July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Syrian seeds could save US wheat from climate menace” • A Kansas greenhouse has in it a buzzing horde of flies laying waste to 20,000 wheat seedlings. But as researchers watched, there was one species of growth that remained untouched. That species, grown from Syrian seeds, could end up saving US wheat from climate change. [The Guardian]

Syrian wheat harvest (Amer Almohibany | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ US tariffs on $34 billion (£25.7 billion) of Chinese goods have gone into effect, signalling the start of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. China has retaliated by imposing a similar 25% tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of $34 billion. Beijing accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.” [BBC]

¶ GeoSea jack-up A2Sea Sea Challenger installed the first turbine at E.ON’s 385-MW Arkona offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea. The project will feature 60 Siemens Gamesa 6.45-MW machines, with tip heights of 180 metres. E.ON said that directly after installation the project team is preparing the turbines for power generation. [reNews]

Turbine installation (Image: 2018 ds Xpress GmbH)

¶ Greece completed its first renewable energy auction, awarding about 277 MW of capacity. The auction, which was conducted by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, had three categories: PV power plants of up to 1 MW (18.9%); PV plants of between 1 MW and 20 MW (18.9%) ; and wind power plants of between 3 MW and 50 MW (62.2%). [Renewables Now]

¶ UK renewable energy developer Ecotricity announced the launch of a “vegan electricity tariff” in response to the use of animal by-products from the meat and dairy industries to produce power and gas. The anaerobic digestion sector responded that it is important to deal with waste effectively, regardless of its source. [Renewables Now]

Anaerobic digestion facility

¶ Victoria has enough large-scale renewables in the pipeline to supply the annual needs of all of the state’s households, new data shows. According to Environment Victoria, the state’s utility-scale wind and solar farms could soon power about 2.5 million homes. That includes both projects already built and those  now under construction. [Energy Matters]

¶ The second generation of Germany’s SINN Power wave energy technology, has been successfully put into operation in Heraklion, Greece. By implementing the new generation of prototypes, SINN Power is now one of the first wave energy companies to be able to generate controlled and stable electrical energy from ocean wave action. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Getting power from waves

¶ A French parliamentary inquiry flagged up “failings” in the defenses of the country’s nuclear power plants, days after activists crashed a drone into a facility to underscore safety concerns. France is the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, with 58 reactors providing 75% of its electricity. Greenpeace has repeatedly challenged their security. [Free Malaysia Today]

US:

¶ A newly published study projects that a Trump administration proposal for propping up struggling coal and nuclear plants could lead to premature deaths from pollution. Resources for the Future found that for every 2 to 4.5 coal mining jobs the plan protects, there would be 1 human death due to emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. [The Hill]

Coal (Getty Images)

¶ EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned. Now, a former coal lobbyist will be the EPA’s new acting head. Andrew Wheeler was confirmed by the Senate in April to be the Deputy Administrator, though he was criticized by Democrats for his past ties to energy lobbyists. One client of the law firm where he worked was coal mining company Murray Energy. [CNN]

Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich installing solar panels on a
fire station in Puerto Rico (Image: Sunrun, via Twitter)

¶ Sunrun, the leading residential solar, storage, and energy services company in the US, has announced it is now offering its Brightbox solar-as-a-service and home battery combination to households in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. Sunrun was one of the first US national solar companies to send aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. [CleanTechnica]

¶ To better understand attitudes and choices around renewables and clean energy trends, Swytch commissioned a survey of over 1,000 consumers across the United States. Nearly 73% of the respondents in red states and 74% of the respondents in blue states are worried that there isn’t enough being done to reduce climate change. [Solar Power World]

¶ Pushing ahead where utility regulators so far will not, advocates of more renewable energy filed more than 480,000 signatures to put the question on the November ballot in Arizona. Their ballot initiative would require electric utilities to get at least half their power from solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable sources by 2030. [Arizona Capitol Times]

Power lines

¶ With solar PV as the most popular renewable choice, customer-owned renewable generation increased 51% in 2017 in Florida, according to new electric utility reports filed with the Florida Public Service Commission. The commission says renewable system interconnections totaled 24,157 last year, compared to 15,994 in 2016. [Solar Industry]

¶ The heads of ten Massachusetts local chambers of commerce sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Harriette Chandler, asking them to support an increase in the renewable portfolio standard as they pass bills during the final months of the two-year legislative session. They cited potential economic benefits. [Worcester Telegram]

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