“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."
Friday, January 17, 2014
al-Jazeera sez: Spain becomes first country to rely on wind as top energy source
Spain is the first country in the world to draw a plurality of its power from wind energy for an entire year, according to new reports by the country’s energy regulator and wind energy advocacy group Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).
Wind accounted for 20.9 percent of the country’s energy last year — more than any other enough to power about 15.5 million households, with nuclear coming in a very close second at 20.8 percent. Wind energy usage was up over 13 percent from the year before, according to the report.
This oughta make our friend Rufus Very Happy as he tilts against the dragon of Big Oil.
Posted by Unknown at 1/17/2014 08:53:00 AM
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I'm gobsmacked. :)ReplyDelete
People like myself do not equate "big oil," and coal with eeeviiiiiiil; we just recognize the fact that there is a finite supply of these carbon sources, and that they will, necessarily, become more expensive and hard to extract as time goes by - especially when you factor China, and the rest of Asia into the mix.Delete
It's our contention that we need to get busy factoring these renewables into the mix, now, so we will be ready, later.
Make no mistake, I think this is very good news. I'm coming from a position of analyzing trends with dynamic feedback loops involved, not lazy statics. Oil prices go up on scarcity, the profits are plowed back into research, and you end up with fracking, with falling nat gas prices as a byproduct. Lather, rinse, repeat.ReplyDelete
Ford’s new solar-powered hybrid car can charge up without plugging in
Like other plug-in hybrids, the C-Max Solar Energi has both gas and electric motors. Its total range is impressive at 621 miles, which includes 21 miles of all-electric driving. Another thing it has in common with plug-in hybrids is the “plug-in” part. If the sun is unavailable, you can attach the C-Max Solar Energi to the grid like other electric vehicles. The new concepts and ideas come into play when you’ve got a clear view of the sky.
The solar panels on the roof of the Solar Energi were designed and manufactured by California-based SunPower. These solar cells are a bit different than the cells produced elsewhere. There is a single metal layer on the back of the cell that supports the silicon photovoltaics. It’s a flexible design, which is utilized in the curved glass housing on the top of the car. SunPower also claims its cells can harvest 50% more energy over the same surface area than conventional cells.
For all the supposed efficiencies of these solar cells, 1.5 square meters just isn’t enough surface area to power a car. That’s why all the solar powered cars you see are tiny light-weight things that coast slowly over long distances. The C-Max Solar Energi makes use of a special Fresnel lens canopy positioned above the car to boost solar exposure several times over...
I saw this article earlier this month but since it is just a concept at this point didn't post it. However, since it is Rufus Day at the Libertarian...
I think rat would have appreciated this also as he is/was big on that big fusion generator in the sky.
The C-Max Solar Energi makes use of a special Fresnel lens canopy positioned above the car to boost solar exposure several times over...Delete
That won't work. When I was a kid I thought solar cells could be made more efficient by using the same form factor as a bicycle reflector (lots of little pyramids, increases the surface area), but there's a cosine law that reduces the flux based on the amount the angle of the panel deviates from the horizontal with respect to the sun. A lens can gather the light and make it a hammer strong enough to burn ants, but it can't increase the number of photons hitting the input side. It's always 1300 W per square meter at noon on the equator.
Perhaps you should tell the Ford engineers that and save them some money on the research.
The same people who think they can get a higher flux of photons with a lens (rather than just a higher intensity, volts instead of amps) think that a credit card is found money, and for the same reason.Delete
Easy, T, I was just teasing you.
I have no knowledge of the subject. You could very well be right. On the other hand, Occam's Razor, tells me that the engineers at Ford are not trying to change the laws of physics. And, wrt your last post, given what Ford has been through and what the industry just struggled through, I doubt that there is much 'found money' available in these companies.
By the way, did you bother reading the article to understand the concept?
A Fresnel lens is a type of compact lens originally developed for use in lighthouses that acts as a magnifying glass. If you’re picturing a canopy of breakable glass ready to rain down on your car, think again. Frensel lenses are usually made from plastics like acrylic, so they are light and durable while also being cheap to make. When parked under the Fresnel lens canopy, the C-Max Solar Energi will track the sun and roll slowly backward or forward to keep the most intense area of solar energy concentrated on the panels.
