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Comment Re:GPUs have limited applications (Score 1) 108

I wouldn't call a modern GPU that constrained really. The only thing they lack is memory protection. It's also a lot easier to program on a GPU ever since the SIMT paradigm came out (i.e. CUDA, OpenCL). Also plenty of modern processors come with a GPU on the same die as the CPU. Like nearly all smartphones for example.

Comment Re: China and South Korea and Russia can do it (Score 1) 87

Nuclear can be ramped up and down. It's not as fast as a natural gas plant but it can do fast load-follow especially if the load is highly predictable. Even modern coal power plants can do it to a degree and theoretically a coal gasification plant could ramp up and down as quickly as a natural gas power plant.

Comment Re:China and South Korea and Russia can do it (Score 1) 87

To escape long blackouts many times a year, Germany is planning to back up every gigawatt of wind and solar average capacity with another gigawatt of gas or coal. As it builds its intermittent fleet it will not be able to shut down existing fossil-fueled plants; they will remain in service, complete with staff, maintenance, and overhead expenses and the infrastructure of transmission lines, coal mines, and gas pipelines. And because the dispatchable nuclear generators that could have backed up wind and solar are being shuttered, additional coal and gas plants must be built to take their place—as we see happening now. Those coal and gas plants will emit large quantities of greenhouse gases even when idling in standby mode. ...
Onshore wind is currently guaranteed at least €89.3 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for the first five years of operation, after which the tariff resets to about €49, a little above market rate. Offshore wind will get €150 per MWh for the first twelve years before a downward reset, with long extensions if the facility is located more than twelve miles from shore or where water is at least twenty meters deep. Photovoltaic solar gets roughly €120-180 per MWh, depending on the size of the rig, for a full twenty years. The tariffs are funded by a “renewable energy surcharge” added to electricity bills. A utility will pay a FIT of, say, €180 for a megawatt-hour of solar power; it will then sell that electricity on the wholesale market for perhaps €45 and charge the difference to the renewables surcharge.
Even as the Energiewende staggers under exorbitant costs, renewables boosters tout its success in lowering electricity prices. The strange truth is, they’re not wrong. Tides of wind and solar electricity are forcing down prices on European wholesale markets and eroding the profits of conventional plants. French business leaders have complained about the competitive advantage their German rivals get because their renewable power is now cheaper than France’s nuclear electricity.
Is renewable power winning a price war with Big Fossil and Nuclear? Not really. Germany’s feed-in tariffs disguise the fact that intermittent wind and solar power isn’t cheap at all—although it is often worthless. German grid operators are legally required to buy all the electricity wind turbines and solar panels produce, demand or no demand, at prices far above market rates. Having bought it, they then have to get rid of it, because an excess of electricity supply will crash the grid. So they dump it on the wholesale electricity market at bargain-basement rates. Midday solar dumps in sunny weather particularly eat into the profits of conventional plants by pushing down prices during times of elevated demand.
These subsidies and market distortions do not yield a systemic lowering of electricity costs. They are simply transfers from German households that drastically overpay on surcharges to renewable generators—and to electricity-hogging industries that are exempt from surcharges but benefit from lower wholesale electricity prices when wind and solar flood the market.

Comment Re: China and South Korea and Russia can do it (Score 1) 87

The delays in China were basically one-two year delays while all the new reactors being built were reviewed post-Fukushima. It had little to do with construction problems. There is only one reactor family with major construction delays which can be imputable to the design and construction right now and that is EPR.

Comment Re:Solve for Greed first. (Score 1) 251

In Ancient Athens quite a lot of the population owned slaves and the town had silver mines so the government had plenty of income. People got paid, among other things, for attending the Agora i.e. the parliament every day or to judge cases (back then the judges were chosen by random lots).

So why not pay people to attend some kind of new lower chamber of parliament, like online, every day or something like that instead of the UBI?

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