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Messages - numerobis

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1
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 21, 2017, 10:16:36 PM »
Hopefully I'll be able to take a photo tonight or tomorrow morning. There are two cargo ships and a tanker visible from town, whereas sailwx only shows one.

A bit of ice has floated in as well owing to the SE winds all week long. Might be a pretty sight!

2
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 21, 2017, 01:51:37 PM »
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155166699849442&id=100174284441

The Mitiq arrived Wednesday apparently; if it's the one that steamed away it's ahead of schedule. The ships I saw last weekend must have been the two tankers. The paper also says it's a different icebreaker than I'd thought, unless there are two icebreakers here right now.

3
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 21, 2017, 03:21:48 AM »
What timing! Right after my previous comment, a container ship just steamed off. It's not the "empty" ship I'd seen -- for one, there's big cranes on it; for another, its full of containers.

It's a bit hard to observe from where I am because all but one of the ships is hidden behind an island at the entrance to the inlet. There's no port here. At high tide a barge goes out and they haul cargo onto it.

4
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 21, 2017, 03:06:55 AM »
They looked empty, but one it turns out is a tanker, not a container ship. The other I must have misunderstood what I was seeing, because it started unloading yesterday (why it was out there several days without unloading seems to have confused more than one person). That or the ship I saw was a second tanker, left, and was replaced by the first container ship of the season.

5
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 20, 2017, 06:02:25 PM »
nullschool predicted strong winds from Baffin into Frobisher Bay on the 18th, if I remember correctly. Did that happen and cause problems?

There isn't much ice at the mouth of Frobisher Bay to blow around, so I don't think it's caused any serious trouble. Still probably want an icebreaker nearby.

Pang is on a fjord off the next major bay (Cumberland Sound). There, the ice report has a couple of regions at 70-90% thick first-year ice with "vast" floes (several km wide). That could pretty easily get in the way of the entrance to the sound if the winds come from the north, or to both the entrance to the sound and the fjord if the winds come from the southeast. Presumably that's what's sparking unconfirmed rumours.

Seems the shipping companies expect the Baffin Sea to be navigable (but not necessarily ice-free) all the way up the coast by mid-August only. Qikiqtarjuaq, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, and Grise Fiord don't have deliveries until August 18 or later. Qik and Clyde are locked in by fast ice right now; it's got almost a month still to melt before causing trouble.

After that there's still a full extra month of melt season. Seems unlikely to have any more than a trace of ice survive in the Baffin Sea so long. The weather is "average" by 1980-2010 climatology; that still means it's a lot warmer than the 1980s.

6
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 20, 2017, 04:05:21 PM »
Southern Baffin Island has had a cool, cloudy, and rainy July so far, so there's a fair bit more sea ice than normal. Cloudy is the main thing stopping sea ice from melting.

It's complicating the shipping season. The Amundsen is going to be stuck breaking ice for a bunch of ships in and out of Frobisher Bay over the next couple days -- the Mitiq, Qamutik, Zélada and Taiga all arrive and/or leave this week, along with a tanker whose name I've forgotten that's been filling up our huge diesel tanks.

Rumor is the Mitiq won't be able to get to Pangnirtung, so that town just won't get its scheduled shipment on Monday. That's not yet reflected in the schedule, so I guess the company is still holding up hope.

http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?prodid=WIS33CT&wrap=1&lang=en
http://www.neas.ca/pdf/sailing_schedule.pdf
https://www.arcticsealift.com/schedule.php

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 19, 2017, 10:49:23 PM »
 ::)

Bob, a principal of communication: try to understand the other person's argument.

If their argument is beyond stupid, ask yourself: did you really understand it?

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 19, 2017, 09:40:54 PM »
It makes sense to see this first in remote equatorial locations. Even with low oil prices, diesel costs about $0.20/kWh of electricity just on its own, forget all other costs. And there's year-round about 12h of sun to compete with that. 50% reduction is pretty easy; batteries make 100% possible.

Remote polar is going to take a little longer, because the length of day gets short (or zero) part of the year.

Major population centres have been able to afford the fixed cost of large coal and natural gas plants which are much cheaper to run, so they'll take longer too.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 19, 2017, 06:04:24 PM »
The green BAU is the view that everything will be OK because the free market has innovated and now we're saved by mass adoption of EVs and solar panels.

We need to push much faster than what the market can provide under today's incentive structures.

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 18, 2017, 03:30:46 AM »
Bob: India can grow its share of renewables quite substantially for a long time without reducing its coal use. It's way far back in electricity per capita, and everyone is going to want air conditioning -- particularly as the climate warms up. Also likely they'll want a lot of desalination.

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 17, 2017, 11:06:51 PM »
No new coal capacity after 2027 means Indian coal use will peak shortly, then stay at level of the second-most in the world, and perhaps decline at a snail's pace as old plants shut down and are replaced by new, more efficient plants.

They might exceed that goal and start shutting down plants early -- would be nice. A large fraction of their capacity is new plants they've recently built, so those will have a strong incentive to be on for a while, if only to repay the lenders.

12
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 17, 2017, 10:58:12 PM »
CCGS Amundsen showed up this weekend (I only finally got the picture off my phone).

At the same time, two empty cargo ships showed up. I assume Amundsen escorted them.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 17, 2017, 04:56:12 PM »
Great -- now we can roll our eyes at EIA for being so impossibly conservative in its estimates of distributed solar year after year after year.

14
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 17, 2017, 03:45:30 PM »
Hyperion: my understanding of the volume models is that each grid square gets a concentration and thickness.

Concentration * thickness * area of a grid square gives you volume in the grid square. Add it up for all the squares to get total volume.

Concentration * area of a grid square gives you the ice area in the grid square. Add those up to get total ice area.

Total volume / total area is average thickness.

The average is a bit of a funny measure: e.g. If you have two squares at 100% concentration, one at 1 m the other at 1 cm, the average is 50.5 cm. The next day, the average will be 99 cm because one square melted entirely.

But then, it's probably asking too much for any single number to fully encapsulate what we want to know about the state of sea ice. That's why we use colorful pictures instead of words </guilty>

15
Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: July 17, 2017, 03:32:14 PM »
This is what nunavummiut think about the cruise ships: $$$

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674ship_to_shore_cruise_season_begins_next_week_in_iqaluit/

Meanwhile, heavy fuel oil is likely to soon be banned in the Arctic because it causes too much pollution -- black carbon and sulphate in particular. That development mitigates the damage of all the new shipping.

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 17, 2017, 01:45:40 AM »
zizek: I agree that the CO2 impact of nuclear versus wind/solar is hard to distinguish.

Nuclear is tried and tested, I agree.

The CANDU reactor is mostly safe but extremely expensive (filling up with D2O is about a third of the lifetime cost, a cost no other reactor faces).

The PWR reactors are prone to catastrophic failure. They take 5-10 years to build once permitted.

Third-generation plants are under construction and hitting giant cost overruns at the moment. An industry insider tells me it's in large part for dumb reasons of ego wars between nuclear and civil engineers. Regardless of fault, it's a fact that they're late and going over their already expensive bids. We don't currently know how long they take to build, since none has successfully been built yet.

Fourth-generation plants are on paper perfect and wonderful but in reality they don't exist any more now than they did 10-15 years ago when I was adjacent to that industry (I was working on scientific computing; they needed better simulations of pebble-bed reactors).

A grid that's nearly 100% nuclear (aka France, or for a while New Brunswick) has serious problems with load-following. You have to rely on a neighbour to take the excess load at night, or on storage, or else you have to shut down one of these fantastically expensive plants for a little while, reducing its capacity factor and making it even more expensive per kWh it generates over its life.

17
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 17, 2017, 01:27:02 AM »
Pity it's so bright out at midnight! And cloudy tonight.

18
Fossil-fueled lawn tools don't have any pollution controls, and pretty much can't. That's why we should get rid of them ASAP. Which was decades ago; we're just a little behind the curve on this one.

19
Etienne: most rental cars I've had didn't specify any cleaning other than a charge if they caught you smoking.

A rental car agency wants to get 5-10x return on their investment. If you need this car fewer than 10% of the days in the year, you'd save money by renting.

20
Policy and solutions / Re: New ideas for carbon capture
« on: July 14, 2017, 09:21:00 PM »
I can't seem to find it right now; made a splash a month or two back.

Second-best, Carbon Brief got blurbs from a bunch of researchers:
https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-experts-assess-the-feasibility-of-negative-emissions

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Net metering policies
« on: July 14, 2017, 06:29:31 PM »
A flat daily fee for having access to the grid makes total sense to me. You're using the grid to sell, and you're using it to buy, and you're using it as backup in case your equipment fails or in case it's winter. Even just being connected for backup seems to me like it's worth a few cents a day.

Interesting about the sales tax thing. I presume that's how it works here too. But most people don't register for GST (you don't need to until you have $30k in annual sales), so they won't charge GST on their sales -- they'll just pay it on their purchases.

