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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Electrek says: "100 by ’50 Act – legislation that would phase out the use of fossil fuels in the US by 2050 – Probability of it being seen on the floor of Congress is close to zero %. However, that’s not the purpose of this document – this document is to let the people know what’s coming."

Bernie Sanders takes aim at Trump on climate ahead of march in DC
Bill proposes switch to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050
...Sanders, Merkley and Markey unveiled legislation which seeks to completely phase out the use of fossil fuels through a transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by the middle of this century. ...
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/27/bernie-sanders-fossil-fuel-plan-2050

2
Policy and solutions / Re: EV Charging
« on: Today at 03:17:50 AM »
Fastned unveils new EV charging stations, expands to London and Germany

“At [some] locations Fastned will build and operate stations with multiple fast chargers, that are suited to charge the next generation of EVs at power levels of 150 kW to 350 kW. These will be the first of such stations in Germany that are accessible to all car brands, and where EVs can be charged with up to 500 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes. Fastned commits itself to open the stations before the launch of major new electric cars such as the Audi Q6 e-tron, Volkswagen I.D., Porsche Mission E, Tesla Model 3 and the Jaguar I-PACE.”
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/fastned-ev-charging-station-london-germany/

3
And up to 6 inches (152 mm)! of rain in the area between them, in areas where the ground is already saturated.  Major flooding is expected.

Eric Fisher:  A pretty wild temperature split across the country Saturday. Crazy cold (and snowy!) Rockies, record-setting summer heat in the east.
https://twitter.com/ericfisher/status/858070559099412481


4
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: April 28, 2017, 11:09:27 PM »
Elon Musk unveils concept behind ‘The Boring Company’ featuring Tesla vehicles speeding through tunnels on mobile platforms
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/elon-musk-the-boring-company-concept-video/

A wild concept –– but so was the hyperloop! ––  this idea would allow ICE vehicles, as well as EVs, to travel emissions-free at high speeds across town via tunnels.

William LeGate:  @elonmusk Serious question: are you actually building this, or is this still a joke? Hard to tell with you…

Elon Musk:  @williamlegate Couldn't agree more

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/858063290039115777

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:17:05 PM »
Company behind Dakota Access Pipeline spills over 2 million gallons of drilling fluids into Ohio wetlands
Energy Transfer Partners has twice spilled drilling fluids into “pristine” Ohio wetlands this month.
Energy Transfer Partners — the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline — has spilled drilling fluid into two pristine Ohio wetlands this month, according to information reported to the Ohio EPA.
...
Earlier this month, a Texas state legislature committee advanced the nomination of Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren to serve on the state’s Parks and Wildlife Commission. Warren was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in 2015 — giving the Dallas billionaire influence over how the state’s natural and cultural resources are used — but is just coming up for confirmation now. Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer, said on Twitter that appointing Warren to the commission was like “giving Darth Vader a spot on the Jedi Council.”
...
https://thinkprogress.org/dakota-access-company-ohio-spill-d73cb24c8dd6

6
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: April 28, 2017, 09:56:22 PM »
Elon Musk unveils concept behind ‘The Boring Company’ featuring Tesla vehicles speeding through tunnels on mobile platforms
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/elon-musk-the-boring-company-concept-video/

A wild concept –– but so was the hyperloop! ––  this idea would allow ICE vehicles, as well as EVs, to travel emissions-free at high speeds across town via tunnels.

7
Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai want VW to build hydrogen fueling stations.  ::)

Automakers are trying to get their hands on VW’s EV charging money from its Dieselgate settlement
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/automakers-vw-ev-charging-dieselgate/

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: April 28, 2017, 03:33:56 AM »
During a California quake, I believe I'd prefer to be above ground.

Terry

Actually, with a strongly built tunnel, you'd be safer underground -- nothing to fall on you.  The entire structure would be moving "with" the earth, rather than various bits of it trying to catch up....  The only problems would be right on the fault line, where the earth would be moving in different directions.

9
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: April 27, 2017, 09:00:54 PM »
Global crude oil discoveries plunge to record low, and it's gonna get worse (sic)
Investment levels remain depressed, and exploration spending is poised to fall for a third straight year in 2017, IEA said in a new report.

