Vacanze elettriche 2022

Percorso un po’ tortuoso quest’anno, anche per il ritardo di 1 settimana nella partenza e vari appuntamenti con famiglia ed amici.

Le mie previsioni:
  • Percorrenza: 3.500km (viaggio A/R) + 1.500km (escursioni) = 5.000km totali
  • Durata viaggio A/R: direi che il minimo teorico sono 39 ore di guida + 8 ore per rifornimenti = 47 ore tutto compreso
  • Consumo: viaggio A/R = 550kWh, totale 800kWh
  • Spesa rifornimento totale: €312 (spesa presunta gasolio: € 475)

Ci vediamo al ritorno coi consuntivi.

Seconda batteria di trazione

Oggi ho ritirato la mia Kona 64kWh dall’officina dove è stata per circa due settimane a causa della seconda sostituzione della batteria di trazione dopo quella effettuata a Settembre 2021.

La prima sostituzione era avvenuta in modo molto più “sofferto”: l’auto si è completamente bloccata dopo una ricarica in Aprile nonostante il quadro si accendesse regolarmente (non si tratta perciò del banale problemino alla 12V tanto diffuso e che ho abbondantemente sperimentato anch’io) e non c’è stato altro rimedio che caricarla sul carro e depositarla in officina dove in circa una settimana sono riusciti a risolvere applicando una serie di aggiornamenti; purtroppo il problema si è ripresentato in Luglio e la diagnostica è stata molto più complicata, giungendo alla conclusione che la batteria di trazione fosse da sostituire; il pezzo non è arrivato fino a Settembre costringendomi a fare le vacanze con un’auto sostitutiva (anch’essa ottenuta grazie all’interessamento di Hyundai Italia) la quale si è poi bloccata il 16 Agosto, ma stavolta per colpa della stazione di ricarica.

In questo nuovo episodio di una saga che ormai è arrivata alla sua terza stagione l’auto funzionava ma, oltre al famigerato triangolino giallo acceso (che da solo mette una discreta ansia), il sintomo era l’impossibilità di ricaricare oltre il 79%.

Questa volta però il pezzo di ricambio è arrivato velocemente e la cosa si è risolta in modo tutto sommato indolore: unico neo il pessimo servizio offerto da ACI Global che in due settimane non è stato in grado di procurarmi la vettura sostitutiva immediatamente richiesta dall’officina e che, se non fosse stato per lo sbatti di Hyundai e dell’officina che ci hanno messo due pezze d’emergenza, mi avrebbe messo in fortissima difficoltà.

Credo ora di essere il recordman mondiale delle sostituzioni di batterie (sia di servizi che di trazione): domenica parto per quello che resta delle mie vacanze (la prima settimana perduta era per fortuna a casa di amici), wish me luck !

100 movies

Like many other people, I am an avid consumer of cultural products (movies, books and music): I hoard them, I collect them, I consume them several times over.

I remember my late Dad raising his eyebrows in disbelief whenever I confessed I hadn’t read some book he considered important, a favor I returned by lending him some of my Physics textbooks, a subject he always felt he hadn’t given enough attention during Uni.

So today I decided I will write down a list of the most important 100 movies my kids should see, lest I fail my parental duties: my two older kids have families of their own, so it’ll be to them to actually tick every box in this list, but Aurora still lives with us, so I can make sure HER column is ticked. Also the list is not ranked in any way, so don’t look for criteria, the movies are listed in whatever order they come to mind.

Finally, I have not listed many movies that are contemporary for them (like Star Wars or Jurassic Park or Harry Potter) because they are already part of their cultural backgrounds.

The criterion is totally subjective, obviously, and I do not expect my kids (or anybody else) to agree.

