“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Storing wind and solar energy: Different strategies

Liquid metal batteries or water stored in coal mines? (it is more interesting than you think!)

Renewable energy from sun and wind is difficult to store. Disused coal mines might be able to help.
Scientists in the Ruhr Valley are considering installing pumped-storage plants in the empty shafts that are more than 1,000 meters deep in places. Excess energy from solar or wind power plants would pump water from the depths to the surface. At night, or when the wind is not blowing, the water would be allowed to fall down again and drive generators. The advantage is that the landscape above the mines would not be involved. And there are more and more disused mines - not only in Germany.
Watch the DW report below or here:

Climate Science: Storage technology for regenerative energies

  • Date 22.06.2012


  1. Enjoy these videos. The strategies just may work.

  2. Germany already gets something like 26% of its total electricity from Renewables (mostly Solar.)

    They have, also, gotten their costs down to less than half of ours. Panels, and inverters about the same, but hugely less for permitting, installation, etc.

    1. They are ripe for fracking technology, but far to green to let it go forward. The days of making artificial petrol for Messerschmitts and Panthers from coal are long gone.

      Obama's fourth Recovery Summer ends. Obamanomics has increased debt to GDP from 76.7% to 101.7% since inauguration.

      Si vis pacem parabellum

      (If you want peace, prepare for war)

  3. Some things are just too Big, and Important, to leave to Goldman, Exxon, and the Sauds. War would be one. The Energy to run the Economy (and keep us from freezing to death) would be another.

    By having the government get involved in these things, NOW, we don't wake up one morning in a Crisis of too little energy (at a price anyone could reasonably afford to pay.)

  4. And, for that person getting ready to type "we have enough coal to last 200 yrs," don't waste your time. It's not true, and all reasonable people Know it's not true. Find something productive to do.

  5. Rufus IISun Sep 30, 09:49:00 AM EDT
    And, for that person getting ready to type "we have enough coal to last 200 yrs," don't waste your time. It's not true, and all reasonable people Know it's not true. Find something productive to do.

    200 years....


    what was life like 200 years ago?

    So how can you comment that there is not enough coal for the next 200 years. Do you know what technologies are GOING to be invented to change the output of any of the traditional fuels?

    Who is to say that there will not be improvements as radical as what we have seen in the last 100 years.

    200 years from now?

    It's anyone's guess. But IF we have enough coal for the next 60 years them we should use it and use the next 60 years to get off middle east and opec oil.

  6. Our No. 1 problem as a nation is "too many unemployed/underemployed." These people consume resources, but, in the case of the unemployed, they don't pay taxes, and in the case of the underemployed, they don't pay "much" in taxes.

    It's nuts not to put some of these people to work for the common good. They could be building cellulosic ethanol refineries, light rail/electrified rail systems, more efficient Grid systems, Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Pumped Storage Systems, and other systems that are in line with the new paradigm that we're entering.

    1. Good ole BIG GOVERNMENT is the answer - top down decision making, ya, the POLS know what to do!

  7. My reply thingy isn't working this morning.

    Okay, let me be clear. We get 40% of our Thermal Coal (the coal that's used in power plants) from a handful of mines in The Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

    Those mines will be pretty much "played out" in 20 Years.

    google it.

    In addition to "peak oil" we are just about at "peak coal." And, China and India are just getting "ramped up."

    The Chinamen, and Burlington Northern are burning the midnight oil, as we type, figuring out how to get more of that Powder River Coal onto ships going to Asia. They're smart people; they'll figure it out. Bet on it.

    Don't get me wrong; there's Other coal. But, it's deep, or remote, or dirty, or ALL OF THE ABOVE. Coal is getting ready to get less, and less available, and More and More Expensive.

  8. And, yes, Ash; sometimes the Pols DO know what to do - some of the pols, anyway.

  9. Public Utility Commissions didn't happen by accident.

  10. As for getting off Middle East Oil, see my comment in the last thread.

    And, yes, we Can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time (usually.)

  11. As for the debt, Teresita, there's not a thing Obama could have done about it. Inheriting Two Wars, a World Economy heading for Depression, and Peak Oil, he was a screwed pooch.

  12. The "good news" is: The right guy is going to win the election. The Des Moines Register has Obama up by 9 in Ohio, and that puts the next-to-last nail in the pubs coffin.

    Now all Obammie has to do is win either Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, or N. Carolina, and the deal is done.

  13. another ally problem

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan soldier turned his gun on American troops at a checkpoint in the country’s/ east, killing two Americans and at least two fellow members of Afghanistan’s army in a shooting that marked both the continuance of a disturbing trend of insider attacks and the 2,000th U.S. troop death in the long-running war, officials said Sunday.

  14. The first debate is Romney’s last best chance.

    1. I reckon by the end of the debate, most Pubs will have written off their Mormon drone and will be shifting their focus to the Senate races.

  15. We get 40% of our Thermal Coal (the coal that's used in power plants) from a handful of mines in The Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

    I saw that operation from the air. Coal mining by dozer rather than shaft. Took like fifteen minutes to fly over it.

  16. He has to catch big-time lightening in a bottle. Possible, but highly unlikely.

  17. There's a lot of coal underneath those Powder River Mines, but it will be a whole hell of a lot more expensive, and a whole hell of a lot slower.

  18. Nothing large on the energy front (other than a war) can come out of Congress as long as the pubs have 40 Senators - in other words, probably for a long time.

    Obama will be able to do a little bit through existing programs, and the EPA. It won't be a lot, but at least we won't "charge backwards."

  19. Having said all that I've said in the last few days, I expect Romney to have a good debate, and come out of it with a little "bounce."

