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Category: Post Car Society

Mandatory solar panels for new homes

Short link to NBC Miami:

South Miami Set to Become First City in Florida to Require Solar Panels on New Homes

The new law would require owners of new homes — including single-family homes, townhouses and multi-story residential buildings — to install solar panels. It also applies to owners who expand their homes by 75% or greater.

Once the measure is passed, South Miami would become the fourth U.S. city that requires new homes to be installed with solar panels. San Francisco and two small cities in California have similar renewable energy building laws.

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Tumblr of the Day: Cleanelectric & Electrify BW

Tumblr of the Day are two Podcasts in German language.

Ecomento reported on Volkswagen (article in German):

Volkswagen CMO: We can stop Tesla

[…] CMO Herbert Diess reinforces his statement that he does not think that Tesla has lead to which Volkswagen can’t catch up. “We do see Volkswagen as a company that can Tesla, because we have capabilities and skills Tesla currently hasn’t.”

Posting this lead to a discussion, which contained also the usual misconceptions of electric cars.

So here are two useful Podcasts in German in e-Mobility:

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Cost parity and conversion to electric

Sigmoid

This is the Sigmoid or Logistic Curve. It describes capped expontially growing things, like cancer or the takeup of new technologies.

So, yes, electric cars are in a way like Cancer. 🙂

The point being that right now a lot of people are waiting for electric cars to take really off. Right now, they are in the low single digit numbers of the total car population, but when a certain breaking point is being reached, that will change very extremely quickly.

Many people think this breaking point is cost parity, electric cars costing approximately as little or much as a comparable car with ICE. And some people are bullish and think that year might even be 2018.

The thing being that, in order to satisfy sudden demand, you need to have building capacity and enough experience to have the processes down and ready for mass manufacture.

Well, maybe it’s not 2018, but 2020. In any case, time is running out for makers of cars with ICE.

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The bromfiets has no place in the Netherlands

One key element to traffic safety in the Netherlands is separation. So cycle pathways can run on the street only if the street is limited to 30 km/h or lower.

If car traffic is faster, the cycle path needs to be separated in some way. That can be as simple as a curb and red posts, or it can be a separate road running an entirely different route from the car road. Some newer cities such as Lelystad (built only in 1967) have completely different networks for pedestrians, cycles and cars.

In general, this works really well, but it drops one type of transportation into a void, the bromfiets and its friends – anything that can go faster than 25 km/h and is limited to 45 km/h

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Peaker plant combining Gas and Battery

Ars Technica has an older article from April, which I came across only now on combining battery storage and gas turbines in innovative ways with rather spectacular results.

Peaker plants are power generator facilities used for network stabilization when demand, well, peaks or intermittent renewable power sources can’t help. They waste a lot of fuel and energy during warmup and network synchronisation.

[…] The GE hybrid peaker plant produces energy from burning natural gas and uses the battery system to complement the gas turbine. That’s possible through a new control system that GE says “seamlessly blends output between the battery and the gas turbine.”

The natural gas plant was also fitted with new emissions controls so that, when combined with the reduced fuel consumption needed while the turbine is in standby mode, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution are reduced by 60 percent. The amount of water needed to operate the plant is also reduced by 45 percent, which reflects 2 million gallons of water annually.

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