12001, a space odyssey
2The Godfather
3Apocalypse now
4Duel
5The deer hunter
6The silence of the lambs
7Rollerball
8The Warriors
9Terminator
10The Blues Brothers
11dr. Strangelove
12Easy Rider
13The hunt for Red October
14Jacob’s ladder
15Woodstock
16Full Metal Jacket
17Una pura formalità
18La decima vittima
19One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
20Matrix
21Psycho
22Inception
23Reservoir dogs
24From dusk ’til dawn
25A clockwork orange
26Leon
27Big wednesday
28The Shining
29Vanishing point
30The sixth sense
31Animal House
32Three days of the condor
33Manhattan
34The untouchables
35Play it again, Sam!
36Amadeus
37Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
38Taxi driver
39The big Lebowsky
40The sting
41The apartment
42The odd couple
43Love and Death
44The usual suspects
45Forrest Gump
46Alien
47Rashomon
48To kill a mockingbird
49Fight club
50Zabriskie Point
51Good morning, Vietnam!
52Junior Frankenstein
53Philadelphia
54The Truman show
55Marathon man
56La donna della domenica
57Jesus Christ Superstar
58Marnie
59American graffiti
60The conversation
61The hustler
62Rear window
63The long goodbye
64Mystic river
65A new leaf
66Schindler’s list
67Papillon
68The killers
69Apollo 13
70M*A*S*H
71Escape from Alcatraz
72The Rocky Horror Picture Show
73Amici miei
74All the President’s men
75Un sacco bello
76Charly
77Blade runner
78Master and Commander
79The gladiator
80Serpico
81The longest yard
82Nikita
83The imitation game
84Ricomincio da tre
85Gorky Park
86The big chill
87Midnight cowboy
88Seven
89Predestination
90Highlander
91The hitcher
92The name of the rose
93Deliverance
94Murder by death
95Ghostbusters
96The man who shot Liberty Valance
97The big short
98Angel Heart
99Little miss Marker
100The front page

Understanding the energy transition

Much in the same style of the article where I described what, in my opinion, is driving the Mobility Transition, I have decided attempt the same analysis for the over-arching Energy Transition.

1: Cost reductions

THIS is the death toll for oil, gas and nukes (for more information about CfD contracts, read here)

Sure, fancy footwork around science can (but only momentarily) blur the issue in the eyes of weak-minded governments too used to sucking up fossil narrative, but hard cost advantages are real and growing: whether for generation or for moving cars and trucks,

RENEWABLES ARE CHEAPER

2: De-risking

De-risking is another big driver for the energy transition. The volatility of prices due to the pandemic aftermath and the war is scything through the business models of a lot of smaller energy players. Profits may be through the roof for O&G, but not necessarily so for energy generation and trade companies.

This interesting article (thanks Joseph D. Ortiz) describes the decision by PSEG following that of Duke Energy, American Electric Power and AES to focus back on regulated markets only.

in a nutshell, the generation company risks being caught between a rock (rising fuel prices) and a hard place (inflexible selling contracts).

3: National Security

This comes last because while it’s very relevant for Europe it’s much less so for the U.S. and China, which seems to have a plan that’s largely revolving around the control of natural resources and is probably waiting to pick-up the pieces after Russia implodes after the ill-advised war in Ukraine.

Source: Eurostat

Europe imports between €20B and €25B per month worth of fossil fuel products: it is inevitable that such a mass of money whets the appetite of a would-be dictator thinking s/he could rule the world by holding Europe as hostage. It happened with the Arab nations in the 70s, it’s happening with Russia today. While the U.S. has a strategic interest in a strong Europe, its energy policy will never coincide with that of the EU, being the largest crude producer in the world.

Il mistero del consumo della mia Kona 64kWh MY18

Chissà se c’è chi ha una spiegazione.

Il primo grafico rappresenta l’andamento progressivo del consumo totale, espresso in km/kWh; è sommato sui 12 mesi per neutralizzare l’effetto della stagionalità (ogni valore comprende perciò tutte e quattro le stagioni).

Come si vede, il valore scende (cioè il consumo aumenta) in modo più o meno costante fino a gennaio 2022, quando comincia a risalire. Perché?

Nel secondo grafico si vede invece il valore del consumo progressivo (sempre espresso in km/kWh) nel corso di ogni singolo anno: il valore parte basso (consumo alto, mesi freddi) per poi salire verso il suo massimo (consumi minimi intorno alla fine dell’estate, metà autunno) e scendere di nuovo per l’arrivo dei freddi.

Gli andamenti sono MOLTO simili, praticamente sovrapposti per tutti i tre anni, salvo il 2021 che è costantemente di quasi 0,5km/kWh più basso degli altri anni. Anche qui, perché?

Eventi che possano spiegare?

Ho cambiato gli pneumatici a Agosto 2020 montando un set di Michelin Primacy 4S che ho tutt’ora; semmai, mi sembra consumino di più delle estive Nexen di serie.

