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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 12:34 pm 
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Well AECL claims that ACR-1000 could make $1000/kW eventually.

Not sure I believe it but that would seriously push down on OCGT operating regimes (they may only cost $300/kW but they have a fuel cost that is not essentially zero).


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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 3:14 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
Tesla's battery pack costs about 50 thousand dollars. With mass manufacturing this is expected to drop into the 20-30 thousand dollar price range. But still very expensive for an offgrid home PV installation. It would mean 20 thousand dollars every 10-15 years or so. Even then there is still a possibility of several bad solar months in a row, it is called winter, the probability of such an event is 1 per year. Even in the Mojave desert the PV output in winter is much lower than in summer. Even with a 85 kWh battery system you risk blacking yourself out in fully offgrid.

This isn't going to happen. People that have a grid nearby will suck on that tit, and play pretend at being green with their battery-less solar PV system.


I believe the 50 grand quote is already wrong, it's more like less than 25 grand already. They sell the 60kWh model for US$ 75k (before subsidies), if the 85kWh costs 50k, then the 60kWh would be US$ 35k, with profits plus the rest of the car's cost US$ 40k, I don't think so. They also sell the 40kWh model with a 60kWh battery limited by software, so they would be loosing a lot of money on that offer. The customer can latter pay the difference and have the software limitation removed to get 60kWh.

If I have one information I can teach you without any doubt is: "Trust Elon Musk". Heck we need an Elon Musk of Nuclear. If we had one, perhaps we would already have a working LFTR test reactor. He might be the most hard working billionaire on earth (at least the hardest working engineer billionaire on earth).

Those battery packs will get bellow US$ 10k before 2020. Realize Tesla is using industry standard 18650 cells, while most other EV vendors insist on using custom designed formats. So Elon gets 100% of the benefits of notebook / laptop / tablet / smartphone demand scale. Actually now it's more like the computer industry getting the benefits of Tesla demand. He works with Silicon Valley mentality (continuously falling price / kWh prices).

Panasonic, Toyota and Daimler Benz are significant shareholders of Tesla. They buy stuff from Panasonic and Daimler Benz, and sell complete electric power trains to Toyota and Daimler Benz.

A landslide majority of Tesla customers convince at least 2 neighbors to buy one (it's more like just give them a free test drive and they fall in love with the car). There are customers that made over 20 sales happen (and the car has been in the market for less than 20 months). It's like the Internet viral equivalent for cars. They are investing almost zero in marketing, to avoid frustrating new customers with the production backlog delay.

Sorry for the off topic tangent.

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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 4:55 pm 
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Yes, checking the figures, the 50k pack cost is outdated, it is more like 20k, for the 85 kWh pack

http://insideevs.com/tesla-battery-in-t ... ost-cases/

Still, the point stands, people aren't going to spend $20k in a battery pack so that they can go off the grid (not to mention in addition to the solar installation costs!). Even $10k every 15 years would be a big price, and you get big blackout risks in winter - 85 kWh is not enough for the winter months even for quite frugal energy users. Solar capacity factor last month was around 1-2% for systems in my area (similar climate to Germany). Just when most electricity is needed.


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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
Yes, checking the figures, the 50k pack cost is outdated, it is more like 20k, for the 85 kWh pack

http://insideevs.com/tesla-battery-in-t ... ost-cases/

Still, the point stands, people aren't going to spend $20k in a battery pack so that they can go off the grid (not to mention in addition to the solar installation costs!). Even $10k every 15 years would be a big price, and you get big blackout risks in winter - 85 kWh is not enough for the winter months even for quite frugal energy users. Solar capacity factor last month was around 1-2% for systems in my area (similar climate to Germany). Just when most electricity is needed.


The off grid comment wasn't very smart, I grant that. But rather connecting to the grid and self generating 90+% of electricity needs, yearly average. Charging you batteries with off peak (11PM - 6AM I assume) electricity in the winter. That would also allow to sell electricity right at peak hours outside of nov-jan period (5 to 9PM I think) at a premium over heavy sunlight hours. This should pay for $10k in battery packs. The argument that battery packs don't last long is true if you do full cycles everyday. Tesla expects their packs to last 7-8 years in heavy usage, they do some very extensive management of what cells to discharge from and charge to, greatly maximizing battery life, and any smart energy storage solution from now on must have that. Li-ion cells last a lot longer if you cycle the cells 20% to 80%, so they discharge cells to 20%, and then prefer to recharge cells at 20% first, and when picking a new group of cells to discharge from, they pick the ones fully recharged to 80% levels first.

