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Messages - Ken Feldman

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Consequences / Re: Places becoming more livable
« on: October 20, 2020, 07:48:19 AM »
Actually, for some of us, finding a loving wife (husband), who is your best friend and real mate is not a social obligation but a joyful experience every day. Same stands for children. In a loving family, every day is Christmas. Truly.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: October 19, 2020, 10:27:12 PM »
Tony Seba says self-driving AI is improving at double-exponential rates.  Anyone who thinks autonomous transport won’t be widespread until 2030 doesn’t understand this.  The cost of Transport as a Service will be 1/10 the cost of a new car. The automotive fleet will decrease by 80% by 2030 due to economic considerations alone.

Steven Mark Ryan:  “In this video I react to, discuss and share my opinions on clips of a brilliant Tony Seba presentation on disruptive technology and innovation as it applies to the future of transportation (autonomous vehicles -- Transport as a Service). I do this through a Tesla-centric lens.”

Source:  Tony Seba #CleanDisruption @ Robin Hood Investors Conference 2019 RHIC2019

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 16, 2020, 11:07:47 PM »
China's UHVDC lines have 1.5% losses per 1000km.  Can't really see superconductors really making a lot of difference.   

We already have the tools to connect the dots.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: October 05, 2020, 07:56:03 PM »
Nuclear and Renewables Don't Mix

If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.

That's the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions—and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Published today in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programs do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness. ... Countries planning large-scale investments in new nuclear power are risking suppression of greater climate benefits from alternative renewable energy investments."

Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power, Nature Energy (2020)

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: October 03, 2020, 12:08:45 AM »
confirms that the atmosphere (including trade winds and rainfall patterns) over the Tropical Pacific can be reorganized into a permanent El Nino pattern, within a human lifespan, once GHG concentrations reach Pliocene level

In this work we reanalyze Pliocene sea surface temperature data and do not find evidence of a permanent El Niño.

Which is it?

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: October 01, 2020, 09:42:54 PM »
I delivered my ballot to the Supervisor of Elections' office on Tuesday [I waited for my wife to complete her ballot so that I could take both of them in.].  Today I went to the Supervisor's website and looked myself up:

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: September 30, 2020, 05:47:43 AM »

Hi sorry new to the forum. Long time lurker but had a question. The data presented in the 2.6 column it is as if we continued on the path of the current amount emissions of CO2 and Methane and then each sequential line to the right is if we were to increase in amounts being thrown into the atmosphere or is there some type of mitigation process in there i'm not seeing in 2.6 and 4.5? Clearly 8.5 is the most ambitious of them.



The RCPs are "representative concentration pathways" and each present a series of inputs for running climate simulations in models.  They're meant to represent a pattern of climate forcings, not really a forecast of future emissions.  So we'll never be entirely on one path or another.

The number at the end of the RCP is the radiative forcing in the year 2100.  So RCP 2.6 would see 2.6 watts per meter of forcing while RCP would have 8.5 watts per meter in 2100.

The pattern of forcings over the years is broadly described in each of the scenario descriptions.  RCP 8.5 assumes continued growth in fossil fuel emissions, including burning coal at an increasing rate, for the rest of the century.  RCP 2.6 assumes we began reducing non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane, in 2011 (which we haven't), we reach a peak in CO2 emissions around 2040 and then decline and use Negative Emissions Technologies to reduce CO2 concentrations from 2050 through 2100.  RCPs 4.5 and 6.0 assume a peak of CO2 emissions in the second half of the century and then stabilization of concentrations toward the end of the century.

A good summary in easy to read format is available at at this link:

That website has some very useful graphics that show the assumed emission trajectories in each of the scenarios:

The assumed atmospheric concentrations:

One of the interesting features of all of the RCPs, which were developed about 15 years ago, is that they assumed that renewable energy would be too expensive to deploy extensively.  This is shown in another image at the skeptical science article:

Of course, wind and solar are now cheaper than coal and competitive with natural gas, so these assumptions are way too pessimistic.  By 2030, almost all new energy investment will be wind and solar (about 67% is now, with coal seeing almost no new investment the past two years), so by 2050, almost no fossil fuel power plants will be operating.

I appreciate the amazing response to this my wording may not have been the best to use but this truly helped me understand and I thank you for that. I see there may be a few who may dislike my approach to speaking about these things, unfortunately that is on them. Ill remove myself at this point from the conversation and going back to lurking.

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: September 28, 2020, 11:19:36 PM »
Methane too;

Oh my, i have just realised these plots have axes the wrong way round, please imagine the labels reversed- I havent used matplotlib for a while

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: September 28, 2020, 11:12:34 PM »
I plotted that data;

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« on: September 25, 2020, 12:09:51 PM »
Last try

The EROI “problem” is non-existent for renewables, there is ample surplus energy available from Solar, Wind and other renewables.

There are no diminishing returns, there is expansion in RE. It’s self-replicating, as a new source of energy, one RE device pays back and then produces enough to build another in 1 year, so energy production capacity can double every year without the need for FFs.
7 years 1 to 100 times original.

Scotland got to net 100% electricity mostly with wind in just over a decade without trying too hard. Still more planned to cover transport, heating etc.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« on: September 23, 2020, 12:27:41 PM »
I’m not nearly as pessimistic as some on this thread, also the EROI is a distaction.

Remember how consumption works:

I work in my speciality and get paid paper tokens.
I user the paper tokens to buy other people’s work in their speciality – mining minerals, growing food, making toasters, cars, whatever, providing services.

I pay for the work, not the physical item, as all manufactured items are products of work.

If I have to pay for two hours digging to get the mineral out instead of one hour then I can afford only half, so I’ll just have to get by on less.

Note the amount of work in the economy stays the same, but less mineral gets produced. In other words it’s more expensive.

No problem, no collapse, no end of the world. We can all get by on less.

The floodgates are open on renewable energy, because it is CHEAPER than FF. So I need to work less to buy the same amount of energy, so it is my source of choice.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« on: September 22, 2020, 02:59:42 PM »
If you were to drop the irrelevant EROI argument ralfy, stopped claiming solar has diminishing returns, and stopped ignoring the waste heat that comes with FF but is not part of renewable energy, it is quite plausible that most members would agree with your assertions about the need for more energy quantity in the future, the difficulty in making a fast enough transition, and the need to reduce developed countries consumption and overall population growth.
What bothers me is that you make important claims (though rather trivial), but using wrong methods and arguments. In science I think it's not just the conclusion that matters, but the method.


Oren is arguing against a gish gallop of weakly-related arguments and bad reasoning.

Let's make it simple.  We need lots more energy to lift the poor out of poverty?  The quickest, cleanest, fastest way to create a gigawatt-hour of energy is with utility-scale solar.  Let's go with that. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy Transition and Consumption
« on: September 03, 2020, 10:10:38 PM »

The problem is that the global economy that is expected to produce that energy is based on competitive capitalism, i.e., investors will fund renewable energy projects because they expect higher returns, consumers are expected to consume more energy to fuel more funding, etc.

(US)  this change is global but I have US numbers

This is why the shift of renewables being cheaper around 2018/2019 is a big deal. Little comment is made about this which I do not understand. First 6 months of 2020 instalation of renewables exceeded fossil fuels. Last 6 months of this year new fossil fuel plants (0.64 GW) disapear almost entirely  and renewable plans surge. 28.72 GW in the last 6 months of 2020. The evidence of this shift is showing up in the drop of  fossil fuel plants being built. The last 6 months of 2020 only 2% of planned additions are fossil fuels. That is huge. These are not optimistic estimates from an industry promoting itself. Projects only show up on this planned list after permits are filed.  Most were under construction and on schedule as of the end of June. Battery additions at 0.80 GW exceed fossil fuel additions at 0.64 GW. These changes are driven mostly by capitalism not environmentalism. The natural gas replacing coal narrative died in the first half of this year. Any data before 2018 is mostly irreverent to the future. Many have called this transition before so it is understandable that most are reluctant to notice.
ONLY 2% of planned additions in the last 6 months of this year are fossil fuels.
This is in the US and applies only to electricity but the same number that drive the change in electricity will drive changes in all electricity.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: September 02, 2020, 02:44:40 PM »
You have to wonder where Tesla would be today if it had taken a similar approach when it decided to  create, almost single handedly, a mass market for high volume EV's which would replace your normal vehicle.

I'd contend that Tesla would be nowhere.

Going back to Ford, one wonders where they are going with this approach. Given that there are very few (read none that can guarantee the volume), to supply their need even at today's volumes.

Nowhere would seem to be the answer.  If they are going nowhere, when they get there, they are not going to survive.

Musk has said that in the beginning, when they calculated what would be needed in order to produce the number of EVs they planned, they saw they would require what was then the entire global supply of batteries, just for Tesla.  And so they built the first gigafactory.

It’s easy for an ICE car manufacturer, who really doesn’t want to make electric vehicles anyway, to justify not spending the money to make their own batteries for a small number of EVs.  Thus guaranteeing they will never make more than a small number of EVs.  A “Kodak moment.”

