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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Yesterday the high temp in Fairbanks was 33°F. The normal high for the date is 0°F. #akwx @AlaskaWx
https://twitter.com/climatologist49/status/953682921411391488

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:52:25 PM »
Good discussion on nuclear ramping here:

http://www.vanadiumcorp.com/news/climate/972-solar-and-nukes
The nuclear industry admits that ramping results in additional wear on plant equipment, however there is disagreement between the nuclear industry and its critics regarding how much the control rods are affected by ramping nuclear power plants and the degree of the resulting effect on safe operation of these plants. EDF maintains that most of the effects are in the secondary circuits, or the non-nuclear part of the plant, such as pumps and valves, and describes the additional maintenance needed as being “marginal.”

“The pressure and temperature variations are much lower in the primary circuit (localized in the nuclear part), which avoids consequences on the materials,” EDF told pv magazine.

Meanwhile, a 2010 report by Austria’s Ökologie Institut describes a mechanism whereby frequent ramping deforms the plastic on control rods, with potential cracking if the power increase is too large. In the case of the Brokdorf plant, safety inspectors attributed accelerated oxidation of the plant’s rods to ramping.
http://www.vanadiumcorp.com/news/climate/972-solar-and-nukes

And a rather snarky article on the trials and tribulations of Gundremmingen plant here:
Germany shuts down next nuclear plant
https://energytransition.org/2017/12/germany-shuts-down-next-nuclear-plant/

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:39:19 PM »
I'm surprised that AMTRAK and VIA are so bad. I'd have expected they'd be better than the bus, or at least no worse.

I was shocked, too.  It seems like everything I read claims trains are the best. 

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:36:11 PM »
Scott and Julie Brusaw will be speaking and displaying SR panels in Orlando, Florida, at the Teamfl conference "Transporting into the Future" on January 25 and 26, 2018.

All sharing appreciated so the word gets out there. So often we have a speaking engagement and people say they would have gone but missed our post!
We hope to see many of you there:
Have you registered for Teamfl's meeting next week in Orlando, "Transporting to the Future"? We’ve got an innovative program planned for our members including learning about #SolarRoadways - an alternative to our traditional roadway and how to reduce greenhouse gases from Scott Brusaw during our Friday General Session.

We will have 6 Solar Road panels on display that you can see and touch throughout the conference. Learn from Scott and Julie Brusaw—the couple behind Solar Roadways that attracted many fans three years ago with a video and online fundraising campaign that drew more than $2 million. With those assets, plus funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation the team has been able to refine their “smart” road tiles, which contain solar cells, LED lights, heating elements, wireless communication, the ability to enable dynamic charging of EVs and make autonomous vehicles safer. #transportationinnovation
https://www.facebook.com/solarroadways/posts/10154860797657126

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:16:35 PM »
California Bill Would Allow Unrestricted Housing by Transit, Solve State Housing Crisis
San Francisco’s state senator, Scott Wiener, has introduced a bill that would all but abolish the city’s famously strict land use controls—and virtually every other residential zoning restriction in California’s urban neighborhoods. It’s just about the most radical attack on California’s affordability crisis you could imagine.

Wiener’s bill, SB-827, flies in the face of every assumption Americans have held about neighborhood politics and design for a century. It also makes intuitive sense. The bill would ensure that all new housing construction within a half-mile of a train station or a quarter-mile of a frequent bus route would not be subject to local regulations concerning size, height, number of apartments, restrictive design standards, or the provision of parking spaces. Because San Francisco is a relatively transit-rich area, this would up-zone virtually the entire city. But it would also apply to corridors in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and low-rise, transit-oriented suburbs across the state. It would produce larger residential buildings around transit hubs, but just as importantly it would enable developers to build those buildings faster. ...
http://slate.com/business/2018/01/california-bill-sb827-residential-zoning-transit-awesome.html

6
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:17:38 PM »
”“What we learned from this first cycle of electrification is people want really nice products.”

It is both painful and hilarious to watch the big automakers grind their way toward the EV market of the future.

Ford plans $11 billion investment, 40 electrified vehicles by 2022
Ford Motor Co (F.N) will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra has promised investors the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021.
Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022 – significantly more than when it announced two months earlier it would invest more than 20 billion euros on electric and self-driving cars through 2030.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-detroit-ford-motor/ford-plans-11-billion-investment-40-electrified-vehicles-by-2022-idUSKBN1F30YZ

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:11:24 PM »
Updated way to measure your transportation GHG emissions.  Based on the U.S. and Canada.
[...]
First graph is by km, second graph is by grams of emissions.  You want to be in the green range — see the article for details.

Well, not really. I want to multiply my transports by the distances I cover. I have a gasoline-powered car but it's been doing half the annual distance on average in its life, with a lot fewer km these days.

On the flip side, I fly and buy flown goods a lot, and my electricity is very dirty.

Valid point.  It’s more of a “way to compare the GHG emissions of your transportation options.”  :)

8
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:52:39 PM »
Updated way to measure your transportation GHG emissions.  Based on the U.S. and Canada.

Essential infographics for the climate-conscious traveller
...Even a very generous share of the global 2C Carbon Budget means Canadians and Americans will need to average around one tonne of CO2 per year over the next several decades from on all personal transportation. Currently we travel around 20,000 km per year. So a rough rule of thumb for 2C-compatible travel is to choose options that can take people 20,000 km or more per tonne of CO2 (tCO2). ...
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/25/analysis/essential-infographics-climate-conscious-traveller

First graph is by km, second graph is by grams of emissions.  You want to be in the green range — see the article for details.

9
Knowles told the Post that the board hasn't held a meeting since President Trump took office last January despite the board being required by law to meet two times each year.

"We were frozen out," Knowles told the newspaper.

Majority of National Park Service advisory board resigns amid protest
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/369246-majority-of-national-park-service-advisory-board-resigns-amid

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 17, 2018, 03:05:30 PM »
Germany’s transition to renewables includes “the first nuclear plant to shut down specifically because of damage caused by ramping.”

German power sector: coal and nuclear down, renewables up in 2017
Since the first nuclear reactor was shut down in 2003 as a part of Germany’s nuclear phaseout, electricity from renewables has increased almost twice as much as nuclear power has shrunk. Coal power – both from lignite and hard coal – has also dropped. The lights have stayed on.

Power exports also set a record for the fifth year in a row, reaching 53 TWh. Net power exports provide space for dispatchable conventional power generators (coal, gas, and nuclear). Renewable electricity has priority dispatch on the German grid, meaning that clean power is consumed before conventional power. Wind and solar in particular react to the weather, not to demand, so foreign demand cannot increase these sources.

Gas was once again slightly up in 2017 but has grown by more than a quarter since 2013. Hard coal has fallen by just over a quarter during the same time frame. The decrease in lignite is only 8% because renewables are not yet forcing those plants to ramp much.

Nuclear fell by nearly 11% in 2017. One reactor was shut down at the end of December, but that decrease was only slight. A bigger factor was the extended downtime at Brokdorf, a reactor that made history last year by being the first nuclear plant to shut down specifically because of damage caused by ramping. Other reactors, such as France’s Civaux, have also experienced difficulties possibly related to load-following, but ramping was never clearly reported as the cause for any other reactor.
...
https://energytransition.org/2018/01/german-power-sector-coal-and-nuclear-down-renewables-up-in-2017/

11
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:55:28 PM »
“One should use a bag of salt with numbers from analys.se. It's an "independent" group of specialists with support from the Swedish nuclear power industry. ;)

Thanks for the tip.  I thought their graphs looked a little sketchy (it came from a pro-nuke twitterer), but I couldn’t find anything definitive about the group.

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Fee & Dividend Plan
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:26:43 AM »
With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon
• As part of a joint legislative agenda proposed yesterday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Governor-elect Ralph Northam, Virginia could become the first southern state to put a cap on carbon emissions by formally joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

• In November, after Northam was elected, the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board approved draft regulations to cut carbon emissions from power plants and link the state with the nine-state carbon cap-and-trade program.

• The new legislation would enable Virginia to directly auction the allowances, and invest the revenues in programs that benefit the public. ...
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/with-proposal-to-join-rggi-virginia-would-be-first-southern-state-to-cap-c/514537/

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 17, 2018, 01:07:24 AM »
Teaching cars to understand humans.

”What’s easy for humans to understand, becomes a challenge for the machine. After the machine recognized that this object in fact is a human, the machine has to recognize in a next step that the human is doing a gesture. But is this a gesture meant for the car or not? And what’s the context of the gesture? [Is] the human giving the signal a pedestrian wanting to cross the street, or a police [officer] asking the car to stop for inspection? Or is the person making the gesture somebody with nefarious intent? A person kneeling down may just fix her shoelaces, or [be] a runner getting ready for a quick dash.”

Humanising Autonomy Or How Do Humans Communicate With Self-Driving Cars?
https://thelastdriverlicenseholder.com/2018/01/15/humanising-autonomy-or-how-do-humans-communicate-with-self-driving-cars/

14
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:55:04 PM »
Public Service Company of Colorado issued an “all-source solicitation,” which amounts to the utility saying to private developers: “Here’s how much new power by 2023 we need. Whatcha got?”
They received received 430 individual bids, for 238 separate projects!

In Colorado, a glimpse of renewable energy’s insanely cheap future
Even with storage, new renewables beat existing coal.
...
The median bid for a wind project was $18.10/MWh; the median for wind+storage was $21, just three dollars higher. The median bid for a solar PV project was $29.50/MWh; the median bid for solar+storage was $36, just seven dollars higher. (Keep in mind what median means: Half the projects bid cheaper than this.)
...
According to Carbon Tracker, based on these bids, new wind+storage energy in Colorado is cheaper than energy from the state’s existing coal plants; solar+storage energy is cheaper than 75 percent of the state’s coal energy. This is worth repeating, because it’s a significant milestone: In Colorado, getting energy from new renewable energy projects with storage is cheaper getting it from existing coal plants. Coal is dead.

The cheapest previously known solar+storage price in the US was $45/MWh, in a PPA signed by Tucson Electric last year. The median Xcel bid for solar+storage beats that by $9.

For the Tucson project, storage added about $15/MWh to the cost of the solar. Compare that to the $3 to $7 added by storage in the Xcel bids. Storage prices are plunging, and as they do, renewables become more competitive.

The financial advisory firm Lazard issues a much-watched analysis each year of the “levelized cost of energy (LCOE),” a measure that purports to directly compare energy sources based on total costs. Its 2017 analysis estimated that solar+batteries has an LCOE of $82/MWh. You might notice that the median Xcel bid for solar+storage is less than half that. (Important caveat: The Lazard LCOE is for solar with 10 hours of storage; we do not yet know how much storage is involved in the Xcel bids, so direct comparison is impossible for now.) ...
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/1/16/16895594/colorado-renewable-energy-future

15
Consequences / Re: California weather extremes and climate
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:37:24 PM »
Last winter's near-record rainfall in California means the state's reservoirs are still mostly full.
This year is a different story.
Record warmth and near-record low snowfall means a new drought may be beginning.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/953356311428845574

Without some real snow (maybe this week?), overall water storage in the Sierra is seriously lagging despite brim-full reservoirs
https://twitter.com/mdettinger/status/953332825717026816
Image below.

16
Consequences / Re: 2018 Droughts
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:17:52 PM »
More on (the personal side of) the Cape Town water crisis:

Cape Town Is 90 Days Away From Running Out of Water
http://time.com/5103259/cape-town-water-crisis/

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:12:44 PM »
I just noticed this:
The city of Tallahassee is proposing to shut down its hydroelectric generating station on the Ochlockonee River in favor of cheaper solar power.
...
The plant power costs $85 per megawatt hour to produce compared to $50 per megawatt hour for power from a solar project being built to serve city customers ...
Politico, 2017-07-20

“Tallahassee broke ground on May 30 on a 120-acre solar project at the city's international airport ...”

Great use of space.  Airports are required to maintain a large open area to buffer the landing zones.  Use it!

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:03:42 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/16/eu-declares-war-on-plastic-waste-2030

EU declaring war on single-use plastics. That’s only good for a small percentage (most oil is for transport, most gas for heating and electricity) but it’s just an added strain on the industry.

But a huge win for the oceans and the environment!

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Schumpeterian Creative Destruction
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:01:21 PM »
...

How can we equitable finance these groups, none of whom contribute toward society as a whole, in a fair manner that retains the class distinctions that so clearly cut through all of our societies?


