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Author Topic: Is IT Me  (Read 1953 times)

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Offline Autocar

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Is IT Me
« on: November 15, 2019, 08:52:04 PM »
Or is it everyone else is nuts  :D Here a while back GM employees were on strike wanting more money . So what will the price of a new truck go to ? Dosen't make any sense to me so you think you are making more money, everything will go up in price to so you haven't gained a thing. I have always said everyone should make ten dollars a hour ,well except loggers  ;D
Bill

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 09:16:19 PM »
Let me tell you about my former days as a consultant working on legal discovery issues, one client was a major auto parts company, 200k employees or so.  Bitterly fought against unions, etc.  Talked with President for an hour once and asked about all the lobbying expenses in legal.  He said that was the biggest bang for the buck (this was administration agnostic- it is congress which I guess was republican and Obama was President) and that they made millions or tens of millions off of every lobbyist they hired for $500k.  Want to know why you have tire pressure sensors linked to computers in cars...not...lobbyist.  There is $1000/car.  It goes on and on and on.  New "features" are often mandated functions and expensive.  GM doesn't complain because all cars have to have the same and they add $500 on top.

GM union employees have a right to be worried, the company is ill prepared for EVs, management already bankrupted the firm in 2008.  Pensions got wiped and not fully restored.  They build everything they can in Mexico.  Basically the workers are fighting over scraps of a dying company and I don't blame them.  The executives would turn on them in a second and have done nothing to ensure that the company has a future.  All the while Tesla has launched from nothing, amazing things a Tesla.  Auto updates to your system, new features added on the self driving all the time, even tweaking battery features to give a bit more range and power.  Go 300 miles on a charge.  Cost 1/2 as much to do it.  No oil filters.  1/4 the number of parts.  I just can't tell you how impressive a Tesla is to drive, how that instant acceleration feels, how easy.  Just amazing.  They just announced that they'd open their 4th factory in Berlin.  In market cap they have passed the big three and are on their way to deliver a million cars/year in 2020.  

Tesla and the forthcoming EV wave is what that strike was about and it shows how bad GM is when the workers know the employer stinks.  On one side super expensive low utility low reliability vehicles and on the other EVs that are starting to eat margins.  Once Tesla starts selling trucks in high volume you'll see FCA, Ford and GM really have issues and not just BMW and Toyota (the two companies Tesla drivers are most likely to ditch today).  

Just read a research report by BNP (EU bank) and they predicted that Oil was going to have to sell for $10/barrel to be competitive with EVs and renewables by the year 2030 (just 10 years).  Basically that there is no way to bring on big new oil projects at a price point that supports making gas.  Diesel would support $17/barrel.  Anyhow...brave new world.  You are not crazy...you are seeing the natural collision of a highly regulated/lobbied industry vs a new upstart.  History says the upstart always wins (Cars/Horses; Phones/Telegraphs; Cell phones/landlines; etc).  
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Offline low_48

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 11:34:28 PM »
$10 an hour would be one hell of a pay cut for GM CEO Mary Barra. Her compensation was $21.87 million in 2018, about $10,000/hr. Not so much for about 7% of GM's workforce that are now temp workers. Most of them start at $15/hr.

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 06:23:16 AM »
Where will the fuel come from to feed the electric companies so they can make juice?  You just can't pull electrons from the air for free.  As demand for electricity goes up, so will the cost of it.  How many more windmills and solar farms will there need to be?  That is not cheap electricity unless some breakthroughs are made.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Southside

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 08:12:32 AM »
Don't forget about distribution and maintenance of the delivery system. 

Not much capacity left in many transmission systems and nobody likes to see new lines cutting across the landscape. Look at the pushback on any new pipelines. 

Folks  get mad now when the power goes out due to a storm/limb/drunk/etc. The more we rely on it the worse it will be. 
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 08:23:36 AM »
Private solar and wind can take up a lot of the slack. Everyone dumps on "alternative" energy sources saying they aren't a drop-in full capacity replacement for hydro and nuke, but they don't have to be. A little here, a little there, and you don't have to build a new dam or plant.


There's a lot of sun catching roof tops that can hold solar panels of ever increasing efficiency, and average appliances are getting more efficient. I don't have the numbers, and don't really feel like crunching them cause it isn't fun, but there's a lot of room for relatively inexpensive improvement without building up the central grid. With the stormy future, it's better having things less centralized anyway.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 09:03:54 AM »
The worse part of solar energy panels on private property here is that the tax assessor will lay an assessment on them and you will be taxed on the value and production of them!

Lots of people in the area started installing them on their roofs quite a few years ago and then the installations virtually stopped because of the taxes on them!
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2019, 10:33:55 AM »
The local nuclear plant (Three Mile Island) has been shut down.  They couldn't sell their electricity.  Natural gas has beaten them out.  I haven't seen that with the renewables.  The green electricity is too high in price to compete.  We get to choose who we buy from, so we can see the rates they're charging. 