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: September 02, 2020, 09:39:04 AM »
Another, older, paper on the subject of bathymetry and SIE.
Nghiem et al, 2012. Seafloor control on sea ice. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (Link)
The seafloor has a profound role in Arctic Sea ice formation and seasonal evolution. Ocean bathymetry controls the distribution and mixing of warm and cold waters, which may originate from different sources, thereby dictating the pattern of sea ice on the ocean surface. Sea ice dynamics, forced by surface winds, are also guided by seafloor features in preferential directions. Here, satellite mapping of sea ice together with buoy measurements are used to reveal the bathymetric control on sea ice growth and dynamics. Bathymetric effects on sea ice formation are clearly observed in the conformity between sea ice patterns and bathymetric characteristics in the peripheral seas. Beyond local features, bathymetric control appears over extensive regions of the sea ice cover across the Arctic Ocean. The large-scale conformity between bathymetry and patterns of different synoptic sea ice classes, including seasonal and perennial sea ice, is identified. An implication of the bathymetric influence is that the maximum extent of the total sea ice cover is relatively stable, as observed by scatterometer data in the decade of the 2000s, while the minimum ice extent has decreased drastically. Because of the geologic control, the sea ice cover can expand only as far as it reaches the seashore, the continental shelf break, or other pronounced bathymetric features in the peripheral seas. Since the seafloor does not change significantly for decades or centuries, sea ice patterns can be recurrent around certain bathymetric features, which, once identified, may help improve short-term forecast, seasonal outlook, and decadal prediction of the sea ice cover. Moreover, the seafloor can indirectly influence the cloud cover by its control on sea ice distribution, which differentially modulates the latent heat flux through ice covered and open water areas.

The paper is mentioned on the Arctic Sea Ice news from November 2012. There, the NSIDC writes:
Research by our colleagues Jamie Morison at the University of Washington Seattle and NASA scientist Son Nghiem suggests that bathymetry (sea floor topography) plays an important role in Arctic sea ice formation and extent by controlling the distribution and mixing of warm and cold waters. At its seasonal minimum extent, the ice edge mainly corresponds to the deep-water/shallow-water boundary (approximately 500-meter depth), suggesting that the ocean floor exerts a dominant control on the ice edge position. However, in some cases, ice survives in the shallower continental shelf regions due to water circulation patterns. For example, the shelf area of the East Greenland Sea is almost always covered with sea ice because the southward-flowing cold Arctic surface water helps to limit melt.

In contrast, ice disappears in shallow areas like the Barents and Chukchi seas that are subject to warm ocean waters and river runoff. River runoff and ice melting have also contributed to changes in the amount and distribution of fresh water in the Arctic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: September 02, 2020, 12:40:37 AM »
Planned capacity changes in GW from end of June 2020 to end of the year.
(some additions may not be built)

additions GW   retirements GW
wind        19.34   coal            3.69
solar         9.38   nuclear    0.60
battery    0.80   nat gas    0.30
nat gas    0.64   petro    0.03
hydro      0.23   wood    0.02
biomas    0.05         
petro       0.01     

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 25, 2020, 10:32:25 PM »
(US) Buried deeply in EIA data

Big News

1.86 GW of renewable displaced 1.34 GW of fossil fuels capacity in June 2020
16.89 GW of renewable displaced 8.95 GW of fossil fuels capacity in past 12 months ending in June 2020. This trend appears to be accelerating!

June capacity Data
renewables have net gain of 1864.7 MW
fossil fuels have net loss of 1343.8 MW

June year to date capacity data
renewables have net gain of 7839.8 MW
fossil fuels have net loss of 2009.8 M

June full year capacity data
renewables have net gain of 16887.3 MW
fossil fuels have net loss of -8949.9 MW

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2020?
« on: August 08, 2020, 11:06:23 PM »
The map also shows an arrow indicating a WSW-ward drift of 2nm/day
After this melting season we will certainly measure the ice in nanometres (nm). I can assume that you meant nautical miles but this was confusing for me.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:17:20 AM »
I don't get the (excitement about) DMI chart. If green line is the average, and I have seen it notably below during summer( posted here multiple times during recent years) somewhere around 0C line. Then for the green line to be average, there either must have been periods like this one, where we go above the line, or their chart is simply wrong, to put it easy.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: July 21, 2020, 11:54:04 PM »
The comet was visible last night here in Calif.  It was about halfway between the horizon and the Big Dipper at 9:45pm.  Kinda fuzzy with the naked eye but nice using binoculars. You only see so many comets in one lifetime. I can remember where I watched four memorable ones.
Quite visible in the Maine darkness. Snagged a few shots last night.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Bering Strait
« on: June 22, 2020, 08:14:45 PM »
Freegrass, There are no buoy arrays currently monitoring Bering inflow rates so you have to read as much as you can by Rebecca Woodgate . She authored a number of papers about a buoy array no longer being maintained.
 She has a 2018 paper on causes of variability in flow rates . “ Most notably, however, we find the increase in the Bering Strait throughflow is due to a strong increase in the pressure-head forcing of the flow, consistent through most of the year, reflecting the naturally longer timescales of the far-field forcing of the flow. ”

Here is another older link that includes Chukchi circulation 101

I didn’t think I wanted to post on the melting season .  Just read Woodgate .