Terry

Those that have one, take one. Those that have two, turn one in.  ;)

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 16, 2018, 07:53:12 PM »
”The land can’t be used for agriculture, and it’s been suggested people cannot return for 24,000 years.”

Solar power brings Chernobyl powerlines back to life with 1MW installed [Gallery]
Ukraine’s repurposing of 1GW of electricity transmission infrastructure, located in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone, has passed a milestone of installing its first solar power plant – a 1MW plant.

It is a special plant because it is located a mere 100 meters away from the world’s largest movable structure – the Chernobyl Sarcophagus – that will seal in nuclear radiation from the still radioactive nuclear material. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/01/16/solar-power-chernobyl-powerlines-ukraine/

Similar to this nuclear wasteland — but with chemical, rather than radiation, hazards — some decommissioned coal power plant locations are being refitted with solar, to take advantage of the existing power transmission lines.

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 16, 2018, 05:28:42 PM »
The Tesla final assembly factory for Europe is now home to one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the Netherlands.  The panels are extremely densely packed on the roof and the system is estimated to have a capacity of about 3 MW.

Tesla’s Tilburg factory gets a new massive solar array
https://electrek.co/2018/01/16/tesla-tilburg-factory-new-massive-solar-array/

22
Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: January 16, 2018, 03:05:27 PM »
Wow!

Removing aerosols induces a global mean surface heating of 0.5-1.1°C, precipitation increase of 2.0-4.6%, extreme weather indices increase. Already at 1.1°C!

Keeping 1.5°C alive requires managing geoengineering, like it or not...

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL076079/full 
https://twitter.com/Peters_Glen/status/953179275250847744

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:16:56 AM »
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.


Intriguing, but where is China, how is India progressing?
Terry

Good question!  I wonder if that is missing due to lack of information — or an attempt to cook the data?

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Schumpeterian Creative Destruction
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:04:29 AM »
...

It's a mixed bag.  Long term a vast improvement for almost all with some losing money or occupation during the transition.

And a universal income will be seen as the only logical next step, as robotics and automation eliminate millions of jobs.

25
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 16, 2018, 12:52:54 AM »
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:48:04 PM »
Beautiful!

4+ MW solar PV system on the roof of Rhenus Logistics’ new distribution center near Eindhoven-NL. Looks sharp!
Photo: @KiesZonNu
https://mobile.twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/952445675119267841

27
Consequences / Re: 2018 Droughts
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:05:53 PM »
U.S.:
Snowpack Near Record Lows Spells Trouble for Western Water Supplies
Months of exceptionally warm weather and an early winter snow drought across big swaths of the West have left the snowpack at record-low levels in parts of the Central and Southern Rockies, raising concerns about water shortages and economic damage.

Drought spread across large parts of the Western United States this month, and storms that moved across the region in early January made up only a small part of the deficit. Runoff from melting snow is now projected to be less than 50 percent of average in key river basins in the central and southern Rockies.
...
With little fresh snow falling this winter and warm temperatures that make it hard to keep machine-made snow on the slopes, New Mexico's Taos Valley ski resort was able to open fewer than 20 of its 112 runs during the past weekend, and many of the region's other large resorts have faced similar conditions. Athletes training for the winter Olympics have had to fly to Canada and Europe to find good snow conditions.
...
Using the most sophisticated climate models and weather data from various ski regions, the scientists concluded that it will be too warm for snowmaking at many lower elevation resorts in the eastern half of the country within the next few decades. By 2050, the winter season will only be half as long as now, averaged across all 247 resorts in the study. ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15012018/snow-drought-ski-western-water-supply-risk-climate-change-economy

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Schumpeterian Creative Destruction
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:55:33 PM »
The road through the next decade or two will be bumpy, indeed!  Our comfort (or, survival) will depend on what shock absorbers we install....

29
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:30:38 PM »
Volvo Cars Drive Me project is finally launched.
https://www.volvocars.com/en-om/about/our-innovation-brands/intellisafe/autonomous-driving/drive-me
The first of 100 families got their car back in December. Paula Hain was hoping to have a car where she could get a nap while en route to her morning flight.
https://www.svt.se/nyheter/vetenskap/paula-hain-ar-mer-uppmarksam-nu
Oh what a shame.

Not happening.

It did. Two families got their cars in December and another three in January. Didn't translate work on the second link? My real point though, is now in bold.

