The Fantasy of Storing Wind Power: No Commercial System Exists & None is Likely

STOP THESE THINGS

unicorn About as likely as commercially storing electricity in bulk.

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The wind industry is the perpetual infant of power generation: always looking for the subsidies to last that little bit longer; always promising to improve its performance; always claiming it will outdo hydro, coal and gas – provided, of course, that the subsidies keep flowing.

STT for one thinks the wind industry has had ample time to grow up and stand on its own two feet.

Like the brat that it is, the wind industry can’t be told what to do and, especially, won’t ever respond to demands from power users about when its product should be delivered.

output vs demand

It’s quite happy to produce plenty of power when it’s not needed at night time; and much less during the day, when it is (as seen in the graph above); and, often, none at all during periods of peak demand: as set…

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The Wisdom of David Laidler

Uneasy Money

Michael Woodford’s paper for the Jackson Hole Symposium on Monetary Policy wasn’t the only important paper on monetary economics to be posted on the internet last month. David Laidler, perhaps the world’s greatest expert on the history of monetary theory and macroeconomics since the time of Adam Smith, has written an important paper with the somewhat cryptic title, “Two Crises, Two Ideas, and One Question.” Most people will figure out pretty quickly which two crises Laidler is referring to, but you will have to read the paper in order to figure out which two ideas and which question, Laidler has on his mind. Actually, you won’t have to read the paper if you keep reading this post, because I am about to tell you. The two ideas are what Laidler calls the “Fisher relation” between real and nominal interest rates, and the idea of a lender of last resort. The…

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David Laidler: “Two Crises, Two Ideas and One Question”

The Market Monetarist

The main founding fathers of monetarism to me always was Milton Friedman, Anna Schwartz, Karl Brunner, Allan Meltzer and David Laidler. The three first have all now passed away and Allan Meltzer to some extent seems to have abandoned monetarism. However, David Laidler is still going strong and maintains his monetarist views. David has just published a new and very interesting paper – “Two Crises, Two Ideas and One Question” – in which he compares the Great Depression and the Great Recession through the lens of history of economic thought.

David’s paper is interesting in a number of respects and any student of economic history and history of economic thought will find it useful to read the paper. I particularly find David’s discussion of the views of Allan Meltzer and other (former!?) monetarists interesting. David makes it clear that he think that they have given up on monetarism or as…

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Mentally ill shot by US police by threat level: January – February 2016

Unfortunately for all concerned, most of the mentally ill shot this month by police was the result of an impossible dilemma. They were either attacking police or were armed.

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Source: Investigation: People shot and killed by police this year – Washington Post.

@TransportBlog @JulieAnneGenter @GarethMP a lot safe to ride a bike in New Zealand since 1970

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Source: The social cost of road crashes and injuries | Ministry of Transport.

Annual social cost of road crashes in New Zealand, 1997-2014

Source: The social cost of road crashes and injuries | Ministry of Transport.

US Special Forces Have Captured an Important ISIS Operative, But Obama Won’t Let Them Take Him to Gitmo

American Elephants

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American Special Forces have captured their first “significant” ISIS operative during a raid in Northern Iraq, and they are likely to capture other ISIS fighters. The problem is that President Obama has foreclosed the ability of the military to send them to Guantanamo.

President Obama is deeply concerned about what he believes to be world opinion. He is quite sure that ISIS and al Qaeda use the existence of Gitmo, which he believes to be a “torture chamber,” as a recruiting tool. However, intelligence operatives who read ISIS and al Qaeda propaganda and communications see no evidence of that whatsoever. Obama is intent on releasing all of the detainees, even though those who remain are clearly the “worst of the worst.”

The recidivism rate is quite high at around 30%, but Obama seems to believe that the danger that he would be blamed is higher for keeping Guantanamo open than…

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Living standards during the Industrial Revolution

A Warning from Greece About Greedy Politicians

International Liberty

Greece is special, though not in a good way.

The nation has such a pro-welfare mentality that pedophiles get disability benefits. And the regulatory mindset is so nutty that you need to submit a stool sample if you want to create an online company.

2300-greece0708-a1While those are bizarre examples of foolish government, Greece is probably best known for bailouts. Lots of them.

The politicians spent too much money and drove the economy into a ditch. And ever since, they’ve been trying to tax their way back to solvency, apparently oblivious to the fact that the private sector can’t rescue the economy if it’s being taxed into oblivion.

And that’s not idle rhetoric. A new report from The Economist gives us a very good warning of what happens when politicians get too greedy.

The story starts with an anecdote about a Greek entrepreneur who failed. But…

View original post 667 more words

The Duke of Wellington was not normally known for his wit

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NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.

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