Energy companies have canceled or delayed $1 trillion in planned projects by one count, as oil prices remain mired in a slump going back to the summer of 2014. The price collapse was sparked by a boom in U.S. production and compounded by OPEC's refusal to cut output during the first two years of the downturn.
...
Offshore drilling projects account for a big part of the pullback. Last year, just 13 percent of conventional oil projects that got the go-ahead were offshore. That compares to an average of 40 percent of projects between 2000 and 2015.

Those figures do not bode well for President Donald Trump's goal of increasing offshore drilling in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. He is expected to sign an executive order on Friday aimed at rolling back offshore drilling limits imposed by President Barack Obama.
...
But shale cannot make up the shortfall in conventional oil development: Conventional sources account for 69 million barrels a day of the current global output of 85 million barrels a day.

"Every new piece of evidence points to a two-speed oil market, with new activity at a historic low on the conventional side contrasted by remarkable growth in US shale production," Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA's executive director, said in a statement. "The key question for the future of the oil market is for how long can a surge in US shale supplies make up for the slow pace of growth elsewhere in the oil sector."
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/27/global-crude-oil-discoveries-plunge-to-record-low-and-its-gonna-get-worse.html

10
"Dieselgate" expands....
MB: um, yes, we did things to affect emissions that the authorities might say is illegal....

After VW’s Record $2.8B Fine, Mercedes-Benz Parent Daimler Could Be Next
Daimler AG is finding itself in the crosshairs and wondering whether it could be the next target in a crackdown on diesel emissions scams.

The automaker issued an advisory Wednesday that it could face penalties such as fines and recalls as regulators in the U.S. and abroad look to see if the German luxury maker violated rules covering its various diesel models. Authorities have been taking a close look at claims made by a number of manufacturers in the wake of revelations that Volkswagen used a so-called "defeat device" to illegally pass U.S. diesel emissions tests.

"In light of the ongoing governmental information requests, inquiries and investigations, and our own internal investigation, it cannot be ruled out that the authorities might reach the conclusion that Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles have similar functionalities," Daimler said in its newly released quarterly report.
...
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/after-vw-s-record-2-8b-fine-mercedes-benz-parent-n751776

11
Tesla’s Elon Musk Got a Rare Welcome on His China Visit This Week. Why This Matters
Elon Musk made an unexpected visit to China this week. Late on Tuesday night, China’s official news agency tweeted a photo of the Tesla chief chatting with Vice Premier Wang Yang, one of the country’s top officials in charge of the economy, in what a close watcher of China’s automotive industry says may go down as a breakthrough meeting.

Tesla is riding high in China. Sales there tripled to more than $1 billion last year, the company said in March. Vehicle exports to China rose 376% year-over-year in the first two months of 2017, according to researcher JL Warren Capital.

But Tesla remains far from making China its biggest market, which Musk had predicted could someday happen. The $1 billion in China revenue in 2016 compared to $4.2 billion in the U.S.

Which is why Musk’s latest photo opportunity is important. This is the first time the powerful Vice Premier Wang has ever met an automotive CEO like Musk alone, said Li Anding, Xinhua’s former automotive reporter who now consults automakers on releases in China.

“Wang usually meets with groups of people,” Li said. The one-on-one meeting sends a message of Tesla’s importance in China, whose politicians consider the California company a role model for the country’s new electric car companies, as many vehicles suffer from long charging times and a poor driving experience, he explained.

Li also predicts that the meeting means Tesla is moving closer to signing a joint venture with a Chinese automaker to produce cars locally. Today, 25% tariffs on Tesla’s imported cars inflate its sticker prices, despite the company charging the same for cars in China as it does in its home country. This stands in contrast to some of the German luxury makers, which have been accused of ripping off and overcharging consumers. A joint venture would likely improve Tesla’s affordability in China.

Li says it’s tough predicting the timing of a joint venture. But Tesla is in the midst of meeting potential partners from different Chinese cities, according to one high-level official from China's auto lobby who spoke to Fortune. Musk’s meeting with Wang, a former leader of Guangdong province, throws fresh speculation on its potential partner, as Guangdong is one of China’s many automotive hubs.

Musk has appeared in lots of photos lately. But his latest shot coming out of China might be Tesla’s most important sighting in a while.
http://fortune.com/2017/04/27/elon-musk-china-tesla/

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:40:30 AM »
We've already destroyed the land; can't do anything else with it; so, sure, let's put solar there.  Jobs!

Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine
An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company plans to build what could become the state's largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners.
...
"I grew up with coal," said Ryan Johns, an executive with Berkeley, an Eastern Kentucky coal company. "Our company has been in the coal business for 30 years. We are not looking at this as trying to replace coal, but we have already extracted the coal from this area." He said it's just an extension of using that land to produce energy for the nation while putting out of work coal miners back to work.
...
http://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2017/04/18/coal-company-plans-huge-solar-farm-strip-mine/100597672/

13
Seeing more and more articles on this topic.  My thought is, like many other things, reduced subsidies for EVs may slow, but will not stop, EV adoption.  Remember, U.S. subsidies do not end once a manufacturer sells 200,000 cars, and the amount does not suddenly drop from $7,500 to $0.  Besides, price parity with ICE vehicles is just around the corner.

The Electric Car Revolution Now Faces Its Biggest Test
Will people still buy them when the subsidies are gone?
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-24/the-electric-car-revolution-tesla-began-faces-its-biggest-test

We should also keep in mind that consumers have not yet experienced a "push" from manufacturers to buy EVs.  Tesla doesn't need to buy ad space.  And no other carmaker has done any serious amount of EV advertising.  So it's not all about the "pull" of subsidies.

BMW uses fear of Tesla and other EVs to rally employees into electric revolution
https://electrek.co/2017/04/26/bmw-fear-tesla-rally-employees-ev-revolution/

14
kuka robot playing table tennis... (my software in there eh?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIIJME8-au8

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D    :o

15
Seeing more and more articles on this topic.  My thought is, like many other things, reduced subsidies for EVs may slow, but will not stop, EV adoption.  Remember, U.S. subsidies do not end once a manufacturer sells 200,000 cars, and the amount does not suddenly drop from $7,500 to $0.  Besides, price parity with ICE vehicles is just around the corner.

The Electric Car Revolution Now Faces Its Biggest Test
Will people still buy them when the subsidies are gone?
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-24/the-electric-car-revolution-tesla-began-faces-its-biggest-test

16
Policy and solutions / Re: EV Charging
« on: April 27, 2017, 12:23:55 AM »
Tesla Model 3 spies have noticed the car's charge port door on "release candidate" cars seen around the factory is larger than that on the Model S and X -- and there may actually be a charge door on two sides.  The possibility being that CCS or CHAdeMo ports may also be included. 

"But the Model 3 could set the charging standard for electric vehicles with next generation charging technology and simply through sheer numbers."

https://electrek.co/2017/04/26/tesla-model-3-updated-blue-release-candidate-spotted/

17
...

Tesla is operating on the tweak it system.  I couldn't tell the difference between a 2012 and a 2017 Model S.  I know there have been some changes but not like one sees with other manufacturers.

Right.  Tesla makes lots of little production improvements every week.  Service folks have to look up the car's VIN on their system to see what was actually installed....   There are "refreshes" and "upgrades", but nothing like the planned model-year changes of other car companies. 

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: April 26, 2017, 05:44:47 PM »
The FAA (and its global counterparts) already has detailed regulations regarding aircraft separation; distance required from structures, vessels, or people; and designated airspace where increasing levels of air traffic control is required.

But it's interesting that even Elon Musk has said he's not big on flying cars because with Teslas, "at least you don't have to worry about one falling on your head."  ;D

19
Trump’s EPA policies risk more Alzheimer’s cases, doctors warn
Two new studies support findings that polluted air causes dementia.
...
The other key study released last month was published in the journal Lancet and found “living close to heavy traffic was associated with a higher incidence of dementia.”

Canadian researchers found that those living within 50 meters (160 feet) of high-traffic roads “had a seven percent higher likelihood of developing dementia compared to those who lived more than 300 meters (984 feet) away from busy roads.”

The air near major roads has been found to have particulate levels 10 times greater than the air just a few hundred feet away.

Given the devastating impact that dementia has on individuals and families — not to mention the enormous economic costs — this evidence suggests the country should tighten Clean Air rules for fossil fuel plants, especially coal plants.

Since even low levels of the smallest particles are dangerous to humans, Trump’s plans to kill the Clean Power Plan and gut the EPA’s ability to enforce Clean Air rules are even more cruel and immoral than they first appeared.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-epa-policies-risk-more-alzheimer-s-cases-doctors-warn-ea826400c03a

20
"You don't want snail-speed humans anywhere in that manufacturing flow."

Yes.  And if someone thinks the era of robots taking over complex jobs is decades away... think again.