Question: do you technically sell all your instantaneous production and buy it back, or do you sell just your net production? No difference to you either way, big difference to someone not registered for GST.

Having it reset end of March is presumably for ease of accounting at QEC HQ: that way they don't need to figure out how to price the liability at all, since they aren't carrying it on their annual books! A lot of things are done for ease of accounting here, e.g. internet monthly usage caps reset on the first for everyone in the entire city. Good luck getting any data through the satellites on the 30th.

But also, March is the second-best month for fixed solar panels (April barely edges it out). Afterwards the sun moves around so much your capacity factor falls. Zeroing out at the end of March is particularly annoying. Maybe it'll get changed with time.

Regardless, it's better than zeroing out once a month (which IIUC is how it is in many US jurisdictions), or daily, or, as it is until this policy goes into effect, continuously.

22
Policy and solutions / Re: Net metering policies
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:49:23 PM »
Bob, read the OP  ::)

lowers the peak

As I wrote: "the peak demand on the grid doesn't change when you use solar panels in Nunavut".

having to accept low value supply and repay with more expensive power.

As I wrote: "the variable costs roughly match the residential costs in Iqaluit" (I should have said "residential charges" though, I'll fix that)

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:39:48 PM »
...Fossil fuels are also used when building the reactors, when storing the trash, when dismantling the reactor and when managing accidents, so it is not as clean as it looks like...

Last figures I saw in the IPCC were that wind and solar have the lowest carbon intensity per kWh; hydro and nuclear were around twice as bad. Then natural gas about 5x or 10x (I forget) compared to hydro or nuclear. That's looking at the whole supply chain, amortizing appropriately for the construction. There's huge variability in these figures: a dam made of concrete is a lot more carbon-intensive than one made of clay and rock, for instance; a solar panel made using coal-powered electricity is far worse than one made from cleaner sources; a solar panel installed in a rainy place does worse than one installed in a sunny spot, etc.

The overall picture: nuclear is more carbon-intensive than wind and solar. But it's a *lot* cleaner than any fossil fuel. A nuclear refurbish could well be about on par with new wind or solar, because you don't have to build new cooling towers and a reactor containment building and so on (but you do need to refine uranium etc).

However, it'd be far, far more expensive in dollar terms, and slow to build.

24
A bunch of foreign (to China) automakers are asking China to slow down.

Hopefully China takes that as a sign to speed up.

25
Policy and solutions / Re: New ideas for carbon capture
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:25:50 PM »
With modern materials science we can build skyscrapers out of wood instead of concrete (where by "can" I mean there's a few projects that have actually for-real done it, not just calculations on a napkin). That switches from using a carbon source as construction material to using the construction itself as a carbon sink. Wood buildings can last centuries, and then you can replace them.

With the recent paper about how BECCS can't possibly provide enough of a sink to get the negative emissions implied by RCP2.6 though, I'm a bit dubious.

Converting the marine ecosystem in addition to land-based systems could help, but at what cost?

26
Policy and solutions / Net metering policies
« on: July 14, 2017, 03:42:50 PM »
Excellent news: QEC (Nunavut's power company) has announced it's moving forward on a net metering program.
http://www.qec.nu.ca/node/759

My interpretation:
  • This applies only to residential customers.
  • Month by month you get net metering, paying as little as zero for electricity. You still pay per day for being on the grid. A thing about Canadian tax law, you pay GST on the electricity you buy, but you don't collect it on the electricity you sell, so IIUC, "net metering" is really just "up to 95% off". That's not clearly spelled out. Still, 95% off is a lot off.
  • If you overproduce, it rolls over to the next month, but it gets zeroed out at the end of March. So e.g. if you overproduce in spring and summer, but underproduce in fall, you will still get 95% off your electricity charge.
  • Max 10 kW.
  • Max 7% of the grid (measured at its annual peak demand).
  • For any renewables, not specifically for solar (but solar is the most realistic right now).

Thoughts?

Why this makes financial sense: Residential charges are about C$0.30 - C$0.40 per kWh here (depending whether you're a land claims agreement beneficiary or not), plus/minus a fuel surcharge. Diesel fuel alone in Iqaluit at current prices is about C$0.25/kWh. Adding in maintenance, it looks to me that the variable costs roughly match the residential charges in Iqaluit. In the communities, which are 2/3rds of the electricity demand, the costs are higher (more $/litre of diesel, and more litre/kWh, and more expensive to send parts) but revenue is identical. The utility definitely wins there.

The actual cost overall, including maintenance and capital and administration, is estimated at a minimum of $0.60/kWh in Iqaluit, up to about $1.20/kWh in the most expensive communities. But that's a funny figure: some is a fixed cost no matter how much energy is generated (and the fixed administrative costs go *up* not down with net metering), some is a capital cost that depends on peak demand, not on the average demand. It doesn't tell you much about the cost of electricity that net metering is avoiding.

I suspect the peak demand on the grid doesn't change when you use solar panels in Nunavut. I'd expect the peak demand every day to be around 6pm or so. In winter you'll get zero solar generation at that time, so there'll be no effect on the peak.

27
New sequel: The Texas Silent Chainsaw Massacre.

Which leads to musing: if Hollywood had its stars using electric everything, I bet that would speed up adoption. I've got links to the 3D animation industry but more on the tech side -- not so much the art side. Live action is where it's at though; how do we get Hollywood on that?

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:15:56 PM »
This think-tank chaired by the PM thinks the Indian government will fail far short in its stated goal for a large fraction of renewables by 2030. Odd.

29
Hopefully all those silly leaf blowers can go electric. Still just an instrument to push your trash onto your neighbour's lawn, but at least it doesn't also fumigate the entire neighbourhood (and it's probably a bit less noisy).

30
Walking the walk / Re: Trash
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:06:57 PM »
One important thing about this kind of activity: there's way more than any one person can do. So I have to artificially limit myself, or else I'd burn out.

31
Electric lawnmowers and weedwhackers are nothing new -- but it was annoying being one indiscretion away from chopping your power cord. Battery-powered ones are presumably a great improvement over corded ones (they're nothing new either, but batteries sucked until recently).

Also an improvement over the nuisance of filling up your jerry-can, spilling gasoline all over the place when filling up the lawnmower, and desperately yanking on that starter pull cord in hopes that this won't be the time that you finally really need to take the machine apart and oil it properly. That annoyance was already pretty much on par with electric cords.

Then again, I'm pretty partial to just not having a lawn to mow, circumventing the problem entirely.

32
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: July 13, 2017, 06:16:05 PM »
Is the Hyperloop on wheels ? On what does it move during the 70 miles between the two linear motors ? My understanding of the Maglev is that the linear motor has to be all the way on the track in order to have the vehicule in levitation.

Musk's concept floats on the air that it sucked from the front end. It does not float on magnets.

The Hyperloop One concept floats on magnets.

33
Walking the walk / Trash
« on: July 13, 2017, 04:55:11 PM »
Not exactly climate change, but still takin care of the environment:

Over a decade ago (!) when I was in grad school, I walked through a park to my office just about every day. A beautiful 20-minute walk. Slightly marred by just how much trash there was on the way.

Eventually I decided to pick up one particularly ugly piece that had been there for weeks. The next day, I picked up another. After two weeks, the path was almost clean -- I'd find a piece once in a while, but not all the time.

From that experience I took on the goal of picking up one piece of someone else's trash in a public place every day. It may seem Sysyphian at first, it actually does help. By having it be routine, i do more through than I can do in that feel-good day of volunteering (which I've also been known to partake in).

I've never mentioned this to anyone until last week, when I mentioned to my partner that in Iqaluit I would bump it up to two pieces given how bad it is here. She hadn't thought of doing anything about it until then; now she's taken on the habit. And so I resolved to talk more about my habit, in hopes it'll spread far and wide.

34
Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: July 13, 2017, 03:30:17 PM »
Mixed feelings I think amongst the local population, torn between the economic benefits and the ecological damage.

I'm not hearing much fear of ecological damage over here. Concerns seem to be rather lower down on Maslow's hierarchy. Seismic blasting off of Clyde River was a big deal because it was directly chasing away the wildlife they were expecting to eat for dinner.

Tourism seems like a great alternative to the current government's big idea, which is mining and drilling. There's a lot of pride in food and arts here; having cruise ships come by gives those a good outlet -- particularly since you can't reasonably market fur in Europe anymore, but you can sell it to wealthy tourists who are visiting.

The big concerns I've heard are: how the heck does a hamlet of 800 handle a giant ship that shows up with 2,000 passengers? And you can't set up much in the way tourist accommodations if there's only tourists for a day, so how do you handle that? What happens when the community gets a huge 1-day injection of funds (biweekly payday and monthly welfare cheque day is already not a good scene, and there are no bank branches in the smaller hamlets)? And is it just a fad that will melt away when the novelty of the fabled northwest passage fades?