The article I quoted said pretty much what you bolded: Volvo full automation is not happening for years; current testing is limited to drivers-assist mode only.  (I did translate and read your article. :) )

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:23:24 PM »
Wont be able to lease or finance an electric car?
...

The more I think about this (plus the effect of driverless cars) the more I see a brutal Schumpeterian type creative destruction process which in the short-term may be extremely disruptive to the economy.

You make good points.  Depreciation and increasingly affordable prices will certainly shake up the industry — and the economy.  But it’s an industry/economy that is too big to let fail, so I imagine that between the industry and the government, the market will be adjusted to help drive ;) the growth of autonomous driving and ride-sharing, creating a revolution in personal transportation and vehicle ownership.

How?  Say I have an old car.  It’s worth next to nothing as a trade-in, or maybe the lease is costing me more than the car is worth; the best bet might be to give it to a “Cash for Clunkers” program and take it off the road for good.  Then, I might see if I can make do without owning a car at all, if one of those newfangled ride-sharing outfits is available.

Or, if I have a little money and an entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps I will get a car that will pay me back, by being part of a ride-sharing service.  Elon Musk wrote:
When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination.

You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you're at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.

In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are.
https://www.tesla.com/blog/master-plan-part-deux


Depreciation of EVs was significant as recently as 2013-2014, but the value of (and demand for) newer models has upended that:

Tesla Model S retains its value better than gas-powered cars in its segment, losing only 28% after 50k miles
https://electrek.co/2016/09/13/tesla-model-s-value-retention-leading-segment-losing-only-28-after-50k-miles/

More on depreciation:

As Chris Cooper wrote in a comment under the recent article I mentioned at the top, “You missed the single largest financial benefit to owning an EV. That’s depreciation — or rather lack of it.”

Going on:
“I bought my P85 a year and a half ago, and today it’s worth exactly what I paid for it, on the second hand market. It’s a free EV in one sense, certainly cheaper than a cheapy ICE car. Why don’t people realize depreciation is a game changer for EV value. Don’t focus on the cost of the EV, focus on the value. Which for second hand Teslas is always far higher than any equivalent luxury car. I’ve no idea why this isn’t marketed more widely as a benefit. I challenge you to write a whole CleanTech story about EV depreciation being close to zero, just like the cost to run them. Now if that doesn’t get you driving one, what will! The cost of interest on a Tesla loan can come out of running savings on gas and servicing. Anyone like a Tesla for free? It is possible. I’ve done it — surely others have? I’ve heard Tesla restricting sales to some who have been making a profit selling them second hand even. Tesla is an investment that makes far more sense than buying a petrol car — on depreciation alone, which exceeds the petrol savings over five years easily I believe. Tell me I’m wrong!” 
https://cleantechnica.com/2016/09/03/depreciation-electric-cars-today-tomorrow-2020/


The old established automakers will also need help.  They have hundreds of billions of dollars in ICE assets that will be nearly worthless in a new EV world.
“The incumbents cannot embrace long-range BEV because it would kill their gas-engine cash cow, so they must move at most slowly, providing only short-range BEVs that do not disrupt.”

This link from 2016 shows several automakers’ ICE assets, how long it may take to amortize them, and why EV-only startups such as Tesla may come out ahead:
http://tesla.dauger.com/disrupts/incumbentsshackles.html

31
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 15, 2018, 05:18:14 PM »
Bad (but not unexpected) development: the burning Sanchi oil tanker exploded and sank.

Burning oil tanker sinks in the East China Sea
An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea has sunk a week after it collided with another vessel, according to Chinese state media.

The Panama-registered Sanchi tanker sank Sunday after an explosion rocked it and sent flames shooting up, CCTV reported.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons -- around 1 million barrels -- of oil from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered CF Crystal freighter in the East China Sea on January 7. ...
http://www.wral.com/oil-tanker-burning-in-the-east-china-sea-capsizes/17256757/

32
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 15, 2018, 04:06:22 AM »
”The battery, instantly knowing it had space and that it wanted to make some money, started to absorb power and hold onto it.”

