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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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NOAA Model Finds Renewable Energy Could be Deployed in the U.S. Without Storage

Regulars to DUEE might recognize that this NOAA study is an expansion of the work Kempton did in the PJM Interconnect. For those that don't, I've added it as the second excerpt.

NOAA Model Finds Renewable Energy Could be Deployed in the U.S. Without Storage

By Monica Heger
Posted 25 Jan 2016 | 16:30 GMT

The majority of the United States's electricity needs could be met with renewable energy by 2030—without new advances in energy storage or cost increases. That’s the finding of a new study conducted by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The key will be having sufficient transmission lines spanning the contiguous U.S., so that energy can be deployed from where it’s generated to the places where its needed.

Reporting their results today in Nature Climate Change, the researchers found that a combination of solar and wind energy, plus high-voltage direct current transmission lines that travel across the country, would reduce the electric sector's carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Conventional thinking around renewable energy has been that it is too variable to be broadly implemented without either fossil fuels to fill in the gaps or a significant ability to store surplus energy, says Sandy MacDonald, co-lead author of the paper and previously the director of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory. However, MacDonald thought that previous estimates had not used accurate weather data and so he wanted to design a model based on more precise and higher resolution weather data.

In the study, the team used historical and projected carbon dioxide emission and electricity cost data from the International Energy Agency, which projects that U.S. electricity will cost 11.5 cents per kilowatt hour, on average, in 2030, and that carbon dioxide emissions will be 6 percent above 1990 levels.

They designed a model called National Electricity with Weather System that took into consideration demand across one-hour time increments as well as generation capability. The main constraint of the model was that it had to use existing technologies...


From 2012
Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time

We model many combinations of renewable electricity sources (inland wind, offshore wind, and photovoltaics) with electrochemical storage (batteries and fuel cells), incorporated into a large grid system (72 GW).
The purpose is twofold:
1) although a single renewable generator at one site produces intermittent power, we seek combinations of diverse renewables at diverse sites, with storage, that are not intermittent and satisfy need a given fraction of hours. And
2) we seek minimal cost, calculating true cost of electricity without subsidies and with inclusion of external costs.

Our model evaluated over 28 billion combinations of renewables and storage, each tested over 35,040 h (four years) of load and weather data. We nd that the least cost solutions yield seemingly-excessive generation capacity - at times, almost three times the electricity needed to meet electrical load. This is because diverse renewable generation and the excess capacity together meet electric load with less storage, lowering total system cost.

At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we nd that the electric system can be powered 90%e99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs compa- rable to today’sdbut only if we optimize the mix of generation and storage technologies.

Interesting factoid in Register's polling results


3rd and 4th table from the top asking if the respondent has caucused before or if this is their first.

The R table of respondents who intend to go red shows 40% first time attendees and 46% having caucused with Rs in the past - 5% caucused with Dems in the past and 8% have attended both parties' caucuses.

The D table shows of blue intentioned respondents 34% are first time causes-goers while 55% have caucused with Dems before, - 5% have caucused with Rs in the past and 5% have caucused with both.

The percentage of new caucus-goers over time in previous polls

R: Oct 17% Dec 24% Early Jan 29% today 40%

D: Oct 19% Dec 25% Early Jan 26% today 34%

Is America an Oligarchy? (New Yorker article on academic study)

APRIL 18, 2014
Is America an Oligarchy?
From the Dept. of Academics Confirming Something You Already Suspected comes a new study concluding that rich people and organizations representing business interests have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy. After examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, the political scientists Martin Gilens, of Princeton, and Benjamin Page, of Northwestern, found that the preferences of rich people had a much bigger impact on subsequent policy decisions than the views of middle-income and poor Americans. Indeed, the opinions of lower-income groups, and the interest groups that represent them, appear to have little or no independent impact on policy....

The original study:

From the Sept 2014 journal "Perspectives on Politics"

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page

Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

The last paragraph of their findings:

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a wide-spread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

"...America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

I don't know if we will get another chance to change things if we wait for them to further consolidate their power. I especially believe that Hillary's court appointees will not be inclined to limit the power of money.