Kate Marvel has spent most of her career studying cloud feedback (which has proven to be key w.r.t. the high values of ECS projected by the high-end CMIP6 model projections) and in the linked opinion piece she acknowledges a good amount of uncertainty about projections of future climate change; which from a risk point of view is not good:

Title: "Global Warming: How Hot, Exactly, Is it Going to Get?"

Extract: "All climate models simulate a changing planet in response to a changing temperature. And, increasingly, we know why they disagree on that final warming. In the climate models that warm more, low, thick clouds appear to be changing in ways that reduce their sun-blocking power. In the models that warm less, these changes are smaller.

So scientists have devoted their time to measuring clouds, understanding them, and figuring out how to represent them in climate models. This work has paid off: the range of uncertainty is now changing. Unfortunately, it’s increased. Climate models that use more modern techniques to simulate clouds are now projecting more warming: five or six degrees Celsius in response to a doubling of carbon dioxide. To put those numbers in context, four and a half degrees is the difference between now and the last Ice Age.

But the past is not the future, and we have good reason to believe that there are no analogues for the future into which we are hurtling."

She is quite skeptical to the unbelievably high ECS values of the majority of CMIP6 models, though:
"I find these high numbers hard to believe, but as a scientist it’s my job to find things hard to believe. My skepticism is rooted in clues from the planet’s past. At the height of the last Ice Age, temperatures were cooler and carbon dioxide levels lower. It’s hard to reconcile these measurements with extremely high climate sensitivities."

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: May 10, 2020, 09:36:57 PM »
Said and done.
I recalculated the data, now turning from CO2 equivalents into Delta radiative forcing. I checked my calculations with the NOAA table. It worked well for CO2, CH4 and N2O. I didn't find any conversion formula for SF6, therefore I used a factor from the fourth IPCC assessment report where I found the factor 0.52 (*10-3) with which the SF6 concentration shall be multiplied to give its additional warming potential. As SF6 has a very low in concentration it does not really matter. The distribution among the gases are:
CO2 74 %
CH4 18 %
N2O  7 %
SF6   0.2 %
In addition I could add the years 1979-2001 for all four "NOAA gases" to my spread sheet. :)

I hope you are satisfied with the attached graph:
(linear fit again doesn't work perfectly due to the acceleration of the concentration)

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: April 15, 2020, 04:44:19 AM »
I guess apocoalypticists are constantly seeing signs of imminent collapse. And have been since at least Ramses' time. I on the other hand, who am absolutely certain that our human civilisation will survive both Covid-19 and AGW, see amazing resilience and innovative adaptation everywhere.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 22, 2020, 05:29:24 PM »
If you don't cover your respiratory holes you are covidiot that will get others infected. Cover your respiratory holes! Keep your germs to yourself.

If you are living in a region where masks are rare and keep them for yourself instead of donating them to nurses, you are a way bigger covidiot!

You can stay at home. Nurses can't!

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 09, 2020, 01:23:22 PM »
If this thing collapses the fracking industry, i would count this as a net-positive.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 02, 2020, 04:28:43 PM »
JAXA ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT: 14,386,278 km2(March 1, 2020)

- Extent gain in the last 2 days 91 k,

I think this is a 3 day gain. Leap day isn't in your spreadsheet, but I fear it's real.
My reality belongs to me, even though you are correct.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: February 24, 2020, 04:02:31 AM »
Alberta, Canada

Bill McKibben on Twitter: "Wait! News breaking that campaigners have seemingly won a signal victory against a giant proposed tarsands mine. The company says that 'investors' worried about climate make it impossible to proceed. What great organizing! #RejectTeck #stopthemoneypipeline”

Teck Resources Ltd. is pulling its application for the proposed Frontier oil sands mine.
The company, which on Friday released disappointing fourth quarter results, decided to pull the project following a board meeting, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the sources as they were not permitted to speak publicly about the decision.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 09, 2020, 04:04:20 PM »
For all flat-earthers, around the globe. ;)

“How the power lines at Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, USA simply and clearly show the curvature of the Earth”

Soundly Proving the Curvature of the Earth at Lake Pontchartrain
Photo below.
I always said these new electronic cameras produced distorted images. I know the surface of the water is flat and the pylons are dead straight.

Nice try but you can't fool me!

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: February 06, 2020, 05:12:57 PM »
Remember these names!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 27, 2020, 07:56:51 PM »
Remember, the S in IoT stands for security!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:51:33 PM »
 A bit of good news from Australia.

Looks like coal is about to get a bit of a kicking

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 17, 2020, 08:27:01 PM »
We are far, far away from nondispatchable renewables reaching penetration with systemwide impact. By the time we get to even 50% penetration, storage prices will have dropped much further. And i see no problem keeping a few pet gas peakers or rampable nukes around to cover the times when intermittent renewable is insufficient. Or of course we can overbuild wind/solar by a factor of three or so and dump excess into carbon capture or fuel

Positing that a situation that may arise several decades in the future is a insuperable barrier to building renewables at full speed today is a lazy argument.