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 26, 2017, 04:13:06 PM »
From the Solar Roadways info page on Heating:

Powering

The electronics in Solar Roadways® are divided into separate systems. Each panel's heating element and LEDs are driven by the grid/storage system, not by the solar cells directly. The solar cells place the harvested energy on the grid/storage system. The systems are independent of one another. This is important because the heaters/LEDs must work at night when the solar cells are incapable of producing power.

The heaters only have to keep the surface warm enough to prevent snow/ice accumulation. The panels will not be heated to the extent of being warm to the touch. This saves energy and therefore capital for the end user.

The amount of power required by the heaters depends on the ambient temperature and the amount of precipitation. The heaters will only be on when they are needed. The heaters automatically engage when there is precipitation or snow drifts. No matter the ambient temperature, the heaters only need to engage when conditions are both below freezing and there is precipitation. The microprocessor has an uplink to a local weather station to predict precipitation events.

For those who live in the northern climates, the implementation of SR provides added safety and eliminates the expense and inconvenience of snow plows, shoveling, and road chemicals. Those in warm climates won't need the heating feature currently, but due to changing weather patterns, all panels are equipped with heating elements at no extra cost.
http://www.solarroadways.com/Specifics/Heating

22
Tesla receives massive shipment of robots for Model 3 production line – first pictures
Less than 3 months away from the planned start of Model 3 production, Tesla has received a massive order of robots for its production line. Hundreds of Kuka robots arrived at Tesla’s Fremont factory and are now being installed.

Pictures of the robots inside the factory give us a rare glimpse at what Elon Musk has been describing as an ‘Alien Dreadnought’.

Musk said that his goal is for the factory to look more “alien” than a factory.

He emphasized that the first version of the Model 3 production line will only be a “version 0.5” of the “alien dreadnought”, but the line will get updated with more automation and he envisions a “version 3” in a few more years:

“By version 3, it won’t look like anything else. You can’t have people in the production line itself, otherwise you drop to people speed. So there will be no people in production process itself. People will maintain the machines, upgrade them, and deal with anomalies.”

The CEO has been focused on the speed of production over the past year. He says that Model S and X production move at about five centimeters per second on the line, but he sees an opportunity for a 20-fold increase in production speed for the Model 3 in Fremont – or “at least one meter per second.”
...
https://electrek.co/2017/04/25/tesla-model-3-robot-production-line-pictures/

Link has a cool video of Tesla robots in action.

23
I wonder if this is just a "car" thing, or if it is a sign of the beginning of an economic downturn in the U.S., after a near-record number of years of growth?

Despite record levels of incentives, cars are sitting on dealers' lots for longer than any month since July 2009.

Cars are sitting on the lot longer, even as dealers sweeten their offers
...The latest numbers from showrooms are not pretty. Through April 16, the average incentive for a new vehicle was $3,499 — a record for the month, according to the report. The previous record of $3,393 was set in April 2009.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/25/cars-are-sitting-on-the-lot-longer-even-as-dealers-sweeten-the-offers.html

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:42:03 AM »
If the panels are covered with snow then the heat used to melt the snow is not coming from electricity generated by the panels.  The electricity consumed is coming from the grid.

They've installed these panels but they don't seem to be monitoring the amount of electricity they pull from the grid, only what they contribute.  Or they aren't making that data public.

These people seem to have no background in science.  Perhaps only an engineer who knows how to attach wires to stuff.  Their data collection and controls really stink.

Some sunlight reaches the panels through snow.  When the panels are operating, they generate heat, apart from any special melting technology.  That's why I didn't need to clean the snow off the solar panels on my (slanted) roof this winter -- the snow just slid off as the panels warmed. :)

Heat from the solar roadways panels in operation could thin the snow layer enough to increase PV output, and eventually let an auxiliary melting circuit kick in.


Edit: Tesla solar roofs can melt snow yet still generate a "strongly net positive" output.
https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/792220517654597633

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:32:06 AM »
How a Cold Day in Texas Exposed the Value of Grid Flexibility
As the sun rose over Dallas on March 3, 2014, thermometers read 15° Fahrenheit [-9.4°C]. Across the state, Texans turned their heaters on full blast as they prepared to head to work. Meanwhile, at the operations center for Texas’ electricity system, ERCOT, operators saw the price of electricity skyrocket.

Around 8 a.m. prices jumped to nearly $5,000 per megawatt-hour, more than 100 times the average price of electricity.

