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Messages - Sigmetnow

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If you missed, or were disappointed in the quality of, the Tesla semi truck and roadster unveiling (the livestream/videos were ragged in spots), Tesla has finally released a cleaned up version. Here it is:

If you prefer a 9-minute supercut, Electrek includes one here:
Tesla releases full video of Semi and Roadster unveiling event

Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: Today at 10:12:46 PM »
Installation soon in Baltimore, Maryland: the Inner Harbor Visitor’s Center.  Temporary display; indoors. Larger permanent display to be installed outdoors later this spring.

Baltimore Area Supporters: Scott and our team member Alyssa will be in Baltimore next week installing a 6–panel display inside the beautiful Visitor’s Center at the Inner Harbor (seen behind us in this photo). There will be a larger permanent display installed at the Inner Harbor in the spring. The Sandpoint pilot installation of SR3s is doing its job of bringing forth glitches and areas to upgrade. Scott is already in the midst of designing SR4, so we decided to wait and install SR4s for Baltimore. The temporary display using SR3 panels will give east coast supporters a place to go to see the panels in the meantime.

There will be a press conference at the Visitor’s Center at 2:00 p.m. on December 18th and you all are invited to come by, see the panels and meet Scott and Alyssa. Mark Dixon of YERT will be there filming. Solar Roadways is included in their film ( about solutions to Climate Change and they are now working on a full length documentary about Solar Roadways ( Visitors on the 18th may have an opportunity to be included in the film if desired.

Watch for lots of pics on our Instagram account:

Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: Today at 10:02:50 PM »
Progress on the U.S. Northeast corridor tunnel system.  Apparently there are indications the tunnels will be built to use the “skate” system, rather than a Hyperloop, at this point.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is reportedly starting to dig 12.4-mile tunnel in Maryland next month
Now a new utility permit obtained by Capital News Service shows that the company plans to “begin digging two parallel, 12.4-mile transportation tunnels in January 2018.

“The document lists the start location as “immediately north of MD 175” and details a dig to “within 0.25 miles of intersection of W. Pratt and S. Paca” -about a block from Oriole Park at Camden Yards – with tunnels running under the approximate route of the Maryland-owned section of Route 295, or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.”

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: Today at 12:53:22 AM »
Seth Abramson tweeted:

“(THREAD) It turns out 24 paragraphs detailing 24 discrete Trump-Russia ties isn't enough to encompass how entwined Trump is with Russia, so in this thread—Part 2 in the series—I offer 23 more connections. A link to Part 1 is in the first tweet, below.

Hope you'll read and share.”

(THREAD) From Russian payments to Trump advisors to failing to register as foreign agents working for Putin allies—from perjury to illegal solicitation of campaign donations from the Kremlin—here's a non-exhaustive summary of known Trump-Russia ties. ...

Tesla Semi and other electric trucks to be popular in Ontario with new $75,000 govt incentive
After Tesla started taking reservations for its new electric truck, a surprising number of those pre-orders were coming from Canada.  Now we learn that fleet operators and truck drivers in Ontario, Canada’s biggest province, are going to have access to an important incentive.

The Ontario government is about to announce the new program, reported Reuters:
“The program will offer buyers rebates of up to 60 percent of the incremental purchase cost of an electric truck, compared with an equivalent diesel vehicle, up to a cap of C$75,000 per vehicle, according to documents seen by Reuters.”

That’s the equivalent of an incentive worth up to $59,000 USD.   Ontario already has a significant EV incentive of up to $14,000 CAD for passenger cars, but with the new Green Commercial Vehicle Program, electric trucks would now be included.

Electrek’s Take:
Interestingly, the news comes just after BYD announced a new electric truck assembly factory in Ontario. The company is likely going to benefit from this new incentive. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: Today at 12:01:33 AM »
Extreme fire behavior today at the #ThomasFire — one firefighter has been killed in the line of duty.
Rose Valley, California is north of Ojai.