The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: January 10, 2020, 11:09:47 PM »
It's amazing what gets in the way of a telescope.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 27, 2019, 08:53:24 PM »
Having spent a lot of time building a spreadsheet to use IEA's monthly country by country data on electricity production, they have discontinued updating that spreadsheet and put the data on a ig fat spreadsheet with separate sheets for each country without all the previous months tabulted.

So, all I can give you is their one page summary for electricity production for all OECD countries as at September 2019. Nevertheless, it shows that
- OECD countries in the year to date are making less electricity than last year (-1.2%),
- coal down by 12,8% (-260 TWH)
- solar + 12.8% and wind +12.5%, (altogether +100 TWH)
- natural gas + 4.%, (+90 TWH).

So the increase in solar+wind was more than the increase in natural gas use. What do I take from this?
In the OECD
- coal is not yesterday's news, it is 20th Century news.
- Natural Gas is already on the back foot.
- for the OECD, economics vs. "The Koch Connection" will decide the pace of the conversion to renewables,
- The key decisions on the future of renewables and CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is now in the hands of the non-OECD countries, and we are talking now mostly about India and China and probably increasingly Africa.

And what decisions are made there will be decided by their priorities - not by the OECD countries. 
Greta - go East, young woman.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 19, 2019, 04:23:24 AM »
The year-end spending bill in the US extended the tax credit for wind projects by one year.  The solar tax credit is down to 10% for developer-owned systems.

Just a slight correction :)

Solar tax credit = 26% in 2020
2021 = 22%
2022+ = 10%

A little annoyed at the wind extension, since my education and first career was in the energy industry in TX. Solar is perfect for TX because of all the high demand, hot days that align perfectly with solar's generation profile, but since it's a "competitive" market, and PPAs are still the main vehicle for helping reduce risk in renewable installations (companies buy certain amounts of output, and electricity is cheap in a competitive market so developers + finance are hesitant to just play the market with solar since there really isn't a whole lot of precedent on big projects. playing the market is typically called a "merchant" project), the PTC has made wind extremely cheap in TX. $18-20/MWh, solar can't beat that yet, so all the companies who just want the cheapest electricity they can get, decide to just sign PPAs for wind offtake instead. That's why TX is going to have about 30GW next year (or soon after), and a criminal amount of solar, considering it's the fastest growing electricity demand in the US and reserves have been tight in the summer.

Was hoping with the wind credit coming to an end you'd see some of the 50-60GW of solar in the interconnection queue get financed. But, probably be a trickle in 2020 now. Oh well, silver lining, when solar does boom in TX, and it will, there will be a ton of wind (wind actually generated 22% of all TX electricity in 1st half 2019, there was about 30% of that amount of wind under construction or advanced development a couple months ago), and solar will be even cheaper. Won't even need "storage" for storage sake for a while, and the sheer amount of wind will help cover more of the 24hr load.

One reason wind got extended was undoubtedly because fossil groups much prefer it. Classic generators and interest groups in TX, who pay the pencil pushers 200k in the capital to lobby, don't want to give up those high demand daytime hours where they overwhelmingly meet demand and soak up the reserve adders (they get $7,000-$9,500/MWh when reserves are tight during TX summer days). Wind typically generates early evening through the night. Why yes, solar would be perfect for all of these days, and as much as people love to talk about "capacity factors" as some sort of detriment, even the modules currently installed are pumping out 80%+ nameplate during 100+ degree days. But, if wind is cheaper for companies to buy electricity from, it's hard to get a bunch of solar installed, currently anyway (finance + developer risk). TX is pretty unique in its market, but I wouldn't be surprised if similar factors were at play in other states, like the midwest. You get to say you're not against renewables, you get to be "pro business" with companies buying cheap offtake from wind, and you get to prolong all the classic fossil generators most profitable hours (and by extension, the fossil suppliers + pipelines).

But, 2020 solar credit at 26% won't change much. 2021 at 22%, maybe. It wouldn't if we didn't have such high tariffs disabling us from taking advantage of the ridiculous changes that happen basically quarterly in China. Hard to say, because if the orange turd is defeated, obviously it changes the game. On that note, hopefully whoever it is realizes is semi-competent and realizes rooftop is much more expensive than it should be. I actually am in the works preparing for something like that, as an energy professional turned software/web guy. I'll let you guys know if it works out  ;D . I'll give you a hint, "customer acquisition" can be 20-30% of an installation's cost to generate profits, and who really wants to plan to have 3-4 solar idiots coming to their place, not knowing if they're full of crap or not? Seems like it'd be much easier to have one person come out, and handle it like a real estate agent, using their expertise to find you the best deal. Solar companies can then pay the "agent" saving $$ on customer acquisition, at no costs to the person getting them installed. Solar companies already pay commission to their own sales teams. Design a web portal, keep tally of what companies actually do good work, in the future when battery costs come down or they want an EV charger, you can help arrange that too. On that note, if you have kids, electrical engineering/electricians in the future will probably have more work than they can handle, especially when EVs are common and solar panels are 500-600W, weigh 10 pounds, cost about $.80c/watt to install, and can get a rooftop install done before lunch with just a couple of hands, batteries become more common, smart homes, HVAC + appliance adoption/replacement.

