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Comment: Re:Great story of unintended consequences (Score 1) 118

>After half a century of unpredicted swings of boom and bust the fishery managers are gradually moving toward restoration of something that resembles, at least faintly, the original lake trout and perch ecosystem.

Which will also be subject to unpredicted swings of boom and bust.

The idea that there's ever a balance of nature where the populations are stable is a complete fantasy, unpredictable swings are the norm. Ecologies are virtually always chaotic systems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48156033) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

No, smoking reductions absolutely are 100% definitely due to government intervention, and it's extremely instructive and important that that is so. Much of the initial critical medical research came from Britain, and Britain has a national health service; it's socialised medicine.

And the thing that finally has killed smoking as a thing in the West was passive smoking.

Passive smoking was something that was (in a loose sense) invented by government health agencies, specifically to kill smoking.

By invented, I don't mean that that it's not true that passive smoking is harmful- that certainly is true, it is harmful carcinogens, no, I mean the concept that passive smoking is harmful... AND SO it cannot be done in places of work.

That really, really put the kibosh on smoking.

And THAT's a regulation; it was specifically THAT regulation that enormously diminished smoking.

Before that regulation, smoking was hanging right on in there, the smoking companies were able to pretend that smoking wasn't extremely highly addictive, and that it was 'relaxing' or some such bullshit.

It really was that way around. And that's normal. Governments have a responsibility and genuinely are best placed to enforce regulations with respect to safety and fraud. Really, the tobacco companies were enforcing a fraud on the population that cigarettes are safe. Even the smokers didn't really believe it, but they were addicted.

I am actually pretty libertarian, but when right-libertarians try to argue that it's personal responsibility whether or not there's sugars of lead in my wine or not; I can only laugh at them and their efforts to explain how I could ever realistically test the products I buy. Governments of course don't routinely test products, but they do do random checks. And that smoking was morally unacceptable came from governments.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48153499) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Stopped smoking? No, but smoking rates are way down, and some of this is definitely due to taxation. People are driving relatively economical vehicles over here, where petroleum is more expensive. I have no idea what you mean by 'fair and balanced climate research' except I know that anthropogenic global warming is very, very real; because the hard science says that it is. If you really believe it isn't: you've been lied to.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 4, Interesting) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48138667) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Partly, but it's not enough.

When the wind blows very strongly, Denmark already, even now, generates more than 100% of their national electricity demand. That's because wind can vary by a factor of 3 or so above the average; so once you get to 30% or so, when there's strong winds over the whole country, it completely dominates.

Meanwhile, Norway has a lot of hydroelectricity. So when the wind blows hard they export the excess to Norway, and Norway shuts down their hydroelectricity- it holds back its water temporarily. When the wind drops they turn the hydroelectricity back on more and power Denmark off the hydro with the water they've saved. The overall result is a very even power supply, and no carbon produced.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 2) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48137239) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

The previous idiot was claiming that a wind turbine can produce 200% of its nameplate capacity; but by definition the most it can produce is the nameplate capacity.

Now, you, you're claiming that wind power requires a large spinning reserve. The information I have is that this is false. The reality is that there's very little spinning reserve used for that purpose; wind forecasts are used to predict wind power generation several days in advance, and generation is bought in and out as needed in the normal way they would when demand changes.

There are indeed some costs associated with warming up plants to bring them online when wind is predicted to drop, but they're much smaller than the value of the power produced by wind farms.

Incidentally, wind farms cannot lose synchronisation in the way you state; they typically use double fed induction motors; they cannot use simple synchronous generators because the rotor speed changes too much as wind conditions vary.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136787) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

I'm pretty sure that coal is already more expensive than wind- definitely for NEW power plants.

But basically, anything that is already paid off is dirt cheap.

This Wikipedia article covers this kind of stuff:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

On the upside though, if something is paid off, it becomes easier to shut it down because it's done its job and nobody owes anything.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136699) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Yeah, but if the government taxes coal more, then they tax wind less, and it will be cheaper, and then the consumers will go for the power suppliers that use more wind and less coal, and then gradually that will come to be reflected in the actual power generators; they will build more wind turbines; and the coal plants will start to shutdown.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136619) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

I'm sorry, but you're very ignorant.

First, no powerplant is ever available 100%. Plants do fail sometimes. Any given baseload generator is supposed to be there with some probability, usually 95% or better; and then backup powerplant capacity is provided to kick in 5% of the time.

Second of all, wind turbines have a generator, and the generator has a rate power, known as the 'nameplate' power. The generator CANNOT generate any more than that; it would burn out. IT CANNOT generate 200% of the nameplate power. You may be thinking of the average power. The average power is the nameplate power multiplied by the capacity factor.

You more or less get the definition of base load correct:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

But you don't seem to have understood how that relates to wind power and backup generators.

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136399) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

It's not really overstated, but it is very good to have wind power over a wide area.

The main advantage of geographically distributed wind power is that it smooths out the changes.

So it still comes and goes, blows really hard, and drops out almost entirely, but it takes hours to do that, because it takes the weather systems time to move around. Whereas if you only have one small wind farm somewhere, the wind can come and go in a few minutes.

The overall effect is that it makes the power much more predictable, the weather forecasts work better and the slow changes give you a chance to kick in other power sources. But it still comes and go quite a lot.

Here's the UK grid, you can see wind power wobbling around in more or less realtime:

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk...

Comment: Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

by WolfWithoutAClause (#48136343) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Base load is power that is available 95% of the time. The other 5% you kick in backup generators. So you need one backup generator for every 20 baseload generators.

The thing is, the wind is practically always blowing a bit.

It turns out that about 95% of the time it's giving you one third of the average power.

So if wind power is giving you 30% of the nameplate power, then it gives you about 10% of the nameplate power as base load.

The rest of the power is variable, but is available on a predictable schedule, known as the weather forecast, and you can schedule the other variable power you around that, and the wind power has the effect of cutting pollution.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

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