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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: December 07, 2017, 06:59:14 PM »
Let’s review.

Trump science job nominees missing advanced science degrees
WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to filling jobs dealing with complex science, environment and health issues, the Trump administration is nominating people with fewer science academic credentials than their Obama predecessors. And it’s moving slower as well.

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions — including two for Health and Human Services secretary — almost 60 percent did not have a master’s degree or a doctorate in a science or health field, according to an Associated Press analysis. For their immediate predecessors in the Obama administration, it was almost the opposite: more than 60 percent had advanced science degrees.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 07, 2017, 04:45:12 PM »
Tesla Semi will deliver beer – Budweiser orders 40 electric trucks
The list of companies placing orders for Tesla Semi electric trucks keeps growing weeks after the unveiling event last month.

Now Anheuser-Busch, the brewer behind Budweiser, announced that it ordered 40 Tesla Semi trucks.
The brewer says that it will include the electric trucks in its distribution network as part of its commitment to reduce its operational carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025.

Considering the size of their distribution network, they say that it would be the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from the road globally each year. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 07, 2017, 04:08:31 PM »
Thomas Fire almost surrounds Ojai, California
Wednesday night the fire spread further up the coast toward Carpinteria

Ludicrous Fire Weather predicted in Southern California through Saturday

Below: Map of the Thomas Fire. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite in the 12 hours before 2 a.m. PST December 7. The red line was the perimeter 24 hours before, and the yellow line was about 48 hours before.

Policy and solutions / Re: Bitcoin mining and other computing energy costs
« on: December 07, 2017, 03:52:16 PM »
This is nuts.

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Bitcoin rocketed above $15,000 for the first time ever on Thursday, up more than 10 percent on the day, after adding more than $2,000 to its price in fewer than 12 hours.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 07, 2017, 03:11:58 PM »
New uses for technology in our increasingly dangerous climate-changed world.

This Is How California Officials Alerted Hundreds Of Thousands As Wildfires Approached Their Homes
In a rare move, California officials sent sweeping emergency alerts to hundreds of thousands of people as wildfires continued to rage.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 07, 2017, 03:52:43 AM »
Our dry air mass (orange/red colors) seen on water vapor satellite this afternoon is about to get reinforcement. More dry air forming in NV will be here by Thu, combining with strong #SantaAnaWinds in most LA and Ventura Co. valleys and mountains. #LAWeather
Photo below; GIF at the link.

Extremely critical fire weather conditions tonight-Thursday as strong and damaging #SantaAnaWinds combine with single digit humidities. Very rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior likely. #LAwind #LAWeather #cawx
Photo below.

Scary quote from Cal Fire re: forecast tomorrow: "There will be no ability to fight fires in these kinds of winds." (80+ mph expected)

Literally off the charts fire danger in LA on Thursday. 162 and above = extreme

Tomorrow there will be 4% humidity and a Brush Burning index of 296. "This is the highest number I've ever seen in my career," said L.A. Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
More on the index here:

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 06, 2017, 09:26:04 PM »
Ford announces major expansion of electric car plans in China with 15 new models
While 15 new EVs is a significant commitment, it’s still fewer new models than the 35 gas-powered cars that they plan to introduce in the market by 2025.
Nonetheless, those EV plans in China are significant and represent the latest example of China’s strong zero-emission vehicle mandate working great so far.

Automakers need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 10% of new car sales as soon as in 2019 and 12% by 2020. They recently removed the requirement for 2018, but the plan is still more aggressive than any major country. ...

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: December 06, 2017, 09:14:59 PM »
Tesla deploys 6 battery projects in order to power two islands in Puerto Rico, more to come
As part of Tesla’s continuous effort to deploy energy storage systems in Puerto Rico following their power issues after being ravaged by hurricanes, the local government has now announced that the company will deploy 6 new battery projects on two Puerto Rican islands.

Several additional larger scale projects are also reportedly in the works.
Tesla will combine its Powerpack systems with existing solar arrays on the islands of Vieques and Culebra in order to run microgrids until the main grid connected with underwater cables comes back online.

Tesla was apparently able to quickly deploy the batteries with full inverter and Powerpack systems on Vieques, like the one seen on a trailer [below].

The battery systems are being deployed at critical locations, like a sanitary sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:18:39 PM »
Star Trek Foundation funds WARP solar water purification system in Puerto Rico
Puerto Ricans in the coastal town of Loíza have looked to an MIT invention to get their water supply flowing again. Serving 600 Puerto Ricans, the solar plus water purification system produces 850 gallons of clean drinking water daily, with rooftop rain barrels as storage.

The solar panels used are a rollable thin-film product. ...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:02:12 PM »
Thick smoke streamed from several fires in southern California when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image in the afternoon on December 5, 2017.

The largest of the blazes—the fast-moving Thomas fire in Ventura County—had charred more than 65,000 acres (24,000 hectares or 94 square miles), according to Cal Fire. Smaller smoke plumes from the Creek and Rye fires are also visible.

Image below; more at the link.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 06:46:01 PM »
#SkirballFire UPDATE: The 405 Fwy is now CLOSED in both directions between the 101 Fwy and 10 Fwy as the 50-acre brush fire near the Getty Center continues to rage. ...

Can’t help but think that Elon Musk’s planned tunnel, parallel to the 405, would still be a safe mode of transport in situations like this — unlike road or rail.  And such situations will certainly continue to happen in the future.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:18:10 PM »
Climate context for the horrific #ThomasFire:
–Temperatures in the 80s all week, +15 above normal
–Just 0.11" of rain since Oct 1 in L.A., 94% below normal
–Exceptional Santa Ana event, with wind gusts near hurricane force

This paper proposes a link between climate change and stronger Santa Ana winds:
Identification of two distinct fire regimes in Southern California: implications for economic impact and future change

Flames leaping near the 405 in Los Angeles this morning.
Can you *imagine* if this was your commute to work?
Brief video at the link.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:02:22 PM »
Use caution on U/S 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara. Fire is burning on both sides of the highway. Expect intermittent closures and/or CHP escorts through the area. #ThomasFire #sheriffvc
First photo below.

STUNNING: Pacific Ocean glows with reflection of the Thomas Fire after the wildfire jumps Highway 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Second photo below.

My friend Jim Bob Barnett took this photo last night from Ortega Hill in Summerland. Stay safe everyone!  #ThomasFire
Third photo below.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:27:49 AM »
“About a dozen people at the fairgrounds shared similar stories: smelling and then seeing a roaring red gleam approaching so quickly that they barely had time to grab belongings— a task made even more difficult because of power outages.”

More Than 150,000 Ordered To Flee As Wildfires Torch Homes In Southern California
Strong winds caused multiple fires to explode Monday night and Tuesday morning, forcing more than 150,000 people to evacuate and prompting the California governor to declare a state of emergency.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:10:26 AM »
Bruce Steele wrote:  “We expect fires during Santa Ana conditions.“

People can see the increase in dry vegetation and address the elevated danger in their back yards, so to speak... but I imagine it’s difficult to foresee Santa Ana conditions which are suddenly stronger, and last longer, than has been the norm up to now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:51:46 AM »
“Planning an extinction isn’t easy.”

California will ban sales of gasoline vehicles by 2040 if upcoming bill passes
California Assemblymember Phil Ting, a Democrat who is chairman of the chamber’s budget committee, said he plans to introduce a bill that, starting in 2040, would allow the state’s motor vehicles department to register only “clean” vehicles that emit no carbon dioxide, such as battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

“Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done,” Ting, who represents much of San Francisco, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.” ...

Adoption of new technology these days happens much faster than even the “experts” expect.  If nothing else, this will get people thinking.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:03:45 PM »
So far in 2017, wildfires have scorched some 1,700 square miles [4,400 sq km ] in California, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. 
[Data: ]

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 05, 2017, 09:56:07 PM »
The southern California wildfire showing up nearly as bright if not as bright as the city lights of Los Angeles.

Nighttime satellite imagery clearly highlights the explosive growth of the #ThomasFire in #SoCal (comparison from the night before). Latest estimates have it at 31,000 acres. #CAFire #cawx

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 05, 2017, 08:26:07 PM »
Bitcoin doesn’t require governments to issue currency, or banks to process payments.  What it does require is energy — a lot of it.

Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future
Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.

The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.

That sort of electricity use is pulling energy from grids all over the world, where it could be charging electric vehicles and powering homes, to bitcoin-mining farms. In Venezuela, where rampant hyperinflation and subsidized electricity has led to a boom in bitcoin mining, rogue operations are now occasionally causing blackouts across the country. The world’s largest bitcoin mines are in China, where they siphon energy from huge hydroelectric dams, some of the cheapest sources of carbon-free energy in the world. One enterprising Tesla owner even attempted to rig up a mining operation in his car, to make use of free electricity at a public charging station.
By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: December 05, 2017, 07:29:01 PM »
Tropical Storm Ockhi is undergoing extratropical transition; “will be watched carefully for signs of regeneration.”

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 05, 2017, 07:20:34 PM »
“Within a few hours, the fire jumped to thousands of acres as Santa Ana winds, blowing as fast as 40 to 60 mph, carried its embers. The fire engulfed dry chaparral and climbed through steep terrain.”

Southern California fire is 'out of control,' forcing thousands to evacuate
By early Tuesday, the fire was burning at a rate of nearly an acre [0.4 hectares] per second. At that speed, it would have covered Manhattan's Central Park in about 15 minutes.

• About 27,000 people were under mandatory evacuation in Ventura County as fire officials warned the powerful winds could push flames further into the city of Ventura.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:26:12 PM »

What Was Once Hailed as First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Is No More
Cape Wind, the offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts that drew the ire of the Kennedy and Koch families, is officially dead.

Energy Management Inc. has ceased efforts to build what was once expected to become the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., according to an emailed statement from Chief Executive Officer Jim Gordon. The project’s Boston-based developer has already notified the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has terminatsed the offshore wind development lease it received in 2010.

Cape Wind suffered a slow death. Efforts to develop the 468-megawatt offshore farm, proposed to supply power to Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, began in 2001 but came up against relentless opposition from a mix of strange bedfellows including the Kennedy family and billionaire industrialist William Koch. While Energy Management won several court battles, the project couldn’t survive the 2015 cancellation of contracts to sell its power to local utilities. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:19:56 PM »
BMW and Porsche join forces to enable 15-min electric car charging at 450 kW charge rate
BMW and Porsche are already working together and with other major automakers, like Mercedes and Ford, on the major Ionity ultra-fast (350 kW) electric car charging network in Europe.

But now they want to lay a path to improve that charge rate to 450 kW in order to enable quicker electric car charging.
They have now confirmed that the bulk of their research will focus on improving charging rates using the existing Combined Charging System (CCS), but at a voltage of 900 volts and an amplitude of 500 amperes for a charge rate of 450 kW.

The group sees this charge rate as ideal to charge an average long-range electric car in about 15 mins. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: December 05, 2017, 03:16:37 AM »
Why take cars to the airport?

Leave your car home.  Airports are already too crowded with cars.  Turn the sleds into very fast small subway cars.  Offer a luxury option if someone just can't stand riding with the rest of us.

I suppose if rich people pay the development costs so that Borning, Inc. can get their speeds up and costs down then the sleds are justified.  They can be swapped out for passenger pods once we're in the world of robotaxis.

The “skate” proposal for this tunnel carries small people-pods as well as cars. 

Small pods can carry a small group directly to their destination — no need for intermediate stops for some passengers to get off.  You could make a reservation for a trip, to start from a particular Loop station, on your phone, and an app would tell you what time, and the ID number of the pod, that will be there for you to get on with fellow travellers to the same destination.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:18:33 AM »
America Crowns a New Pollution King

I view that as good news.  The old king is dying and the new king is 'lesser'.  It's not like there's been a big runup in vehicle CO2.

And the new king is about to get whacked.  EVs are about to start storming the castle.

Yes, I think it is mostly an issue of timing — and availability.  And public acceptance.... 

A relatively few, big power projects are needed to make a difference, compared to the thousands (millions?) of transport vehicles to make the same impact — vehicles which need to be manufactured, and find a market demand.   The vehicle industry and the public has finally awoken to EVs, so although utilities may make the biggest effect for a while, clean transport will only increase over the next years.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:59:01 AM »
Tesla’s crash rate was reportedly reduced by 40% after the introduction of Autopilot based on data reviewed by NHTSA.

A 40% drop in crashes could mean 12,000 fewer driving deaths per year in the US.

Full self-driving should take the number of crashes caused by cars with autonomous driving down 90% or better.

Depends which crashes are avoided. A 40% drop in crashes could mean a 60% drop in fender-benders with no change in deaths. Or it could mean a 90% drop in fatal crashes with little change in fender-benders. (Assume my numbers add up.) Do you know which it is?

Tesla (and NHTSA, in this study) used airbag deployment to define a “crash.” 

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:35:53 AM »
America Crowns a New Pollution King
Power plants have been the biggest source of U.S. CO2 emissions since the 1970s—until now.
For the first time in 40 years, power plants are no longer the biggest source of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. That dubious distinction now belongs to the transport sector: cars, trucks, planes, trains and boats. 

The big reversal didn’t happen because transportation emissions have been increasing. In fact, since 2000 the U.S. has experienced the flattest stretch of transportation-related pollution in modern record keeping, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The big change has come from the cleanup of America’s electric grid.

The chart below shows carbon dioxide emissions from transportation exceeding those from electricity production in 2016 for the first time since 1978. The pollution gap has continued to widen further in 2017, according to a Bloomberg analysis. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:38:17 PM »
“Britain’s largest motor insurer Direct Line confirmed to Reuters that they are offering the discount to encourage the use of Autopilot.  The discounts come after Tesla’s crash rate was reportedly reduced by 40% after the introduction of Autopilot based on data reviewed by NHTSA.”

Tesla Autopilot: Insurer offers a 5 percent discount for drivers using Tesla’s driver assist system

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:35:14 PM »
VW unveils new electric van to go into production next year for its ride-sharing service
The interior has been designed especially for ride-sharing. It looks spacious with standalone seats comfortable for up to six passengers.
Every seat is equipped with dimmable reading lights, USB ports, and each car also offers “fast WiFi for passengers.”
They are starting with a fleet of 200 vehicles in Hamburg next year.  MOIA says that the vehicle has a range of “more than 300 kilometers” (186 miles) and it “can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.” ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:32:11 PM »
Anecdotally, I have seen mention of toes warmed by the batteries under the floor. :)

A foot-warmer built into the car? I'm sold!

And it’s standard equipment! ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:27:09 PM »
Tesla headed to the US Supreme Court over solar dispute
In a class action lawsuit, Tesla says Salt River Project (SRP) is acting in a monopolistic manner by imposing unfair fees on potential solar power purchasers. Salt River responded that they can’t be sued in a class action – and that’s what has reached the Supreme Court.

In the original case, filed in March 2015, attorneys for Tesla contend SRP’s new pricing plan approved last year amounts to a “substantial penalty” on customers.

“Because solar customers are unable to completely disconnect from SRP’s grid — they still need power in the evening hours and at other times when their energy demands exceed what their solar energy systems produce — they cannot escape SRP’s penalty,” the lawsuit contends.

That penalty, according to Tesla lawyers, is about $600 a year, an increase of about 65 percent over prior rate plans. That compares with an average 3.9% increase for residential customers who buy all their power from SRP. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:20:55 PM »
Elon Musk’s Boring Company unveils concept map of planned Los Angeles tunnel network
Elon Musk’s Boring Company, a startup aiming to create networks of tunnels with electric skate transit systems, recently sought to expand its tunnels under Los Angeles.  They have now released a map of the planned network – giving us a better idea of the scale of the project.

They reportedly already completed a 305-feet (100 meters) tunnel with an entrance in SpaceX’s parking lot in Hawthorne and they have received the green light to extend the tunnel by 2 miles in Hawthorne toward the Los Angeles International Airport.

In October, Musk said that the new section of the tunnel would be completed in “3 to 4 months”.
We reported last month that the Boring Company filed for new excavation permits for a new route, which the company is now referring to as “a 6.5-mile proof-of-concept tunnel”.

The [company] wrote on its website:
“The tunnel would be used for construction logistics verification, system testing, safety testing, operating procedure verification, and line-switching demonstrations. Phase 1 would not be utilized for public transportation until the proof-of-concept tunnel is deemed successful by County government, City government, and The Boring Company. “

The tunnel is shown in red on the map:

They previously announced that they plan to use Tesla’s technology for their transportation system in the tunnels – a sort of electric skate platform to transport cars autonomously faster and more efficiently. By moving cars on tracks instead of driving between lanes, they can reduce the tunnel to a 13.5-foot diameter, which consequently reduces the cost of boring.  Those electric skates can travel between 125-150 miles per hour and carry between 8 and 16 passengers, according to the startup.  It has the potential to both accelerate the electrification of transport in the region and to reduce traffic at the surface.

For the blue lines, the company emphasized that it’s not the finalized alignment:
“Blue indicates potential Phase 2 expansion options, and is included as a concept, not as a finalized alignment. Phase 2 specifics would be developed in cooperation with Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, city governments in the greater Los Angeles area, and the general public. The Boring Company looks forward to receiving feedback from residents of the greater Los Angeles area on station locations and system improvements for Phase 2 and beyond.”

The company is now seeking feedback on the project, which is just one of three different projects that we know about so far. The two others being the Baltimore-DC underground Hyperloop and the Chicago high-speed loop.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:13:25 PM »
Hauling coal!  But other versions, to carry other cargo and passengers, are planned.

A new all-electric cargo ship with a massive 2.4 MWh battery pack launches in China
While it may seem counter-intuitive to launch an all-electric ship to carry coal, it’s actually a big step in the right direction. China moves a lot of coal and it’s better to move that coal in battery-powered ships than in ships burning incredibly polluting heavy fuels even if the battery-powered ships are powered by electricity generated by coal.

Some of the world’s largest cargo ships emit pollution comparable to millions of passenger cars put together. The heavy fuel oil that they burn has high sulfur content and therefore, it is an important part of the world’s transportation industry that needs to transition to being battery-powered.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 04, 2017, 02:16:20 PM »
This is brutal. Not a drop of rain is forecast for southern California through at least December 20th.
It's the rainy season there—in name only at the moment.

Wow. That's an incredibly dry 16-day precipitation accumulation forecast for December along the West Coast! Ensembles & ECMWF very similar. #CAwx #ORwx #WAwx #BCwx
     Image below.

This week in Southern California, "extreme fire danger" edition:

Temperatures in the 80s
Hurricane force wind gusts
Relative humidity less than 10%
"Potential for very rapid fire growth"

It's December, y'all.
     Second image below.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 04, 2017, 02:09:37 PM »
Looks like just another December day in the Anthropocene in Minnesota [today]:
✓New record high, 26 degrees warmer than normal
✓Massive cold front
✓17°F by nightfall ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 04, 2017, 03:08:40 AM »
These features are ~standard here in Canada. Heated mirrors are also a popular option.

I assume the batteries give off some heat when charging or discharging & I know a running electrical motor will burn your hand if it's doing much work.

Is Musk utilizing this heat in any way? Is an automotive A/C unit standard on these super cars?


 Offhand, I know the heat from the motor is used to help condition the battery to optimal temperature. (Glycol thermal system.)   Anecdotally, I have seen mention of toes warmed by the batteries under the floor. :) 
   The air conditioning uses an electrically driven heat pump system.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: December 04, 2017, 02:58:22 AM »
U.S. feels the effects from Hurricane Maria on pharmaceutical manufacturers in Puerto Rico

FDA Puts Hospitals on Alert For IV Saline Solution Shortage

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:41:37 AM »
If you've ever wondered about heated car seats... here's a video shot through an infrared camera examining the Tesla's winter package.
(In an EV, without all the waste heat from an internal combustion engine, heating the seats and steering wheel this way drains the battery much less than heating the entire cabin’s air.)  20°C = 68°F,  30°C = 86°F,  40°C = 104°F.  Video at the linked article.

A look at the Tesla Model S’ heated seats and steering wheel through an infrared camera [Video]

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:56:41 AM »
Australia rain event:

Here are some 3 day totals for this weekend's rain event in #Victoria. The North East and North Central districts generally recorded the heaviest falls, but the highest total for this event was Mount St Leonard with a whopping 228.4mm [9 inches].

Maps and data at the link.

Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:49:48 AM »
The appearance of #Agung this morning. Medium pressure crater Steam/gas plume observed white & gray with a thin intensity and height 1000 m above the crater. Continuous tremor with an amplitude of 1-2 mm. Awas Status. Ngurah Rai Airport and Lombok Airports are normal.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:17:49 AM »
Wildfire season is now year-round in California.
"Potential for the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana event so far this season"

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:14:33 AM »
Yes, it's a good thing. But still plenty work ahead. If you look at that 100 MW battery from Tesla. It's build to power 30 000 homes in a case of emergency.  But only for 1 hour.  That's a big battery for 1 hour of power. The last time these homes went off-grid for a couple of days.

If you look at the graph that Sigmetnow posted, you'll see that the battery is being used not to power 30k homes for an hour once a day, but to play the market, soaking up cheap electricity and dumping it out when there's a brief demand peak -- it's cycling back and forth repeatedly on short periods.

This:  :)

Australia:  Tesla 100MW battery flexes muscles early this morning – delivers 70MWh of ‘stored wind power’, shows off fast switching
The unit also got to show off its ability to switch quickly from charging to pushing electrons onto the power grid. According to the below image from RenewEconomy, it looks like during a 4 hour period the battery was able to switch state at least 14 times.
In the old world, responsibility to deliver electricity in 30 minute settlement periods was acceptable because old technology – gas/coal – needed that long to react.

Tesla’s battery can react nearly instantly. The coal and gas people know they’ll lose out to batteries in the most expensive, most profitable settlement periods because they’re slow. This will become more obvious every single day now that the data will be so clear to see.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: December 04, 2017, 12:01:28 AM »
It's December, so that of course means Southern California is facing a major wildfire threat this week.
Hurricane force wind gusts + one of the driest ever starts to the rainy season = Extreme fire threat

NWS Los Angeles: Potential #SantaAnaWind impacts Mon-Thu include extreme fire danger, downed trees/powerlines, blowing dust, and power outages. #LAwind #LAWeather #Socal

"Extremely critical" fire weather alert--the highest possible risk--just issued by NOAA for Santa Monica Mts. area for Monday. Serious stuff.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:56:11 AM »
Texas!  Next up: Batteries.

Wind Power Capacity Has Surpassed Coal in Texas
Scientists at UT predict that by 2019, the state will get more energy from wind than coal.
Wind power capacity edged out coal for the first time in the Texas history last week after a new 155-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County came online. The farm in question is the Fluvanna Wind Energy Project, located on some 32,000 acres leased from more than 130 landowners.

Fluvanna pushed total wind power capacity in the state to more than 20,000 megawatts, while coal capacity stands at 19,800 megawatts and is slated to fall to 14,700 megawatts by the end of 2018 thanks to planned coal powerplant closures. Next year, Luminant will shutter three coal-fired plants—Monticello, Sandow, and Big Brown—and San Antonio’s CPS Energy will close J.T. Deely Station. Wind capacity in the state will reach 24,400 megawatts by the end of 2018, according to projections from Joshua Rhodes, a research fellow at UT Austin’s Energy Institute.

But capacity is one thing, electricity generation is another. In the first ten months of 2017, wind generated 17.2 percent of power in the state, and coal 31.9 percent, according to ERCOT. But wind should soon see large gains there. “By our analysis, in 2019 we’ll have more energy from wind than coal,” Rhodes said. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:36:02 AM »
“Here's the part of the tax bill that bought @lisamurkowski’s vote -- directing the Interior Dept. to lease nearly 1,000,000 acres of vulnerable Alaskan wilderness to oil & gas companies”

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:08:38 AM »
Obama fired Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, and personally and specifically advised Trump not to hire him.

Obama Warned Trump Against Hiring Mike Flynn, Say Officials

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 03, 2017, 02:01:00 AM »
(Note: the article’s photo has nothing to do with the story!)

Mercedes benchmarked and dismantled a Tesla Model X in the weirdest way ahead of launching its own electric SUV

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 03, 2017, 01:56:08 AM »
From the 2016 chart it seems that December was a bumper month. Is this expected to repeat?

 Yes, the third month of each quarter is usually a very heavy one for Tesla US deliveries.  Perhaps because transportation to U.S. owners takes less time than going globally, and Tesla needs to have firm numbers for their quarterly report.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 03, 2017, 01:31:46 AM »
EV deliveries in the U.S. continued to climb in November.

Plug-in electric vehicles sales continued to assault the record books in the US in November, as deliveries rose for the 26th consecutive month, lead by the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which moved almost 3,000 copies in November, leading all plug-in offerings for the 2nd month in a row (and 3 out of the past 4).

Building on October’s 33% gain (with more than 14,000 sales), the end of the year buying rush has started to take hold…this despite the fact that the Tesla Model 3 has had some early production “bottlenecks” which have limited deliveries thus far, and the new 2018 Nissan LEAF has only managed to launch in  Japan thus far. ...
Data will be completed over the next few days here:
But the five top sellers are shown in the image below.

Tesla delivered 345 Model 3 cars in November, for a total of 712 (as best as can be determined, because Tesla doesn’t release their own monthly stats.  See text in the link above for details.)
Note that the third month of a quarter is historically a big month for Model S and X deliveries in the U.S.

Chevy Bolt EV US sales hit new records – reaching over 20,000 units to date

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 03, 2017, 12:48:21 AM »
New York becomes the fourth US state to have energy storage targets/mandates.

New York state signs law – 20% of USA now has energy storage targets and mandates
California, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon represent 69 million people and 21% of the country. These people live in states that have legally defined energy storage to be integrated into the power grid. The politicians see the writing on the wall.

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