Oh, and Ken, i do peruse this thread every so often. One thing that is drastically underrated, is petrochemicals. These are massive sources of emissions. And yes, the electricity game is changing (very quickly in the big scheme of things, but not quickly enough unfortunately, the convergence and material, computing/modeling age we're entering is going to be very interesting indeed, as well as the bi-directional grid and demand response adaptation of the grid. btw if anyone's interested in something neat, watch "perovskite" development.), however, as countries develop like SE Asia, demand for a bunch of stupid crap goes up. Look around you right now, look in your cabinets, petrochemicals used in production of material goods are all over the place. Electricity generation and transportation are two huge areas of the energy industry, and it's great that we're seeing them develop, but industry + chemicals is also a massive emitter, and "developing countries" consumption of these are going to increase.

Hydrogen as a feedstock is a no-brainer (which is why it's getting attention, you can also inventory it and fire it off in turbines for extreme weather events), but genetically engineered biofuels and recycling are absolutely 100% going to have to evolve.  You can't create matter from nothing, after all. And this is a major challenge. I only mention this because you seem genuinely interested, so maybe you feel inclined to check updates on developments in this area. If there's a "promising" outlook for this sector, it's that genetic research is advancing pretty quickly, and the nanomaterial arena like interfaces, handling, observable data, is leading to a lot of very interesting and novel catalyst research. And the computing + modeling (ML/AI), with the breadth of research data is helping things a lot. But, these are "musts", and replacing countries' established petrochemical value chain that powers cheap material goods is going to be a heavy lift.

Anywho, sorry for the long diatribe, i might post more if people want. Here's something fun, increasing silicon wafer size -> goes into solar cell manufacturing is an easy way to increase power. The biggest producer marginally increased size and wanted everyone to adopt it, so the 2nd biggest producer said, "DIS.. IS.. CHINA", and increased that size about 30%, so there's going to be a 500W utility scale panel in Q1-Q2 next year, thinking they can take it up to 600W. Wafer wars? Other producers will probably go up to that size, so no telling what the biggest producer ends up doing. 500W bifacial panel is a good chunk of power though. If you're interested in solar the trends over the next year or two are going to be wafer size, and interest in "passivated contacts". The rate of scale and iteration in China is unreal. Just for reference, in 2018 the average module from top producers was about ~340W, and a small segment of bifacial (~8-15% gain). 2019 saw 415-430W and a bigger adoption of bifacial, and 2020 will see plenty of 500W+ and bifacial will be pretty standard, all while the entire industry basically shifted to a specific type, monocrystalline PERC. Production lines are basically turnkey 5GW-10GW now. And there's still headroom from better quality wafers and passivation, like TOPcon, HJT (these are what's considered passivated contacts, because they use an "n-type" wafer, which is of better quality, but equipment hasn't evolved to be more cost effective vs the current ridiculous throughputs of the "p-type" PERC products, which managed to corner a 100GW market in 12 months).

Okay, i'm done  :D

"Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
It's letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew."


Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: November 16, 2019, 01:49:41 PM »

So you've volunteered and lobbied like mad to be on the project - what an opportunity for a young scientist!

You've got a bit of Arctic experience - in the summer's 24 hour daylight.

But today,
- 2 months of darkness is getting to you,
- it's about -7 celsius outside, + windchill from 50 kmh wind,
- the ship is creaking and groaning,
- the ice is creaking, groaning, grinding, crack! a new lead.

The boss needs you to go on the floe to rescue some gear before it heads 4,000 metres down.
The polar guards have said the bears are a bit active today - lots of holes in the ice means a better chance of getting a seal.

Life is wonderful.

Stuff that for a game of soldiers.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:16:20 PM »
South Australia household batteries keeps lights on in Queensland after coal unit fails

The outage at Queensland’s Kogan Creek coal power station happened when the unit –  the biggest single unit in Australia – tripped, reducing supply by 784MW, and causing the power system to drop well below the normal level of system frequency.

The VPP detected the frequency drop and immediately injected power into the grid from residential batteries installed on SA Housing Trust properties across the state, contributing with other providers to return the system back to normal, said South Australia energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan in a separate statement.

Well that was not quite what i expected from the headline.

I don´t think that really holds.

We don´t feel specific temperatures but we are comfortable or not and that depends on what you wear but also on activity. Also we spend loads of time indoors.

What i personally think of as more important:

The rate of change is rather quick. It is really noticeable especially if you are old enough...and lived in the right location.

1986 was the last of the years under the long term average global temperatures.
Some of the late 70ies early 80ies winters were cold and long in the Netherlands.
I really hated winter and especially the end of it because snow is fun when it is new and it is crisp but after a couple of months you had enough. In some years it was really cold well into the end of march, too cold to just go play outside. At the end of april you actually could do that.

And that was the long term norm. ´Maart roert zijn staart , april doet wat hij wil. En in mei leggen alle vogels een ei.´ This translates as ´March turns its tail (can be like winter or spring)  April does what it wants (variable spring weather) and in May all the birds lay their eggs.

This all changed. I have seen baby chickens in february when the weather was like spring. Some of the last years there is hardly a trace of winter with very little days with snow or ice on the ground or the canals.

If you are 21 now you remember weather from lets say 2004 and on , 31 1994 and on.
But you have no experience of what the normal was like.


Now this should mean that the older people are even more convinced that something is off.

I have not done a survey i just know a bunch in the boomer age range or slightly younger.

Do they clue in that something is off. Yes most of them.

But at that age direct action is not an option. Many of them thrust the governments or someone to fix it. The ones that will go to marches are the ones that already were into it ages ago but they are but a few.

Sometimes people are emotionally invested otherwise. My dad is an engineer who worked on all kinds of stuff including engines and when i talked to him about engine efficiency for ICE cars and the transition to EVs all he sees is a thread to ICEs. Can´t really talk to him about the general thing to him. It does not register, then again he does not go outdoors ever which is a waste since there is so much beauty everywhere.

And other other life stages are focused on their own challenges. Working at 50 trying to not be made redundant because you need the money to put the kids through college etc.

So i would say premise people are more aware when more exposed. Farmers are feeling the effects all over the world. Office workers maybe not so much.

Then it depends on life history. Some people are more aware of what is out there even when it is not on TV while others are blind to this.

It is similar to production lines. People think oh nice garment at that price level but they usually do not wonder who picked the cotton, where they coloured it or where the runoff of that process went nor who sewed it together at what working conditions.

This is the consumerism we have been thought and it is because we are usually so far from any specific product except as we hunt it in the wild aka the shop shelf.

This same blindness extends to global warming.
And it is hard to think of the proper scenarios if you never read about it and so many people haven´t because there are more interesting soccer games or celeb divorces or foreigners to worry about all the time.

Science / Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« on: November 07, 2019, 05:58:43 AM »
NASA Flew Gas Detectors Above California, Found ‘Super Emitters’

Over the course of three years, NASA flew a plane carrying gas-imaging equipment above California and made a discovery that surprised even the state’s own environmental agencies: A handful of operations are responsible for the vast majority of methane emissions.

In a report published in Nature on Wednesday, scientists estimated that 10% of the places releasing methane -- including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms -- are responsible for more than half of the state’s total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed -- just 0.2% -- account for as much as 46%.

For example, of the 270 surveyed landfills, only 30 were observed to emit large plumes of methane. However, those 30 were responsible for 40% of the total point-source emissions detected during the survey.

NASA’s aircraft made dozens of flights across 10,000 square miles from 2016 through 2018. Landfills accounted for 41% of the source emissions it identified, manure management 26% and oil and gas operations 26%.

The team identified more than 550 individual point sources emitting plumes of highly concentrated methane. Ten percent of these sources, considered super-emitters, contributed the majority of the emissions detected. The team estimates that statewide, super-emitters are responsible for about a third of California's total methane budget.

The results are already effecting change. The survey revealed four incidents of leaking natural gas distribution lines and one leaking liquefied natural gas storage tank, which operators confirmed and repaired.

Riley M. Duren et al. California's methane super-emitters, Nature (2019)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 06, 2019, 11:41:59 PM »
Geronocrat, From the energy ca gov energy almanac you sourced. “Most electricity from PV is not counted into the total electricity production of the utility companies as the solar panels are mounted on individual homes or businesses.” So there is the solar being generated from ~ one million homes that have solar PV on their roofs not getting counted in the PV production numbers quoted + PV from businesses.
 The way to get renewables to power up the expansion in electric vehicles is to push home solar up
5 kW for each new electric car parked in the garage. Some study on how many new electric vehicles have most or all their electric supplied by behind the meter home solar systems would be an interesting read.
 Here is some numbers on ca. solar PV

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:21:54 PM »
For The First Time in 137 Years, UK Got More Power From Renewables Than Fossil Fuels
We've just hit another major milestone in the shift towards renewables: in the third quarter of 2019, the UK generated more electricity from renewable sources than it did from fossil fuel power stations, an industry report says.

