Solarcity teams with Tesla, Kiwi voters consider climate change

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

This week we announced that solarcity has been selected as Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer. This continues our leadership as an integrator of residential battery solutions across the full spectrum of Kiwi home sizes. Our solarZero energy service and one of our customers are profiled in Stuff in a story about switching to solar.

By using energy storage with solar panels, some homeowners were able to go off-grid during Hurricane Irma in the US, showing how distributed power could speed future storm recovery. Solar and battery systems have also helped keep the lights on in India through a brutal monsoon season.

Strong demand for solar in China will likely push global demand over the 100 gigawatt mark this year, reports CleanTechnica. Dubai is to build the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world

Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way to a new generation of advanced photovoltaics, say Stanford University scientists.

Renewables and fossil fuels

Renewable energy sources will provide 85% of global electricity production in 2050, led by solar PV and onshore wind, according to a new report from global quality assurance and risk management company, DNV GL. And the US Energy Information Administration says that renewable energy will be the world’s fastest-growing energy source and forecasts that world energy consumption will increase by 28% between 2015 and 2040.

Phasing out unprofitable coal plants in the United States could end up saving consumers $10 billion per year by 2021.

Climate change

Almost half of NZ’s voters will be considering the issue of climate change when heading to the election polls, according to a Newshub Reid Research poll. The NZ election campaign's big Climate Debate this week revealed the climate change policies of the main parties, reports Newsroom. The Spinoff reviews the environmental policies of all the major parties. And a recent review by Public Health Research has looked at the actions each political party made to reduce climate change since 2014 and found only the Green Party had done the best it could with the power it had in Parliament.

New Zealand’s mainstream media coverage of climate change strongly aligns with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) messaging around the reality and risks of the issue, according to a new study from Victoria University. Dr Rhian Salmon, one of the authors, tells the NZ Herald that clear, thoughtful, accurate information about climate change is critical for helping us to make wise decisions and investments about our future.

Kiwifruit growing of the main green variety will no longer be commercially viable in the Bay of Plenty in the future because of climate change, says a Niwa study.

The highly ambitious aim of limiting global warming to less than 1.5C remains in reach, a new scientific analysis shows.

The Arctic ice cap melted hundreds of thousands of square miles below average this summer as climate change pushes temperatures up most rapidly in the polar regions, reports the Guardian.

Electric vehicles

Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes are just a few companies that are planning to unveil an electric car by 2020. Business Insider got a glimpse of what they have in store at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. 

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is gambling that mass-market drivers are going to pivot soon to electric cars, announcing plans to produce 12 new electric models by 2022 and to make electric cars 30 per cent of its overall output. Mazda plans to make all of its vehicles electric-based, including petrol hybrids, by the early 2030s. General Motors thinks the U.S. electric-vehicle market is on the cusp of going mainstream.

A German motorhome manufacturer has just unveiled an electric concept vehicle blanketed in 31 square metres of solar panels.