Also, a good part of Li-ion cells are raw materials, in the near future you will get a credit for shipping your trading in your old batteries, because it's much cheaper to smelt the used batteries than to mine new materials. And the ratio of the cost of raw materials go up as batteries become cheaper. So when a new 85kWh costs US$ 10k, it's very likely you'll get 30-40% of that as a trade in credit.

And this also assumes that solar panels won't become much cheaper from now and 2020. They should more than half in price. Elon made a statement that today solar panel cost is like 25% of a Solar PV solution. Most of the cost is installation, regulatory costs, the grid tie in / inverter. So even right now, there are still a lot of low hanging fruit to lower the cost.

Bottom line is solar PV will eventually be installed with twice the user's peak electricity demands, so that they can still make up for rainy days and winter shortfalls, and it will cost less than it does today.

Any pessimistic analysis for solar is just as unfair as the pessimistic analysis of new nuclear, the nuclear ones are even more unfair, since nuclear is currently lacking production scale, but solar PV production still have room to grow by at least 1000%, further economies of scale will ensue.

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Last edited by macpacheco on Feb 07, 2014 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 8:42 pm 
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macpacheco wrote:
Bottom line is solar PV will eventually be installed with twice the user's peak electricity demands, so that they can still make up for rainy days and winter shortfalls, ...

So they'll use the grid for seasonal energy storage? That only works in a fossil fuel dominated grid. And don't forget that fixed costs dominant home electrical bills (even though today, those fixed cost are usually prorated into the per kWh charge), by 20 years from now, all sunny places will have been forced to restructure electric rates to show a high fixed charge and much lower per kWh rates (i.e. to more fairly share fixed cost with solar net-metering customers).

There are two paths from which to chose: one leads to a 30/70 mix of renewables and fossil fuel, and the other is 60-90% nuclear. The issue that blocks higher renewable penetration is the variability, and high cost for storage. The main issue that blocks acceptance of nuclear is that it destroys jobs and profits in the fossil fuel industry. The fact the renewables are being welcomed in fossil-fuel loving Germany suggest that their fossil fuel industry does not consider them a serious threat.


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PostPosted: Feb 07, 2014 9:50 pm 
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Nathan2go wrote:
macpacheco wrote:
Bottom line is solar PV will eventually be installed with twice the user's peak electricity demands, so that they can still make up for rainy days and winter shortfalls, ...

So they'll use the grid for seasonal energy storage? That only works in a fossil fuel dominated grid. And don't forget that fixed costs dominant home electrical bills (even though today, those fixed cost are usually prorated into the per kWh charge), by 20 years from now, all sunny places will have been forced to restructure electric rates to show a high fixed charge and much lower per kWh rates (i.e. to more fairly share fixed cost with solar net-metering customers).

There are two paths from which to chose: one leads to a 30/70 mix of renewables and fossil fuel, and the other is 60-90% nuclear. The issue that blocks higher renewable penetration is the variability, and high cost for storage. The main issue that blocks acceptance of nuclear is that it destroys jobs and profits in the fossil fuel industry. The fact the renewables are being welcomed in fossil-fuel loving Germany suggest that their fossil fuel industry does not consider them a serious threat.


Humm, I'll need to repeat this with every post... Solar for Germany is stupid. I'm talking about latitudes between 35N and 35S roughly (ideally between 30N and 30S).
Solar for Germany is stupid, but for Italy it starts making sense, specially the bottom half of Italy. Solar makes zero sense for Canada, but south of San Francisco it does.
You need areas that get at least 4:1 isolation between the best summer/worst winter day with fixed solar panels. You do know that even in a rainy/cloudy day very little sunlight gets reflected back, most of it just looses focus, but still makes it through.
The other aspect is the closer you get to the equator, the stronger and consistent off shore/shore wind gets. Strong and regular tradewinds. Wind for Brazil is a credible energy source, because it blows the strongest in the dry season, balancing out with Hydro, and we're mostly an equatorial/tropical country, so we have sunlight to spare. Where I live the minimum daylight is over 10 hours/26 South (and most of our land is even closer to the Equator). But our electricity is highly government controlled, with billions vested in hydro (70% of our electricity is Hydro), natural gas (11%) mostly produced by a government majority oil company (Petrobras), and most long distance transmission lines operated by 3 govt companies (Eletrobras, Furnas and Eletronorte), and our 2 nuclear plants operated by yet another govt company (most of those companies are public, but govt retains 51% of shares). So feed in tariffs aren't coming here, cause govt don't want to give away their electricity profits and taxes. They are going to implement a smart grid, just so they can charge us even more for peak electricity. Brazil's govt solar policy is off grid with a few show and tell grid connected utility scale plants (less than a typical gas powerplant's worth). If we went Germany, we could offset the 20% of our electricity that is produced by fossil fuels easily. But then would all natural gas produced by Petrobras be consumable for process heat and vehicles ? If we shifted a large majority of our cars to natural gas, how would it affect Petrobras profits from Gasoline ?
A huge mess. That's my yucky Brazil.

We have a huge ethanol program. Ours is actually cost effective because its from Sugar Cane. We've had it since the 1970s. It works. But an ethanol plant is forbidden from opening up an ethanol station and selling directly to the public, because they are required by law to only sell automotive ethanol to fuel distributors. Those sell to the gas/ethanol/natural gas stations.
We also have a huge automotive natural gas program. Most of our cabs run on natural gas.

Most of our new cars are tetrafuel (can run on anything from pure gasoline to pure ethanol and anything in between plus natural gas, just need to install the gas cylinders), with over half of the installed base at least able to run on our gasoline+ethanol blend and pure ethanol. But we're like England, we produce lots of oil, but pay soo much taxes on petrol it looks like we have to import everything.

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Last edited by macpacheco on Feb 08, 2014 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 1:34 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
There is nowhere near enough biomass to go around.

A lot of agricultural wastes are burnt off. Forest wastes are also burnt off. Still there are wildfires.
https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&g ... _PNIGfGDnE
If all this and organic municipal wastes are briquetted, There will be enough feed for methanol based liquid fuel.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 5:16 am 
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http://dupontconsulting.files.wordpress ... _speed.jpg

Brazil wind looks very poor, with some minor exceptions in the most eastern parts, which are not big enough for a large reliable contribution from wind.

Winds near the equator tend to be poor. This is the part of the world where air is heated by the sun and therefore flows mostly vertical. Not good for wind turbines. There are a few exceptions, mostly notably Somalia (Horn of Africa). It has world class wind and world class solar resources.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 5:47 am 
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Cyril R wrote:
http://dupontconsulting.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/3tier_5km_global_wind_speed.jpg

Brazil wind looks very poor, with some minor exceptions in the most eastern parts, which are not big enough for a large reliable contribution from wind.

Winds near the equator tend to be poor. This is the part of the world where air is heated by the sun and therefore flows mostly vertical. Not good for wind turbines. There are a few exceptions, mostly notably Somalia (Horn of Africa). It has world class wind and world class solar resources.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fAEksaTAX2A/T ... brasil.gif

Over 8,5m/s sustained winds or at least 30km/h.

Buddy I lived in that area for 3 years. 5 degrees south latitude. In the dry season, the winds blew all day and night, at surface level. So one Km away from shore they must blow at least 35Km/h at turbine blade levels (but they are so strong, you don't need off shore turbines anyhow). Dry season is about a continuous half of the year. Wind power in that time will be so constant, it's a baseload source. And we have about 10% of our population a few hundred miles away from those shores. With 2000 Km of shore, total potential should be in the 100GW low balling it.

My dad was the top local executive for Vale (the Brazilian mining multinational) in charge of the port for the first 5 years of operation in the 80s. Today it's the largest iron ore exporting port in the world, should be close to 200 million tons/yr volume.

Plus the tides are so strong they could produce some electricity by just running turbines to catch the up and down tide cycles. 7 meters total vertical variation, some flatter beaches had up to 500 meters horizontal tide cycles. That area has one of the strongest sea tide movements in the world. It was a big challenge for the port just keeping those aircraft carrier sized super ore carriers tied in.

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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 6:36 am 
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Buddy I have lived in a windy country for almost three decades. We get 25% capacity factor from the onshore fleet. Some on the coast are performing at 35%, in a 9 m/s average regime. This is not baseload at all.

Ireland is even more windy than my country, and it is more windy than almost all of Brazil.

http://www.withouthotair.com/c26/page_187.shtml

That is not baseload at all, it is a fickle energy source.

The problem with wind is the power goes up to the ^3 of wind speed. That means a 30% reduction in speed which seems not so bad, actually cuts your power by almost a factor of 3.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 6:51 am 
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http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.co ... er-brazil/

They are currently getting 40% capacity factor and are expecting 45% with bigger turbines.

That is not actually very good (similar to Ireland) but in Brazil's case it will make sense if the turbines are cheap, in case of hydro-electric power dominating a grid. The hydroelectric plants are easy to throttle, and are zero emissions so no increased throttling emissions.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 7:06 am 
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Here is a graph of the total primary energy supply in Brazil that puts things into perspective.

http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/BRTPES.pdf

The fossil fuel consumption has tripled over the last 40 years.

