Environment, Water

New Research Examines Impact of Hydropower Development on The Amazon

Hydropower projects are rapidly altering the Andean-Amazon region, according to new research by FIU Institute of Water and Environment, published this week in Science Advances.

The research team studied 302 dams, including 160 proposed dams for rivers draining Andean headwaters of the Amazon. They have compiled a comprehensive database that can show the overall impact of hydropower development on the region. The possible impacts of news dams include loss in river connectivity, impact on fish populations, and permanent alteration of channels and floodplains.

rainforestCommenting on the project, research team leader, professor Elizabeth Anderson from FIU, said, “I hope that by showing the regional trends and that there is widespread river alteration happening, this research can lead to more coordinated development and help to highlight the importance of keeping some rivers free-flowing in the region.”

The research involved 15 institutions from eight countries, conservation organizations, and local governments. The international collaboration for the project has resulted in a new initiative, Rios Vivos Andinos, the purpose of which is to facilitate further examination of freshwater biodiversity, river flows, and human well-being.


Qantas Uses Honeywell’s Mustard Seed-Based Fuel for Trans-Pacific Flight

Honeywell announced yesterday that Qantas Airlines has used its mustard seed-based jet fuel for a 13,000-km flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne. This is the first time such a fuel has been used for a flight between the two countries.

canola-fields-1911392_1280According to Dave Cepla, senior director of Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Energy & Chemicals business, “Honeywell Green Jet Fuel can replace as much as half of the petroleum jet fuel used in flight, without any changes to the aircraft technology, and still meet ASTM specifications.”

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ is manufactured from Carinata seeds, a non-edible industrial mustard seed. “Depending on the feedstock, this fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 to 85 percent versus petroleum jet fuel,” Dave added.

The seeds for the flight were engineered by Agrisoma Biosciences. Qantas has partnered with Agrisoma to promote Carinata as a commercial aviation fuel crop in Australia. The first harvest of this crop is expected in 2020.


JinkoSolar Terminates Its ATM Program

JinkoSolar today announced that it will no longer be offering its at-the-market offering program. The ATM program did not attract any buyers for its American Depositary Shares.



Biofuels, Environment

EU Parliament Agrees to Phase Out Palm Oil by 2021

On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament voted to increase energy from renewables by 35% by 2030 and ban palm oil in biofuels by 2021. The MEPs also want to cap the use of first generation biofuels to 2017 levels.

First generation biofuels are derived from food sources by using conventional production techniques. Biodiesel, vegetable oil, biogas, and bioalcohols are some popular first-gen biofuels.

According to Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU), co-rapporteur for governance, “Increased ambition on renewables, energy efficiency and a strong governance system based on a carbon budget approach will contribute to the achievement of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and to comply with the Paris Agreement.”

For more information about the global palm oil market, visit reportlinker for a new report on the subject. The report covers food applications, industrial applications, company profiles, and forecasts for the period 2016 to 2024.


Scotland rushing toward 100% electricity supply from renewables by 2020 — Talking-up Scotland

http://www.scottishrenewables.com/sectors/renewables-in-numbers/ In 2016, 54% of our gross electricity demand was met by renewables from a total capacity of 8 662MWh or 8.6GWh (see graph above). That suggests our total demand is typically no more than 17 000MWh or 1.7GWh though this is falling. It fell by 15.4% to 2014 against a target fall of 12% […]

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