Ford says that using this system the car can gain the equivalent of a four-hour plug-in charge (about 8 kilowatts) over the course of the day. For many people, that’s enough to commute or run some errands without using gas or plugging into the grid. Without the overhead canopy of lenses, the C-Max pulls in too little power to justify putting solar panels on the car in the first place.
While it makes sense that a certain area of sunlight will yield a fixed upper limit of power it makes sense that you can focus that power (with the lens) onto a smaller area which contains the solar cells.Delete
The lens can move and tracks the sun taking it at the right angle to focus the maximum amount of sunlight on the cells, focus rather than concentrate.
We get 40% of our coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Those are huge, thick deposits that sit right on the surface. They will, also, be mostly "played out" in 15 to 20 years.ReplyDelete
The next mines will be deeper, and more expensive to operate.
Our Anthracite coal comes mostly from Appalachia. Those veins are getting narrower, and narrower, with a higher, and higher percentage of rock in the product.
When it comes to oil, those "Fracked" wells have an astonishingly high Decline Rate, being basically depleted in just a few years. The vaunted Bakken Play is actually, now, down to 4 Counties, and one of those, Williams County, appears to be at peak. This, also, can't last.
I flew over that operation in Wyoming on my way to KCMO. It took about fifteen minutes.Delete
Ford Plans to Build Smaller, Less Expensive Vehicles in the Future
Ford Motor Co. is eyeing a future that includes smaller and less expensive vehicles to increase personal mobility and reach a greater number of consumers.
Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally, in a roundtable interview at the North American International Auto Show, said Tuesday that smaller cars like the Ford Fiesta and Ka, which is currently available in other markets outside the U.S., will comprise a larger share of the global auto industry, including the U.S., known for its affinity of sport-utility vehicles and pickups.
The reason: vehicles have become increasingly expensive in recent years — partially attributed to an increase in technology in those vehicles — which have priced some consumers, particularly those in Generation Y who grew up during the Great Recession, out of the market. But that could compromise profit margins, which on the backs of fully-loaded vehicles have ballooned to double-digits at Ford, though the automaker has consistently warned those profit margins will soften.
Mulally on Monday stressed the need for the industry to lower price points and make vehicles more affordable...
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140114/AUTO04/301140079#ixzz2qfXyasYf
Ford is already the world leader, even above Toyota, in sales of hybrid cars.
While Ford's plan encompasses its product world wide, I think the plan will also be applicable her in the US. What young people today are looking for, IMO, is affordable transportation. A good portion of them just view cars as a way to get from point A to point B. We see it in the reduction of licenses being issued to teenagers. It is exaggerated by stagnant economic conditions that may be with us for quite a while. I hope the plans work out for Ford.
I see Mulally has taken himself out of the running for the CEO spot at Microsoft. He indicates that he will continue to turn over more decisions day to day decisions to COO, Mark Fields, and will spend more of his time on Ford's Sustainability push.
The Detroit International Auto Show opens to the public on Friday so we have been hearing a lot of stories about autos here this week. The industry sold about 16 million vehicles last year and are predicting this year they will sell around 16.8 million.
" What young people today are looking for, IMO, is affordable transportation."Delete
I too have considered this deeply interesting and perhaps troubling question as to what the young are 'looking for' these days.
As my opinions are humble, I say that, IMHO, they are looking for tight twats, hard dicks, soft sandals, affordable marijuana of great potency, and couldn't care less about transportation as they already know, deep down, they "ain't goin' anywhere" anyway, and couldn't care less whether they do or not long as the hips still move.
IOW, they are looking for exactly what Q is looking for, minus the Vodka and the Polar Bear Coat.Delete
"While Ford's plan encompasses its product world wide, I think the plan will also be applicable her in the US. What young people today are looking for, IMO, is affordable transportation. A good portion of them just view cars as a way to get from point A to point B. We see it in the reduction of licenses being issued to teenagers. It is exaggerated by stagnant economic conditions that may be with us for quite a while. I hope the plans work out for Ford."Delete
Cars as appliances, and disinterested adolescents, is the Death of the American Male, I tell ya.
