Every home in the UK could get their electricity from wind-power within this decade

In a speech Tuesday (Oct 6th), Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged that the United Kingdom would generate enough electricity from offshore wind to power every UK home within a decade.

The UK government also unveiled a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1 Gigawatt of energy by 2030. That’s more than 15 times as much power as floating offshore wind currently generates worldwide, it said. The government promised £160 million ($207 million) to upgrade ports and infrastructure…

Britain must “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic in order to accelerate progress towards a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, Johnson said…

While I’m not convinced Boris Johnson and his Tories are best capable of leading this task, he’s got the science and technology right for a change. Unlike his peers here in the GOUSA. At least the Left and Right in Great Britain appear capable of uniting on a plan to make the switch to renewables for generating electricity…and leave “stupid and spooky” behind.

Sunglider high altitude test flight

HAPSMobile Inc…successfully reached an altitude of more than 60,000 feet above sea level during a 20-hour test flight of the Sunglider™ solar-powered high-altitude platform station (HAPS) at Spaceport America. This is the second successful test flight of the Sunglider at Spaceport America since the company began operations at the site in May 2020.

The test flight began on September 21 at 5:16am (MT) and concluded just after 1:00am (MT) on September 22 following the successful achievement of a series of major test objectives and maneuvers. Sunglider reached an altitude of 62,500 feet (approximately 19 kilometers) and demonstrated the world’s first successful delivery of LTE connectivity from a fixed-wing HAPS autonomous aircraft in the stratosphere. The success of this stratospheric test flight is a major step forward for HAPSMobile as it continues to pursue its mission of bridging the digital divide by building its business in the stratosphere, a new frontier for humankind. HAPSMobile will continue to work to revolutionize mobile networks by leveraging HAPS.

Known as a “cell-tower in the sky,” Sunglider aims to provide better communications to under-served areas, including rural communities. The success of this stratospheric test flight is a major step forward in this mission.

Check out the video up top. This solar-powered drone flew on battery-electric power, recharging from solar panel wing surfaces. Way cool. A classic New Mexico test project. 🙂


Earlier testing in July

Strange happening on Mars [explained]

Devil Girl from Mars (1954)

The moons of Mars are not quite like our Earth’s Moon. Phobos, the larger of the two, is much closer to its planet; compared to the Moon’s 27-day orbit, Phobos swings around Mars in line with the planet’s equator thrice every Martian day (sol).

Solar eclipses, therefore, are much more frequent than those here on Earth. Phobos passes in front of – but never entirely covers – the Sun for an annular or partial eclipse somewhere on Mars most sols. Because Phobos is moving so fast, it never transits for more than 30 seconds…

To the surprise of Mars scientists, during Phobos eclipses, the lander’s seismometer – the instrument that records ground motions to monitor possible quake activity – tilts, just an infinitesimal little bit, towards one side.

Take a guess at why this occurs. Then, RTFA, and get the real scoop. [Cripes…I almost said “nitty-gritty”. How’s that for dating myself?]

Convert coal-fired power plants to zero-emissions “Lego” blocks


New jobs for old coal-fired generating stations

…A new energy storage technology invented in Australia could enable coal-fired power stations to run entirely emissions-free.

The novel material, called miscibility gap alloy (MGA), stores energy in the form of heat. MGA is housed in small blocks of blended metals, which receive energy generated by renewables such as solar and wind…

The energy can then be used as an alternative to coal to run steam turbines at coal-fired power stations, without producing emissions. Stackable like Lego, MGA blocks can be added or removed, scaling electricity generation up or down to meet demand.

MGA blocks are a fraction of the cost of a rival energy storage technology, lithium-ion batteries.

If our electricity grid is to become emissions-free, we need an energy storage option that’s both affordable and versatile enough to be rolled out at massive scale – providing six to eight hours of dispatchable power every night.

MGAs store energy for a day to a week. This fills a “middle” time frame between batteries and hydro-power, and allows intermittent renewable energy to be dispatched when needed.