Whereas geothermal, solar and wind combined barely show up at all even after 40 years of development.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
Here is a graph of the total primary energy supply in Brazil that puts things into perspective.

http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/BRTPES.pdf

The fossil fuel consumption has tripled over the last 40 years.

Whereas geothermal, solar and wind combined barely show up at all even after 40 years of development.


Sorry for the 90% off topic, but I think anybody that deals with worldwide nuclear politics should understand Brazil (which is very average for Latin America).

Very true, because govt isn't providing cheap loans to increase ethanol production, and car ownership has skyrocketed in the last 2 decades, more than making up for the introduction of natural gas as an auto fuel (which is still a fossil fuel). Worldwide sugar demand is shifting ethanol production back to sugar (India used to export sugar, now they are importing from Brazil and others). Also we have zero EVs (maybe 0,001% of the fleet). Brazil is what China and India will be in 15+ years, but we're still totally a developing country. We're right at that point where car ownership is becoming available to 50% of the population (it used to be like 30% 25 years ago).

Wind, solar and geothermal for Brazil are an untapped resource, we don't have much geothermal potential actually (no volcanos, faultlines, so thick crust). We're in the process of building two huge dams that will add over 15GW to our grid. The radical greens tried to attack it as uneconomical, even got a few popular artists to buy their cool aid, but where quickly disproven by facts. Some wind farms were built without the grid connection, generating something like half a billion USD of yearly losses for unused electricity for the few years it's taking to build the transmission lines, you know stuff that would never happen in a serious country. We have our third LWR in construction, Angra-3, essentially we have a single nuclear plant with 2 reactors operating and a third one in construction. They are installed in a middle sized city, 100 miles from Rio and 250 miles from Sao Paulo, 500 miles from Belo Horizonte (our three largest cities), so we have zero noticeable public anti nuke outcry. Govt recently announced plans for nukes close to the 5 largest cities in the country. We have green peace and even less education, I bet this will be even worse than Germany / USA.

Brazil is in part a disgrace...

The biggest problem is the 50% least educated of our people. You have no idea what our rednecks are like. We don't have literacy rates. Govt have a standard that if someone can sign his name and read a few sentences he's alphabetized. Just enough the dumb guy can vote (voting is mandatory here). Almost 50% of our population haven't completed elementary school. Over 2/3 don't have high school, only 12% have a 4 year degree or more. And the countryside has areas with only 12% completion of elementary education. You guess what kind of politicians we elect with that kind of education. Most people have no clue about the difference between the executive, legislative and judiciary. Specially between the executive and the legislative. Plus our school system is too heavy on theory and have zero practical education (no experimental labs, no practical home economics, no practical basic macro economical education). I'm one of the lucky ones that was smart enough to digest all of that theory and figure it our in adult life.

Still Brazil is the worlds grain barn. We just about produce twice as much food as we eat, exporting the balance (and still have lots of arable land unused). Essentially we only import foods that can't be grown in tropical / equatorial land, as we have very little temperate land. We're close to exporting one hundred million tons yearly of soybeans, corn, sugar, coffee, beef, chicken. We export something like one quarter billion tons of iron ore per year. We have significant oil reserves (the expensive type to extract, think BP horizon like exploration). Flex fuel cars were invented in Brazil. We have our silicon valley of sorts. We have the third largest producer of aircraft in the world (Embraer).

But our dumb people keep electing Fidel Castro/Hugo Chavez wannabes. We have enough of a powerful industrial society and free press that keeps them in check (from doing a Venezuela style coup), but the people keep electing those populist dumbasses. The funny thing is they don't even bother to try to combat internal criticism, only when criticism gets abroad, then they care, cause it hurts foreign investment. And thankfully the Soccer world cup plus the upcoming Olympics is putting Brazil is the worlds spotlight like it has never been. Our corruption level is legendary, but beaten hands down by our govt absurd incompetence (except for collecting taxes, they're very good at that).

But we have a powerful long distance electric grid (able to transfer tens of GWs over very long distances, and we have areas as good as California's death valley for solar, plus the windy shore, so wind and solar can work here, way better than Germany) and a nationwide natural gas pipeline. Hydro can easily load follow. On a country as disperse as the USA.

If it were up to me I would get rid of 100% of fossil fuels for electricity (except for small remote locations that aren't connected to the grid yet, a few % of total demand), with nuclear, wind and solar. Until we have a reactor like LFTR that can go from foundation to operational in a few years, wind is irresistible because it can be brought online in a quarter of LWR schedule. Nuclear would make up for long term growth in baseload demand.

