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Comment: Net metering (Score 1) 517

by Strange Attractor (#48009549) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

I don't know what's going on in Germany now. Thirty years ago, according to a German I knew, you had to pay for the power you didn't use if you generated your own.

But bringing up spinning reserve and dispatch issues is helpful. The research paper from LBL that spawned the Cmputer world article has the title "Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities". The key is "Net-Metered". In the two locations that I know about, customers are paid at least the same price per kilowatt-hour for energy that they provide as they pay for energy that they consume regardless of time. Since the cost of energy in electrical power girds changes over time, such pricing is not appropriate. Also as Luckyo points out, there is a cost for providing "spinning reserve" which is the capability of providing additional power on a fraction of a second's notice. Such reserve is necessary in order to have reliable power delivered to variable loads.

Comment: Why talk about war but avoid talking about gas? (Score 1) 789

I am shocked/amazed/disappointed that there is so much talk about war, but no serious consideration of Europe trying to get through the winter without Russian gas. War is incomparably worse than burning your furniture to keep warm. If Europe can't begin to figure out how to get by without Russian gas, I, as a US citizen, don't want my country participating in any kind of military activity to support them.

Comment: Re:Why municipal broadband? (Score 1) 250

Because it is a natural monopoly. Other natural monopolies, like roads, water, sewer, electric power and gas are either public (in my town) or are regulated monopolies. Internet access is a uniquely profitable unregulated natural monopoly. I recommend buying stock in the operators.

Comment: Text file (Score 5, Interesting) 170

by Strange Attractor (#46801301) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

You are right.

I use simple text files. I like them more than paper notebooks because:
1. I can edit them from anywhere that I can use ssh
2. They are easy to search
3. They are easy to back up

The comments (including the parent) that suggest simple text files and editors have all been modded down to 0. I don't understand why.

Comment: Short lived greenhouse gases help persuade (Score 1) 102

If people let enough methane escape to change the climate, it would be a short term disaster and teaching opportunity. It seems better than releasing enough CO2 to get the same change in temperature, because with CO2 the the effect would last so much longer.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden