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Messages - Sigmetnow

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"The legislation-signing ceremonies in Sweden are a bit different than in the White House."

"#Sweden plans to be #carbonneutral by 2045 New legislation sets goal 5 years earlier than originally agreed"


Birdseed Turned Superfood May Help Curb India's Diabetes Scourge
Byregowda is spearheading a campaign involving chefs, nutritionists, doctors and food businesses to bolster demand for a grain he grew up eating as “ragi mudde” — finger-millet flour cooked and shaped into soft mounds and served with leafy greens in a spiced gravy.

His farmer-ancestors grew it not just for its nutritional benefits: the crop needs a third of the rainfall of rice. Yet, millet and sorghum production have declined by a combined 51 percent in India and rice and wheat output has almost quadrupled since the 1960s, when a Green Revolution introduced modern seeds, chemicals and irrigation to boost harvests and stave off hunger.

Drought-induced crop failures in recent years in southern India have convinced the 44-year-old American University graduate of the need to return to growing millet.

“In these times of climate change, it made sense to encourage farmers to switch to climate-smart crops rather than cultivate the water-intensive rice,” Byregowda said in an interview. “The post-Green Revolution planning left millet farmers, like my family, in the lurch.”

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: Today at 02:07:52 AM »
"Before last year, Tucson had reached 115°F only four times in history. Today's the third time in three days."

A new bill to make gas stations install electric car chargers introduced in the UK
A new “Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill” is being introduced by the government in the UK in the Queen’s Speech.

It includes some interesting measures, including mandatory installations of electric car chargers at motorway services and gas stations.

Similar initiatives have been proposed elsewhere, like in Russia, while gas stations have also started adding electric car charging stations without any mandate, like Tesla Superchargers at QuickCheck gas stations or Shell’s initiative to had chargers to its own gas stations.

Very interesting that the Chinese, and now the US, manufacturers seem to be getting it. Why the Japanese should be such laggards is an interesting question.

I've never heard a definitive reason but I think Japan got derailed over the discovery of large amounts of methyl hydrates just offshore.  There was a lot of talk about Japan becoming energy independent by sucking up the slush and using the hydrogen.

And I'm guessing that the tendency to 'follow the leader' made it less likely for people to introduce the problems with selling FCEVs to the rest of the world even if Japanese drivers fell in love with them.  (Which they seem to not have done.)

Japan may have been striving for options that did not involve additional strain on the power grid at a time when electricity generation was at a premium -- after they closed, with much public support, most of their nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:56:33 PM »
A new all-electric aircraft with a range up to 600 miles unveiled at Paris Air Show
At the 52nd International Paris Air Show, Eviation Aircraft, a member of NASA’s on-demand mobility program, unveiled the first prototype of a new all-electric aircraft concept with a range of up to 600 miles (965 km)....

While it was the prototype’s debut this week, Eviation says that they are already flying proof of concept missions, and they plan to move into certification and commercialization as soon as next year.
Eviation claims that its electric aircraft is made possible by a new aluminum air battery....

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 21, 2017, 03:56:18 PM »
Drone video of Tesla’s solar + Powerpacks project soon to be powering Kauai
... The project consists of a 52 MWh Tesla Powerpack installation (272 units) with a 18 MW solar farm (~55,000 solar panels)....

...The project provides KIUC with energy for less than the cost of hydrocarbon-fueled alternatives and cuts oil consumption by over 2 million gallons per year.”...

In reference to Tesla’s recent Powerpack projects on remote islands earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that continents are basically large islands and that if they can convert a small island to solar and battery packs, eventually they will be able to convert whole continents.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:24:55 PM »
"On day 151 of Trump’s presidency and day 20 of hurricane season (and a storm headed for the Gulf Coast), we finally have a director of FEMA."

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:23:27 PM »
"On day 151 of Trump’s presidency and day 20 of hurricane season (and a storm headed for the Gulf Coast), we finally have a director of FEMA."

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:07:53 PM »
New York City Planners With Sandy Nightmares Say Barrier May Come Too Late
The warming Atlantic Ocean has raised the risk of another Hurricane Sandy. And still, trillions of dollars of real estate and infrastructure near the shores of New York City and northern New Jersey remain vulnerable to devastation.