With all natural gas diverted to auto and process heat we could export more oil to those still needing it, and make a few extra billions. But this would take Germanic industrial efficiency, we're quite the opposite.


BTW, there's a difference between high latitude gusty/inconsistent winds and tradewinds. That whole area I pointed out have sustained strong winds, so if average wind electric production is 60% capacity (over the dry season), then at least 40% is baseload individually, and the average over 2000Km of wind turbines will smooth out to an even higher combined baseload. And with 70% of our grid from hydro, we have lots of load following sources. Right now we're exactly in that critical time, starting a drought period predicted to be longer than usual, which puts huge strain on our hydro resources, while the wind is humming non stop in the north. The goal is saving hydro reserve capacity, hydro can load follow to make up when needed, so we can survive the whole dry season without blackouts due to hydro reservoirs in critical status. I lived in New Hampshire for 2 years, it's windy there too, but it's not consistent, you have days without wind, it's mostly windy due to front passage, high and low pressure areas. Huge difference with tradewinds, that most exist only in tropical/equatorial areas. That's why wind makes more sense in Hawai than in the CONUS, even though maximum winds in Hawai are much lower, because they are consistent. If you can make 20-40% production 99% of the time from a wind turbine, it's much better than 10-70% oscilations from day to day. You need to go there to understand it.

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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 4:42 pm 
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As you can see from the Ireland wind data, the wind output even in a windy country on a fleet level, is not baseload at all. There are in fact many hours of well under 10% combined wind output so it's fair to state the capacity credit is very low.

This doesn't matter too much in Brazil because of hydro flexibility and zero emissions. Good old hydro. But it isn't a feature of wind. Wind's unreliable and fickle even on fleet level in a windy area. The credit is where credit's due - for hydro-electric plants.

As is the case with all reliable, industrial scale energy sources, large hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants are hated.

Brazil has very little sustainable geothermal potential. As has EVERY country in the world. Its stored heat that is replenished sloooowly. The sustainable sucking rate is something like 0.1 Watt/m2. Which is an order of magnitude worse than wind farms. Areas that get more power than this aren't sucking heat sustainably. It should be considered a fossil fuel with the benefit of no CO2 emissions.


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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2014 6:16 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
As you can see from the Ireland wind data, the wind output even in a windy country on a fleet level, is not baseload at all. There are in fact many hours of well under 10% combined wind output so it's fair to state the capacity credit is very low.

This doesn't matter too much in Brazil because of hydro flexibility and zero emissions. Good old hydro. But it isn't a feature of wind. Wind's unreliable and fickle even on fleet level in a windy area. The credit is where credit's due - for hydro-electric plants.

As is the case with all reliable, industrial scale energy sources, large hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants are hated.

Brazil has very little sustainable geothermal potential. As has EVERY country in the world. Its stored heat that is replenished sloooowly. The sustainable sucking rate is something like 0.1 Watt/m2. Which is an order of magnitude worse than wind farms. Areas that get more power than this aren't sucking heat sustainably. It should be considered a fossil fuel with the benefit of no CO2 emissions.


I'm giving zero actual credit to wind, it's has a tiny participation in our grid. I'm touting it's potentials. I think half of our natural gas thermal runs on a seasonable basis (exactly the period our wind is strong, hydro does the hour by hour load following), we could shift that natural gas to wind + solar in the same way. If we could half our hydro production in the dry season, he could uprate those dams for more production in the rainy season (sometimes we need to open the bypass valves because of too much water).

I'm doing what I can to try to create a pro nuclear environment in Brazil. I'm joining Rotary International exactly because it's one of the few circles that is comprised of mostly pragmatical/rational enterprising people that are strong opinion formers potential. And Rotary members can visit other clubs, so I have a chance to give a pro nuclear message to thousands of people that could propagate that message to far more people. I'm trying to create a pro electric vehicle, pro nuclear, rational environmentalism vision, but I know nobody else in my state than even has the same activism I have. I'm planning to give Kirk's TED YYC presentation to my club in a about a month, in Portuguese.

But Brazil's nuclear research is mostly Uranium enrichment. I believe we made a deal with the French to get their nuclear expertise to build our first nuclear sub, that stuff isn't openly publicized except for very, very shallow/incomplete information. Brazil have no history of investing billions in govt money to commercialize new technologies, plus we have our extremely corrupt govt.

I don't think we will ever agree on the difference between trade winds in northern Brazil and Ireland. For instance where I live we have wind, but it's gusty and varies a lot from one day to the other, unlike the northern shore. Wind here isn't good. Wind in the northern shore is. Ireland is like where I live, probably stronger winds, but inconstant.

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