Ho cambiato la batteria di trazione a Settembre 2021. Sicuramente in quest’ultimo caso il degrado della batteria si è interrotto con l’arrivo della batteria nuova, ma tutti i miei consumi sono calcolati come valori assoluti alla wallbox/stazione, comprensivi di perdite di ricarica e non come SOC% che potrebbe dipendere dalla capacità effettiva massima della batteria e dunque dal suo SOH, che dovrebbe essere irrilevante.

Aggiornamenti software ne sono stati fatti (la Kona non ha OTA) sia per richiami che in seguito a normali tagliandi, anche se purtroppo non ho tenuto nota delle date (note to self…).

Once in a lifetime opportunity?

A very well written article by Carrington and Taylor on the Guardian (P.S. support good journalism by subscribing) highlights how O&G are using the mountain of additional profits brought in by this energy crisis, i.e. by exploring even more and mostly in fragile environments!

Screenshot 2022-07-02 at 11.53.41

Fellow humans, in the Eighties we already missed an opportunity to wean ourselves off the iron grip of the oil industry: to our partial justification, renewable technologies weren’t yet mature and Global Warming was not yet much of an issue back then.

But O&G rose to that challenge, by pouring even more resources into exploration and development, disproving the notion (quite accepted in 1980) that we would run out of oil at the turn of the century or shortly afterwards: fast forward fifty years not only we didn’t, but our current proven reserves are 1.5 times what they were in 1980!

So the problem is not going to fix itself before we completely destroy the Planet, and the new opportunity we have today is perhaps the last and most precious, because it’s built with the blood of Ukrainians who are fighting a battle that’s not only the battle for their freedom, but also the battle for the lives of us, our children and our grandchildren.

Importing fossil fuels sends around enormous amounts of money, sooner or later insinuating in the sick mind of the next crazy little man the idea he can rule the world by holding Europe hostage.

Much in the same way as switching to Electric Mobility should NOT be an environmental goal, but a massive cost saving measure (which also happens to have positive environmental side effects), moving away from fossil fuels should not be pursued to avoid Global Warming, but as a continental security measure (which also happens to have positive environmental side effects).

Recognizing this simple fact removes the layer of ideological paint, allowing us to see the issue in its stark nudity, precisely as the O&G industry would never want us to see.

Oi dialogoi*

Green hydrogen! The answer to all your energy needs!
Great! Let’s have it!
There you go!
Blimey, this is bloody expensive!
Well, this technology is early stage, we’ll need lots of research to improve electrolyzers and to scale up efficiencies
Gotcha, here is some public billions to do all that. How long is it going to take?
Can’t really say, these are super-scientific challenges nobody ever tackled, but in the meanwhile…
…in the meanwhile?
You can have Blue Hydrogen, almost as good as Green, made from Methane but with Carbon Capture
Sounds good, bring it on!
Here you go!
My goodness, this is almost as expensive as Green!
I know. Also this is leading edge technology which needs Research…
Here is some more public billions to fund Carbon Capture research
But costs will go down also because the captured CO2 is a valuable material
That’s great! You mean someone would pay to use the CO2 we capture? To do what?
Well, essentially to extract more oil. We pump it into an oil well that’s running out to squeeze more from it.
But that does not sound so attractive, what do we do with more oil?
We burn it, like we do with nearly all the oil we use
Let’s say we capture, 1ton of CO2, and how much oil we pull out?
About 4 barrels…
…which, once burned, produces how much CO2?
1.7 tons
But that’s MORE than the CO2 we started with! I don’t think this is such a great idea. Let’s go back to Blue Hydrogen which is almost as expensive as Green.
I know. In the meanwhile…
…in the meanwhile?
You can stick to Black Hydrogen from Methane steam reforming, cheap and plentiful…
…and emission-wise worse than the Methane it started from.
I know, but, hey, we can’t destroy the economy, can we?
And what about all these public billions I could have spent installing renewables?
Sorry, you know, research doesn’t always pan out.

*The dialogs

Energy and emission strategy for dummies

A lot of conversations around sustainability happen around “energy” while the elephant in the room are “emissions”. Are these two related?

First of all, let’s look at how the various sectors of the economy consume energy, comparing it to how much GHG emissions they cause (sources for data are the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for energy use, and the EPA for GHG emissions). As you can see, measuring energy use gives a decent approximation also for the apportionment of emissions.

