Brown says responding to climate change makes good business sense and lists six steps companies can take.

New research reaffirms that key regions of the globe - such as the Amazon rainforest and the forests of the global north - are exquisitely sensitive to swings in climate. And it also identifies some new and similarly vulnerable ecosystems that will bear very close watching.

Victoria University hosted a Pacific climate change conference in Wellington this week. Professor Tim Naish warned the world has less than ten years to avoid runaway climate change. NZ climate scientists echoed desperate cries from small Pacific nations in the firing line of rising seas. Kiribati President Anote Tong told dignitaries, scientists and island representatives that some of the country’s islands may disappear under the sea this century. A Nauru climate change activist, Nerida Ann Hubert, said a brain drain and a generation's worth of school drop outs were preventing the country from tackling climate challenges. 

Fiji has pledged to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and is the first country in the world to formally approve the United Nations climate deal agreed by 195 nations in Paris in December. Energy resilience will be a key topic for discussion at the Asia-Pacific Energy Leaders’ Summit in NZ next month.

The first-ever international agreement to slash commercial airline carbon emissions was recently signed by 23 different countries. California operates more solar capacity than every other US state combined. A 2015 census shows the state had 75,598 solar jobs out of a countrywide total of 208,859. Pakistan’s parliament has become the first in the world to run entirely on solar power. Uganda has unveiled Africa's first solar-powered bus. Construction of Europe’s largest floating solar PV array is underway on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir. A Portugal-based firm has designed a house that rotates so that it’s solar panels are always directed at the sun. 

Two of the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) producers say that they will soon deliver 200+ mile range EVs at a game-changing price of $30,000 or less — including tax incentives.