Though the unusually cold weather caused electricity demand to increase well above historical levels, the power market behaved as intended. Many power plant owners, who know their capacity is typically not needed during this time of year, had their plants offline for maintenance. Thus, when a period of unusually high demand on March 3 combined with relatively low supply, prices skyrocketed, demonstrating the fundamentals of supply and demand. Power plants that were available and able to turn on quickly -- to be flexible -- were rewarded handsomely.

As the renewables transition continues apace, flexibility will become increasingly important. Policymakers and investors will need to watch carefully how flexibility is paid for. In a market design like Texas’ “energy-only” market, price spikes are a normal and important event that, assuming no market manipulation, properly reflect the marginal cost of electricity at that specific time. They provide an indication of how much and what types of resources are needed.

When spikes happen at predictable times of system needs, like during the summer when high temperatures cause increased electricity demand for air conditioning, they provide a good investment signal for peak capacity. When they happen at unusual times like on March 3, 2014, they provide a crucial investment signal to wholesale market buyers and sellers that more flexible resources are needed for times of stress, on either the generation side or on the demand side. Too many of these unusual “bellwether” events indicate that a system lacks much-needed flexibility, while too few signal a system that is oversupplied (or lucky). ...
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-a-cold-day-in-texas-exposed-the-value-of-grid-flexibility

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:20:06 AM »
Ummm....   :o

Uber unveils plans for electric flying taxis by 2020, ChargePoint will provide charging for first stations
If you are wondering how come there are so many news and announcement about electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft lately, like Lilium’s maiden flight and Kitty Hawk coming out of stealth, it looks like it’s because they timed the releases with Uber’s Elevate Summit in Dallas this week.

Today, Uber announced its own plans to use eVTOL aircraft for a flying taxi service.

Several companies, including the ones previously mentioned, detailed their plans during the event. Uber describes the summit:

“The Summit will offer an information-packed three days during which we hope to build awareness about the Elevate mission, detail Uber’s role in the ecosystem, identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community, and define a path towards initial urban eVTOL operations.”
...
https://electrek.co/2017/04/25/uber-electric-flying-taxis-2020-chargepoint-charging-station/

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 25, 2017, 03:50:21 PM »
On January 9, 2017, Solar Roadways posted to Facebook:

Irony = We are stranded at home today in north #Idaho with a #WinterStorm Advisory. In spite of repeated plowing and shoveling, our car got stuck on our own driveway and we’ve had near 0 temps. We don’t get these extremes very often here, but the good news is that it’s giving Sandpoint’s panels a real test on our parking lot.

Since we are not there today, we asked a friend who is in town to go take a pic for us. As you can see, it looks like one panel is out (probably a loose connection) but the rest are keeping up pretty well, even though we are not there to make adjustments. We do want it to warm enough for the snow on the connectors to melt too, so we will keep fine tuning before we put the panels in at Jeff Jones Square.

Hope you all like this vision of how we will be able to #disruptwinter keeping us all safer when driving and walking. We want to take the pain out of winter and leave only the beauty.
https://www.facebook.com/solarroadways/posts/10153955929677126:0


28
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: April 25, 2017, 03:31:32 PM »
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich:
"I would not inflict this on you except that I think it important you read it -- the full transcript of Trump's Friday interview with the White House correspondent for the Associated Press.

It shows that we are dealing with someone who is becoming seriously unhinged -- not just a pathological narcissist but a borderline sociopath who will almost certainly self destruct.

The question I keep asking myself is whether he'll self destruct in a relatively harmless way, or will take down many others with him.

What do you think?"
https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/posts/1548512448494679


Transcript of AP interview with Trump
https://apnews.com/c810d7de280a47e88848b0ac74690c83

Fact-checking Trump’s AP interview about his first 100 days
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/apr/24/fact-checking-trumps-associated-press-interview/

29
Sign of the times.  Yes, it's OK to make use of fossil fuels to help rid the world of fossil fuel use.  But....

Me: going to DC this weekend-wanna come?

Him: why DC?

Me: to join the #ClimateMarch!

H: driving down in yr 12mpg SUV?

M:

H:

M: so no?
https://twitter.com/mamattolly/status/856840605326069760

30
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 24, 2017, 03:54:38 PM »
The Energy Department is reportedly denying funds for already-approved grants
The grant-making ARPA-E program was targeted for elimination in Trump budget.
After proposing to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in its draft budget, the Trump administration, through the Department of Energy, has started withholding money for grants already approved by the agency, Politico reported Thursday, citing two unidentified sources.