When we gonna get protection as an endangered species?
...little GTO and all that!
Hell, when I went to college, my neighbors used a Chevy 409 to crush their beer cans.
Yeh, the good old days when a hot car was a chick magnet similar in purpose to the big red butt on a rhesus macaque.
I LOVE your picture there, Miss T.ReplyDelete
But that is not Rufus there on Rocinante/Rosinante - the horse is just right but Rufus is way too thin.......if the real fat 'Bud' Rufus were aboard, poor Rocinante would be even more bowed than the dear old thing normally is......her frail legs beginning to collapse.......
I have some picks of those coal mines in Wyoming.....there are indeed right near the surface. One surface mine was right next to the highway, shipped the coal right over to the processing plant across the highway about 1/2 mile away, then right onto the coal trains, heading east......
If one enlarges that wonderful picture one sees immediately that Rufus has a backpack of Budweiser on his back......a survival item for those hot Wyoming summer days, no doubt.....Rufus looks to have given the windmills proper warning......and is about ready to give go to the downhill charge to put the windmills to chaotic flight....hooray! good, booooo ! evil.......Delete
Squire Sancho 'Quirk' Panza has remained in the Bar in Sheridan, Wyoming adding to his pot belly by drinking beer, eating Campbell's Soup heavily mixed with Vodka, eating Hershey Bars, and romancing the bar maid......'Quirk' Panza has seen it all so many times before.....Delete
Well, there goes the neighborhood.
Time to call off any serious discussion and put the coffee on.
Ford is coming along with a new pickup made entirely/mostly out of aluminum, O Serious One. Gets much better gas mileage than the old ones being so much lighter. Loaded with all sorts of electronic unneeded gadgets to attract the thoughtless City Slicks like you.......the urban cowboys, the urban ranchers, graduates of Sales Academies, self promoters, American phonies, without ponies.....make my coffee black, please......thank youDelete
He's homesick for The Rat, Quirk, go easy on him.Delete
The F-150 has been the best selling 'vehicle' in the US for the past 30 years. This has to be a big risk for them.
On the one hand, you have 600-800 lbs. less to pull around which should improve performance and fuel efficiency, big factors going forward. Likewise, I'm sure paint systems have come a long way since the old days when you didn't have to worry about aluminum parts rusting out, they just fell apart through oxidation.
On the other hand, people who buy trucks are looking for durability (albeit, as well as a little comfort these days). Also, with the economy being what it is and growth projected to remain moderate for the forseeable future, people on average are keeping their vehicles a lot longer. It remains to be seen how the new truck will perform over the long haul. Plus, you are bucking peoples perceptions. They were interviewing long time Ford buyers about the new truck during media week at the Auto Show. A couple of guys said they plan on buying the 2013 model rather than picking up the 2014 just for this reason.
It's a big risk. I guess you just have to go with Mulally until he is proven wrong.
Naw, I'd never be homesick for The Rat, I just like teasing my fictional character friend Quirk of the Many Misdemeanors.....Delete
Cardinal Misdemeanors, mind you.Delete
"Sin was the third native Filipino Archbishop of Manila, following centuries of Spanish, American and Irish episcopacy.
He led the Archdiocese of Manila as its archbishop and was created a cardinal by Pope Paul VI. As Archbishop of Manila, he was widely considered to be the Primate of the Philippines, though no formal dignity has ever been attached to the archdiocese. He retired as the Archbishop of Manila on 15 September 2003, having reached the age of retirement for bishops under canon law, and was succeeded by Gaudencio Rosales.
His title and surname as Cardinal Sin (another term for a deadly sin) were a point of humour in the Philippines and for Philippine Catholics. Examples included "The greatest sin of all: Cardinal Sin", and even his own pun of "Welcome to the house of Sin" that he used to greet guests at Villa San Miguel, the Archbishop's official residence in Mandaluyong."
A Filipino Hugh Hefner, of sorts.Delete
Sen. Inhofe on Obama's Global Warming Claims: 'The President Just Made that Up'ReplyDelete
Without reliable data, it is impossible to form a considered opinion on so many issues. How dirty is coal? How long will it be before someone goes to court opining that wind farms are endangering eagles or hummingbirds or whatever? Is global warming…Oh, sorry…Is climate change going to make the earth a desert or usher in a new little, medium, or regular ice age; and how does this affect energy policy?