I find it interesting that the Japanese are doing a lot of research and development with hydrogen.  I think that's where the clash will be in the future.  A lot more range currently with hydrogen and you can refill a lot quicker than by charging.  

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Brucer

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 08:49:55 PM »
How many more windmills and solar farms will there need to be?  That is not cheap electricity unless some breakthroughs are made.

The green electricity is too high in price to compete.

The breakthroughs have already been made. "Green" electricity is competitive now. Ten years ago the Province of Ontario was signing long term contracts at $0.28 per kW-h for wind projects. Early this year a power company won a contract to install a wind farm in Alberta at a bid of $0.039 per kW-h. (Those are Canadian $). Current solar projects are in the same ballpark.

The downside to solar and wind is their intermittent nature. But we've already seen an example of a massive tesla battery in Australia that supports a wind farm (and earns money).

I recently looked at the life expectancy of a typical EV battery and found that over a 12 year period, the battery capacity to 20% of its original life :( . But after 5 years or so the capacity is still at 75% of new which is acceptable for most users. At this point the used battery pack can be sold for stationary applications (such a balancing the load from wind and solar farms). In fact, Nissan is using used battery packs to power streetlights in Japan.

So ... wind and power are price competitive and as the number of EV's grows there'll be a steady supply of battery storage units to level the supply of power.


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Offline Don P

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 10:11:18 PM »
With the hassle of maintaining internal combustion engines, as soon as electrics hit an affordable price I'm switching the grocery getter. Hydrogen is still using IC in some form, takes power to produce, liquefies at something like 5000 psi and has been 10 years away my whole life. Those guys are just mining investors.

I'll still need 4x4 trucks and heavy machines and there is nothing like hearing a 4 barrel howl but once the gear is moved I'd be more than happy to commute in something simple and reliable, motors have that over engines in spades. No oil, antifreeze, blown head gaskets and rotting tailpipes. A friend has a Tesla, he popped the hood and showed me the one fluid he has to keep an eye on, the washer fluid, sign me up.  Electrons transport cheaper and easier than liquids, making electrons can be done many ways and even if using fossil fuel it is more efficient at a large fixed plant than burning it in my car. I'd be more than happy to have the charger kick on off peak. If only Mr Tesla were around we wouldn't even need the batteries or wires, he was going to beam the power around ;D.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2019, 02:02:14 AM »
NZ is in the situation were 70-80% of our power IS from renewable. Historically the Govt got in and built some large hydro dams before it became unfashionable. New generation can come from wind, because it works well with hydro and solar. If the wind is blowing, then the hydros can be shut down and "store" power for later, like a big battery. If the solar isn't working, then it's probably windy and raining. Good for other power sources etc. We have Natural Gas stations as peak load too, because combined cycle gas turbine station can be spooled up to peak load in ~15 mins. 

Actual power use hasn't gone up much in recent years as heat pumps and LED lights are more efficient. Electric vehicles may change that, or "Mr Fusion" that's been just around the corner for the last 30 years might actually happen?
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2019, 03:50:39 AM »
Where will the fuel come from to feed the electric companies so they can make juice?  You just can't pull electrons from the air for free.  As demand for electricity goes up, so will the cost of it.  How many more windmills and solar farms will there need to be?  That is not cheap electricity unless some breakthroughs are made.
Renewable energy sources are just killing fossil fuels.  The gains in efficiency for solar are so great that the all in new built price for utility grade solar is below the cost of coal or oil or even NG.  In a year or so it will even makes sense to cut off most of the nukes as the price of solar and wind will be below the marginal cost of the nuke plant that is already built.   Like everything else there is change and for many applications the EV is just a much better value.  Even if the power comes from coal the efficiency of moving an EV means that 80% of energy in the coal actually goes to moving the car.  In an ICE that is 25% ..at best.  Most of the energy I burn in my f350 is dissipated away in the radiator, or exhaust.  Yield is terrible.  
Renewables Achilles heel is reliability.  Analyst expect battery production to soon allow the storage of a energy at prices that offset the costs.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2019, 04:03:55 AM »
The local nuclear plant (Three Mile Island) has been shut down.  They couldn't sell their electricity.  Natural gas has beaten them out.  I haven't seen that with the renewables.  The green electricity is too high in price to compete.  We get to choose who we buy from, so we can see the rates they're charging.

