Renewables Reality Check: Giant Batteries No Solution to Wind Power’s Chaotic Delivery

STOP THESE THINGS

South Australia is Australia’s wind and solar capital: resulting in an unstable grid and the world’s highest power prices.

One wheeze in purported answer to the debacle above was Elon Musk’s giant 100 MW lithium-ion battery. It cost taxpayers a cool $150,000,000 and delivers occasional spurts of power to the grid, whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

Its principal purpose is to allow the nearby 200 MW Hallett Power Station a few minutes lead time to fire up its 12 unit, open cycle gas turbine plant, to thereby avoid a total grid collapse when wind power output collapses – as it did on 24 January (see above), when the state was hit by heatwave and 29,000 households were left powerless.

The dual fuel plant can run on gas, but, more often than not, it’s running on diesel and spewing tonnes of filthy, noxious, particulate matter into…

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How seawater strengthens Roman concrete

Do people want a new centrist party?

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Seven Labour MPs have resigned the party whip. It’s not clear what they plan to do next but many commentators assume that the formation of a new centrist party will be the eventual outcome

Is there a market for a new centrist party though? Nick Barlow thinks not. He wrote a piece on ‘the centrist fallacy’ last year in which he looked at data from the British Election Survey. He found that most people think their own political views are in the centre ground even when they are not. So lots of people might say they would support a centrist party but wouldn’t actually like its policies when it came to an election. He also found that, based on the questions in the BES, the electorate skews to the left on economic issues and to the right on social issues.

The FT’s John Burn-Murdoch plotted the same data on a…

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Image

book spotlight: the coddling of the american mind by lukianoff and haidt

orgtheory.net

coddlingDisclaimer: I’m a member of Heterodox Academy and I spoke with Jonathan about the book while it was being written. I am totally biased but don’t blow out of proportion!

The Coddling of the American Mindis a book about two things. The first might be called the “rise of sensitive people.” That is, people now seem to be a bit on the fragile side. Say something awkward on Twitter and you might have thousands of people mocking you. Or say something about race or gender in a class, and people will get on your case. In my business, the Trustees of your university might go on a rant if you are on the wrong side of the discussion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Surprisingly, the book is also a self-help book. This is because Haidt and Lukianoff ascribe the rise of sensitive people to the counter-productive ways of thinking…

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Originalism and defamation

Notes On Liberty

Today, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a solo opinion urging the Supreme Court to reconsider a hallmark case in First Amendment law–New York Times v. Sullivan. That case held that defamation claims brought by public figures had to meet a heightened standard of proof by showing “actual malice” by the alleged defamer. The basic premise is that muscular use of private defamation suits discourages criticism of public figures and thus clashes with First Amendment interests.

Justice Thomas’s primary complaint with this standard is that judges created it with a wave of the wand rather than a serious analysis of the original understanding of the First Amendment. He points out that the ratifiers of the Constitution gave no indication that they intended to abrogate the long-standing common law of libel that had existed in the colonies and England for centuries. For those who believe that the Constitution’s meaning should reflect…

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California’s continued marijuana black market

Save the oceans – stop recycling plastic @greenpeace

Labour’s Decarbonisation Plan

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/12/labour-plan-decarbonise-uk-green-jobs-climate-crisis

Rebecca Long-Bailey has moved forward (or backwards) on Labour’s plans to decarbonise the UK.

The woefully inadequate Long-Bailey has only got the job of shadow business secretary because she is a hard left acolyte of Jeremy Corbyn, for whom most of his MPs refuse to work for.

Her latest move is to gather together trade unionists, industry leaders, academics, engineers and public institutions to look at the detail. No doubt this will be the usual bunch of renewable lobbyists, paid up members of the green blob and marxist academics.

But I have come across a document she put out last September, which offers some insights into how Labour will start to try to meet its manifesto promise that 60% of UK energy would be low carbon by 2030.

It consists of four strands:

Currently there is offshore capacity of 8 GW, due to rise to 14…

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KiwiBuild: the Reserve Bank and crowding out

croaking cassandra

Last week, in association with the Monetary Policy Statement, the Reserve Bank published a short separate paper outlining how it was treating KiwiBuild for forecasting and monetary policy purposes.   The bottom line was

The Bank has assumed that half to three quarters of what KiwiBuild contributes to residential investment will be offset by crowding out of other private investment over the forecast horizon.

It isn’t that different an assumption than they have been making since the current government first took office.   This was what they wrote in the November 2017 Monetary Policy Statement

The Government has announced an intention to build 100,000 houses in the next decade…..our working assumption is that around half of the proposed increase will be offset by a reduction in private sector activity.

But, of course, then they refused to show us their workings or give us any supporting analysis.

I made brief…

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Peter Singer said something useful: social progress is the expansion of the circle of people we value, have same moral sense towards as our initial in-group ( defined in hunter gatherer times)

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