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Category: Post Car Society

And the cost of energy storage?

Kittner, Lill and Kammen made use of a model similar to the one for PV pricing in their Paper Energy storage deployment and innovation for the clean energy transition (PDF) to model and predict pricing for batteries.

A deeply decarbonized energy system research platform needs materials science advances in battery technology to overcome the intermittency challenges of wind and solar electricity. […] Here we analyse deployment and innovation using a two-factor model that integrates the value of investment in materials innovation and technology deployment over time from an empirical dataset covering battery storage technology. […] We find and chart a viable path to dispatchable US$1 W−1 solar with US$100 kWh−1 battery storage that enables combinations of solar, wind, and storage to compete directly with fossil-based electricity options.

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Evaluating the Changing Causes of Photovoltaics Cost Reduction

Evaluating the Changing Causes of Photovoltaics Cost Reduction

Why is PV Solar Energy getting cheaper and cheaper?

We find that increased module efficiency was the leading low-level cause of cost reduction in 1980-2001, contributing almost 30% of the cost decline. The most important high-level mechanism was R&D in these earlier stages of the technology. After 2001, scale economies became a more significant cause of cost reduction, approaching R&D in importance. Policies that stimulate market growth have played a key role in enabling the cost reduction in PV, through privately-funded R&D and economies of scale, and to a lesser extent learning-by-doing

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So Merkel was right?

Angela Merkel, November 2014:

“Wer wird einen fahrerlosen Autoverkehr organisieren, wenn er nicht weiß, ob ihm mitten zwischen Frankfurt und Mannheim irgendwann das Datennetz zusammenbricht, weil gerade Millionen von E-Mails Vorrang haben und die Sicherheit der Datenübermittlung nicht gewährleistet ist?”

Which is roughly »Who will organize autonomous traffic, if they can’t be sure that the net won’t crash between Frankfurt and Mannheim because millions of mails have precedence and traffic isn’t guaranteed to make it?« That’s nonsense, of course – an autonomous car is controlled by the onboard computer and not remotely, and especially not remotely in real time.

But, Tesla. So with Autopilot 2.0 in June this year, they gathered owner permission to collect video data from the onboard cameras, and will occasionally upload clips. Observed traffic is in the Gigabytes, now and then. And of course, it’s not real time remote control, but batched, non-time critical upload of learning data for Tesla’s Machine Learning training engine.

No need to panic over net neutrality, this is the lowest bulk traffic class and the opposite direction.

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The great Diesel Massacre in Germany

It’s going to be a Post-Diesel Society in Germany, quickly: Drive reports on the sales ban for the Porsche Cayenne. Porsche is kind of the fall guy here – not many of these cars are being sold, but the engine is actually an Audi one. Drive (and many others) report:

Germany’s federal motor transport authority, the KBA (Kraftfahrtbundesamt), has placed a registration ban on the Porsche Cayenne Diesel due to the discovery of what it describes as suspect emission manipulation software.

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