Tesla’s massive battery in Australia was paid up to $1000/MWh to charge itself
Yesterday, Saturday 13th, in South Australia the Tesla battery at Hornsdale Power Reserve was paid AU$1,000/MWh (USD$790/kWh) to absorb excess electricity from the power grid.

The battery has become famous for coming online in under 100 days after an Elon Musk Twitter bet and later reacting to a crashed coal plants in milliseconds.

Starting around 12 PM, and continuing until around 4 PM, the battery was paid during at least five separate windows.

The Tesla built battery was in ‘Load’ (charging) mode, while electricity was negatively priced, for at least 194 minutes. During that period the battery was accepting power at rates between 15-26MW, for varying time periods.

Roughly, during the four-hour period, the battery system absorbed greater than 66MWh of energy, which would be equal to at least AU$66,339 in revenue – and potentially up to $76,153.

Events of this nature occur when there is more electricity being produced than the power grid can absorb. Powerplants will sometimes disconnect themselves from the power grid when these things occur, transformers can blow, etc – this is what similar to what happened when the Tesla battery raced to action a few weeks back. The power grid managers try their best via predictive tools to manage energy usage with generation, but complexity always creeps in. ...
Electrek’s Take

To the victor comes the spoils. The battle was of speed – who can react to an imbalanced grid the fastest and in the most economical way. Often times, corporations and electricity users are asked to run hardware and absorb this juice (as happened in Germany a couple of weeks ago). But those folks don’t have a chance at keeping up with this battery. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/01/14/teslas-massive-battery-in-australia-was-paid-up-to-1000-mwh-to-charge-itself/

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 15, 2018, 04:00:48 AM »
Has anyone seen this article from last October by the Union of Concerned Scientists?

 ;)

tl;dr   ;D

34
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: January 15, 2018, 01:03:19 AM »
Mud, darkness and destruction turned Montecito into death trap
The realization that houses might simply vanish didn’t start to set in until a 30-foot tree trunk barreled by.

Trina Grokenberger stared out the upstairs window of her white Colonial house Tuesday morning, as a river raged through her front yard.

It was 3:58 a.m.

“Dave!” she called to her husband. “We can’t leave now, right? That’s all trees coming down the driveway.”

Their white Land Rover was parked below, with the suitcase they had packed.

They knew they were in a voluntary evacuation zone and that officials had warned of possible flooding and debris flows. In December they left for five days under a mandatory evacuation during the Thomas fire. Now the word “voluntary” had given them a false sense of comfort.
...
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-montecito-mudslides-20180114-story.html

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 14, 2018, 08:24:48 PM »
Looks like a large amount of that coal is going to be replaced with natural gas, which simply gives the illusion of emissions reductions because we only count the CO2 and don't/vastly undercount the CH4.

But most of the gas plants will be peaker plants, rather than base power plants, won’t they?  Which means much of the time they won’t be operating.  And they will run less and less, as we ramp up renewables and storage.

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 14, 2018, 08:19:49 PM »
Here’s an article from last October the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Errrm, that's the same one I linked to a few posts upthread.

Did you read my comment?

People occasionally re-post a link I had already posted.  I don’t make a fuss.  Most other folks don’t, either.

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:41:34 PM »
Volvo Cars Drive Me project is finally launched.
https://www.volvocars.com/en-om/about/our-innovation-brands/intellisafe/autonomous-driving/drive-me
The first of 100 families got their car back in December. Paula Hain was hoping to have a car where she could get a nap while en route to her morning flight.
https://www.svt.se/nyheter/vetenskap/paula-hain-ar-mer-uppmarksam-nu
Oh what a shame.

Not happening.

Volvo Responsibly Delays Autonomous Car Program Four Years Because It Cares
Volvo has delayed its Drive Me autonomous car pilot program by four years and will no longer be testing fully-autonomous cars at launch, after initial plans to get the robots rolling by the end of this year. This isn’t very surprising.

The Drive Me program was announced in 2015, and Volvo claimed it would be pushing out 100 new level four autonomous XC90s to families in Sweden to test out its autonomous driving technology by the end of 2017. Similar programs were to be subsequently launched in the U.K. and China.

The Drive Me program has been drastically changed and the new plan is to test limited level two semi-autonomous technologies that require driver attention in a build up to level four testing by 2021. ...

