Jan’s best picks on Renewables, Geo-Politics, Environment and more

Renewables

I was shocked to read the latest issue of the Economist, which I consider slightly venerable and centre left, I really like to always see both sides of any issue. But their Briefing Renewable energy “A world turned upside down” the hit the center… It  is probably the very best article about renewables I have ever read. I cannot resist to recite.  First see the share of renewables, so that you can realize what is happening with distribution:

Big growth, small share

Now look at what is going on in California (similar to Germany), where people and businesses are installing lots of solar panels and you get a “duck” chart. BUT what is not changing is that at 7pm they have to “from somewhere else” cover their real maximum demand.

Who gets the bill

I never realized what is actually happening “…R. Fuentes of Saudi Arabia think-tank, claims the world is caught in a vicious circle: subsidies foster deployment of renewables; renewables depress power prices, increasing the need for financial support. Theoretically, if renewables were to make up 100% of the market, the wholesale price of electricity would fall to zero, deterring all new investments that was not completely subsidized. ” The brute load of the retail cost of the energy with more and more installations has to be carried with less customers who do not install their own panels. So they have to pay via higher distribution payments but investors shy to finance distribution because the current environment is unpredictable. “Solar cannibalizes its own competitiveness away. It eats its own tail”.  I really encourage you to read the complete article at Economist on-line. Please do not take me wrong,  a clean environment was one of the reasons why I moved to Canada. I like renewables as a alternative and sometimes inexpensive way to clean the environment. But to use them as a tool to stop climate changes is futile and very expensive for the majority of locations. Why do we not rather invest the same trillions of dollars subsidies into making Africa’s filthy “drinkable” water clean, or clean the oceans, or even closer: upgrade sewage of Montreal;-). Why do I think that to control climate changes are arrogant and futile?

Earth Temperature

By the way, when I was last time recommending  you ( I still recommend it to namely Albertans 😉 to see a movie www.climatehustle.org , I was a little bit uneasy  about one fact and that was the polar bear count, which authors claimed is climbing. Well now I can sleep well, all major media last week reported that polar bear numbers are dramatically up, they just adjusted their hunting strategies and “moved off the ice shelf”.

But look at the following graph…I am still eager to hear any logical explanation  (different from boring theory that sun is the major culprit) of temperature wobbling in Pleistocene , when there were no cars roaming the Earth. And dinos were just fine and having lots of greens to eat 40 million years ago. And boy they must have made a lot of methane, maybe that was why Earth was so warm;-). Please ignore the red year numbers, they are just “scientific” predictions.

All_palaeotemps.svg

Geo-Politics

There is a very good independent summary of  why we are where we are now with our political mess which lead to Brexit, election of Mr. Trump, Middle East and Eurozone troubles ( andit is not a thick book) by Richard Haass “World in disarray”.

It is actually ⅔ very good review of history of last 50 years of geopolitics, with emphasis on post Cold War which for sure is not end of history. 1/3 is a blueprint of what should we do.

Business

For those who thought (like myself) that the incredible expansion of all arab airlines such as Etihad, Emirates was just subsidies see next interesting graph from my favorite geopolitical source Stratfor.com:

Population density and Airports.

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