The hold on the money for the grants began last week, Politico reported. During his run for the White House, President Donald Trump promised to target federal funding for agencies, like ARPA-E, that promote clean energy technologies.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/arpa-e-funding-not-going-through-5da18dccd935

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: April 24, 2017, 03:47:09 PM »
South Australia heading to 80% wind and solar by 2021/22
...
Consider what that means. Its current capacity of around 1,600MW of large-scale wind energy meets just over 40 per cent of total state demand, and the 720MW of rooftop solar adds another 7 per cent. When Hornsdale 2 is completed later this year, that percentage will go beyond 50 per cent.

AEMO’s forecasts suggest the capacity of wind and solar (now that it is cost competitive with wind) will double to around 3,100MW by 2121/2022. Given that the state’s rooftop solar installation is also expected to soar, this suggests at last 80 per cent of the state’s electricity demand could be met by wind and solar.

That’s not necessarily something to worry about, if properly managed, given that the CSIRO and the Energy Networks Australia canvassed a similar scenario in their Future Grids work, which they said would not affect system reliability, although they were suggesting it would happen more than a decade later.
...
http://reneweconomy.com.au/south-australia-heading-to-80-wind-and-solar-by-202122-202122/

Electrek says:
South Australia also happens to be a place that is currently in a strange type of gas shortage – one where they export before they feed the local markets. These energy issues are driving record solar growth in 2017 and the largest projects the earth has seen involving solar+batteries.
https://electrek.co/2017/04/24/egeb-suniva-may-be-filing-for-serious-damage-south-australia-80-windsolar-japan-drops-25gw-of-solar-more/

32
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 24, 2017, 03:24:47 PM »
.
...

Go out and install a few panels in your own driveway along with a 'control' panel.  Let's see what flat mounting, normal dirt washing over, and a tiny bit of traffic do to the output.  If that's encouraging then find a place to do a test where there is higher traffic flow.

They've done a lot of testing on their prototype installation at their home, such as this:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iKO-sDdJzTw

Their plan is to begin with sidewalk installations, then parking lots, then roads, as they further refine their design before they begin volume manufacturing....


I'd rate this about as complex as starting an electric car company.  Elon Musk heard people say, over and over, that Tesla would fail, because an EV company would never work.  His response:  I don't care.  We're doing it anyway. 

I keep watching, to see how the Brusaws progress.  :D

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: April 24, 2017, 03:01:33 PM »
Stunning drops in solar and wind costs turn global power market upside down
The world built more renewables for far less money last year, report UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
For years, opponents of renewable power, like President Donald Trump, have argued they simply aren’t affordable. The reality is quite different.

Unsubsidized renewables have become the cheapest source of new power — by far — in more and more countries, according to a new report from the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). ...
https://thinkprogress.org/renewables-cheapest-new-power-globally-74910c78bbbe

34
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: April 24, 2017, 02:56:20 PM »
When oil companies finally turn away from fossil fuels, might they turn to mining... asteroids?

Space May Be Next Frontier for Earth's Crude Oil Giants
The Middle East has an outsize impact on energy here on Earth. One analyst thinks some regional powerhouses may leverage that role into the development of natural resources in space.

Countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are developing space programs and investing in nascent private space commodity initiatives, said Tom James, a partner at energy consultant Navitas Resources. Doing so could give them a foothold in building extraterrestrial reserves of water -- a substance likely to fuel travel within space -- and other resources that could be used for in-space manufacturing.

“Water is the new oil of space,” James said in Singapore. “Middle East investment in space is growing as it works to shift from an oil-based to a knowledge-based economy.” ...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-23/space-the-final-frontier-seen-for-earth-s-crude-oil-giants

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: April 24, 2017, 02:52:48 PM »
U.S.:  Out west, "Make America Great Again" means steamrolling local perspective in favor of oil driller greed
...
All but 9 percent of publicly-owned land in this corner of New Mexico has been leased out for industrial profit. In late January, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold another four drilling leases at auction, despite prolonged protest from native people who still live there, conservationists who fear the permanent destruction of something precious, and local businesses that make their money from interacting with this landscape rather than ripping it apart.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/out-west-maga-means-steamrolling-local-perspective-in-favor-of-oil-driller-greed-4366e190536d

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 23, 2017, 04:53:35 PM »
Solar Roadways has a Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/solarroadways/

They had something of a fiasco last October, when they were to install the first panels at a pilot project in their local city of Sandpoint location.  They had never tried to produce so many panels at one time, and their laminating ovens failed, damaging most of the panels.  Reinstall in February was a success.