A storm-surge barrier similar to those in Louisiana and parts of Europe might protect the area, but politicians have questioned its $30 billion cost, effectiveness and environmental impact. A group of scientists, planners and property owners is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate its study of the project. It may take another hurricane to speed up the process....

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:55:11 PM »
Texas Is Too Windy and Sunny for Old Energy Companies to Make Money
In a windsurfers’ paradise, turbines capture gusts that pick up at exactly the right time - or the wrong time, if you're trying to sell natural gas.
[South Texas] is to wind, engineers have discovered in recent years, a bit like what Napa Valley is to wine and Georgia is to peaches. For not only does the state’s Gulf Coast generate strong evening gusts, but it also blows fiercely in the middle of the day, just as electricity consumption is peaking.
In the cut-throat Texas energy market, the construction of these coastal wind turbines—some 900 in all—has had a profound impact. It’s been terrific for consumers, helping further drive down electricity bills, but horrible for natural gas-fired generators. They had ramped up capacity in recent years anticipating that midday price surge would mostly be theirs, not something to share with renewable energy companies. Without that steady cash influx, the business model doesn’t really work, the profits aren’t there and companies including Calpine Corp., NRG Energy Inc. and Exelon Corp. are now either postponing new gas-fired plants or ditching them all together.

Wind power “is a disruptive technology and it’s increasing,” said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst at Glenrock Associates LLC in New York. “That’s a problem for other resources that are competing in that market.”

And it’s not just the coastal turbines that are cutting into gas-fired plants’ business. When inland farms are included, wind power now supplies about a fifth of Texas’s electricity market. Solar power is also growing in the state. All of this helped push the average on-peak price set by Ercot—the grid operator that controls most of the Texas market—down 55 percent the past five years to $25.34 per megawatt hour, according to data compiled by Genscape Inc.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:42:28 PM »
Planes are grounded, tap water comes out hot, and we’d all better get used to it.
In the Arizona desert, as far back as weather records go, it's never been this hot for this long.

By early Monday afternoon, the temperature was 111 degrees in Tucson, the first in a forecasted series of a record-setting seven consecutive days with highs above 110, the longest streak in city history. (The previous record, should it fall, was six days in a row in 1994.)

In Phoenix, just to the north, temperatures were even hotter. Meteorologists there are expecting temperatures to run as high as 120 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the apex of the heat wave. The National Weather Service is calling the heat wave "extreme even by desert standards."

What's an extreme heat wave like in a place that's accustomed to extreme heat? Here's a snapshot of Monday:

• A Phoenix television station broadcast a live webcam of a 600-pound block of ice.
• In Sacramento, California, a team of meteorologists successfully baked cookies and fried bacon inside a car, with temperatures inside the car reaching nearly 200 degrees.
• The United States Border Patrol stepped up safety messages, saying "it is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive."
The National Weather Service also warned against walking pets outdoors, saying that at pavement temperatures above 162 degrees (consistent with air temperatures of 102), skin is instantly destroyed.
The atmospheric culprit for the heat is a very intense high pressure, which is itself setting records. Though the statistical databases show this high of high pressure to be an approximately one-in-200-year event, these events have been occurring more often lately—with the last one happening just last year. In short, the background signal of global warming makes the entire atmosphere thinner and less dense, supporting stronger high-pressure centers like the one camped out over Arizona this week, which then tend to get stuck in place—cranking up the thermostat over a multi-state region.

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:10:44 PM »
The other hyperloop company, HTT:

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signs deal with South Korea to begin building system
• Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has signed a licensing agreement with the South Korean government.
• The South Korean government will get access to HTT's technology to develop a hyperloop system known as the Hyper Tube Express.
• Construction could potentially start in 2018, according to HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:00:19 PM »
US crude oil enters bear market after tumbling 3% below $43 a barrel
• Oil prices are trading below $43 a barrel, striking the lowest levels since mid-November.
• The fresh leg lower came on signs of rising output from Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC members exempt from cutting supply.
• Oil prices will likely dip below $40 a barrel, said Again Capital's John Kilduff.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were down $1.21, or 3 percent, at $42.85 on Tuesday morning. The U.S. benchmark fell to the weakest intraday prices since Nov. 14, when the contract hit $42.20 a barrel.

WTI is now down more than 22 percent from its 52-week intraday high of 55.24 struck on Jan. 3, putting the commodity in bear market territory....

