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Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 215

Solar power is completely viable almost anywhere, not just in equatorial regions and deserts. Germany makes a huge amount of power with it, and their climate is not sunny at all (look at their latitude on a globe).

Solar capacity factor in Germany is on average only about 10%. Where they really struggle is in winter months, when their power usage is actually higher, but solar is almost non-existent on many days. "viable" is a subjective term, but I wouldn't agree it makes a lot of sense in Germany. Wind is much more productive for them.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 2) 215

This is an area where I think autonomous vehicle actually may have the biggest impact. My fly vs drive cutoff is usually about 5 hours of driving. Below that driving wins the time vs convenience battle. If I have a car that can drive me, I''l significantly increase that time, probably to 8 hours, or even more. I could have the car drive overnight while I sleep, then no need to take a flight then rent a car, work around flight schedules, etc.

In short, fully autonomous vehicles could cut into business travel flight as well as personal flights, but it could put more cars on the road at any given time and increase road congestion. It also may breed a new type of vehicle... the sleeper car, where you have a full bed or two (or more). That might actually result in some bigger vehicles on the road.

Comment Re:Wot? (Score 1) 79

Labor to install a traditional roof is dirt cheap. A few guys can knock out a pretty big roof in a day. Whatever Tesla is selling is going to require some underpayment or other prep as well. The labor to install the solar roof will likley be a fair amount more expensive per hour and will take a lot longer. I think if you do a regular roof and traditional solar panels, you'll come out significantly less expensive.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 230

Modern ceramic materials in fuel pebbles are much more resistant to abrasive dusting, and simple filtering limits the amount of airborne dust that could migrate outside containment. High pressures are not required in gas reactors, they can operate near atmospheric pressure. strontium and cesium movement never were significant issues, just overblown scare tactics and they are minimized with the minimization of dusting and the use of triso particle embedment. If desired, exterior filtered enclosures can provide further containment of the dust in unlikely events, but in reality there is little danger posed by the small amount that could migrate even in a massive rupture, which really won't happen since the vessel isn't significantly pressurized. Its just a scare tactic by those that spread FUD.

Pebble movement and average mix that controls localized heating is easily rectified by increasing pebble count in a larger vessel, while new pebble design allows for much large heating ranges to be perfectly safe.

Yes, there was an experimental reactor in Germany over 40 years ago. Much was learned from it and much has been developed since. Personally I prefer a prismatic over a pebble bed design because it significantly reduces dusting, but dusting is quite manageable either way.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 230

Actually, my error, I thought I was linking to a different table that included debt and overhead in its definition.

Here is one that is clear, which shows leveled cost including all those factors plus more. (if link gives you trouble, google 'ier_lcoe_2015.pdf')

As I said, existing nuclear and coal are pretty comparable. P19 shows coal, P20 shows nuclear both spanning the 60 to 100 &/mwh range.

Comment Re:Mature technology (Score 1) 230

I'll stop using Germany as an example if you agree they are not a good example, but it seems renewable lobby like to point to Germany as the prime example. Please let me know, but I suppose you want it both ways, and just want to ignore issues when it is convenient. Meanwhile, look at the power charts for Germany and see just how intermittent solar really is.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 230

You are some decades back with your "knowledge". Modern windmills last minimum 30 years ... no idea what was installed in the US during the 1970s and early 1980s. Germany started pretty late ... around 1985. The windmills in the area where I grew up, are all still running. They are all older than 30 years.

You must have been sleeping when they replaced the generators. Just because the same base is used, doesn't mean they were not replaced.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 0) 297

Does it matter if the drone operator was in the wrong? That does not give the hillbilly permission to shoot it. How about the next time his pickup truck exceeds the speed limit or parks illegally, we set it on fire. Is that OK?

If he is remotely operating a large vehicle in such a dangerous fashion on your property, you might be we within your rights to do so.

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