I find it interesting that the Japanese are doing a lot of research and development with hydrogen.  I think that's where the clash will be in the future.  A lot more range currently with hydrogen and you can refill a lot quicker than by charging.  
As others have pointed out NG actually can't compete with the new solar and wind pricing.  That's just going to keep getting closer and closer to zero.  At night in Texas it is not rare to see the wholesale price of power to be $0.00.  They will literally give away that wind energy...of course the Texas grid is terrible due to the stand alone nature of the powergrid (not in synch with the rest of the US).  The new wind pricing is cheaper than the price for hdryo in some cases.  Once wind and solar really get going (still early) you'll see hydro as simply a large battery of energy that will be turned on to smooth the grid.  
The Japanese have dismissed EVs, the rest of the world is pretty sure EV's are going to kill hydrogen.  I personally expect that the Japanese are making a colossal blunder just like with HD Analog TV where they spent billions inventing the clearest and best analog TV..then digital happened and poof....no market for analog.  In a few short years they lost the TV market to Taiwanese and Korean firms.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2019, 04:08:36 AM »
How many more windmills and solar farms will there need to be?  That is not cheap electricity unless some breakthroughs are made.

The green electricity is too high in price to compete.

The breakthroughs have already been made. "Green" electricity is competitive now. Ten years ago the Province of Ontario was signing long term contracts at $0.28 per kW-h for wind projects. Early this year a power company won a contract to install a wind farm in Alberta at a bid of $0.039 per kW-h. (Those are Canadian $). Current solar projects are in the same ballpark.

The downside to solar and wind is their intermittent nature. But we've already seen an example of a massive tesla battery in Australia that supports a wind farm (and earns money).

I recently looked at the life expectancy of a typical EV battery and found that over a 12 year period, the battery capacity to 20% of its original life :( . But after 5 years or so the capacity is still at 75% of new which is acceptable for most users. At this point the used battery pack can be sold for stationary applications (such a balancing the load from wind and solar farms). In fact, Nissan is using used battery packs to power streetlights in Japan.

So ... wind and power are price competitive and as the number of EV's grows there'll be a steady supply of battery storage units to level the supply of power.
Wow $0.03/kw-h is cheap.  Add 100% markup for distribution and you have $0.06.  That's cheap.  
A new Tesla solar roof and a battery pack will be on my shopping list for next summer.  If it happens I'll let keep a journal so you guys can see how it happens and the costs.  Sometimes my planning is "flexible" like anything else in this crazy world of wood.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2019, 04:14:46 AM »
With the hassle of maintaining internal combustion engines, as soon as electrics hit an affordable price I'm switching the grocery getter. Hydrogen is still using IC in some form, takes power to produce, liquefies at something like 5000 psi and has been 10 years away my whole life. Those guys are just mining investors.

I'll still need 4x4 trucks and heavy machines and there is nothing like hearing a 4 barrel howl but once the gear is moved I'd be more than happy to commute in something simple and reliable, motors have that over engines in spades. No oil, antifreeze, blown head gaskets and rotting tailpipes. A friend has a Tesla, he popped the hood and showed me the one fluid he has to keep an eye on, the washer fluid, sign me up.  Electrons transport cheaper and easier than liquids, making electrons can be done many ways and even if using fossil fuel it is more efficient at a large fixed plant than burning it in my car. I'd be more than happy to have the charger kick on off peak. If only Mr Tesla were around we wouldn't even need the batteries or wires, he was going to beam the power around ;D.
I'm in exactly the same place @Don P .  My extended family has a few Tesla's and I can't wait.  A new model 3 long range is getting close to the point it makes sense.   I am hopeful the Tesla pickup they show in a week will be something worth driving.  Worried if the frame/suspension can handle heavy towing, we'll see.  
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2019, 10:45:05 AM »
@nativewolf you are on a roll!  Coffee and chocolate too late in the day?  :D

I agree EV's looking better and better.  I look forward to seeing how the Rivian performs.  Exciting times!

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2019, 12:33:19 PM »
Quote prices for electric in PA.  Base price from utility is $.0567/kwh  Those that are selling 100% renewable is between 20-100% more expensive for a fixed term and fixed rate contract.  You can get quotes on variable pricing that is cheaper or the same, but there is no guarantee that it will be a cheaper price in the long run.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2019, 02:06:24 PM »
Well I guess nothing is guaranteed but our untimely passing.  That said I think well keep seeing renewables costs slide, that has been a 10 year trend and it consistently surpasses estimates.
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2019, 05:56:18 PM »
What is the latest on electric jets?  Will they change to use a renewable fuel like ethanol?

Don't know much about diesel locomotives, but I thought they used diesel to charge big batteries.  Why couldn't they be charged at a station?  Or are they never idle long enough?

If oil is going to drop big time in price, when would be a good time to short oil company stock?

Or are oil companies getting into solar and wind?  Don't know.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Kainkelly

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Re: Is IT Me
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2019, 06:01:26 PM »
Where will the fuel come from to feed the electric companies so they can make juice?  You just can't pull electrons from the air for free.  As demand for electricity goes up, so will the cost of it.  How many more windmills and solar farms will there need to be?  That is not cheap electricity unless some breakthroughs are made.
Not to mention what that will do to the cost of lithium batteries.


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