Solar soars in Germany, NZ oil and gas report fails

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

Germany’s solar market witnessed its strongest growth in half a decade during 2018 making it the fourth-largest PV market in the world, reports Greentech Media. And, overall, solar growth in Europe increased by 20% in 2018 compared to 2017, reports PV Tech.

Up to 20 million homeowners across Afghanistan are set to benefit from the country's first pay-as-you-go home solar systems combined with energy storage batteries, reports PV Tech.

Farmers in the US state of Illinois are embracing solar power generation as they look to diversify and help combat global warming, reports the NZ Herald.

Renewables and fossil fuels

A report into New Zealand’s oil and gas sector is simply a failed attempt by a sunset industry to protect its vested interests, writes Rod Oram for Newsroom. Greenpeace says the report is based on false assumptions, and fails to account for the cost of climate change, or the value that new clean energy industry will add as we end fossil fuels. And, using natural gas will not deliver the deep cuts in emissions required to stay below 2C, writes Dr Ralph Sims for Pure Advantage.

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work, reports DeSmogUK.

Climate change

Scientists are warning that dramatic rises in atmospheric methane are threatening to derail plans to hold global temperature rises to 2C, reports the Guardian.

NZ students will take part in a global day of climate change protest on March 15, reports Stuff.

Fifty-six councils in NZ have signed a climate change declaration that recognises communities and councils have a part to play in mitigating climate change, reports RNZ.

Power prices

The latest report from the Electricity Price Review focuses on energy hardship but there’s no mention of capping retail prices, reports the NZ Herald.

New Zealand producers felt the pinch in the final three months of 2018 as a spike in electricity prices drove up input costs at twice the pace of the price increases they could pass on to their customers, reports Sharechat.

Electric vehicles

Tesla's Model 3 sedan took command of the global electric-car market last year, outselling the nearest competitor by about 50 percent, reports Bloomberg.

Amazon is investing NZ$1billion in electric truck company Rivian which will start production next year, reports Stuff.

Citroen has unveiled the electric concept version of it 2CV which could be on the market in about four years' time, reports Driven.