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Comment Viability of renewables (Score 1) 250

Whether renewables will work in isolation for you is going to depend on a number of other variables, such as how big the space you need to heat is under your roof, how big the roof is, and the thermal efficiency of the building.

Even in Central Europe during winter you should be able to generate 1kW from around 8m2 of solar photovoltaic panel. That 1kW is sufficient to power a heat pump capable of providing around 3kW of heat. You can do your own calculations about how much you would need to scale that up by based on your own space measurements.

As others have said everyone can benefit from using solar thermal to heat their hot water. For a short while now there's been a new technology called thermodynamic panels that combine solar thermal technology and a small compressor, working a little like an air-to-air heat pump. These are highly efficient and depending on how much hot water storage you have you might be able to pump it through a radiator system to provide central heating. Again for an off-grid solution you'd need PV to provide the baseline power for it, but it would be in the order of magnitude capable of being supplied by solar.

Lastly, depending on how much control you have you might be able to rebuild or rework the actual building construction. If you can do this to a high enough level you might consider a Passivhaus which would drastically reduce the space heating requirements.

Comment Article fails to understand watts (Score 3, Informative) 287

This article would be a whole lot more impressive if the author actually knew what a watt was. The article repeatedly uses kW/hour even though this is not a measure. You either have a kilowatt (measure of power, or energy over time), or a kilowatt hour (amount of energy that running one kilowatt for an hour, or kilowatt MULTIPLIED BY hour, consumed).

Saying "average consumption is 1-2 kW/hour" is just nonsensical. If you mean that consumption is 1-2 kilowatt-hours, then over what time? Or more likely you just mean that average consumption is 1-2 kilowatts.

Comment OK to continue (Score 1) 230

If browsers treated HTTP GET nowadays like they have treated HTTP POST (i.e. pop up an annoying modal dialog that says "This connection is untrusted. Are you sure you want to continue?"), I daresay this would motivate everyone to move to HTTPS.

The problem is the web of trust and the cost of getting certificates. There needs to be a mechanism for getting a free or trivial cost certificate if you are not a corporation.

Comment Re:Not changed much (Score 1) 294

If you go back 30 years you'd probably have had to write the language you were going to use and an interpreter or compiler for it. You would absolutely have had to know about the database design, although the database would have been made up of byzantine interrelated b-trees rather than intuitive SQL tables. You'd have had to write everything from scratch for each task rather than leveraging huge libraries for everything. Things are many times easier these days yet you still find articles like this that bemoan how complicated everything is.

Comment Comparison inherently bad (Score 1) 409

The paper does not distinguish between solar PV, solar thermal, and solar water heating, which are all completely different technologies with completely different scales of efficiency.

It does not distinguish between wind turbines sited on land and wind turbines sited at sea, despite the fact that the latter cost approximately 10 times more than the former to build and maintain.

Overall because of this conflation the results it comes up with are inherently flawed. Please try again.

Comment Re:Not a private police force. (Score 1) 133

it's not private, not under the control of the companies in the CoL

The police authority for the City of London Police is the Common Council of the City, which is the Corporation of the City of London. According to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 there is no elected commissioner replacing that police authority.

In the rest of the UK police authorities were phased out in 2012 and replaced by Police and Crime Commissioners, however there were two police forces that were exempt from this, the Met (whose PCC is the Mayor of London) and the City of London Police whose authority remains with the Corporation.

It answers to the Corporation. You are right that UK taxes pay for it but it is far from being a publicly accountable police force.

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