UK solar power subsidies for home owners in death spiral

UK solar power subsidies for home owners in death spiral

Petrossa:

This isn’t a UK only development, all ‘early adapter nations’ are changing the system from subsidized to monetized. Logical consequence from short term policies. At a certain moment too many people apply for subsidy so a tax needs to be levied to compensate. In this instance it’s a fair one, the user pays. Finally. Sure buy solar panels which never ever are going to attain rated capacity in the northern hemisphere, but pay the real rate for installing 1 Mw/h solar/wind and only getting at best 10% return on investment. As it is now those nations which invested heavily in ‘renewable (as in: perpetual mobile)’ energy generation have the highest tarifs for electricity. For example 1 kW/h consumerprice will go for 0.40 euro in Denmark but only 0.10 in nuclear France.

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Originally posted on Tallbloke's Talkshop:

[image credit: newsolarpanels.co.uk] [image credit: newsolarpanels.co.uk]
Looks like curtains for small-scale solar in the UK if the planned new rate of 1.63 pence per kilowatt hour is approved. Financial reality is starting to catch up with ‘green dreams’ in the UK as BBC News reports.

The UK government says it plans to significantly reduce subsidies paid to small-scale green power installations. Under the proposals, the amount of money paid to home owners and businesses producing electricity from roof-top solar and small wind turbines will be limited from January 2016.
Subsidy schemes could be closed to new entrants from the start of next year.

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Psychology is not a science

Psychology is not a science

The Reproducibility Project results have just been published in Science, a massive, collaborative, ‘Open Science’ attempt to replicate 100 psychology experiments published in leading psychology journals. The results are sure to be widely debated – the biggest result being that many published results were not replicated. There’s an article in the New York Times about the study here: Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says

This is a landmark in meta-science : researchers collaborating to inspect how psychological science is carried out, how reliable it is, and what that means for how we should change what we do in the future. But, it is also an illustration of the process of Open Science. All the materials from the project, including the raw data and analysis code, can be downloaded from the OSF webpage. That means that if you have a question about the results, you can check it for yourself. So, by way of example, here’s a quick analysis I ran this morning: does the number of citations of a paper predict how large the effect size will be of a replication in the Reproducibility Project? Answer: not so much

 

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Germany and ‘renewables’ not a good match

Germany and ‘renewables’ not a good match

Citing a recent estimate from a leading German economic think tank, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Monday that annual costs of 28 billion euros per year were being handed down to German consumers for the Energiewende.

That means an average household, or one that consumes some 3,500 kilowatt hours in a year, pays about 270 euros annually for Germany’s pivot toward green energy.

“The energy transition began with the assumptions that energy costs in this country would remain manageable and remain internationally competitive. Neither have materialized,” Barbara Minderjahn, the chief of Germany’s Association of the Energy and Power Industry (VIK), told Handelsblatt.

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Vegans eat water

Vegans eat water

Take collard greens. They are 90 percent water, which still sounds like a lot. But it means that, compared with lettuce, every pound of collard greens contains about twice as much stuff that isn’t water, which, of course, is where the nutrition lives. But you’re also likely to eat much more of them, because you cook them. A large serving of lettuce feels like a bona fide vegetable, but when you saute it (not that I’m recommending that), you’ll see that two cups of romaine cooks down to a bite or two.

The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my supermarket. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes or just about any frozen vegetable going, any of which would make for a much more nutritious side dish to my roast chicken.

Lettuce is a vehicle to transport refrigerated water from farm to table. When we switch to vegetables that are twice as nutritious — like those collards or tomatoes or green beans — not only do we free up half the acres now growing lettuce, we cut back on the fossil fuels and other resources needed for transport and storage.

Save the planet, skip the salad.