Sandpoint's webcam is here:  http://www.cityofsandpoint.com/visiting-sandpoint/solar-roadways

Here's a recent update:
Happy #EarthDay Solar Roadies! I've been asking Scott for a long time to write a blog post about the Technology Behind the Scenes at #SolarRoadways. Between working on software, firmware, hardware, production and keeping up with our current USDOT contract, he truly doesn't have the time. But today - in celebration of the precious planet that we are working so hard to protect,he agreed to take some time out to give you all a better understanding of why things sometimes seem to take so long.

We are very concerned with time too, especially since we truly believe SR is the best solution to help halt Climate Change and help to heal this planet. With the help of so many of you who have donated on Indiegogo and our website to bring us to this point, the technology now stands ready for our first full production line so that we can begin to produce hundreds of panels a day, accept the orders that await from all corners of the Earth, and create jobs for many who want to join us on this mission.

We've been exploring all models to raise the funds we need for this expansion and have just begun to schedule meetings with those who have reached out to help.

Blessings to all of you who are honoring the #Earth today through marching, raising awareness, planting trees, sending up prayers or whatever feels right to you. Thank you to all who continue to share this journey to heal this precious planet we all call home.

For those who want to connect with us: http://www.solarroadways.com/Home/Contact
 

37
“Herbert Diess, the global VW brand boss, has said the maker will no longer offer diesel models in the U.S.”

Volkswagen Slapped With Largest Ever Fine for Automakers
A federal judge in Detroit Friday signed off on what could be one of the last big developments in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, ordering the German maker to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty negotiated as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department last January.

The ruling now brings to around $30 billion the costs VW will incur after being caught rigging two of its diesel engines to pass U.S. emissions tests — a figure that includes the price of buying back almost 500,000 vehicles sold in the country. Meanwhile, seven current and former Volkswagen employees have been charged with crimes connected to the scandal, while an investigation continues in Germany.
...
The scam was apparently launched when Volkswagen engineers failed to come up with an effective technical solution that would allow them to deliver diesel vehicles that were both quick and fuel-efficient while also meeting tough emissions standards.
...
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/judge-approves-largest-fine-u-s-history-volkswagen-n749406

38
This chapter of the "Tesla Disrupts Different" paper examines the billions of dollars of assets that traditional automakers have tied up in ICE vehicles -- which would be worthless the moment they publicly acknowledged ICE is dead.  Which is why they cannot quickly switch to EV's, even if they wanted to.

Tesla Disrupts Different
Why Tesla's Selective Dominance is Inevitable
http://tesla.dauger.com/disrupts/incumbentsshackles.html

39
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:39:09 AM »
Even Trump's Earth Day message was anti-science
...
Along with some faint praise of America's "abundant natural resources and awe-inspiring beauty," Trump used Earth Day to talk about jobs.

"Economic growth enhances environmental protection. We can and must protect our environment without harming America's working families. That is why my administration is reducing unnecessary burdens on American workers and American companies, while being mindful that our actions must also protect the environment," Trump said.
...
http://mashable.com/2017/04/22/trump-earth-day-statement-anti-science/

40
Science / Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:27:23 AM »
New technology brings Star Wars-style desert moisture farming a step closer
(CNN)Luke Skywalker wasn't just a farmer. In the original 1977 Star Wars film, the lead character was desperate to leave his home planet of Tatooine, where his family farmed moisture from the atmosphere using devices called "vaporators". In the planet's hot and dry desert landscape, moisture farming was an important activity for survival.

But could this principle of drawing moisture from the air to provide drinking water work in the real world? Researchers and I are working on technology to turn it from science fiction into reality. And now a new study has demonstrated how one device could work even in dry desert conditions using only the power of the sun.
...
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/21/tech/eco-solutions-star-wars-desert-vaporators/index.html

41
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:11:53 AM »
The March for Science stretched all the way to the North Pole
The Trump administration's assault on scientific evidence and research funding may have triggered the March for Science, but the more than 500 events around the world on Saturday demonstrated that the movement is truly global. ...
http://mashable.com/2017/04/22/march-for-science-photos-worldwide/

42
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:59:55 PM »
And yes, the March for Science is happening around the globe, not just the U.S.
  Eric Holthaus is live-tweeting march news at:
https://mobile.twitter.com/ericholthaus/



43
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:49:10 PM »
British power generation achieves first ever coal-free day
National Grid hails milestone as other sources like gas, nuclear, wind and solar allow UK to keep lights on with all coal-fired powerplants offline
Friday was Britain’s first ever working day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid.

