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Comment Re: The US government (Score 2) 187

The UK government were 'wiretapping' Germans in WW2 and cracked their encryption. They then spent a lot of time bugging the IRA. More recently they have foiled a large number of Islamic and Irish dissident plots thanks to various forms of wiretapping. However when it comes to wiretapping Israel are the top dog. Israeli companies write the software that controls US phone networks and have been caught spying on Americans many times. It usually gets brushed under the table. Google "Fox News Israeli Spying On US" to hear it from a network that would normally be very supportive of Israel.

Comment More war crimes (Score -1, Flamebait) 82

The world is tired of US meddling. It seems that nowadays the USA is all about people being openly racist, destabilizing the middle east and making paper tiger threats against Asian countries. Them they claim other people are 'the terrorists'. Maybe we need to build a firewall to keep Americans off the net until they stop being douchebags.

Comment Re:Capacity factor (Score 1) 172

Both depend on mother nature providing the goods. Climate change is affecting many hydros especially in Central America where they have gone several years without a decent amount of rainfall in the "rainy seasons". What you end up with is hydros sitting at the minimum kWh output because it's a lot drier than it used to be. And so the carbon burning generators need to make up for that.

Comment Re:BFD (Score 2) 172

With hydro you often have to get permission to drill a long tunnel through a mountain. Some governments are ok with this, but as seen in La Esperanza, Honduras where environmentalist Berta Cáceres was executed, sometimes the locals are not too happy about seeing their rivers and resources taken and other environmental impacts that a hydro can cause. You end up with big companies taking the law into their own hands. Wind, especially offshore is easier because it's a bit more out of the way and doesn't impact people's lives in the same way.

Comment Re:Capacity factor misused again! (Score 1) 172

Our privately owned hydro supplemented the power running on the publicly owned national grid (who mainly used carbon based generators). The national supplier couldn't power the city without us, and we couldn't power the city without them. So when the grid power failed the people in town often mistakenly blamed us. This happens a lot in countries where the national grid is badly managed. You do on the whole try to keep the water usage a little bit lower than what is coming in from the rivers. This is averaged out during the day. Sometimes you can increase the intake at certain parts of the day. If your contract with the grid pays more per kWh during peak periods then obviously you're going to want to generate as much power as possible during the day. Then you might have to make up for that during the off-peak periods by using a lot less water to balance things out. Our town often had a low voltage at night, probably for that reason. A few times the operator mistakenly used too much water during the night and generated too much off-peak power. That was pretty much throwing money away.

Comment Re:Capacity factor misused again! (Score 2) 172

I wrote the software to monitor water levels and and generation for a 13.5MW hydro. Here's what happens when the water levels are low, at least in our place. The operator in the control room presses a button* which causes less water to go through the turbines. This creates less kW but means you can save water. If there are multiple generators (we had four) then you can also disable one or more of those. That also saves water. We were pretty much running all the time, but sometimes had to manage the output using the methods I've described. If you're completely running out of water then you're doing it wrong. *Our 'button' was on a proface screen that used modbus protocol to control a relay which opened and closed water valves, allowing the operator to control water usage and kW output.

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