PHYS 310 Sp19 Wk9

We have Monday’s class on Tuesday:

  • Take a quick look at all the new articles on the ECEEE news website.
  • We will renew this assignment next Monday, so if you go very light on this now, that’s OK. Go to the REN21 website and read the 2018 report: global renewable energy development written for the investment community (or at least this is how it seems to me…  you tell me if you agree). Read the whole 100s pages document if you like or just the executive summary. 
  • Do PS#8, due today
  • Maybe the most important thing to say about solar is the price of PV. While I’ve talked about this plenty in the past, please have a look at the graphs on my research page.
  • Please about solar power in DH’s Book: 433-441
  • read about what Borenstein sees as California’s next step. Where does he use “market mechanisms”, and “where the market fails”. What does this mean? What does he say about creation of knowledge?
  • Please read one article about the possible US withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
  • Please see video: Concentrated Solar and slides
  • Please read this article on improving infrastructure and consider three questions:
    • $2 trillion… is that a lot? Of course, what this question should mean is to find a way to compare it to something that makes sense. For instance, how much is this per US American? Or better yet, per US American family?
    • $0.25 per gallon gasoline tax? How long would it take to bring in $2 trillion at the rate we use petroleum?
    • Would you consider this a market mechanism? To what degree is this internalizing an external cost? To what degree is it just raising money and not internalizing an external cost?

Wednesday’s Class

  • Take a quick look at all the new articles on the ECEEE news website.
  • Surveys: Please take the university survey for this class. The link was sent to you via Email.
  • Please read: What’s going to happen when solar is free and batteries are really cheap? Collapse of the Grid?
  • Please see PS#8 solutions, posted on main class website.
  • Regarding the Paris Agreement, I refer to a letter I wrote to our commissioners regarding green innovation and the California Economy. Please consider it.
  • Please take a look at this From the Economist
  • Please read about the Carbon Tax in South Africa. Please calculate, under such a tax, how much would California marginal electricity costs? Would it make a difference?
  • Please review in DH’s Book:  554 – 560 on finances
  • I often hear people complain that there’s nothing we can do about CC because of air travel. Well, there’s a lot of answers to that. One is that air travel constitutes 2% of GHG emissions, so I think they should look at how the cup is 98% full. At the same time, there’s lots of things we can do with air travel to reduce or eliminate combustion-related emissions. One cool thing is this electrostatic drive they are developing at MIT, although even they say this isn’t appropriate for large vehicles.

During Class

  • Assessment #7

Friday, Permaculture

Before Class:

  • Please see solutions to assessment #7 posted on main class website.
  • I assigned these next three readings in week 5 with climate change. I don’t think we made time to discuss them. We’ll make some time Friday. Please review them again. 
  • Please see Story of Stuff
  • Please see Pete’s Energy Experiments at Home
  • Driving to Net Zero, Stories of Hope for a Carbon-Free Future is a book Edited by David Hrivnak. Please read chapter 8, which I wrote about our house: Ten Years with a Bucket of Shit, and My Efforts to Live Consistent With My Values.
  • (don’t bother reading) This article describes how the cost of climate change is more than what has been already calculated because the impact will be much greater on the days of greatest strain on the electrical system.
  • Is being connected to the grid important? For some it is, please see the changes brought by grid connection.
  • Work on your project.

During Class

After Class: