Prices keep falling…US installs record solar capacity

This week, the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab released its annual analysis of solar energy in the US. It found that nearly half the generating capacity was installed in the US during 2021 and is poised to dominate future installs. That’s in part because costs have dropped by more than 75 percent since 2010; it’s now often cheaper to build and operate a solar plant than it is to simply buy fuel for an existing natural gas plant…

Five states now receive more than 15 percent of their electricity from solar power, including Massachusetts and Vermont, with California receiving 25 percent of its electricity from the Sun.

Solar’s expansion has largely been driven by falling costs. The DOE estimates that the price of building a solar plant has been dropping by an average of about 10 percent a year, leading to a fall of over 75 percent since 2010. That has left prices averaging about $1.35 for each watt of capacity in 2021. Large-scale plants benefit the most, with projects over 50 megawatts costing about 20 percent less than those under 20 MW.

Say “Amen”…

The North Atlantic Diet

Vladimir Zuev/Alamy

Although less popular than the glamorous Mediterranean Diet, the North Atlantic Diet is a great option for staying fit and healthy. The North Atlantic Diet is more than just a health regimen; it’s a total health system based on the life styles of swarthy eighteenth-century sea captains, near-insane lighthouse keepers, and stowaways who think only of revenge.

The North Atlantic Diet offers plentiful food options with good fats, whole grains, and lots of cod. Fruits and vegetables are limited to the hardiest types—you can only eat apples that are as tough as the bark on your family tree, or potatoes (the wisest vegetables, as they know to hide underground and out of sight, where the cruelties of the world and its so-called God cannot reach them)…

This diet is a seafood-lover’s bounty: scallops, oysters, and mussels are just some of the many options you’ll find on the North Atlantic table. One daily portion of seafood is suggested, and two daily portions of cod are required. Lobster may be eaten once a week…If necessary, lobster may be replaced with more cod.

I grew up eating everything in this photo…(and even more variety). Never setting foot in a fishmonger’s emporium. My father, my kid sister and I fished every weekend. Pretty much every weekend of the year. Only put off by sea-ice or blowing snow. We were shore-birds; so, never enough cod to match specification. But, cod’s favorite cousin – hake – was a fine substitute. Catchable from pier or breakwater along the New England coastline.

Thoughts on the 2022 MacBook Air

It has been a few months since Apple released the 2022 edition of the 13-inch MacBook Air –arguably the most popular laptop in the Mac line-up. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest in the thin-and-skinny laptop. And the reviews came in thick and fast…

…If you are wondering what else I can add to what has already been said, then you are right to assume that: not much…Except, I wanted to see how good (or bad) the new M2-powered MacBook Air would be for me as an “on-the-go” photographer…

My opinion on the design of the laptop isn’t changed — it feels like a skinnier (and, in my opinion, better) version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

However, by losing the iconic shape, Apple has shorn the “Air” line-up of its instant recognizability. For me, Macbook Air signified — practical, smart, and sensible. The new MacBook Air is just another faceless slab of aluminum in an ocean of laptops. Unlike John Gruber and others, I just can’t get over the loss of an iconic design.

And that’s where my criticism of the new laptop ends.

I think losing the old iconic shape has come at a cost — roughly $200. But it does buy you a much better screen, better audio, better webcam, better chip, and a more powerful chip. Dollar for dollar, not only is the Macbook Air 2022 better than its predecessor, it is better by a country mile than its “professional” cousin, the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro.

At this point, Om launches into a detailed, thoughtful, useful analysis of the newest MacBook Air.

Worthy as ever, Om’s review reflects skills and his long history as a user-friendly geek. His writing style is personal…and what he has to communicate to his readers is productive and to the point. Carry on, reading.