RTFA for the operational details. Cost of conversion and operational lifetime for these blocks are a couple of serious advantages the system offers. Looking forward to the pilot plant tests…starting the second half of 2021.

Thanks, Honeyman

VW to add Electric Vehicle engineering, development, production to US operations

Volkswagen announced plans to add electric vehicle engineering at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The German automaker mentioned plans to develop cells and battery packs at the US plant.

The German automaker has been hard at work developing its next-generation electric cars based on its MEB platform. Much of the work happened in Germany, where VW already converted a factory to electric vehicle production.

By 2022, they plan to bring their MEB electric vehicles to the US and produce them there. Now they are also building a new electric vehicle factory next to their existing plant in Chattanooga. The German company is now announcing that it will also engineer EVs in the country.

Makes logistical sense. Means more employment for all levels, all classes of workers in the new automative and transport industry in the United States. They join the ranks of foreign and domestic manufacturers who see a global future in renewable-fuel vehicles.

Our politicians continue their Maypole dance around the White House dunce.

A Derecho roared across the Midwest, Monday


NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

On August 10, 2020, NOAA’s GOES-East satellite tracked severe thunderstorms as they raced across much of the Midwest and caused a widespread, fast-moving windstorm called a derecho. According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, the derecho traveled from far southeastern South Dakota into Ohio—a distance of about 770 miles—in a span of 14 hours.

The high winds were reportedly so strong that they flipped or blew some tractor-trailers off roadways, downed trees, flattened crops, and caused widespread property damage. Across the Upper Midwest in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, more than 1 million homes and businesses lost power. In Iowa, where gusts reportedly topped 100 mph, the damage was even more severe; the highest wind speed recorded there 112 mph near Midway.

When I still was on the road out here in the Southwest, I saw one of these suckers coming just as I was leaving Amarillo, Texas, heading back home. Turned around in a New York minute and made it back to the last motel west of town and got into the office to register for the night…just in time.

Yamaha’s new generation of “emotional” EV motors

Yamaha has been hard at work developing new electric motors and drive units sized for motorcycles and larger vehicles.

The development began in Yamaha’s motorcycle division, but has apparently grown to include larger motors capable of powering full-sized electric cars…

As part of a new video, Yamaha first shows off a 35kW unit that was developed for electric motorcycles…

On the heavier side of things, Yamaha also shows off a new 150kW unit designed for full-size electric cars. In the video, Yamaha demonstrates a pair of the 150kW Yamaha electric motors powering a rear-wheel drive electric car.

How long do we wait for these critters? After-market-availability?

Germany matches France — making electric car charging stations mandatory at all gas stations

Germany has announced that it will require all its fuel filling stations across the country to set up electric car charging stations…The chargers will be installed under its EUR 130 billion economic recovery plan to help remove refuelling concerns and boost consumer demand. The move is expected to boost EV (electric vehicle) demand along with a wider stimulus plan under which the country plans to raise taxes to penalise owning large polluting ICE (internal combustion engine) SUVs and provide a EUR 6,000 subsidy towards EV costs. The German government’s announcement follows that of the French plan announced last week…

Meanwhile, Congress prepares itself for the annual summer thumb-twiddling competition.

The GOUSA can afford this in a New York minute. Just not in Trump time!

Denmark announced the ambitious plan of tripling its off shore wind power production by building two ‘energy islands’ linked to new wind farms in the Baltic and North seas.

The project is rumoured to cost upwards of 100 billion Crowns (a bit more than 14 Billion $$$), and according to Denmark’s climate minister Dan Jorgensen, will be the “biggest single infrastructure investment in our history”.

Jorgensen also went on to confirm that the island project would be financed through public-private partnerships, with the majority of the funding coming from private investors.

Liberal or conservative, it’s no surprise to have national leaders direct their energies to projects which benefit the whole nation. Unless, of course, they’re greedy, self-centered thugs whose only interests are profits and the exercise of power in his name.