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the market and government interacting on energy supply

"Technicians at the town's smart-grid center monitor and manage the utility's roughly 3,000 regional energy suppliers: several thousand solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, two wind parks, one gas-and-steam power station, six small hydro-electric works, three biomass (wood pellet), six biogas plants, and 48 combined heat and power plants, as well as other conventional and renewable energy suppliers outside the municipality."

Worth a scan, though it's rather short on convincing detail.

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French village's energy meter:  four of the displays
French village's energy meter: four of the displays.
Going clockwise: carbon dioxide saved, current energy generation,
sun's energy in Watts/metre², day's energy production

I was in a village recently that had a monitor on the wall of the Mairie (where the mayor hangs out) that was dynamically reporting the amount of electricity produced and consumed by the village minute by minute.

Part of a newly installed photovoltaic park in Les Landes (2014)
Part of a newly installed photovoltaic park in Les Landes, south-west France

Photovoltaic arrays are taking over former forestry land left by Tempête Klaus, and growing like mushrooms. They probably have a better return than food and trees in the local poor, sandy soil.

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photovoltaics (solar cells)
non-pv (photovoltaic) solar technology
wind power
geothermal systems and heat exchangers

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usa approves first new nuclear power station since 3 mile island 30+ years ago

“U.S. regulators on Thursday approved plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in more than 30 years, despite objections of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman, who cited safety concerns stemming from Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster.

“The NRC voted 4-1 to allow Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. The units will cost Southern and partners about $14 billion and enter service as soon as 2016 and 2017.”

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“The cold snap gripping Europe has forced Germany, which last year decided to abandon nuclear power, to restart several reactors taken off line....”

“In December, Germany imported power from neighbouring Austria to stabilise its network.” [Quoted from]

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nuclear power - is nuclear power really really dangerous?

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world solar challenge analysis

The Tokai University Solar Racer, Tokai University’s entry to this year challenge arrived at Adelaide first after driving the 1,877 miles from Darwin.

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“In friendly competition with others attempting the same goals, the teams depart Darwin aiming to be the first to arrive in Adelaide, some 3000km to the south.

“It's all about energy management! Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.” [Quoted from]

But why did they outdrive the rest?

“Tokai University of Japan were crowned the 2011 World Solar Challenge champions on Thursday, after four-and-a-half days racing through the Australian continent. The Japanese team made huge gains on Day 3 over second and third-placed teams, Nuon of the Netherlands and the University of Michigan.”

“ In short, to gain 30 minutes on Nuna, Tokai had to take seven per cent more out of their battery, have a car that weighs just 10kg less, have aerodynamics that is just five per cent better (which could already be achieved with keeping the car smooth and clean), a panel that can power two small light bulbs more and a little more efficient electronic system. That totals the 10 per cent of energy that Tokai got to spend to increase their lead by 30 minutes.

“Is Tokai the mystical energy powerhouse that people claim it to be?

“No. It’s all in the small numbers as described above. A little bit better here, and a little bit better there can lead to superb results.” [Quoted from]

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Veolia World Solar Challenge
photovoltaics (solar cells)
fuel cells and battery-powered vehicles

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nuclear power and childhood leukemia - no link claim

“Nuclear power plants have been cleared of causing childhood cancers by experts from the UK government's advisory committee, which says experts should now be looking for other reasons – perhaps infections or even viruses – to explain leukaemia clusters in their vicinity.”

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nuclear power - is nuclear power really really dangerous
ionising radiation and health—risk analysis


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