NZ storms spark solar energy focus, Antarctica melting at record breaking rate

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

Power cuts caused by stormy weather could be the motivation people need to consider using solar power and battery storage in homes, says Dr Kiti Suomalainen of the University of Auckland's Business School. Meanwhile, thousands of Aussie home owners are saving money on their power bills by installing solar panels combined with energy storage battery installations, reports Domain. And energy storage should become a significant feature of the global energy landscape, reports McKinsey & Company.

India's solar energy capacity has increased eight-fold since 2014 and it looks like the country will easily exceed its renewable energy target in 2022, reports Business Today.

Despite tariffs that President Trump imposed on imported panels, the U.S. installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter, reports Bloomberg.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Divestment from fossil fuels has become one of the fastest growing political campaigns in human history, surpassing similar battles against the tobacco industry and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, reports The Conversation.

Climate change

Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies, reports the Guardian.

Our Government is inviting the public to help decide new climate change law, reports the NZ Herald. For more information on consultation, ending July 19, including dates of public meetings and hui, go to

An international team of scientists says energy efficiency, radical changes to diet, and renewable energy can together save the planet, reports Climate News Network. Campaigners are planning a wave of climate demonstrations across the world in September to spur leaders into action and demand greater climate commitments, reports Climate Change News.

Pope Francis has told oil company chiefs that the world must switch to clean energy because climate change risks destroying humanity, reports The Guardian.

Power prices

New Zealand's electricity market regulator is investigating whether customers are well-served by the current market practice of offering sweeteners to tempt back those who try to switch to a new provider, reports Stuff.

Electric vehicles

Some 160 teams are participating in the largest electric-vehicle rally in the world in Switzerland. Green Car Reports looks at some of the more interesting vehicles.

Electric buses will carry people on a route between central Christchurch and the airport from next year, a move that will help improve the city's public transport environmental footprint, reports Stuff. And, also in Stuff, David Linklater declares his love for the plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius which he says is generally loathed by both car enthusiasts and electric-vehicle obsessive.