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Category: Post Car Society

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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Understanding Energiewende

Arne Jungjohann has been speaking about the German Energiewende at a Clean Energy Discussion in Ottawa last week.

Jungjohann offered “lessons” from the German clean energy story, also called the Energiewende. It’s the German word for the country’s clean energy transition, and Jungjohann co-wrote a book about it: Energy Democracy — Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables. […]

It’s a technical transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy, he explained, but it’s also a political and cultural transition; it’s a transition from centralized, corporation-dominated energy, to a smaller, decentralized power grid.

 

 

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Rethinking Transportation

Tony Seba (Stanford University) came up with a kind of best-case scenario for electrification and decarbonization. “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030” sees a self-amplifiying change in how we travel and transport things:

By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transportas-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

Rethinking Transportation
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Tumblr of the Day: Iconic Photos

The Tumblr of the Day is Iconic Photos, which currently comes with the image above and a very nice text explaining the history and making-of of the image and the rise and fall of the drive-in cinema (“By 1958, 83% of American households had a television set in their homes, up from 9% in 1950.”).

Iconic Photos is on Patreon, too.

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Car Sales are a markovian process

A group of people from SEAT, Uni Barcelona, Uni Lausanne and the Captain Obvious Institute for Market Research did Big Data on 10 years worth of car sales (PDF) . They find the process is unsurprisingly Markovian for at least 5 years. Meaning that past sales have an influence on current sales (and expectations of future market changes have an influence on current sales as well).

Meaning that while 2022 is probably not a bad horizon for going electrical, the change to carbon free transport is still going to be fast and violent.

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Velo-City Expo, and the Dutch view on cycling helmets

Bicycle Dutch has a selection of news:

Velo-City  is a conference on June, 13 in Nijmegen, NL. Because he’s not flying for KLM on that day, Willem-Alexander will open the conference.

Also, the Dutch View on cycling helmets:

Take the bicycle helmet. If you make it mandatory, you strengthen the idea that the bike is a dangerous means of transport. That leads to a decrease in the number of cyclists. That again decreases the safety, because the more cyclists there are, the more other road users will consider them. In short: the bicycle helmet increases the individual safety, but decreases the safety in general.

I have yet to see Dutch people riding their bikes with helmets on.

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