35
Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: July 13, 2017, 03:09:28 PM »
From the pictures, it looks like nothing much is going through Fram. Is it melting at the top end, or is there just no pressure through the pipe?

36
Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: July 13, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
RobertM: on the march for science Facebook post, Robert Grumbine mentioned the in-retrospect obvious point that the temperature at the base is barely freezing, while at the surface it's very cold. So there's a temperature gradient through the ice shelf.

Higher temperature at the surface, even a warming from -35 to -30, means a larger region inside the slab of ice that's "warm" and therefore "soft" (in relative term of course), which means it can move faster.

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 13, 2017, 02:51:41 AM »
Has anyone seen a recent, rational argument from the auto or oil industry about how ICEVs will win out over EVs?

Just talking about how they're less than 1% of the market and therefore just a fringe thing, nothing to worry about.

Pretty much exactly like what RIM was saying about the iPhone.

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 13, 2017, 02:16:28 AM »
"Sooner or later, the market is going to catch up," Richard said. "You’ll see some kind of spike in the price of oil. Maybe somewhere around 2020-2021, but it’s got to catch up sooner or later."

This is assuming growing oil demand. That's been a safe assumption for a century, on time scales of a half-decade.

But if oil for cars stabilizes due to EVs and improved efficiency making up for an increase in cars;  and oil for heating goes down due to heat pumps; and oil for electricity goes down due to solar and wind, the oil demand will be falling.

39
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: July 12, 2017, 11:23:13 PM »
Elon Musk calculates that a low-pressure tube with a car that sucks air from its front end and uses it to float above the track will be cheaper. OK, maybe.

Hyperloop One demonstrates a maglev in a vacuum tube.

These are rather different technologies.

40
Consequences / Re: Arctic transport affected by climate change
« on: July 12, 2017, 10:04:04 PM »
Compare in the link below the lines KIVALLIQ DE STE- CATHERINE (MONTRÉAL) and KIVALLIQ DE CHURCHILL (Kivalliq is central Nunavut). It's 40% more expensive to send stuff up or back by boat to/from Montreal compared to Churchill (empty containers coming back are the same price).
https://uploads.visionw3.com/sitefiles/arcticsealift.com/tarifs/nunavut_tarifs_2017.pdf

But your stuff probably didn't just pop out of the aether at the port all nicely bundled up. So the calculation will be more complicated: maybe it turns out a bit cheaper for you to get your stuff to Ste-Catherine than to Churchill, so it's not that big a deal; or maybe it's more expensive.

Apparently the first ship already visited Rankin. I don't know how that compares to the usual schedule. It's due to land in Churchill today at some point:
https://www.arcticsealift.com/schedule.php (look at the Camilla Desgagnés).

The other shipper to the Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin, Ellesmere, etc) has a similar schedule and cost out of Montreal; I don't know if they normally ship from Churchill, but it looks like they're adding it as a special new destination for the third shipment, so that sounds like no.
http://www.neas.ca

41
Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: July 12, 2017, 09:11:03 PM »
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/07/hyperloop-one-says-its-completed-a-first-full-systems-test-in-a-vacuum/

They're building a maglev with a vacuum tube. I'm sure that technology is technically feasible for going very fast, but it's going to be stupid expensive.

42
Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: July 12, 2017, 07:23:28 PM »
Canada is not a monolith. Here's the fertility rate by province:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/hlth85b-eng.htm

It varies from 1.4 to 1.9 in the provinces. It's over 3 in Nunavut. Live expectancy here is also quite bad. Accordingly, senior discounts start at 65, but elder discounts start at 55 for beneficiaries (Inuit people). Nunavut is just starting the demographic transition.

You'll see about the same if you break out the stats for First Nations versus the rest of the population, across Canada. Nunavut is 80% Inuit, everywhere else is just a few percent.

43
Consequences / Arctic transport affected by climate change
« on: July 12, 2017, 06:58:48 PM »
Something I noticed last night while looking in to the schedule for when my goods get to Iqaluit: this year, my shipper, Desgagnés Transarctik, is not picking up goods in Churchill to deliver to communities in central and western Nunavut. Instead, it has a ship leaving Montreal that's going down the St Lawrence and around Labrador and Quebec, to get to those communities -- and to Churchill itself.

That's because one of those 500-year events that's become so common lately knocked out the rail line to Churchill this spring. With that, Churchill flipped from being the port to supply Hudson Bay and the western Arctic, to being a fly-in community.