The control room tweeted the milestone on Friday. It is the first continuous 24-hour coal-free period for Britain since use of the fossil fuel began. West Burton 1 power station, the only coal-fired plant that had been up and running, went offline on Thursday....
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/21/britain-set-for-first-coal-free-day-since-the-industrial-revolution

44
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:38:55 PM »
 You can register to attend the March for Science today virtually.


Register to attend your local march

On April 22, 2017, join us for an unprecedented gathering of people standing together to acknowledge and voice the critical role that science plays in each of our lives.

*If you will be attending virtually, please select Washington DC or your local march and you will be given an option for virtual marching.

To register, all that we require is your name and email address to ensure accurate counts of participants.  If you have the time, please share additional details with us.  Our insatiable curiosity leaves us with many questions that we want answered — we can only do that with your participation!  For more information on our privacy policy, please click here.  ...

https://www.marchforscience.com/satellite-marches/

45
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:33:27 PM »
”Dow Chemical wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump's inaugural festivities.”

Dow Chemical Pushes White House to Kill Risk Study Showing Pesticide Dangers
WASHINGTON — Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration that's open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

Lawyers representing Dow, whose CEO is a close adviser to President Donald Trump, and two other manufacturers of organophosphates sent letters last week to the heads of three of Trump's Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them "to set aside" the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed....
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dow-chemical-pushes-white-house-kill-risk-study-showing-pesticide-n749396

46
Even turning back the EPA fuel standards in the U.S. won't save GM's global sales.  And, they are saying here that building EVs is possible for them, the opposite of what they claimed in their letter to the EPA.  ::)

GM turns to China for electric vehicle production
Matt Tsien, president of GM China, made the announcement during a news conference at the Shanghai auto show. AP reported:

“He said GM expects annual sales of 150,000 electric and hybrid cars in China by 2020 and possibly in excess of 500,000 by 2025.”
(Note that tiny [by comparison] Tesla will be making 500,000 pure EVs a year by 2018.)

In China, automakers need electric vehicles to represent at least 8% of their sales in 2018, 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020.

Last year, GM sold almost 4 million vehicles in China, which means that if they want to follow the requirements, they will have to sell more EVs in China in 2019 alone than they have cumulatively around the world over the past decade.
https://electrek.co/2017/04/21/gm-china-all-electric-vehicle-production/

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: April 21, 2017, 11:00:38 PM »
We're already cyborgs -- most of us just keep the technology we use every day outside of our body.  But as we move forward with cochlear implants and neural stimulators....  Think how big and expensive computers were 50 years ago, versus what you are using today.  Now imagine how small and powerful the technology will be in another 50 years.  (One benefit: much less energy and material will be required, and the technology will be available to many more people.)

Tim Urban's new "Wait But Why" article, on Elon Musk's new company which is working on the Brain-Machine Interface of the future:

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future
http://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

48
Walmart Launches Project Gigaton to Reduce Emissions in Company’s Supply Chain
Through release of a sustainability toolkit, Walmart asks suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one gigaton – the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads for an entire year

Today, during Walmart’s annual Milestone Summit, the company launched a sustainability platform inviting suppliers to join Walmart in committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains. Dubbed Project Gigaton, this initiative will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. That’s the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year....
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170419005362/en/

49
Walmart Launches Project Gigaton to Reduce Emissions in Company’s Supply Chain
Through release of a sustainability toolkit, Walmart asks suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one gigaton – the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads for an entire year

Today, during Walmart’s annual Milestone Summit, the company launched a sustainability platform inviting suppliers to join Walmart in committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains. Dubbed Project Gigaton, this initiative will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. That’s the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year....
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170419005362/en/

50
Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: April 21, 2017, 01:25:20 AM »
Lilium shows maiden flight of world’s first working prototype of an electric VTOL jet
https://electrek.co/2017/04/20/lilium-electric-vtol-jet/

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