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Vol. 3, No. 35, September 15, 2014

 Breaking Story: Smart Meter Fire Incidents in Nevada Stir Call for Action by the PUC; Read Full Story in Spotlight Section


 Photo: Arabica                                                                                        

Every day, we hear an interesting story linked to Climate Change. This week, the Arabica Coffee beans were in the news. The complete Arabica Coffee Genome Sequence is in the Public Domain, in an effort to address Climate Change.

Recent weather patterns are responsible for changes in coffee production, with significant impacts on production, incidence of pests and diseases, and risks to the sustainability of coffee ecosystems. For example, the rust fungus has had devastating effects in Latin America. During the 2012-13 harvest, over 50 percent of the Central American coffee farm area was affected by the fungus and over 350,000 persons lost their jobs.

Quality coffee farming requires long-term solutions that enable producers to adapt to new conditions and reduce the uncertainty that climate can have on production. Among the options for adaptation is the adoption of new varieties. Currently, the complete breeding cycle to develop new varieties can take over twelve years. However, both the time and costs of the breeding process could be reduced given this new genomic information.

The complete sequence of the 22 coffee chromosomes was announced, in an effort to accelerate the process of selecting plant varieties that tackle both local climatic changes and the specific needs of coffee growers. This public domain information was presented to delegates from various coffee producing countries in the framework of the second regional workshop on climate change and coffee farming in the Conference of the Association for Science and Information on Coffee.

This advanced and highly detailed data was generated using the latest sequencing technology in an effort to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the production of high quality coffee in the world market. The genetic information of the Coffea arabica and Coffea eugenioides species contains the location and characterization of over 30,000 genes responsible for all aspects of the plant, and is valuable information for coffee breeders. You may read the details in the Renewable section.

A few weeks ago, Smart Energy Universe revamped the layout for articles in the Oil and Gas category and is grouping articles together in the following areas:

  • Pipelines
  • Exploration and Production
  • LNG/Shale
  • Financials/Operations

This has made it faster to locate articles in the area readers are looking for. We continue to receive positive responses on this change.

Beginning this week, SEU is reorging the Renewable section and presenting articles in specific sub-groups. This should be useful to our readers. Similarly, SEU is planning to restructure Utility News and Smart Grid Categories and rearrange news items appropriate to these Categories. You will be informed soon when we make this change.

Look for the new Renewable section tomorrow and every Monday.

In addition this week’s edition of Smart Energy Universe features all our popular features:

This Week in Climate Change find it in the Spotlight section.This section has a Roundup of some of the articles reporting on Climate Change in this weeks’ edition. Brief synopses of the articles are presented here - Please go on to read the complete articles under categories mentioned for details.

“Editor’s Choice” has the ‘Feature Articles’ highlighted in green to make them easy find. To read the articles click on the Spotlight or appropriate Category Button this will take you to the page with the Spotlight or Feature Articles. Be sure to read Editors Choice to catch up with the top happenings of the week.

SEU’s Virtual Town Hall: This week’s question involved the Tesla Gigafactory. We received enthusiastic response. As before look for the results on Monday. The results are presented in the Spotlight section.

Read the responses to get the industry pulse on the issue. (Spotlight).

SEU “Viewpoint”:This week’s Viewpoint discusses “Benefits of Distributed Power Generation”. SEU is presenting an interesting article on this topic to provoke discussion. With the growth of renewable industry, distributed generation is becoming commonplace. Utilities are changing their grid architecture to accommodate distributed generation.

There are several interesting articles in the Spotlight section:

GE Sells its Appliance Business to Electrolux: GE has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Appliances business to Electrolux for $3.3 billion. This transaction is consistent with our strategy to be the world’s best infrastructure and technology company, said GE CEO, Jeff Immelt (Spotlight)

Trends in U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation: Collaborative Knowledge Production for the Twenty-First Century?: This report examines 35 years of cooperation between the United States and China in the areas of science and technology (S&T) since the signing of the 1979 U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement. (Spotlight)

Carbon Tracker Report Rebuts ExxonMobil’s Denial of Carbon Asset Risks: The Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) issued a report finding that ExxonMobil – the largest U.S. energy company -- is significantly underestimating the risks to its business model from investments in higher cost, higher carbon reserves; increasing national and subnational climate regulation; competition from renewables; and demand stagnation, among other factors. (Spotlight)

Hewlett-Packard Russia Pleads Guilty to and Sentenced for Bribery of Russian Government Officials: HP and Subsidiaries Will Pay $108 Million in Criminal and Regulatory Penalties. HP Russia executives were found guilty of practicing an elaborate scheme of bribing Russian officials to secure lucrative IT contracts. Case was brought in by the DOJ with investigations by the FBI. (Spotlight)

UK Government Issues Climate Change Report: The report outlines the government strategy for achieving success at 2015 Climate change Conference; it calls on EU to approve 40% energy efficiency guideline. The British Government is taking an aggressive position on Climate Change. (Spotlight)

Carbon Dioxide Concentration Surges: The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.Cato Institute responds to the WMO assertions. Cato says there is no problem with carbon concentration (Spotlight)

Nevada Legislature unanimously approves the State’s Tax Breaks to Tesla, amounting to $1.4 Billion: Tesla has started work preparations at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park. Tesla is said to be considering installing solar farm at the factory area. We conducted a survey of our readers on this topic. Read the results tomorrow in the Smart Energy Virtual Town Hall section. (Spotlight)

House Subcommittee Hears States Opposition to EPA Emission Proposal (Utility/Feature): State officials testified before the House Energy Subcommittee, and explained why the proposed EPA rule on regulating emissions from Power Plants is illegal and do economic harm to consumers.


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