#ThomasFire: Fire is now well established on the north side of Rose Valley. Crews are unable to control it.

Was embedded with a crew on the Montecito side of the fire photographing a 1+ mile long firing operation. Left at 315am. The burnover allegedly occurred on the Fillmore side of the fire later in the morning. The fire is going crazy right now in Rose Valley. #thomasfire #lodd

I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident. Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers. - @CALFIRE_CHIEF
News release at the link.

Weather models continue to show absolutely no rainfall until December 30th at the earliest.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:35:28 PM »
Starting to see more EV truck prototypes become production reality:

Daimler starts delivering all-electric trucks in Europe
The FUSO eCanter is meant for urban routes with a range of only 100 kilometers (62 miles) and a load capacity up to three and a half tons – depending on body and usage. The vehicle is powered by an electric powertrain with six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each for a total of ~83 kWh of capacity.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:28:46 PM »
It's still early, but California's snowpack is running far behind schedule so far–just 37% of normal.
Continued warm and dry through at least Dec 30th.
Image below.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:25:30 PM »
“Here's the most remarkable statistic about Tuesday's election in Alabama: The Democrat Doug Jones turned out nearly as many voters as Hillary Clinton did in the state last year, while the Republican Roy Moore got only about half as many as Donald Trump had.

There is no sign that Trump voters will be there when they are needed to help Republicans retain Congress — even if Trump tells them to show up.”

“Republicans have now received fresh evidence that Trump can’t save their careers, even in the reddest of red states.”

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:10:21 PM »
CAL FIRE update, December 14, 2017 6:23 am

Thomas Fire
Acres Burned - Containment:   242,500 acres - 30% contained
Structures Threatened:   18,000 structures threatened
Structures Destroyed:   972 Structures Destroyed, 221 Structures Damaged

Now #4 largest California fire.  In December!  — well into what used to be the state’s rainy season.  Fire season is now year-round. :'(

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:55:43 PM »
“Uber paid out $2.72 billion to driver contractors in the first half of 2015, just under 75% of bookings.”

Which is no doubt why the Uber CEO was quoted as saying that in 2020, if Telsas are autonomous, he’d want to buy all 500,000 of the estimated 2020 production.  And that he has, reportedly, ordered 100,000 Mercedes self-driving cars.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:39:21 PM »
About the concern you have over using fossil fuel products to make clean ones:

Say you are building a housing development. You want to make them all net-zero-energy houses. Do you wait years until you can manufacture them entirely with clean energy and sustainable products?  Or do you build them now, with the most sustainable items and energy you can. The houses are going to be built anyway.  Making them net-zero now brings us that much closer to the future we need.

Say you are a farmer. You want to change your practices to make your crops be certified organic, but to do that your fields must be chemical-free for three years. Any crops you grow during that time will produce less, but you can’t sell them as organic, so you’ll lose money.  That makes it hard for farmers to go organic — and why there is a market for “transitional” crops, which are not certified organic, but are valued for their cleaner approach.  And we end up with more organic crops and less chemicals on the environment.

The Tesla battery Gigafactory in Nevada will eventually be run entirely on clean energy — solar panels on the roof (of the $5 billion building with the biggest footprint in the world), wind turbines on the nearby hills, thermal storage on-site.  But Tesla is already moving us closer to sustainable transport, by making batteries and parts for zero-emission cars in the 1/3 of the building that has been constructed so far.  The planet — and Tesla’s finances — can’t wait!  But the eventual result will be a cleaner future, sooner. With more and cheaper EVs, and fewer ICE vehicles!

We can’t switch to 100% sustainable energy in a day.  But we will continually decrease our need for fossil fuels — and increase our use of clean energy and clean products which are cheaper and more widely available than ever.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 14, 2017, 02:56:54 PM »
Encouraging signs.  Tesla sent out the first notifications in late November for many “regular” Model 3 reservation holders (i.e., not Tesla employees) to choose the options they want on their cars.  Now some parts (gears, axles) are being shipped by air to ensure quick delivery.

Tesla Model 3 production is increasing to 5,000 units per week, say suppliers
Several Tesla suppliers are now reporting that Model 3 production is increasing rapidly and they are back to working on Tesla’s guidance of 5,000 units per week in December, which was delayed last month.

In October, a few days before Tesla’s earnings and the announcement of the Model 3 production ramp-up delay, Taiwanese auto component maker Hota Industrial Mfg. Co announced that Tesla slashed its orders for Model 3 parts by 40% (5,000 per week to 3,000).

Now the same supplier, which makes gears and axles, told Taiwanese media that Tesla increased the demand for parts back to 5,000 units per week this month.

Chairman Shen Guorong even said that they now have to mobilize the whole company and work overtime in order to comply with the change and that they are even shipping parts by airplanes instead of boats.

The report also cites other Taiwanese suppliers for Tesla’s Model 3 saying that production is now increasing following the bottlenecks. ...

Automation!  Get those humans off the production line, and let ‘er rip. ;D

U.S. President Just Signed Bill That Says Climate Change a National Security Risk — But Does He Know That?
WASHINGTON (December 12, 2017)—President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The act would require the Pentagon to do a report on how military installations and overseas staff may be vulnerable to climate change over the next 20 years.

The following language was included in the act: Climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world both where the United States Armed Forces are operating today, and where strategic implications for future conflict exist.

Below is a statement by Angela Ledford Anderson, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Does President Trump know that with a stroke of his pen he just confirmed what climate scientists and military officials have been saying for years: climate change is a major threat to U.S. national security and our armed forces overseas?

“The reality is that climate change couldn’t care less about political party affiliation, which is why legislators on both sides of the aisle—especially those on the frontlines of climate change impacts—fought to retain this language in the final bill. ...

Because a day later, the Government Accounting Office issued a report saying the Department of Defense isn't doing enough to prepare for climate change:

DOD Needs to Better Incorporate Adaptation into Planning and Collaboration at Overseas Installations

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:26:55 AM »
Fracking Study Finds Low Birth Weights Near Natural Gas Drilling Sites
Researchers examined over 1 million birth records in Pennsylvania and found links between babies' health and fracking proximity. Pinpointing which aspect is harder.
Babies born near hydraulic fracturing sites are 25 percent more likely to have a low birth weight than those born only a few kilometers away, a new study of more than 1 million births in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region concludes.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, provides some of the most compelling data to date linking the process of hydraulic fracturing to negative health effects. It found that babies born within 3 kilometers of fracking sites were less healthy than those born farther away, and that babies born within 1 kilometer saw the largest effects.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:18:22 AM »
“It's December. This is the rainy season on the West Coast. In California, it's missing right now.

Total rainfall forecast for the next 15 days:
Not a drop over Southern California.

The #ThomasFire is now 8x the size of San Francisco, and likely to grow further.”
Image below.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: December 14, 2017, 12:13:53 AM »
World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration
Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change
The World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change.

In a statement that delighted campaigners opposed to fossil fuels, the Bank used a conference in Paris to announce that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019.

The Bank ceased lending for coal-fired power stations in 2010 but has been under pressure from lobby groups also to halt the $1bn (£750m) a year it has been lending for oil and gas in developing countries.

The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020. At present, 1-2% of the Bank’s $280bn portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects.

In exceptional circumstances, the Bank said it would consider lending for oil and gas projects in the very poorest countries but only where it helped the poor get access to energy and the project did not conflict with commitments to reduce greenhouse gases made in the 2015 Paris climate change accord.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 13, 2017, 07:24:24 PM »
Major CEOs of power companies have suggested that peaker plants will go away entirely by 2020 in the USA.

Solar + batteries prepping to take over 10GW of US natural gas peaker power plant market
When NextERA CEO Jim Robo said back in 2015 that there wouldn’t be another peaker plant built after 2020, he was taking a risk when energy storage was more than double today’s current price – and solar was 30-50% higher. Now Mr. Robo looks wise.

In yesterday’s presentation, @shaylekann said that of the 20GW of gas peaker plants that are projected to be built between 2018-2027, 10GW of that market might be consumed by energy storage. Mr. Kahn suggested there’s the possibility that no new peaker plants are built after 2025. ...

“A report in Minnesota suggested that right now, the net cost of a solar power plus storage power plant is cheaper than a natural gas peaker power plant – as seen in the right two columns in the graph below. In fact, energy storage alone – without the cheap electricity coming from a renewable plant – is almost the same cost as a peaker plant.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:10:12 PM »
Toyota plays catch-up, after betting for too long on hydrogen vehicles.

Toyota courts Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic ahead of electric car push
Panasonic has risen to the top position as a battery cell supplier for the auto industry through its partnership with Tesla, which has become the largest battery consumer in the world.

Now Toyota is courting the company for a battery partnership as the major Japanese automaker is playing catch up in the EV space.  The two Japanese companies announced today a deal to “begin studying the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business.”

They described the agreement in a press release today:

“This agreement between the two companies aims to help find solutions to pressing societal issues such as global warming, air pollution, the depletion of natural resources and energy security. Furthermore, this agreement is intended to address growing demand and expectations for electrified vehicles. In order to realize these objectives, Toyota and Panasonic target further advancements in automotive batteries, which are crucial technologies in electrified vehicles.”

Toyota has been entrenched in the development of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains and never focused on battery-electric vehicles.  Until recently, their biggest effort in the space was a partnership and investment in Tesla that led to the California-based automaker developing the all-electric powertrain for the Toyota Rav4 EV, which has since been discontinued as the Japanese automaker sold all its Tesla shares.

Now, Toyota plans to build its first all-electric vehicle from the ground up and it is expected to come to market in 2020 – making the company late to market compared to the rest of the industry.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:00:38 PM »
Renewables: “monster,” or art form?  :)

Beverly Neighbors Outraged Over Front Yard Solar Panels

Wind Turbines as Artistic Canvas

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:48:11 PM »
Article from Bob Wallace’s post in the Coal thread:

A Hand Writing on the Wall for Natural Gas
GE has itself put the blame for its layoffs among workers making gas turbines on low-cost solar, wind power, and batteries.
We have seen a steady growth of natural gas generation on this basis for quite a while. That is what happened, until September of 2016, when there was almost no growth. But that was the last month in which natural gas generation exceeded what it had been for the same month of the previous year. Since September 2016, every single month has seen a decline in generation from natural gas, compared to the same month in the previous year. (Visit this EIA webpage and look near the bottom of the spreadsheet.)

And this is not just a matter of the industry not growing. It has been in consistent decline, month after month. And, overall, the average growth has been nearly -10%.

Try taking that to a bank and see what your loan rate is.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:30:41 PM »
Additional evacuations along the southern California coast, and urgent warnings about the dangerous air quality.

Calmer Winds Allow Crews To Get Strategic While Feverishly Protecting Montecito Mansions
Red Flag warnings for fire danger due to Santa Ana winds and a critical lack of moisture were extended into the week instead of expiring Monday afternoon as was initially forecast.

“It doesn’t get much drier than this folks,” the National Weather Service Service tweeted, adding that more than 80 observation sites in the region reported afternoon relative humidity levels between just 1 and 9 percent.

On Monday, ash fell like snow and heavy smoke had residents gasping for air in foothill towns near Santa Barbara, the latest flare-up after a week of wind-fanned wildfires throughout the region.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:22:26 PM »
Solar, wind and nuclear have ‘amazingly low’ carbon footprints, study finds
For example, the study finds that 11% of the energy generated by a coal-fired power station is offset by energy needed to build the plant and supply the fuel, as the chart below shows. This is equivalent to saying that one unit of energy invested in coal power yields nine units of electricity.

Nuclear power is twice as good as coal, with the energy embedded in the power plant and fuel offsetting 5% of its output, equivalent to an EROI of 20:1. Wind and solar perform even better, at 2% and 4% respectively, equivalent to EROIs of 44:1 and 26:1. ...

Image: Embodied energy use, as a percentage of lifetime electricity production from different sources. The chart shows embodied energy in 2050. Only solar would show a significant change for 2015, Pehl tells Carbon Brief, rising from around 4 to 10%. Source: Pehl et al.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:16:40 PM »
The $350 billion oil firm Exxon is finally planning to comply with shareholder demands - approved more than six months ago - to disclose how global warming will affect its business.
But an Exxon spin is likely.

Exxon climate U-turn deserves wary investor cheers
It's an important step. Though the May proposal was non-binding, shareholder pressure has ratcheted up recently. Walden Asset Management, an active investor which voted for more disclosure, sent a letter this week reiterating its request. Exxon's board, notoriously secretive, risked another proxy fight if it decided not to comply.

Exxon's concession, though, leaves room for creativity. It can base disclosures on its own precarious assumptions. For example, the company run by Darren Woods could predict that the only fossil fuel the world abandons is coal and address this by making changes to carbon-capture and storage. That doesn't take into account how global oil and gas demand might change. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:10:10 PM »
Changing economics as the oil economy dwindles.

Saudi Arabia to raise energy prices, pay cash to poorer citizens
RIYADH, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has approved a new round of energy price hikes and a cash handout system for low- and middle-income citizens to offset the impact of the changes, fresh steps in a year-old austerity programme amid low crude prices. ...

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:03:24 PM »
Democrat Doug Jones just won a special election to fill the Senate seat in the state of Alabama vacated when Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.  A Democrat has not won there in a quarter-century, but the extreme-right candidate (and alleged child molester) Roy Moore was too much even for Alabama.  Every county voted more Democratic than they did in the 2016 presidential election, with very high turnout among blacks and Democrats, and women voting against Moore, making the difference.

This reduces the Republican advantage in the Senate down to a single vote, putting the entire GOP agenda at risk.  However, Jones will not be seated until January, and the GOP will certainly try to ram their tax bill through before then.

Interesting stats:

How Doug Jones Changes (Almost) Everything in the Senate

5 takeaways from Alabama's startling special election

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 12, 2017, 08:25:40 PM »
The temperature in Barrow, Alaska, is warming so fast, quality-control algorithms straight up removed the data because it seemed so unreal.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: December 12, 2017, 07:26:04 PM »
NOAA:  Arctic Report Card 2017
Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades

Despite relatively cool summer temperatures, observations in 2017 continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a 'new normal', characterized by long-term losses in the extent and thickness of the sea ice cover, the extent and duration of the winter snow cover and the mass of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers, and warming sea surface and permafrost temperatures.


- The average surface air temperature for the year ending September 2017 is the 2nd warmest since 1900; however, cooler spring and summer temperatures contributed to a rebound in snow cover in the Eurasian Arctic, slower summer sea ice loss, and below-average melt extent for the Greenland ice sheet.
- The sea ice cover continues to be relatively young and thin with older, thicker ice comprising only 21% of the ice cover in 2017 compared to 45% in 1985.
- In August 2017, sea surface temperatures in the Barents and Chukchi seas were up to 4° C warmer than average, contributing to a delay in the autumn freeze-up in these regions.
- Pronounced increases in ocean primary productivity, at the base of the marine food web, were observed in the Barents and Eurasian Arctic seas from 2003 to 2017.
- Arctic tundra is experiencing increased greenness and record permafrost warming.
- Pervasive changes in the environment are influencing resource management protocols, including those established for fisheries and wildfires.
- The unprecedented rate and global reach of Arctic change disproportionally affect the people of northern communities, further pressing the need to prepare for and adapt to the new Arctic.

More here:

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:30:23 PM »
Can Coke be far behind?  ;D

Tesla Semi receives important order of 100 electric trucks from PepsiCo

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:28:48 PM »
BenB wrote: “I just don't think that they will be producing 4-5 times more EVs than anyone else next year or that they will be producing more batteries at one factory than the rest of the world put together at all of the other battery factories in the world.”

Tesla is not just EVs.  There is also their Energy Storage business.  As I stated above, Musk expects that part of the business to be even greater than the EV portion.  Tesla has already spent a billion dollars and has a 5-year head start — and Musk knows the global battery business, in detail... I dare say, better than we do.  ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:04:05 AM »
Yes; the Buffalo, New York Tesla solar panel factory is often referred to as Gigafactory 2. (Confusing!)

There are signs the Model 3 production has recently increased:

And that Q4 will be a big one for Models S/X as well:

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 12, 2017, 02:55:10 AM »
Trump to Open the Door for Oil Drilling Off U.S.’s East Coast
• Proposal for Atlantic exploration set to be released soon
• New five-year plan would replace one put in place by Obama

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 12, 2017, 12:01:44 AM »
Amazingly dry pattern for the next 10 days lower 48- just about everyone below normal precip. From bad to worse out west
Image below.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:54:29 PM »
“Ferocious Santa Ana winds could gust between 40-55 mph on Monday before tapering, CNN meteorologist Rachel Aissen said. Ventura County and surrounding areas are under an elevated fire outlook, with temperatures remaining between 78-82 degrees as humidity continues to fall.”

California wildfires now larger than New York City and Boston combined
More photos at the link.

Below: “Palm trees sway in a gust of wind as a firefighter carries a hose while battling a wildfire at Faria State Beach in Ventura on December 7. The windswept blazes have forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed homes.”

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:23:40 PM »
Tough decisions will need to be made as to what to protect in the future.

'Buried in marshes': sea-level rise could destroy historic sites on US east coast
New research shows by the end of the century an increase in sea level will threaten the White House, early colonial settlements and other historic places

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 11, 2017, 09:15:17 PM »
Porsche is working on all-electric ‘derivatives of the Mission E’
Porsche is starting to see more demand for its hybrid vehicles than its petrol-only:

“In France, for example, the figure is 70 per cent, in Austria it is over 80 per cent and in Belgium it is even over 90 per cent. When it comes to incoming orders, the Scandinavian countries are showing their high affinity for electromobility: In Norway, 90 per cent of all Panamera customers order a hybrid model, while in Finland the figure is 85 per cent.”
Albrecht Reimold, Member of Porsche’s Executive Board for Production and Logistics, says that the automaker is now getting ready to produce all-electric vehicles in volume:

“Sustainability is the foundation of our company management. Resource-efficient production methods are of the highest priority for Porsche, and are also being factored into the restructuring of our traditional plant in Zuffenhausen for the production of the first purely electric Porsche. Our goal is to achieve CO2-neutral production. We are completely on schedule. The Mission E will be on the market by the end of the decade.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:41:26 PM »
The Nevada gigafactory will shortly (2018?) be producing more batteries than the rest of the world combined.

Again I'm very sceptical about this claim. What numbers are you basing this on? China is rapidly heading towards 100 GWh of annual battery manufacturing capacity. In fact, according to this article it's already there:


This is from July 2017 :
“As part of the Gigafactory update, Tesla shared that when it was up and running at full capacity, the Gigafactory would produce more batteries than the rest of the world combined … by a factor of 2!”

When the Gigafactory was first announced, it was shared that it would be able to produce more batteries than the rest of the world could build at the time combined. To have that same news be true 4 years later would be impressive, as the rest of the world has continued to ramp up its battery production capacity. That would be a notable feat in and of itself, but to stay on pace with that and then blow the lid off by a factor of two takes it to a whole new level.