That's similar to what's happened in the NWT and the northern reaches of Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan: they're supplied by a seasonal road only open in winter -- the roads follow frozen lakes and rivers. That season is getting shorter. Increasingly often they're stuck flying in all their supplies -- even the diesel for heat and electricity.

44
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 12, 2017, 05:36:27 PM »
Those ice floes turned out to be bigger than they first seemed -- as I should have expected, since most of the volume is under the waterline. Here's the dragon of Koojessee Inlet:

Summer fashion in Iqaluit, yes? ☺️

A beautiful coat of seal and caribou with beads would be more authentic -- not to mention the fox-lined hood with a baby inside. But ice floes in Iqaluit are like squirrels in Montreal: they bring out the foreigners (like me) to take photos.

The summer temperature here is very strange to me. What the thermometer says is almost irrelevant. What really matters is the sun and wind.

I can sit outside by 4 degrees in shorts & t-shirt if it's sunny with calm winds. Conversely, Monday night in my "late fall" clothes (by Montreal standards), I was huddling next to the campfire and shivering despite it being 10 degrees: it was somewhat windy!

In summer, seems wind direction matters a lot too: wind coming from the southeast is cold, wind coming from the northwest is warm. Southeast is water & ice; northwest is land (with a bit of snow left in the shady spots). In winter it's not so different given that it's snow and ice in all directions.

45
Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 12, 2017, 03:29:28 PM »
Those ice floes turned out to be bigger than they first seemed -- as I should have expected, since most of the volume is under the waterline. Here's the dragon of Koojessee Inlet:

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: July 12, 2017, 02:54:05 AM »
From further reading (there's a link in the Arg story), I get the impression that the older power plants that this is "replacing" aren't really running much if at all. They have combined capacity of 3.9 GW, whereas the new plant including the batteries tops out below 1.4 GW.

Still, AES now has funding to put in a bunch of batteries, so that's nice. 4 years from now seems unambitious... but now they have a good agreement at a nice high price, and they get to put in batteries that cost half or a quarter of what they cost when they put the bid together.

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 11, 2017, 11:04:50 PM »
Royalties cuts for Gulf of Mexico's shallow water leases (US)

Exactly the opposite of an increasing carbon tax! Let's reduce royalties on fossil fuel companies to help them produce more!

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/royalties-cuts-gulf-mexicos-shallow-water-leases-us.html

They did it because demand for drill sites has plummeted.  So, yeah, trying to help ff companies produce more is bad, but... yay!  \o/

They would have just come up with another excuse otherwise. It's a long-standing GOP mantra that the private sector should have unfettered access to natural resources, with royalties as low as possible. Not that the other party is all that much better.

48
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: July 11, 2017, 10:41:03 PM »
Some news about not Tesla:
https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/07/two-energy-powerhouses-join-together-to-make-big-grid-tied-batteries/

Two large energy companies, Siemens and AES Corporation, are joining together to start a new company aimed exclusively at building utility-grade batteries. The company, called Fluence, will market these large lithium-ion storage systems to utilities and energy providers around the world.

The news follows reports from last week that AES closed on a deal to build a 100MW/400MWh battery system in Southern California, which would be tied to a new, 1,284 MW combined-cycle natural gas generator. The system will replace 1960’s-era power plants in Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, and Redondo Beach. The gas generator is expected to be online by 2020, and the storage is expected to be online by 2021.

So this is basically a baseload natural gas power plant (grrboohiss) replacing older fossil fuel plants (yay). It'll be more efficient not just from being newer, but from being at max capacity more often because the batteries can just suck up the excess or provide for the peak.

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: July 11, 2017, 10:40:06 PM »
Manitoba is a heck of a long ways away from where the electricity is generated, and is sparsely populated. Quebec already has more hydro power than it needs, and exports a bunch of electricity to Ontario, NY, and New England.

Better to build interconnect to NY and through MI to the Midwest states to help shut down coal plants in the US. It's not like there's a wall between the countries.

50
Policy and solutions / Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« on: July 10, 2017, 02:40:18 PM »
Unless you're expecting a global scale event as deadly as the Black Plague was in Europe, population won't fall much next century. Rather, it'll almost certainly rise for another fifty years before maybe leveling out.

In the future where population falls a lot, peacefully, maybe we're all robots who live off the land and fabricate every tool we need by eating dirt and smelting it using the fusion reactors in our bodies. That would change the equation some.

Somehow I'm more interested in discussing the present reality and the next couple of decades.

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