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Comment Time for Blockchain? (Score 1) 134

Considering some of the world's top financial services corporations are working on ways to incorporate Blockchain for many types of transactions, perhaps it's time for the retail world to jump onboard too. It could allow consumers and retailers to connect directly and form online networks, removing the need for middlemen and do it securely.

Submission + - SPAM: Nikola Motor Co. Received 7,000 Orders In A Month For Its 2,000HP, Hybrid Semi

Lucas123 writes: Start-up Nikola Motor Co. announced it has received 7,000 orders representing $2.3B in potential sales for a hybrid semi-truck that will sport 2,000hp, a gross weight of 80,000 pounds and will have more than a 1,200-mile range. The tractor-trailer dubbed the Nikola One will be revealed on Dec. 2 at the company's headquarters in Salt Lake City. The semi-trailer will have a 320 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery pack, along with a 150-gallon fuel-agnostic turbine, which can be configured to run on various kinds of fuel, including diesel or petroleum. The standard model will have a natural gas tank. The Nikola One will also have regenerative braking technology, an energy recovery mechanism that will slow the vehicle by converting kinetic energy into a form that can be stored until needed. Nikola claims the semi-trailer will cost half as much to operate as traditional diesel trucks.
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Submission + - The end of fossil fuels is coming, renewables are set to overtake gas and coal (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydroelectric, will overtake natural gas as an energy source by 2027; Ten years later, those same renewables will surpassed the largest electricity-generating fossil fuel: coal, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Solar and wind will account for almost 60% of the $11.4 trillion invested in energy over the next 25 years, according to Bloomberg's New Energy Outlook 2016 report. One conclusion that may surprise, Bloomberg noted, is that the forecast shows no golden age for natural gas, except in North America. As a global generation source, gas will be overtaken by renewables in 2027. The electric vehicle boom will increase electricity demand by 2,701TWh (terawatt hours), or 8% of global electricity demand in 2040. The rise of EVs will drive down the cost of lithium-ion batteries, making them increasingly attractive to be deployed alongside residential and commercial solar systems.

Submission + - Nikola Motor Co. Unleashes Hybrid Semitrailer Truck w/2,000hp, and 520hp UTV (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Coming out of stealth mode this week, the Nikola Motor Co. announced it will begin offering a hybrid semitrailer with 2,000hp, capable of pulling a gross weight of 80,000 pounds and that will have more than a 1,200-mile range between stops. The semi will run on natural gas and a 320kWh lithium-ion battery pack that will recharge via the truck's turbine. The company also announced an all-electric utility vehicle (UTV), the Nikola Zero, with 520hp that will have a 125-mile range. The UTV will retail for $42K and the semi will cost $375K, almost twice that of a typical long-haul rig. Nikola Motor claims, however, the semitrailer will cost half as much to operate as traditional diesel trucks. The company is also offering 100,000 gallons of free natural gas with the truck, enough for a million work miles. "This offsets the entire cost of the truck allowing for a return on the investment in first month," a company spokesperson said.

Comment Re:What about (Score 1) 530

The problem with your suggestion is that we if allow a nascent and developing renewable energy industry to compete against an entrenched multi-billion fossil fuel industry that has been receiving trillions of dollars in subsidies worldwide for decades, it is not a fair fight. Just last year, the fossil fuel industry received $5.3 trillion in subsidies, or 6.5% of global GDP, according to a study by the International Monetary Fund.

So the playing field is already uneven, and renewables have to date received a tiny fraction of what the fossil fuel industry has been receiving for decades. At its peak, in 2011, the renewable energy industry worldwide received $88 billion in subsidies.

As we know, or as is obvious, renewables offer the greatest promise for the future of energy. Taking subsidies from the fossil fuel industry and "wisely" investing it in renewables only makes sense.

Submission + - Consumer Shift Away From Leasing To Owning Their Rooftop Solar As Prices Drop (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The cost rooftop solar systems has dropped by more than half over the past decade, from price of a luxury car to an economy compact. While leases and power purchase agreements spurred early adoption of distributed rooftop solar, as the overall cost of ownership has plummeted, they may no longer be the best option. Consumers are taking notice and are beginning to shift away from third party ownership of their solar systems. Last year, 72% of residential solar systems in the U.S. were owned by a third party, such as SolarCity, Vivant Solar and Sunrun, but by 2020 direct ownership of rooftop solar systems will surpass third-party ownership in the U.S. residential solar market.

Submission + - White House releases smart gun report with proposals to spur the technology (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: A report commissioned by the White House and involving the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security Departments has begun a process to define, for the first time, the requirements that manufacturers would need to meet for federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies to consider purchasing firearms with "smart" safety technology. They've committed to completing that process by October, and will also identify agencies interested in taking part in a pilot program to develop the smart gun technology. The DOD will help manufacturers test smart guns under "real-world conditions" at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. Manufacturers would be eligible to win cash prizes through that program as well. In addition to spurring the adoption of smart gun technology, the report stated that the Social Security Administration has published a proposed rule that would require individuals prohibited from buying a gun due to mental health issues to be included in a background check system.

Comment Mr. President, we must not allow a moon base gap! (Score 0) 105

If they have more moon-base space than we do, they could breed more, and possibly take over when they come out. They might even try a quick, sneak attack, so they can take over our moon base space. They might even try to knock over a couple of other countries and take their moon-base space.

Submission + - Study Finds Solar Panel Reliability Varies Wildly, Efficiency Can Plummet (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: A new study by international certification body DNV GL has found that the resiliency of photovoltaic modules can vary widely among manufacturers with some panels dropping below acceptable standards of efficiency when subjected to environmental tests. The number of photovoltaic module manufacturers taking part in the research varied from 17 to 22, depending on which of five tests administered to the panels that participated in. The study found that solar module efficiency could drop by up to 58.8% depending on the manufacturer and the test. However, "many PV modules performed well across all tests," according to the report. For example, eight manufacturers' products degraded less than 3% in solar conversion efficiency after undergoing a thermal cycling test four times. Somewhat surprisingly, where the panels were manufactured had little to do with their quality. From 55% to 60% of the top performing modules were manufactured in China, according to the study. "This demonstrates that manufacturing location is not a good proxy for reliability," the study stated.

Submission + - Rooftop Solar Could Provide 39% of U.S. Energy Needs (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: A federal study has revealed that if solar panels were installed on all suitable rooftops throughout the U.S., it could generate 39% of the country's energy needs. Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) spent three years studying 128 cities and found 83% of small buildings have a suitable location for PV installation, but only 26% of the total rooftop area on those buildings is suitable for development. The researchers then extrapolated the findings to the entire continental U.S. Even using just 26% of the total rooftop area, the potential for power generation is enormous. The total national potential of rooftop solar power is 1,118 gigawatts (billion watts or GW) of installed capacity and 1,432 terawatt-hours (trillion watt hours or TWh) of annual energy generation.

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