“On the journey, some of the questions that we thought were really difficult to answer have been answered much faster than we expected. And in some areas, we are finding that there were more issues to dig into and solve than we expected,” Marcus Rothoff, Volvo’s autonomous driving program director, told Automotive News Europe.

One of those issues is the automaker’s reluctance to pick a so-called “sensor set” too early.

“The development in sensor performance and processor capabilities is going so much faster than we expected in 2013,” Rothoff said on Monday. “Because advancements are being made at such a rapid pace, we want to make this decision as late as possible.”
https://jalopnik.com/volvo-responsibly-delays-autonomous-car-program-four-ye-1821307293

The debate over which type of sensors to use to feed your autonomous-driving software is still being fought over. LIDAR has commonly been used over the years, and huge, expensive lidar sensors have given way to smaller, cheaper versions.  But LIDAR uses light-frequencies, and so it can’t see through fog, dust, smoke, heavy snow, etc..

Elon Musk knows a thing or two about LIDAR, since his SpaceX Dragon capsule uses it to measure its approach to the Space Station, where every millimeter counts.  But Musk says earth-bound cars can get all the information they need, better, using multiple cameras* and ultra-sonic sensors (which can be cleverly hidden, rather than sticking out like a quasi-Transformer).

Begun, the sensor wars have!

*Edit: and radar!

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:03:16 PM »
I watched a review of the Model 3 from November, and a big concern crept into my mind. 

My parents bought a Prius about 2005 and the glaring midday Southwestern (USA) sun made the screen frequently useless, so they formed a three-sided (thin) cardboard bonnet (think Amish or 18th century Quaker) that extended the shading about 15 cm (6"). 

The Model 3 screen appears to be virtually un-shadeable.  I imagine:  "Officer, I didn't know I was speeding because the sun-glare kept me from seeing the screen which shows how fast I'm going."

This has not been brought up as a significant problem in any of the amateur or professional Model 3 (or Model S or X, for that matter) articles and videos I’ve seen to date.  The Model 3 screen is quite firmly affixed to the dash, so between optimum placement/angle, and a premium anti-glare screen surface, (and the special glass in the roof) it should not be a problem any more often than the usual binnacle display. 

Since the display is such a vital part of the car’s functioning, it would be hard to overlook viewing problems during testing.  But, the display might seem less readable to any camera not recording from the normal height and position of a driver’s eyes.

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 14, 2018, 06:42:14 PM »
“2)  And by 2023 - 2025.....there will be a BOATLOAD... of cars to choose from.”

There will be many EV models available, but most likely not in the volumes needed to replace the 65 million cars manufactured worldwide today.  (Minus any volume decrease generated by the rise in vehicles shared autonomously.  And Hyperloops. ;)

As you say, the demand may be there... but the supply likely will not — new battery production, EV design and manufacturing processes will take a few more years to shake out the old car companies who waited too long to increase EV production beyond the minimum required to comply with countries’ laws, and allow new companies to grow their production.


40
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 14, 2018, 06:17:06 PM »
“Power companies plan to shutter more than 10 big coal plants in 2018, extinguishing a major portion of coal burning in the United States.”

Coal’s death spiral, in 3 charts
http://grist.org/article/coals-death-spiral-in-3-charts/

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 14, 2018, 04:56:38 PM »
”The effort to address climate change can no longer afford to focus exclusively on emissions.”

Thoughtful response to the Holthaus article.

Nuclear Is Not the Answer
Eric Holthaus has become one the best climate journalists in the country over the past few years, but his most recent article promoting nuclear power demonstrates why the effort to address climate change can no longer afford to focus exclusively on emissions. There are a lot of problems with Holthaus’ article, some of which likely stem from his use of Jesse Jenkins and Michael Shellenberger as sources. Jenkins and Shellenberger have spent their careers promoting techno-salvation and denigrating environmentalism. Their influence is particularly evident in the fact that Holthaus literally starts his article with a conclusion that nuclear power is necessary.