A Panel of Experts Trying to Defend Walmart From Bernie Sanders? Awkwaaard

A Panel of Experts Trying to Defend Walmart From Bernie Sanders? Awkwaaard
by Brandon Weber

Here’s a radical idea: How about a huge corporation whose owners—the Walton family—have more money than God (actually, more money than 40 percent of the American people) pays its people a living wage with medical benefits?

I know, I know, just dreaming. John Lennon once wrote, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

And economist Robert Reich, who shows up at 4:50, nails it:

“Senator, I do not think that taxpayers in this country ought to be subsidizing the wealthiest family in this country or any company and any corporation that is paying its workers so little that those workers, in order to have a decent living, have got to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and so on. That is corporate welfare of the worst kind. But more broadly, let me simply say that Walmart is the largest employer in the United States. It is paying its workers, if you include its part-time workers, on average $8.80 an hour. Now, compare that to 1955, when the largest employer in the United States was General Motors and it was paying its workers in today’s dollars $37 an hour.”


Bernie Sanders: Thank you, madam vice-chair. One of the interesting aspects of discussions about the economy and income inequality inside the Beltway, as opposed to back home in the real world, is the very different tone that we hear.

The idea that anybody could suggests that we are not seeing massive increases in income and wealth inequality is beyond my comprehension. If you go outside of the Beltway, there is no debate about that.

The idea that anyone could suggest that today the economy for the middle class is anywhere near where it used to be is beyond comprehension, I think, to the vast majority of the American people....

More at: https://www.good.is/articles/bernie-v-walmart

Panel begins debate on reducing operators’ liability for nuclear accidents

Preparing for the NEXT disaster by protecting those who cause it.

Abe Gambatte!

Panel begins debate on reducing operators’ liability for nuclear accidents
The Japan Times Online
JAN 25, 2016

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission has started full discussions by experts on whether to limit the liability of nuclear plant operators to pay compensation in the event of an accident.

Currently, nuclear operators in Japan bear unlimited liability for damages, but some experts say a ceiling of their responsibility is needed.

The discussions are expected to be heated, as limiting liability would raise the problem of how to compensate people and businesses affected by a nuclear crisis.

For the March 2011 catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is facing full liability under the nuclear compensation law.

Because Tepco can’t afford paying off all compensation demands while also funding decontamination work...

Sanders v Clinton on issues

Bernie on the brink: The latest New Hampshire numbers reveal a national trend

Bernie on the brink: The latest New Hampshire numbers reveal a national trend
The more the public is exposed to Sanders, the more popular he becomes -- and he's got the Donald totally whipped


This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet The latest New Hampshire Democratic primary poll indicates not only a current reality in that state, but an underlying and far more important national trend, a trend exhibited in N.H. that has bearing more broadly throughout the country, and that shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders already well on the road toward locking up the Democratic nomination, barring any future game-changing disclosures about one or both candidates, which are always possibilities in any political contest, and can never be ruled out. The same poll also shows Sanders performing more strongly against any Republican than Hillary Clinton would. This is not the way things looked to most prognosticators back on April 30th when Sanders started his campaign.

On June 1st, I bannered, “My Prediction: Bernie Sanders Will Win the White House,” based upon the early indications being clear, even then, that he would have a higher net-favorability rating from likely Democratic Presidential primary voters than Hillary Clinton. (The same analysis, from many polls, indicated also that Sanders would likely beat any Republican candidate in the general election.) Whereas far more Democrats at that time were familiar with Clinton than with Sanders, and therefore Clinton scored far higher in the national polls then than he did (and so she was presumed to be the contest’s front-runner), the determinant of the future trendline for any candidate is net-favorability ratings, especially comparing “strongly approve” versus “strongly disapprove,” which ratios tend to be, especially at such an early stage in a contest, a far better predictor of the contest’s ultimate winner than are the sheer poll-numbers at such a time. What the latest New Hampshire poll, taken now near the end of the contest in N.H., shows, is that the campaign in New Hampshire, as it is nearing its end, is increasingly displaying a strong edge over Clinton that Sanders has on this most crucial of all ratios, which is propelling him toward a substantial margin of victory in this, the first, primary state.

The CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary Poll, sponsored by WMUR-TV and CNN, and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, randomly surveyed New Hampshire adults and found 420 who indicated that they intended to vote in the Democratic Presidential primary on February 9th. Here are the results:

More than nine in ten (91%) likely Democratic Primary voters have a favorable opinion of Sanders, only 7% have an unfavorable opinion of him, 2% are neutral, and 1% don’t know enough about him to say. Sanders’ net favorability rating is an almost unheard of +84%.

Former Secretary of State and 2008 New Hampshire Primary winner Hillary Clinton also continues to be popular in the state – 65% of likely Democratic Primary voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, 26% have an unfavorable opinion of her, 9% are neutral, and 1% don’t know enough about her to say. Clinton’s net favorability rating is +39%.

Sanders’ net favorability rating...

The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person who is doing it

The scene was a person climbing a mountain with this narration:

"The person who says it cannot be done,
should not interrupt the person who is doing it"

The subsequent logo read:
Changing the face of medicine

With a final slogan:
For Health, For Life

I'd love to change the Mount Sinai logo to Bernie 2016.

I don't think it's available online yet.

Mount Sinai Health System Launches “For You. For Life.” Television Campaign

NEW YORK, NY – January 11, 2016 /Press Release/ ––
Mount Sinai Health System, one of the nation’s largest health care systems, launched its first television commercials as part of its “For You. For Life.” campaign in local markets on January 10, and will reach national markets beginning January 25. The television ads will supplement an extensive print advertising campaign launched last summer aimed at highlighting Mount Sinai’s commitment to lifetime compassionate care, unrivaled education, and breakthrough research.
The ads were designed by New York-based agency DeVito/Verdi.
“Mount Sinai is one of the most innovative health care systems in the nation, and we want to share our message with a variety of audiences – that we are here for you, for life,” said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. “Our print, along with our new television campaign, enables us to capture, in strong messages, how our health system is redefining science and medicine in the 21st century. These commercials convey to the diverse communities we serve how special our health care providers are, the deep relationships they have with our patients, and beyond that, a sense of our revolutionary solutions to the challenges that face the health care industry.”

Wealth Inequality in Motion.

Tag: Wealth Inequality

Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time

by Michael I. Norton and Dan Ariely


Disagreements about the optimal level of wealth inequality underlie policy debates ranging from taxation to welfare. We attempt to insert the desires of "regular" Americans into these debates, by asking a nationally representative online panel to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to "build a better America" by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality. First, respondents dramatically underestimated the current level of wealth inequality. Second, respondents constructed ideal wealth distributions that were far more equitable than even their erroneously low estimates of the actual distribution. Most important from a policy perspective, we observed a surprising level of consensus: All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.

Go to this link to download the original paper:

From Dan Ariely's blog:

Wealth Inequality in Motion.

I recently came across this video that some talented person made of a study I conducted on wealth inequality a few years back with Mike Norton. It does a great job covering the main findings regarding the differences between what Americans think the distribution of wealth is (somewhat even), what they would prefer (more even than socialist Sweden), and how wealth is actually distributed (the bottom 40% of Americans possessing less than 0.3% of total wealth, the top 20% possessing 84%). The graphs, and a longer explanation, are also available here.

The only thing I wish he emphasized a little more is how similar the results were for Democrats and Republicans, which I found very hopeful. Even with all the ideological polarization in Washington, the moment we ask the question of ideal wealth distribution in a general and less self-interested way, we seem to be a country that cares a lot about each other.


Will it be
"Democracy Of, By, and For The People"
Or Not?

Make your choice known
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