Tag: facing (page 1 of 7)

About Half the Congressmen in the US are Working for Special Interest Groups

Video – California is currently facing the most severe drought of all time, and the video below shows some staggering aerial footage of just how bad the situation really is. So what is California, which grows half of the fruits and vegetables that are produced in the United States, doing to address this predicament?Some claim that the California government has been too lenient with water use restrictions placed on large agri-businesses due to effective lo [...]

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Laura Multidimensional Ocean ~ 19th July 2015

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Here’s Why Tesla’s Battery Is A Big Deal

Excerpt from forbes.com

It’s more about where the market and product are going than where they are today. Think about a complementary system of components:

  1. The big grid – always on, highly reliable power which is expensive during peak demand hours, i.e. when a family actually wants to use the power. But usually the electricity is cheap at night when no one wants to use it and those big baseload plants that are hard (or very hard in the case of nuclear) to slow down are still pumping out power. And sometimes that power is provided by strong night winds.
  2. Home solar – Don’t forget that Tesla’s CEO, Musk, is also Chairman of SolarCity which provides zero down leasing. Home solar is often poorly aligned to peak usage, with installers looking for maximum generation with south-facing solar panels rather than maximum generation during peak with south-west facing panels. Then there are the homes with roofs that are poorly aligned to the sun regardless, so imperfect generation is all that is possible. And that peak generation isn’t necessarily perfectly aligned with peak cost of grid electricity either, but merely overlaps with it.
  3. Home storage – Maximum generation alignment of home solar matters less when you can carry forward the unconsumed electricity from solar panels to your evening of cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes, and streaming Netflix on your 40″ tv. And cheap electricity you can store at night and consume when electricity is really expensive is valuable as well.
So these components exist, but to be fair, they existed before Tesla got into the home storage business and have for a long time. And Tesla’s offering costs about twice as much as more typical lead-acid batteries commonly used for the purpose. So why is this particular home storage battery getting so much attention?
  1. Hype – Don’t underestimate the marvel that is Musk’s ability to get attention. The man is a rock star of event unveiling.
  2. Net metering – Right now, there is a lot of conflict between utilities and home solar users and installation companies. Net metering is the requirement that home solar generators get paid for electricity that they produce and pump into the grid, and only pay for the electricity that they draw from the grid. Output vs input is the net. Home solar used to be an advantage to utilities — reduced peak demand — but has become a liability — reduced or even negative revenue from users of the grid. Basically, utilities still have to pay for the grid which home solar generators use, then they lose revenue or outright pay the home solar generator who is getting use of the grid for free. Since utilities pay for the grid out of electricity revenue, they are starting to demand that people with home solar who aren’t paying much for electricity start paying for grid usage to make up for it. This is getting mixed reviews, as you can understand, but in the USA especially is leading to a desire by many to be completely grid free, a dubious value proposition. Tesla’s hype fell into an emerging market opportunity of people who had solar on their roof, didn’t have batteries but are worried that they’ll be forced to pay more.
  3. Time-of-use billing – Combined with smart meters, time-of-use billing is becoming much more common in utilities in the developed world. This model is simple: reduce demand during peak periods by increasing the price, typically combined with incenting shift of demand to off-peak times by lowering the price. Flattening demand curves, especially peaks, is very advantageous for grid managers because they have to have capacity for the peak. This enables storage to time-shift consumption and save at least some money.
  4. Design – Previous storage units are collections of lead acid batteries, basically the same thing you have in your car, but scaled vertically and horizontally. They aren’t pretty, they are heavy, they take up floor space, they require maintenance, and they are pretty much a toxic addition to homes if breached or even if the tops are removed. Tesla’s model is sleek, hangs on a wall and is much more chemically inert with no liquids. It’s a benign home appliance as opposed to an industrial object (much as some people like the industrial aesthetic at home, it’s less common).
  5. The Gigafactory – What Tesla has going for it is that it is building the world’s largest battery factory, and likely expanding it now that the storage line has taken off so brilliantly. Pretty much everyone paying attention knows that Tesla is already producing batteries much more cheaply on a per KWH capacity at greater volume, and the Gigafactory is going to ramp that up. Battery storage has been dropping in price per KWH of capacity for a long time, but it’s closing in on a cusp point where it’s going to be worth it for average consumers to store at least some electricity.
What all of this adds up to is that home battery storage isn’t economical today, but it’s viable for a subset of the high-consuming market, it’s desirable for its green credentials, it’s desirable due to the hype factor and it will defray its costs. And that the home storage market tomorrow will be viable for a much larger percentage of the market with increasing systemic pressures and pricing that will make it more attractive. Tesla’s home storage battery is getting attention because they are staking a major claim to a market which is expected to increase dramatically.
Why is Tesla’s battery a big deal?: originally appeared on Quora:

Answer by Mike Barnard, Energy guy, on Quora

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Dying With Dignity

 Excerpt from huffingtonpost.comBy Debbie FinkCo-authored by Karen Bloch MorseThere is nothing easy or natural about watching your 41-year-old friend (of 41 years) -- who, by all counts, looks healthy -- ...

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The Class-Domination Theory of Power

by G. William DomhoffNOTE: WhoRulesAmerica.net is largely based on my book,Who Rules America?, first published in 1967 and now in its7th edition. This on-line document is presented as a summary of some of the main ideas in that book.Who has predominant power in the United States? The short answer, from 1776 to the present, is: Those who have the money -- or more specifically, who own income-producing land and businesses -- have the power. George Washington was one of the biggest landowner [...]

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Nuclear Experimentation Year 70 – Playing With Madness

Ethan Indigo Smith, ContributorThe recent “news” on the nuclear situation in Iran brings to light the madhouse of cards on which the postmodern world is built. Or rather, it would bring the madness to light if the major media outlets of the world were not bought up and sold out to the military industrial complex, and therefore completely misinformed on the actions and dangers of the nuclear experimentation industry.The story is not just about [...]

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European Union regulators filing formal charges against Google

Excerpt from cnbc.com

European Union regulators decided Tuesday that they would file charges against Google stemming from an antitrust investigation, multiple news agencies reported.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Google decision will be discussed by EU commissioners on Wednesday. That source claimed to the news outlet that European antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager made the decision to file charges after consulting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. 

The Financial Times and The New York Times also reported Tuesday that the EU would accuse the tech giant of abusing its market position, citing sources familiar with the regulators' decision.

Google faces fines of as much as $6.6 billion if the charges are proven.

Google shares traded down about 1.6 percent on Tuesday, although most of those losses came in the morning. The stock was largely unchanged in after-hours trading. 

Reuters had reported earlier that Google was likely to learn more on Wednesday about how Vestager will treat complaints about its market dominance. 

However, industry and EU sources suggested to Reuters that Vestager (who took over as EU competition commissioner in November and has indicated she will not be rushed into concluding the five-year-old inquiry) was unlikely to announce charges against the U.S. Internet search giant. 

A European Commission spokesman declined comment on Tuesday on whether Vestager, who is due to fly to the United States on Wednesday afternoon, would make a statement after the weekly meeting of all 28 EU commissioners in the morning. 

The Wall Street Journal says Google could end up facing a fine of more than $6 billion in antitrust charges by the European Union. 
That followed a comment on Monday by another commissioner, digital economy chief Guenther Oettinger, who said Vestager would make a statement on Google in days. Another EU official said he expected an announcement on Wednesday.

Asked about such remarks, Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a routine news briefing on Tuesday: "The Commission does not always express itself on ongoing competition cases.
"If there is a time for announcements it will be announced, but there is nothing on this question today." 

Google could not be reached by Reuters for comment. 

Andreas Schwab, a member of the European Parliament who has pushed for the EU executive to consider even breaking up Google, told Reuters he expected the Commission to conclude its investigation and issue a statement of objections—effectively bringing charges against Google that could result in huge fines and orders to reshape its business in Europe.
—Reuters contributed to this report.

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