If confirmed, that means the combined energy produced from wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydropower plants (29.5 terawatt hours) exceeded the amount of energy produced from coal, oil, and gas (29.1 terawatt hours).

While the data needs to be independently verified, let's hope it signals a tipping point for the future of the country's energy production – this is something that hasn't happened since the UK's first public electricity generating power station opened in 1882.

Across July, August and September, renewable energy production accounted for 40 percent of the UK's electricity, with fossil fuels (mostly gas) just behind at 39 percent. Of the remaining 21 percent, the majority came from nuclear power stations.
However, there is a caveat worth flagging: 12 percent of that renewable energy came from burning biomass and wood pellets, which don't meet the strictest definition of renewables – regrowing forests to suck up the carbon dioxide produced can take some time.

Less than 10 years ago, the fossil fuel contribution to the UK electricity market was around four-fifths, but the situation is quickly changing. Back in May, the country went six days without burning any coal at all – and indeed coal-powered plants are due to be phased out completely by 2025. ...

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: October 30, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »
Two Million-Year-Old Ice Provides Snapshot of Earth's Greenhouse Gas History

In a paper published today in Nature, a group of scientists used air trapped in the bubbles in ice as old as 2 million years to measure levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

... During the past one million years the cycle of ice ages followed by warm periods occurred every 100,000 years. But between 2.8 million years ago and 1.2 million years ago, those cycles were shorter, about 40,000 years, and ice ages were less extreme.

They found that the highest levels of carbon dioxide matched the levels in warm periods of more recent times. The lowest levels, however, did not reach the very low concentrations found in the ice ages of the last 800,000 years. ...

Yuzhen Yan, Two-million-year-old snapshots of atmospheric gases from Antarctic ice, Nature (2019)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:06:17 AM »
I would not take IEA as having any actual  expertise in anything to do renewable energy.
Their past performance in predicting renewable growth has been abysmal .
That is not just a one off failure.  That is year after year they have underestimated renewable market penetration. This repeated failure suggest that they have no competence at all and structural issue that prevent them developing a team capable of making meaningful projections.

If you want expert go to Bloomberg new energy not perfect but far more realistic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: October 25, 2019, 05:05:51 PM »
Senator Schumer Proposes $462 Billion Car Swap—Gas for Electric

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is moving Democrats' climate talk to where the rubber meets the road, proposing a $462 billion trade-in program to get millions of Americans out of climate-damaging gas vehicles and into electric or hybrid cars over the next decade.

Schumer said the "proposal to bring clean cars to all of America" would be a key part of climate legislation by Senate Democrats. The injection of government-supported spending for electric cars "could position the U.S. to lead the world in clean auto manufacturing," he said.

... The New York Democrat's plan would give American car buyers thousands of dollars each to trade in gas-burning cars for U.S.-assembled electric, hybrid or hydrogen cell cars. Lower-income households, and buyers of cars with American-made parts, would get extra credits.

About $45 billion would go to boost availability of charging stations and other electric car infrastructure. And $17 billion would help automakers increase their production of electric cars, batteries and parts.

He didn't outline how he would pay for the plan.

I wonder if "quality polls" will become less relevant. Monmouth polls (which 538 rates A+) are done exclusively by phone, with the majority being landline. That will obviously under-represent younger demographics, who generally do not answer unknown callers on their cellphones. I don't know anyone under 40 with a landline.

In Monmouth's most recent New Hampshire poll, only 29% of respondents were under 50, and only 12% were under 35. Those percentages may have roughly correlated with actual voter turnout in past elections, but the under 50 vote was the majority in the 2018 midterms. The truth is probably somewhere between the "quality" approved DNC list and online polling like Change Research. If so, it's a shame that the DNC process is discounting younger generations in its rather un-democratic selection process.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:07:01 AM »
I got the ice polls correct this year so maybe I can take another guess and make a trifecta.

He gets impeached ! There will be enough key figures involved willing to cooperate. Their testimony is solid and deadly. The Senate can’t hide without risking a Senate turnover. We will see a Pence President because I believe the republicans can save him ,that is not impeach him, even if the dems do include him in the dragnet.

Walking the walk / Re: Meat Consumption and Global Warming
« on: September 19, 2019, 05:41:57 PM »
Quote from: Tom_Mazanec
... I have used up my New York Times free articles for the month. I have to take the quote from the Daily Climate listing now.
Note to Tom:

You don't 'HAVE' to do anything.

This is a voluntary forum for scientist and citizen-scientist to share data, information, knowledge, and sometimes wisdom. It's not some OCD competition.

The object is to have more signal than noise.

Flooding the forum with 40 posts (yesterday) or 30 (the day before) does not improve the S/N ratio.

Skim less; read more.

Perhaps, distill those 40 posts to 5 that haven't already been discussed or posted by someone else.

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