Beyond just being an amazing feat and a great use of capital, the news speaks to just how far ahead Tesla is compared to the rest of the automotive companies in the world (combined). If a massive company like Toyota wanted to produce as many electric vehicles as Tesla, it would first need to source batteries. It could go to every other battery company in the world and start building its own factories but it would still be years behind Tesla … assuming the rest of the battery capacity in the world were even for sale. ...

The 2017 Annual Tesla Shareholder Meeting on June 6th ...  One massive update was about the number of Gigafactories Tesla is planning around the world. CEO Elon Musk shared that it is planning for at least 10 Gigafactories, but could build as many as 20.

Edit:  Gigafactory peak output in 2018 will be 35 GWh/yr.  But the factory is only 1/3 complete....
...According to a company statement, that 2018 peak would yield  "35 GWh/year (gigawatt-hours per year) of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world’s battery production combined."
Gigafactory is a third complete, covering 5 million square feet on several floors. It is expected to cost $5 billion.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:34:27 PM »
VW CEO wants subsidies to increase for EVs, and end for diesel — but please don’t ban ICE vehicles because we still need to sell them.

VW CEO proposes phasing out diesel subsidies to focus on electric vehicles
During an interview with Handelsblatt this weekend, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller said that those incentives should be gradually shifted toward electric cars:

“I’ve become convinced that we should question the sense and purpose of the diesel subsidies. If the switch to environmentally friendly e-cars is to succeed, diesel combustion engines can’t continue to be subsidized the way they have been forever.”

Though Müller added that the proposal would be a solution to avoid a ban on diesel and petrol vehicles, which several European countries are now considering. Norway, France, England, India, Germany, China and Scotland have all announced plans to ban the sale of gasoline vehicles in the upcoming decades, along with the state of California. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Legal Approach to Climate Change Resolutions
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:09:19 PM »
Video of the oral arguments for Juliana vs. The United States is here:

Policy and solutions / Re: Legal Approach to Climate Change Resolutions
« on: December 11, 2017, 06:16:46 PM »
More on the Juliana case:

“The Trump Administration argues that the government could actually render the climate incapable of sustaining human life without violating the Constitution. It’s a claim as chilling as it is extraordinary; and it should be rejected.”

Here’s what’s at stake for the 21 kids suing the Trump administration over climate change

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:17:34 PM »
Don’t forget, Tesla is not just an EV company. :) They also have a huge battery storage business, which Musk has said will probably eventually be a bigger part of the business than EVs.  The Nevada gigafactory will shortly (2018?) be producing more batteries than the rest of the world combined.  (Unprecedented levels of automation; cells being spit out “faster than a machine gun.”)  And Tesla is planning to announce three or four more gigafactories soon.

I am all for other companies making as many batteries as they possibly can, and battery production will soon be growing exponentially.  But Tesla has such a head start with the gigafactory, it will be a while before anyone else catches up. 

P.S.:  Musk has calculated that the world needs around 100 gigafactories for its total battery storage needs.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:54:02 PM »
Electricity customers in the southeast U.S. are being forced to pay for for huge and unproven coal and nuclear projects, before any electricity is generated, due to industry lobbyists who pushed through state legislation to pay companies to build them.

Power Failure: How utilities across the U.S. changed the rules to make big bets with your money
Over the past decade, state legislatures across the country rewrote rule books for how power companies pay for new power plants, shifting financial risks away from electric companies to you and everyone else.

This rule change ignited a bonfire of risky spending — $40 billion so far on new power plants and upgrades, a Post and Courier investigation found.

Flush with your cash, utilities tried to build plants with unproven technology; they launched projects with unfinished designs and unrealistic budgets; they misled regulators and the public with schedules that promised bogus completion dates; they hid damning reports from investors and the public; they tried to silence critics and whistleblowers.