Billions of dollars of gasoline-car assets must be abandoned in order for the big car manufacturers to switch to building EVs.  Abandoning a planned ICE car factory might be one way to start.  Also, the "Made in America" line seems to have lost some of its luster.

Ford to Save $1 Billion Building Focus in China Instead of Mexico
Ford Motor Co. is canceling controversial plans to build the Focus small car in Mexico, saving $1 billion by ending North American production entirely and importing the model mostly from China after next year.

The U.S. automaker will start making the next-generation Focus in China from the second half of 2019, a year after output ends at one of its plants in Michigan. Ford’s savings will come from canceling plans to assemble the car at an existing factory in Mexico and a decision made in January to abort construction of a plant in Mexico.
“We’ve done a lot of research and consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “iPhones are produced in China, for example, and people don’t really talk about it.”
“China gets a lot of attention, we’ll see how this plays out,” Hinrichs said in response to a question about possible criticism of the move from Trump. “But we believe this is a much better plan for our business globally. And it frees up from the original plan about $1 billion of capital that we can reinvest in the business, including exciting things that we’re working on in autonomy and electrification and a lot of that work is done right here in the U.S.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:13:57 PM »
The Science Of Why It's Too Hot For Some Planes To Fly In The Southwest U.S.
The Arizona Republic reported that around 50 flights for Tuesday were cancelled at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. These were primarily regional flights. According to The Arizona Republic:

a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday's forecast for Phoenix includes a high of 120 degrees, and the flights that are affected were to take off between 3 and 6 p.m.....Larger jets that fly out of Sky Harbor have higher maximum operating temperatures: Boeing, 126 degrees, and Airbus, 127 degrees

The Uber option....

Lyft says all of its self-driving electric cars will be powered by ‘100% renewable energy’
Lyft likes to set lofty goals for itself. Last year, one of the ride-hail company’s founders went on record predicting that “a majority” of Lyft’s trips will be in self-driving cars by 2021. Now Lyft says it wants to be less of a pollutant, too. The company is setting a goal for itself that all of the electric, autonomous vehicles on its platform will be powered by “100% renewable energy.”

Recently, Lyft announced that it was partnering with self-driving startup NuTonomy to deploy a fleet of autonomous, electric vehicles in Boston later this year for public trials. Lyft will purchase renewable energy certificates to offset any emissions from the fueling of its electric autonomous vehicles, a company spokesperson said. Lyft is also predicting that by 2025, Lyft will provide 1 billion rides per year using electric, autonomous vehicles.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 20, 2017, 02:07:46 AM »
John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on coal, coal jobs, Trump, and Bob Murray. ;D
(Caution: Language)

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: June 20, 2017, 12:01:24 AM »
Some tremendous rainfall (up to 10 inches [254 mm]) being forecast by @NWS thru Thursday for coastal LA, MS, AL, and west FL panhandle from #PTC3

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: June 19, 2017, 11:59:03 PM »
Tropical Storm #Bret has formed east of Trinidad & Tobago. Only 3rd TS to form east of Lesser Antilles pre-July, and 2nd lowest latitude.
(Satellite gif at link.)

Tesla is ‘actively talking to other automakers’ about opening up its Supercharger network, says CTO JB Straubel

No other production EV today can handle the high charge rate of a Tesla supercharger.  Plus, given the overcrowding at many supercharger stations... this might make the most sense if the network is opened up only to low-volume (high-priced) EVs from other companies, for now.

U.S. states could not set self-driving car rules under Republican plan
California and other states would be barred from setting their own rules governing design and testing of self-driving cars, while federal regulators would be blocked from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous vehicle technology, according to a U.S. House Republican proposal reviewed by Reuters on Thursday.

The draft legislation, while far from becoming law, still represents a victory for General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc, Tesla Inc and other automakers and technology companies seeking to persuade Congress and the Trump administration to pre-empt rules under consideration in California, New York and other states that could limit deployment of self-driving vehicles.

The industry also opposed an Obama administration proposal last year that raised the possibility of giving regulators the power to review and approve self-driving car technology before it was put into service, similar to the vetting by Federal Aviation Administration of new technology for aircraft.

The 45-page draft package of 14 bills would designate the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the lead agency for regulating self-driving cars, pre-empting state rules.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 19, 2017, 09:16:22 PM »

“As is evident in Figure 11, the number of publicly available charging stations [in the U.S.] has grown rapidly since 2011. For comparison, there are approximately 112,000 individual gasoline stations covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015).”

Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: June 19, 2017, 07:01:18 PM »
Elon Musk is optimistic about making his vision for tunnels happen after talks with LA mayor
While Elon Musk’s project to build networks of tunnels with electric sleds transporting cars and people at high-speed underneath cities is ambitious in itself from a technology standpoint, several naysayers claimed it would be infeasible from a permitting standpoint.

Musk understands the challenge and he went as far as saying that getting “the permits is harder than the technology.”

Nonetheless, he said that he is optimistic about the project after having talked with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who could possibly facilitate such a project.
Musk admitted that the odds of success may be low, but he added that the alternative is just to accept to sit in traffic forever....

He also said that they already have the permits to drill in Hawthorne, where they started the first tunnel. Musk has a lot of influence in the small city inside LA county since SpaceX is a major job creator in the area.

Hawthorne is located southwest of downtown Los Angeles – near LAX international airport....

Shows how vitally important the income from ICE car servicing is to car dealers in the U.S.

Some Smart car dealers are considering stopping sales due to the brand going all-electric
Earlier this year, Daimler announced that it is converting the Smart brand to all-electric in North America and discontinuing gas-powered Smart cars.

By September, Canadian and American dealerships will stop receiving gas-powered Smart cars and the 2017 electric smart model year cars will become the only options.

We now learn that the move is facing some opposition with its dealer network as Smart car dealers are now considering stopping sales of the vehicles and going service-only.

"This is how fast charging stations of @Fastned are currently used during the day. Fast charging matches the solar curve quite well."

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 19, 2017, 03:50:50 PM »
I didn't include Tesla because I'm not sure what is going to happen now that Tesla has released their solar roof tile.  It kind of sounds, in your quote, that panel production could be rolled back with tiles taking their place.

Musk has said that while solar roofs make sense for people replacing their roofs, or new roofs... folks with roofs that do not need replacing will want to install good-looking solar panels -- which Tesla* has designed and will also make.  :)

Edit:  *Tesla/Panasonic

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 19, 2017, 03:46:46 PM »
Utilities in the western U.S. abandon coal because it costs too much
“It’s all about the economics,” the expert said. “Technologies have improved to make other forms of energy less expensive than coal.”

One might figure sure, that’s some tree-hugging environmentalist arguing for solar and wind energy. But in fact, that’s the largest utility in the state of New Mexico, PNM, putting the dagger into the heart of inflexible and expensive coal generation. In April, PNM announced plans to shut the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station outside Farmington decades ahead of schedule.

And it’s not the only one. PNM’s neighboring utility in Arizona, Salt River Project, plans to pull the plug on the West’s largest coal-fired power plant, Navajo Generating Station, for the same fundamental reason – coal costs too much. One of the largest customers of Navajo’s coal-fired electricity is the Central Arizona Project, which powers massive pumps to move water hundreds of miles from the Colorado River to Phoenix. The utility figured it could have saved $38.5 million last year buying power on the open market rather than expensive electricity generated by coal from Navajo Generating Station.

We are surrounded by utilities abandoning coal faster than rats escaping the Titanic. In Colorado, Xcel Energy has dropped its coal portfolio by half in the last decade. In Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, all the big utilities are fleeing coal.

There are many arguments against coal – including the climate-change impacts of burning coal and how the local economy could benefit from renewable energy generated right here at home. But for these utilities, it is a bottom-line, dollar-and-cents question – coal has rapidly become the most expensive source of electricity.

What about our own electric generation source, Tri-State, which powers our local La Plata Electric Association? As we watch PNM, Salt River Project and Xcel all dump coal simply because it is too expensive, what’s different with Tri-State? Tri-State claims it has better deals for its coal and power plants than these other utilities, arguing that new solar and wind is still slightly more expensive than old coal.

Just a few years ago, in 2013, Tri-State and its member electric cooperatives, railed against a requirement to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Tri-State and its coal suppliers argued 20 percent by 2020 was an “unreasonably difficult” goal and created an unprecedented “government-generated crisis.”

Some of Tri-State’s member co-ops claimed renewable energy would cost billions of dollars and literally make reliable, affordable electricity impossible.