I think people are already in court challenging wind farms for endangering the eagles......the jack rabbits must think of a wind farm as a 'danger free zone' - always seems to be winners and losers in so many things....Delete
Ya wipe out the aerial predators, we suffer mass die-offs from Rabbit Fever.Delete
Bring back Fukushima!
winners and losers, I tell ya.....surfers around Japan are glowing in the dark......Delete
Obama is up right now making another of his long winded b.s. speeches, this one about how he is so committed to protecting your privacy........and fighting terrorism at the same time.......how he has spent "countless hours" considering these things......time to go back to bed then....ReplyDelete
No one dared touch a living king. Once dead, his body parts are scattered hither and yon, proving, I suppose, a living dog is better than a dead lion.ReplyDelete
King Alfred the Great bones believed to be in box found in museum
A dead lion is immediate food for hyenas and vultures.....the hyenas eat even the bones.....we are repelled by such thoughts, showing that evolution has achieved a leap upward in us......the fish in the sea are said to yearn for life ashore....Delete
Miss T, you ought to take this opportunity to update the Front Bench listings a little......ReplyDelete
Bobby, right now even you can start a new post, but you can't redecorate Deuce's blog. I'm the same as the rest of the jokers around here, just a number. The only difference is that I'm number one.Delete
The older turbines killed quite a few birds. The newer, larger (slower-turning) units, not so much.ReplyDelete
It would be interesting to know why birds, normally cagey, would ignore moving turbine blades. While in Florida last summer, I noticed that Osprey build nests atop utility poles, usually the tallest point around with unobstructed visibility. Whether eagles seek the same advantages from wind farm towers is a question worth pursuing.Delete
For those of you who had lingering doubts, this is reported as a public service.ReplyDelete
Research Shows It’s Better To Run Away From Nuclear Detonation Blast
On a personal note, my nuclear reaction plan calls for beer, a cigar, and a piece of good music.
Excellent plan, and a template for us all.Delete
Thank you, Bob. I am all about letting my little light shine.Delete
Didn't I read Spain was giving up on subsidized wind power?........maybe it was subsidized solar though....ReplyDelete
Spain was/is ridiculously over-subsidizing wind, and solar. We give wind a couple of pennies/kwhr, Spain was giving them something like forty-five cents.ReplyDelete
CRITIC OF FRANCE'S HOLLANDE SAYS IT WITH DUNG
Missed Obama's speech on the NSA and security but there will be plenty written about it in the next couple days.
Per Glenn Greenwald
Obama is draping the banner of change over the NSA status quo. Bulk surveillance that caused such outrage will remain in place.
Predictable. Despite the fact that the NSA phone metadata collection has not prevented one terrorist attack, it will take a president with balls to curtail it because of the fear of any criticism he might receive from the new Axis of Evil: McCain, King, Rogers, Feinstein, and Krauthammer.
That would be something new, McCain criticizing Obama.Delete
Greenwald on Obama's tactics.
Why would conservatives start a war against the government when their hand is out for money from that same government? This week Hugh Hewitt was pissing and moaning about the cuts to the pensions of career military folk.ReplyDelete
Teresita RedingerFri Jan 17, 05:32:00 PM ESTDelete
This week Hugh Hewitt was pissing and moaning about the cuts to the pensions of career military folk.
...how shameful of Hewitt...
From the French perspective, that war should have been the last, in keeping with the utopia of poet Charles Péguy, who had written to a friend, shortly before he was killed at the front in September 1914: "I am going to battle for general disarmament, and for the last of the wars."ReplyDelete
World War I Centenary: The Symbolic Power of French Victory
(NBC NEWS) A majority of Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Wednesday of a Massachusetts law that establishes a 35-foot buffer zone to prevent protests outside clinics that provide abortions — a restriction the protesters say violates the First Amendment. In an oral argument, some justices said they were concerned that the law restricts speech in a way that is not neutral among viewpoints: Clinic workers can talk to patients inside the buffer, while those who object to abortion cannot.ReplyDelete
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