We can’t have a serious discussion about nuclear power without talking about democracy.  Nuclear proponents argue that nuclear power can be done safely and with minimal waste. Even if that is true, it is also certainly true that nuclear power can be done less safely by cutting corners in ways that increase the profits of the corporations who own the plants. And the consequences of cutting those corners can be catastrophic. That’s why it is so critical that if we are going to be embracing extremely high-risk technology, we need a government and regulatory agencies that are not willing to compromise public safety for corporate profits. We don’t have such a system. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Until we end corporate personhood, we don’t have a governing structure that can handle the responsibility of nuclear power.
...
As sea levels rise and predictions for future sea level rise keep increasing, it can’t make sense to be building nuclear power plants near shorelines. But if we build them inland, the increased water shortages caused by climate change will be an ever-increasing problem for nuclear power, which uses more water than any other power source. With a diversified energy system of renewables, we can afford a few mistakes in our planning, experimentation, and development. With nuclear power, we can’t afford a single mistake.
...
http://www.timdechristopher.org/nuclear_is_not_the_answer

42
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: January 14, 2018, 03:22:20 PM »
There are U.S. laws protecting free speech.  But there are others that forbid corporations from intentionally misleading investors.

Exxon Ramps Up Free Speech Argument in Fighting Climate Fraud Investigations
The oil giant wants a court to block state investigations into whether it misled investors on climate change, while it continues to promote a degree of uncertainty.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13012018/exxon-climate-change-investor-fraud-investigations-lawsuit-free-speech-new-york

43
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 14, 2018, 03:06:44 PM »
Californians showing a fair amount of interest in seeing the all-electric Tesla Model 3.  ;)

Model 3 Has Tesla Store Debut In Los Angeles, Gets Mobbed
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2018/01/13/model-3-has-tesla-store-debut-in-los-angeles-gets-mobbed/

Tesla Model 3 attracts large crowds with first display cars
https://electrek.co/2018/01/13/tesla-model-3-attracts-large-crowds-with-first-display-cars/

What I love most about this is that it shows that there is a lot of interest in electric vehicles, despite the low market penetration to date. Although California is something of a special case because of Tesla (and being, well, California ;)), it indicates the demand is there.  If automakers produced a great EV today, they would have no trouble selling it.

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: January 14, 2018, 02:51:07 PM »
Here’s an article from last October the Union of Concerned Scientists:
https://blog.ucsusa.org/josh-goldman/electric-vehicles-batteries-cobalt-and-rare-earth-metals

Tesla plans to make battery recycling an important part of its Gigafactory operations in future years.  As Elon Musk said, why go to the expense of mining/processing/transporting raw materials, when you have the finished product readily available to you?

45
“The case for divestment, it’s in part based on ethical issues … but most of it is based on risk, on the assessment fossil fuels are increasingly risky. That’s a trend environmental regulations won’t change.”

Growing fossil fuel divestment movement poses challenges for Alberta energy industry
http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/growing-fossil-fuel-divestment-movement-poses-challenges-for-alberta-energy-industry

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 14, 2018, 04:07:59 AM »
Californians showing a fair amount of interest in seeing the all-electric Tesla Model 3.  ;)

Model 3 Has Tesla Store Debut In Los Angeles, Gets Mobbed
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2018/01/13/model-3-has-tesla-store-debut-in-los-angeles-gets-mobbed/

Tesla Model 3 attracts large crowds with first display cars
https://electrek.co/2018/01/13/tesla-model-3-attracts-large-crowds-with-first-display-cars/

47
Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: January 14, 2018, 04:03:36 AM »
Perhaps “Jeremy Clarkson relents, buys first EV” around 2024 is one of the best examples of an EV tipping point. ;) ;D

Hadn't you heard? Jeremy has relented already!
...

Mugging for the camera is one thing.  (And they still made sure to show an EV running out of charge — unnecessarily.  :-\
But I want to see him paying good money for his own electric car... because he wants to!

48
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:36:22 PM »
“Slider” comparison photos; maps.

Before and after the mudslides in Montecito, California
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/montecito-before-after/

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:33:14 PM »
Good review of U.S. offshore wind projects.

After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up
After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support.
http://e360.yale.edu/features/after-an-uncertain-start-u-s-offshore-wind-is-powering-up

50
Consequences / Re: 2018 Droughts
« on: January 13, 2018, 02:53:56 PM »
Hopefully  one day that brine can be separated into usefull components and sold, making the economics of desal competitive.

Lithium...?

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538036/quest-to-mine-seawater-for-lithium-advances/

https://gigaom.com/2010/03/10/will-seawater-stave-off-a-lithium-squeeze/

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