Guess what? Today, Tri-State touts the fact it obtains 25 percent of its power from renewable sources, easily besting the standard. Clearly, not at all difficult to achieve, and it certainly hasn’t affected affordability. But Tri-State still prohibits local co-ops like LPEA from generating more than 5 percent of energy from local sources.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 19, 2017, 03:38:48 PM »
AFAIK no large North American PV panel manufacturers are still in business. The idea that high tariffs could help them compete perished with them, so the only effect that the tariffs have now is to raise the cost of renewable electricity in both countries.

Don't forget Tesla's "Gigafactory 2" (formerly Solar City) near Buffalo, New York:

Tesla is gearing up for production of traditional solar panels at its Gigafactory 2 plant in Riverbend, New York, to begin later this summer.

Tesla Energy’s solar business currently represents a quarter of the nation’s residential rooftop solar market in the United States acquired through the former SolarCity banner. Tesla’s super low-profile solar panels will be the majority of production at the $900 million Buffalo factory. In parallel to the start of production of traditional solar panels in New York, Tesla has announced plans to begin production of its newest Solar Roof tiles at its Fremont factory by the end of June. The company will eventually ramp production of the glass solar roof tile at Gigafactory 2 which is expected to be the dominant product at the facility.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: June 19, 2017, 01:25:07 PM »
New acronym from the weather world. PTC = Potential Tropical Cyclone
Is the software ready for it?

Brandon Bolinski:  PTC #2 in the books! What did we break? …

From June 18:
"Historical milestone today:  First ever 5 day advisory before a disturbance becomes a tropical depression or tropical storm."

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: June 19, 2017, 01:02:34 PM »
The chemistry and format (shape) of Tesla's new battery cells.

Tesla has confirmed that it started production of the new Model 3 battery cell at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada over the weekend – an important step toward launching the production of the Model 3.

The new battery cells are believed to be key to Tesla achieving the necessary cost reductions that enable the Model 3’s $35,000 starting price tag before incentive.

Tesla’s new 2170 format battery cells went into production back in January, but those cells were using Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) chemistry for stationary energy storage products, Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack.

But for its vehicle battery packs, Tesla is using Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) chemistry optimized to cycled in electric vehicles.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 18, 2017, 07:27:18 PM »
Not Your Mother’s Jersey Shore
Five years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed communities along the shore, some towns have used the rebuilding process as a time to reinvent themselves.

The comments on the article are remarkably consistent.
This is probably the last generation who will build their homes at the New Jersey shore.  The risk is significant that by the end of a 30-year mortgage, the house will no longer be there.  And federal and state money will increasingly be needed elsewhere.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 18, 2017, 02:23:22 AM »
Aircraft don't do well in extreme heat, for many different reasons affecting engine operation, flight characteristics, and passenger comfort, to name a few.  Planes parked at the gate have actually sunk into a softened tarmac surface!

This week's heat wave in the southwest U.S. is expected to affect airlines.  (Ref: Phoenix, Arizona's Sky Harbor airport.  Canadair Regional Jets.)

"The forecast for @PHXSkyHarbor calls for preposterous high temperatures over 120° F (49° C) & @AmericanAir may not be able to operate CRJs."

"I'm told by @AmericanAir that CRJs have an operational limit of around 118° F, so at the hottest time of day they may be temporary grounded."

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 18, 2017, 02:11:40 AM »
It would be great if planes could power-down at the (slow) end of the runway, get 'picked up' by an autonomous EV tug that also feeds the airplane's electrical system (AC, lights), and be dragged silently to the terminal.

The idea of putting electric motors in airplane wheels for "green taxiing" goes back several years.  The most recent thing I find on it is this:

Here's an article from 2012:

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: June 18, 2017, 01:45:27 AM »
Florida beaches are getting so hot that baby sea turtles are cooking alive
According to Oceana, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit dedicated to marine conservation, rising sand temperatures have already killed off entire nests on beaches in Florida and Costa Rica. “We’re seeing more dead eggs,” Jeanette Wyneken, a biologist studying sea turtles at the Florida Atlantic University, told Oceana. “And when we do get turtles hatching, they’re often heat stressed: They may hatch and crawl to the water, but then die.” The strain of surviving at elevated temperatures drains them of the energy their tiny bodies need to travel far enough to start feeding.

