This is a theoretical business plan. It attempts to specify the characteristics we need and the things we don’t know, as well as a lot of assumptions on which we are basing the resulting calculations of cost. The goal is to lay out a strategy for penetrating the rural Africa market for electricity, thought by many to be the next big opportunity for private investment in the power sector. It’s not clear that this “many” have ever actually tried to do a project in Africa, but never mind that. Continue reading
The following letter was sent to the President of Yale University, my alma mater:
Dear President Salovey,
In 2015 a journalist named Steve Almond wrote a well-reviewed book called “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto,” which recounted the recent football player’s suit against the NFL for running a dangerous workplace. In an interview about the book in September of that year, he said:
Here are the contestants in this important match. In one corner we have Duke Energy, in the old days “Duke Power,” headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Duke is a $57 billion company, serving 7.4 million customers in six Midwestern and southeastern states. In the other corner is Georgia Power, headquartered in Atlanta, GA and serving 2.5 million customers. Because it is a subsidiary of the Southern Company, there is no comparable market value for it as an independent entity. The Southern Company’s market value as of 1 September was $48.5 billion. But Georgia Power is Southern’s largest sub, so it should be a fair fight. Continue reading
By Robert F. Hemphill & Leah Bissonette
One week and counting after Maria and most of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still without power. Which means they are also out of water, sewage management, air conditioning, and refrigerated food- because all those things rely on electricity. And, unfortunately, it is likely to take much longer to get the grid system back into a semblance of working. There are transmission and distribution lines to reconnect, transformers to replace, and generators to re-connect. And finally, oil and diesel to refuel.
The Secretary issued a memo on April 14 of this year, with a missed completion deadline of five weeks ago, and a set of premises most industry observers found either troublesome or laughable. It’s not worth quoting in full but the wording strongly implied that the purpose of the study was to prove that renewable electricity projects endangered grid stability, and that the solution was more baseload coal and nuclear power plants, not fewer. The back story is President Trump’s vaunted promise to put coal miners back to work, even if no one is buying coal. Republicans usually like market forces, but in this case cheap natural gas and ever cheaper renewable power are what has caused 256 coal plants to shut down since 2010 and 44 coal companies to go bankrupt, including Peabody, the world’s largest coal company. In addition, more than half of the nuclear plants in the country are losing money.
1. The roses are blooming. You may not think of Paris as a great rose “site” but that would be wrong. There are two very fantastic rose gardens in Paris, as good as or better than anything in the UK: the Roseraie du Val-de-Marne (Roseraie de L’Haÿ) in southeastern Paris, and the Bagatelle Garden in the Bois de Boulogne, a large wooded area on the west side of Paris. But both are f-ing difficult to get to, so bring your walking shoes. For the first of these, you take the metro to wherever you can connect to the RER C line. Take it to the Gare de Chemin d’Antony and then walk about a kilometer and a half, somewhat uphill, on the same road (Rue de Chaillais) heading north east from the station. The garden is just roses, it’s about four acres, and it’s delightful at this time of year. Climbers, hybrid teas, floribundas, etc. No other distractions, no perennials and not even much grass, just roses and paths.
He seems an unlikely giant killer. He’s five foot seven, one sixty-five pounds, has a distinct southern accent and is not an Olympic athlete. And yet, by any count, he has stopped the construction or shut down the operations of more nuclear plants in the United States than any other person, living or dead.
It’s always good to start with something boring, then come back with the more interesting stuff. Short summary: Southern Africa is a very long way away from San Diego. Map research will validate this, if you don’t believe me.
“Affordable housing” is a difficult social and economic problem. Many of us lucky enough to live in Encinitas would in theory like “affordable housing” to exist so that our grandparents and our children would have some inexpensive place to live. But no one wants more density next door. The last attempt at an affordable housing policy to meet state law, “Measure T” on the ballot, was a significant failure. 18,000 people voted it down. And this was after 150 community meetings, much analysis and a 232-page thick education document sent to all voters. Continue reading
The recent reports about a “restricted” Facebook page which featured pictures of female marines, clothed and unclothed, frequently with salacious or worse comments attached, is disgusting or depressing. If I were a female Marine, I would be infuriated. As a male military veteran of another service (airborne infantry and special forces) I am merely horrified.