    I still expect a pretty close (one, or at the most, two point) election. The Electoral Vote might be a little wider.

  20. The Challenger has been "judged" to have won 5 of the last 6 debates.

  21. WiO: what was life like 200 years ago?

    You kids don't know how good you got it these days. Back when I was a little girl we had to get up from the couch to turn the television to another station by hand. And there wasn't none of this newfangled TiVo you whippersnappers have. The only thing on was Lawrence Welk and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Hee Haw. Videotape was reel-to-reel and we only saw it at school, after we saw all the filmstrips. We had to buy our music on little platters called 45s, and they didn't have Lady Gaga or Gangnam Style, all they had was Carpenters and "Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog" and shit. The cars were rattletraps that ran for just 70 thousand miles before their engine blew.

  22. Rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar has been pulled before a performance in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don following complaints from Orthodox Christians. The believers claim the production is in breach of a controversial new religious offense law.

    Pussies. What a riot.

  23. Ah, I get it.

    Took a while, I admit.

    Obama has been on top of the energy deal all along.

    (Despite the $4.00/gallon gas)

    Put all the coal mines out of operation, then turn them into giant batteries, or something.

    Not even The Rufus is that smart.

  24. If the United States is dumb enough to re-elect Obama then we really deserve whatever we get. I thought the first time was a fluke. This time around there is no excuse. It's a test.

  25. The great German energy experiment -

    The French Way -

    (Updated September 2012)

    France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.
    France is the world's largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.

    Germany gets a lot of its electricity from.......France.

  26. The Amish don't use electricity at all (I think) and heat with propane. Probably light with whale oil, or something.

    Getting along fine. So it seems.

    Great in fact.

    Deuce is one step away from becoming Amish himself. Sick of society, talks about 'turning inward', talks of dropping out, talks of secession, and, the dead certain give away, travels about in a Chauffeur driven automobile, just like the Amish.


    I ate 10(ten) Amish Peanut Butter Cookies yesterday. You can't, it seems, eat just one.

    A totally new experience.

  27. from Q-POLLS

    a quirk enterprise

    Q-STAR News --

    Romney is way, way ahead.



    Someone explain to me how Obama is winning handily in Ohio but is losing Indiana (which he won in 2008) so badly that the Dems have written it off. Explain to me how Obama is blowing Romney away in Virginia, yet pretty much conceding he won't take North Carolina this time. Explain to me why Axelrod, the most brilliant political mind since Machiavelli, is sending The One to Wisconsin, when the holy polls have the Midwest sewn up for Obama. Explain why Obama has practically moved to Iowa, when all the polls have him so far ahead in the Electoral College that he should be able to tell them to take their measly few electoral votes and jump in the lake.

    These people are not ACTING like they have this in the bag. Instead of staring at polls like shiny objects, try looking at the desperation on the face of the campaign.


    The purpose of polls showing Obama up by 10 are to create a back story for legal challenges if he loses. Polls will be cited as evidence that the GOP "stole the election". It will make 2000 look like a Judge Judy episode.

    Kev from Kansas

    The poles aren't designed to create a back story for legal challenges should obama lose. There creating the back story to suppress legal challenges when he steals the election. There is no way he wins in an honest election.


    G-d, I am sick to death of you Eeyore's.

    Go here:


    Here you can see when the bias is removed how badly Obamao is losing.

    Read more:


    BubblePlumbPolling does show some slippage in Romney's figures.

    Conclusion: The United States is becoming a resort of incoherence, illiteracy, sexual license and drug addiction, laziness, materialism and lard-asses.

    My God, you should see the fat asses out this way, Amish excluded.

    It's sickening really, to see woman after woman with their bellies down to their knees.

  28. The only time gasoline has ever hit $4.00/gal, nationally, was in July of 2008, when George w. Bush was President.

  29. When it got really hot this Summer France had to shut down some of their Nuclear Reactors (as did we.)

    From where do you suppose they were importing their electricity? Yep, that's right. The country that was getting most of its "peak" electricity from Solar - Germany.

  30. Although Obama is ahead in Wisconsin, it is Ryan's Home State. And, Iowa is only a four pointish lead. They'll campaign in those states because they're close, and those two states along with Ohio will/would wrap it up.

    Virginia is "iffy" because of the coming "sequestration," and the strong MIC Complex there. NC has been "Red" since JC was in diapers.

    Any race that isn't "in the bag" will see campaigning. Indiana has traditionally been a Very Red state. 2008 was a shocker, and a testament to McCain's stupidity (in going to a corn state, and campaining against "all farm and ethanol" subsidies."

  31. Bob: If the United States is dumb enough to re-elect Obama then we really deserve whatever we get. I thought the first time was a fluke. This time around there is no excuse. It's a test.

    It's a test of whether or not the GOP is a viable party on the national level anymore. If they can't unseat Obama in a recession, then they're just the Whigs all over again.

    1. I think the Pubs are going to win the Senate seat in Nevada, and pick up a new one in Montana.

      I think the Presidential race is tied.

      B-Ho back in Ohio again soon. Spending lots of time here.

  32. Obama and Kerry's war. 2000 US soldiers dead. Where is the media coverage? Where is Michael Moore? The party of Whoopi and Holder gets a pass.

    1. You can bet on this, no matter how the debate goes, the media is going to spin it as a win for B-Ho, or at least a tie.

  33. Fast and Furious, new look -

    Just another aspect of the Obama/Rufoid foreign policy fuck ups.


    Sunny -

    Never miss reading/viewing Sunny and her friends.

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