Rising temperatures are a threat to these creatures in more ways than one. For sea turtles (and many other reptiles) the temperature of the sand the eggs develop in determines sex (paywall). Typically, sands above 29.5°C (85°F) produce female turtles and cooler temperatures around 28°C (82°F) produce males. So as temperatures have warmed, conservation scientists have found that females have begun to outnumber males by nearly four to one in some nesting locations.

Scientists aren’t sure what makes for a healthy ratio of male to female turtles—they only recently started studying these numbers in response to climate change. But theoretically, an all-female population would eventually die out because they couldn’t reproduce.

The demise of entire turtle nests due to heat, though, would accelerate the die-off of turtle populations Prior research has shown that when sand reaches 35°C (95°F) (pdf) or hotter, turtles eggs are not able to hatch at all. It’s unclear how many unhatched turtles die as a result of each degree warmer their nests are, but the problem is likely to only get worse as global temperatures increase.

Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: June 17, 2017, 05:59:26 PM »
Sounds like the criticisms of the first Teslas:  too expensive; who will buy it?

The Sustainable City: Is off-grid living the way forward for Dubai?
Dubai-based developer and civil engineer Faris Saeed is already working on a model of what future "green" communities might look like. His company Diamond Developers has constructed The Sustainable City, a 5-million square foot complex built to consume zero net energy with the potential to go off-grid -- the first of its kind in the emirate, the company claims.
The Sustainable City's 500 homes, located 18 miles from Dubai City, are powered by solar panels capable of achieving 10 mega-watts at their peak.

Regional expert and author Jim Krane says Dubai's "300-plus sunny days a year" make solar energy a "very predictable resource." Yet while the rooftops soak up rays, houses are orientated to avoid direct sunlight inside, keeping interiors cool.
Buying a slice of sustainable living in Dubai isn't cheap. House prices at The Sustainable City start at $1 million, but so far two thirds of the properties have been sold, while others are rented.

"Developers are afraid always from the extra cost, and people will not afford or people won't buy their products," Saeed argues.

Includes a brief video.

Cross-post from Aviation thread:

100 European Airports to Go Climate Neutral by 2030
Commitment in Support of Paris Agreement Goals
100 European airports are to be carbon neutral by 2030, according to the planning of the European branch of Airports Council International (ACI Europe). The council this week doubled its carbon neutrality target for 2030 in support of the central goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5°C.

Carbon emissions generated by airport operations account for up to 5% of total emissions from the aviation sector, and engagement of the airport industry is key to achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The aviation industry has a major interest in preventing more extreme weather from climate change, as more storms, heatwaves and turbulence will directly affect air travel.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 17, 2017, 05:28:38 PM »
100 European Airports to Go Climate Neutral by 2030
Commitment in Support of Paris Agreement Goals
100 European airports are to be carbon neutral by 2030, according to the planning of the European branch of Airports Council International (ACI Europe). The council this week doubled its carbon neutrality target for 2030 in support of the central goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5°C.

Carbon emissions generated by airport operations account for up to 5% of total emissions from the aviation sector, and engagement of the airport industry is key to achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The aviation industry has a major interest in preventing more extreme weather from climate change, as more storms, heatwaves and turbulence will directly affect air travel.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: June 17, 2017, 04:14:30 PM »
Tesla wins contract with major Australian electric grid to deploy Powerpacks across several sites
As part of a contract awarded to Tesla, the projects will follow several more across Transgrid’s network in order to create energy storage capacity for demand response.

While the project has the same goal, it’s unrelated to the Australian government’s tender for a massive 100 MWh energy storage project that Tesla has bid on. The country’s energy problems that led to major power outages over the last year and they decided to turn to energy storage to stabilize their grid.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised his company could deliver the energy capacity in 100 days or it would be free. The bids are apparently down to a short list now and the project should be awarded soon – especially since a quick deployment is part of the deal.

Also, as reported earlier this month, Tesla is also deploying energy storage behind the meter in Australia. They have now started Tesla Powerwall 2 installations in the country, which is expected to be one of the most important markets for Tesla’s home battery pack.

Sweden passes climate law to become carbon neutral by 2045

Legislation makes Sweden the first country to significantly upgrade its ambition since the world agreed a climate deal in Paris, in contrast with US backsliding
Sweden has committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2045, under a law passed in parliament on Thursday.

