Saturday, August 31, 2013


And more bad news for those focusing on storing solar power in batteries – the new study does not believe battery storage will be economically feasible until the 2030s.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Diseconomies of Solar Scale

Mr Fraser this week unveiled AGL's plans to proceed with two solar power plants costing $450 million for Broken Hill and Nyngan in western NSW. The 155-megawatt capacity will meet the power needs of about 50,000 homes, and be about 15 times bigger than Australia's largest plant.
In my view, the most cost-effective way to develop solar is with large-scale projects," Mr Fraser said. "You get the economies of scale.
Consumers switch on to solar power - August 2013

Conventional wisdom supports Mr. Fraser's contention - data on the other hand tells a different story. $450 million for a 155 MW solar farm works out to $2.90 per watt. Solar Choice has the average unsubsidized price for 1.5 kW rooftop systems throughout Australia at $2796/kW. That price goes down to $2277/kW for 5 kW systems. It's rather remarkable that a 155 MW photoelectric solar farm that is 100,000 times larger than a modest 1.5 kW system would be more expensive on a unit price basis. To be fair I should point out that the solar farms are tracking plants so that accounts for part of the extra costs. That said, $2.90 per Watt is high even for a tracking plant.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Speaking of Pussy

My friend named her cat Oishī - pronounce oye-she. Oishī means yummy in Japanese. Now I can understand why you'd want to name your pussy yummy in a foreign tongue but Japanese doesn't make sense... Everybody knows the Japanese haven't eaten pussy since the Tokugawa period. The Chinese on the other hand eat millions of pussies a year so if you're going to name your pussy yummy it should be Měiwèi.

Pussy Cow

What Would Freud Say?

I was having my normal bank robbery dream when suddenly instead of bags of money there was an evil baby in pink overalls. We were in a motel room with a 10 foot wide hole cut in the floor and a dark pool of water 30 feet below. I grabbed the creepy baby and threw it in the motel cenote. It shrunk towards the water facing us the whole time. When it hit the water it splashed into a thousand new creepy babies in pink overalls. Then I woke up.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Since 1971...

Since 1971 the United States, which has much more robust demographics than virtually any other advanced country, has had one year in which its fertility rate was high enough for natural population growth: all the rest of the, substantial, growth in the US’ population has been driven exclusively by immigration.
Russia's Population Isn't Shrinking (It's Growing Very, Very Slowly).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Moving Right Along

And if I could add my own two bits, I think it’s time for Germany to start requiring private households to get involved in load management. There’s some low-hanging fruit to be had. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation: assuming that Germany’s roughly 26 million households each have refrigerators consuming 50 watts on the average, that is more than 1.3 gigawatts of shiftable load, and people would not even notice it.
Load management in Germany – the potential

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Worth a Look

German Nuclear Slideshow


Deutsche Bank said that although the market in Europe had contracted, at least one third of new, small to mid size projects were being developed without subsidies. Multi-megawatt projects were being built south of Rome for €90c/W. This was delivering electricity costs (LCOE – with 80 per cent self consumption) of around €80/MWh (€8c/kWh)
Deutsche Bank: Solar, distributed energy at ‘major inflection point’