Then, when delays and cost overruns couldn’t be ignored, they asked state regulators to charge you more for their failures. ...

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:33:37 AM »
Alaska just reported one of the most extreme snowfall rates on record: 10 inches [254 mm] per hour
Imagine going into a movie theater to check out the latest science fiction flick and there is not a single flake of snow on the ground. A couple hours later, as the credits start to roll, you mosey outside and are stunned to find your car buried in more than a foot of snow.

Perhaps you’d wonder if you were still watching a movie.

Well that’s kind of what happened Wednesday at Alaska’s Thompson Pass, just outside of the town of Valdez, when an incredible 10 inches of snow piled up in one hour — around 1.7 inches every 10 minutes. This is an absolutely incredible snowfall rate. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:15:03 AM »
#ThomasFire in #Ventura and #SantaBarbara counties now over 200,000 acres and still rapidly growing. Given extreme dryness of vegetation, persistent #SantaAna winds, & recent record warmth, could ultimately become largest fire in California history.  In December. #CAwx #CAfire

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 10, 2017, 10:37:12 PM »
My understanding is that odd-numbered jet stream loop patterns, like we have currently, are particularly stable.  Doesn’t look like much change for the immediate future.

Images: the atmosphere...
From top to bottom:  10, 250 and 500hPa
And the 6-10 day outlook at the surface (of North America).

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 10, 2017, 09:55:03 PM »
Brief video at the link shows what they are up against. :'(

#ThomasFire- Fire engines parked in front of homes at Cate School in Carpinteria. In the field are off-loaded Fire dozer transports. The dozers and operators are out making nearby fire breaks.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:42:13 PM »
Well, that didn’t take long.

Kuwait Says Global Oil Cuts Can Halt If Market Balances by June
OPEC and its global allies including Russia may end their production cuts before 2019 if the crude market re-balances by June, Kuwait’s oil minister said.

Russia is keen to end the output-capping deal as early as possible, Issam Almarzooq told Bloomberg on Sunday in Kuwait City. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will study an exit strategy from the global cuts accord at its next meeting in June, he told reporters later.
OPEC and its partners agreed on Nov. 30 to keep curbing production until the end of next year, in a bid to drain oversupplied world markets and prop up prices. Crude dropped in the week after their decision to extend the cuts as investors turned attention to expanding U.S. oil production and gasoline stockpiles. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:03:08 PM »
University campuses seem like a perfect place to install microgrids.  Love the solar over the parking lot!

Tesla wins contract to build 4 MWh Powerpack system at UMass Amherst campus
... It’s a 1 megawatt/4 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery storage system using Tesla’s Powerpacks to reduce peak energy demand and help optimize how the campus integrates its current mix of power generation.

UMass already has several solar assets and they plan to use Tesla’s batteries to reduce their reliance on the grid and get more out of their solar arrays.

They have 7 solar installations on rooftops and parking lot canopies – totalling 5.3 MW of capacity: ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 10, 2017, 07:50:16 PM »
“Latest CA fire outlook:
–Offshore winds locked in until at least Friday (a streak of 13 days in a row).
–No rain in Southern California until at least Dec. 26th (16 days from now.)
–Temperatures remain ~10°F above normal for foreseeable future.
Not good. ... “

• Thomas fire is the first megafire in recorded California history in the month of December.
• That the fires are happening when the rainy season is normally already in full swing is one thing, but the extent and unpredictability of the flames continue to astound officials tasked with stopping their spread.

#ThomasFire now the 10th largest fire in California state history. And it's happening in December.
Article and photo at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 10, 2017, 05:30:20 PM »
Here's a history of annual predictions of how fast solar would grow (colored ~horizontal lines) vs. the actual rate of growth (black line shooting toward the stars).

 ;D  Much like these new-fangled and frivolous inventions:

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