Lawmakers voted 254 to 41 in favour of the proposal, which was developed by a committee involving seven out of eight parliamentary parties. Only the far right Swedish Democrats did not engage in the consultation.

The legislation, which takes effect from 1 January 2018, takes a similar form to the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act. It establishes an independent Climate Policy Council and four-yearly cycle for updating the national climate action plan.
The Nordic country becomes the first to significantly upgrade its ambition in light of the international climate deal adopted in Paris in 2015. It was previously targeting carbon neutrality by 2050.

Will Tesla Do to Cars What Apple Did to Smartphones?

A pretty balanced and interesting view on the future of cars, and Tesla.

The obligatory Tesla-fan response to the (#12) Navigant autonomous driving ranking mentioned by The Atlantic can be found in the comments on the Electrek article linked below. :P ;D  The study's criteria just might have been preselected to purposely favor the old, established car companies. >:(  ::)

Tesla vehicles arrive by the hundred in Dubai as the first store/service center is about to open

 Article includes a fun little video showing what an autonomous (Tesla! :) ) taxi experience might be like.
"By 2030, 25% of Dubai's transportation will be autonomous."

Tesla vs state of Michigan...
Michigan is the most populated state in the US that still doesn’t have a Tesla store or service center. It’s not for lack of trying on Tesla’s part. The company has been trying to obtain a dealer license, but a 2014 law prohibiting direct sales from automakers has been preventing them.

Their latest attempt has been through the court since they filed a lawsuit against the state last year after claiming that the ban on direct sales violates commerce laws and that it was pushed by car dealers and GM.

As part of the discovery for the suit, Tesla is trying to force two lawmakers to turn over any communication with car dealer and automaker lobbyists, but the state is trying to prevent that. And the reason they are giving is almost incriminating.
The two lawmakers targeted by Tesla’s subpoenas are Sen. Joe Hune, R-Gregory,  and Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Lambertville.

Hune is the senator who introduced the last-minute amendment that created the ban in 2014 and his wife, Marcia Hune, is a lobbyist for car dealerships.

As for Sheppard, he is being subpoenaed because Tesla claimed that he confirmed to one of their representatives that the reason behind the ban is that “Michigan auto dealers and manufacturers don’t want Tesla in Michigan”.

Update: Judge ruled this morning that they will have to produce all 3rd party communications regarding Tesla and the legislation.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 16, 2017, 09:29:17 PM »
The global coal boom finally seems to be winding down
As the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy reveals, global demand for coal has fallen for the second year in a row. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 16, 2017, 08:14:46 PM »
For this large, historic university in coal-rich central Pennsylvania, switching to natural gas last year was a big deal.

One year later: Reflecting on Penn State’s switch from coal to natural gas
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One year ago, Penn State’s University Park campus officially switched from coal to natural gas to power and heat the buildings on campus. The “Last Day of Coal” celebration in March of 2016, which beckoned in a new era for Penn State, also recognized the major role coal played in the history of the University. ...’s-switch-coal-natural-gas

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Fee & Dividend Plan
« on: June 16, 2017, 12:05:27 PM »
40 countries are making polluters pay for carbon pollution. Guess who's not.
Animated map in the linked article shows the steady, inexorable spread of carbon pricing.

Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, the United States
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:23:20 AM »
Half the US Population Lives in Cities or States That Are Working Towards the Paris Agreement Climate Goals
We estimate that approximately 53% of residents in the US live either in a state that has adopted goals in line with Paris Climate Agreement or in a city that has. Together these cities and states generate about 40% of US CO2 emissions.

Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, the United States
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:20:49 AM »
Renewable Energy Record Set in U.S.
The U.S. set a new renewable energy milestone in March, in data released Wednesday. For the first time, wind and solar accounted for 10 percent of all electricity generation, with wind comprising 8 percent and solar coming in at 2 percent.

The report was published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which collects and disseminates environmental data that is used to inform policymakers.

Wind and solar generation typically peaks in the spring and fall when there is less energy demand, and the EIA expects April to continue the record-setting 10 percent trend. That 10 percent mark is expected to slip in summer months, but 2016 saw an overall growth in renewables.

Absolutely WILD lack of humidity in Tucson, AZ this afternoon. 103°F (39.4°C) with a dew point of -11°F (-23.9°C). That's a relative humidity of 1.25%!

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