Washington Post

Thinking about logical consequences

Thinking about logical consequences

Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War

The signing of a Munich-class agreement with Iran that hands it more than it ever hoped to pull off represents a shocking, craven American capitulation to an apocalyptic crazy state: a North Korea with oil. Nothing in Western history remotely approaches it, not even Neville Chamberlain’s storied appeasement of another antisemitic negotiating partner.

But it also augurs the possibility of a nuclear war coming far sooner than one could have imagined under conventional wisdom worst-case scenarios. Following the US’s betrayal of Israel and its de facto detente with Iran, we cannot expect Israel to copy longstanding US doctrines of no-first-nuclear-use and preferences for conventional-weapons-only war plans. After all, both were premised (especially after the USSR’s 1991 collapse) on decades of US nuclear and conventional supremacy. If there ever were an unassailable case for a small, frighteningly vulnerable nation to pre-emptively use nuclear weapons to shock, economically paralyze, and decapitate am enemy sworn to its destruction, Israel has arrived at that circumstance.

Why? Because Israel has no choice, given the radical new alignment against it that now includes the US, given reported Obama threats in 2014 to shoot down Israeli attack planes, his disclosure of Israel’s nuclear secrets and its Central Asian strike-force recovery bases, and above all his agreement to help Iran protect its enrichment facilities from terrorists and cyberwarfare – i.e., from the very special-operations and cyber forces that Israel would use in desperate attempts to halt Iran’s bomb. Thus Israel is being forced, more rapidly and irreversibly than we appreciate, into a bet-the-nation decision where it has only one forceful, game-changing choice — early nuclear pre-emption – to wrest back control of its survival and to dictate the aftermath of such a survival strike.

Would this involve many nuclear weapons? No – probably fewer than 10-15, although their yields must be sufficiently large to maximize ground shock. Would it produce Iranian civilian casualties? Yes but not as many as one might suppose, as it would avoid cities. Most casualties would be radiological, like Chernobyl, rather than thermal and blast casualties. Would it spur a larger catalytic nuclear war? No. Would it subsequently impel Russia, China and new proliferators to normalize nuclear weapons in their own war planning? Or would the massive global panic over the first nuclear use in anger in 70 years, one that would draw saturation media coverage, panic their publics into urgent demands for ballistic missile self-defense systems? Probably the latter.
More depressing insights

Why You’re Fat and why it’s not bad

Why You’re Fat and why it’s not bad

As a genus, humans, from Homo sapiens (that’s us) to our extinct ancestors Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus, are wanderers. Over the vast majority of our history, which spans hundreds of thousands of years, we have roved from place to place, inhabiting a wide range of habitats. We moved with the seasons, we moved to find food, we moved — perhaps — just to move. Our adaptability was our key adaptation, an evolutionary leg-up on the competition. The ability to store fat was vital to this lifestyle. Body fat cushions internal organs, but it also serves as a repository of energy that can be readily broken down and used to power muscles. Humans might fatten up at one environment, then move on to another. When food was scarce, we could count on our fat to sustain us, at least temporarily.

Chimpanzees, on the other hand, are localized to specific environments where food is often plentiful, primarily the forests of West and Central Africa. Fatty stores of energy aren’t required, but strength to climb food-bearing trees is. Natural selection favored brawn, causing chimps to shed fat as unnecessary weight.

Interestingly, this may have hindered chimpanzees’ brain development. Human brains are about three times larger than chimp brains, and this may be because we exchanged muscle for fat. Muscles and brains are metabolically expensive, requiring gobs of energy to function. With less muscle and more fat, humans had more energy to dedicate to brains.

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In other words, fat is good but as with all good things overdoing it isn’t , which leads us to the question what is overdoing it. As i see it, fashion dicatates nowadays a bodyfat percentage way below what’s healthy for us. Having a ‘sixpack’ might satisfy current esthetics but isn’t a sign of good health. People with a higher bodyfat percentage have less risk of diseases, recover more easily from disease/medical interventions and are overall more robust.
Less Fat, less healthy

Fat is not bad

Obesity research fatally flawed