First big chunk: electricity

This makes the focus on electricity generation and transportation totally justified, as these two homogeneous sectors address over 50% of GHG emissions.

Decarbonizing electricity generation is – as we know – a complex endeavour where a sufficient RE generation capability is but a brick in a very big wall made of storage, grid balancing, grid stability and many other things which lie well beyond the comprehension limit of mere mortals: despite my degree in Nuclear Engineering I won’t claim I have more than a vague understanding of the challenges that need to be addressed.

However, I am suspicious of those chanting “It can’t be done, it won’t be done”; as I recently discussed in another post, this reminds me of the bumblebee paradox: traditional technical knowledge may be adamant it can’t be done, but obviously they didn’t bother telling Denmark, South Australia or Portugal and they went ahead and did it!

True, it was for a short period of time, but it was done nonetheless.

Among the scientists challenging the bumblebee’s inability to fly there is Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University who has repeatedly offered his perspective for 100% RE grids; recently, he shared a roadmap for the achievement of a 100% RE all energy use (not just electrical energy) for the State of Rhode Island, in response to that State passing legislation to achieve this target by 2033.

Second big chunk: transportation

As the Sankey diagram for energy (found at the LLNL link above) shows, Transportation is the worse economic sector when it comes to intelligent use of energy. While – as you can see in the total allocation on the right – about 2/3 of the energy we consume gets wasted, for Transportation that ratio goes up to 4/5 (box at the bottom).

If you want to see the importance of electrification in the global context of energy use rationalisation consider that an electric car requires only 1/4 of the energy of an internal-combustion one to drive the same distance:

If we were able to improve those two big chunks, we’d have gone a long way towards achieving our emission reduction objectives.

Why the electrification of transport is so important?

Transport of course means a lot of things, each with its own set of difficulties which of course will translate to opportunities for someone; in terms of priorities, however, the picture (data sourced from IEA) is once again very clear.

Since electric cars use much less energy, the electrification of passenger cars alone would save the world 1.7Gtons of emissions; moreover if meanwhile we reduced the EE carbon tenor from around 750 to 150g/kWh (still very far from a 100%RE grid) we would eliminate another 1.8 Gton, i.e. 3 out 8 “wedges” of our target reduction to 2050 (8 Gtons).

What prevents us from doing all this?

  1. While the overall energy supply (joules) is NOT a problem (if all the cars in the world today became electric, they would need only 25% of the global EE consumption; since it might take anywhere between 30 and 50 years to convert the whole stock, this is less than 1% of additional consumption) the local availability of sufficient power (watts) might be, so we need to make our grids more robust and more interconnected.
  2. Distributing all this energy requires a distribution infrastructure that does not exist; while there are players willing to build it, the capital outlay is significant and is at risk of a classic “chicken-and-egg” problem: i.e. the payback time for a charging station @ 1% occupancy is well beyond 10 years, making for an unattractive investment case.
  3. The dream of a 100% RE grid is fascinating, but it would be good enough to get to 80% to achieve our targets: RE overbuilding, storage and strong regional grids interconnections are the ingredients to achieve this; additionally, while Nuclear Power has managed to cancel itself from the candidates list thanks to stubborn, dramatic cost and time overruns and – short of good ideas – is peddling us the braindead concept of Small Modular Reactors as if a factory able to crank our SMRs as if they were phones or cars was readily available (hint: it’s not), existing NPPs should be kept in operations for as long as safety allows, because they DO offer low cost and low carbon electricity (more the latter than the former, since LCOE for nukes is nowadays not too distant than that of RE).

D.O.G.E.

The fat lady has sung: it’s over!

Carmakers better be ready to make good on their ZLE (zero local emissions) announced pledges (in many cases earlier than 2035) and ramp up BEV production, because buyers will be discounting this deadline into their purchasing decisions, abandoning de facto ICE powertrains even sooner. A boring discussion (in Italian) of the so-called Osborne effect can be found here.

Expect the last Onoda-style rearguard fighters to desperately shrill up in the coming months, decrying the Chinese invasion or pushing more bogus studies challenging the huge LCA emission advantage of BEVs, or predicting doomsday over battery metals shortages. This was easy to predict and, lo and behold, we are being swamped with idiotic remarks along these likes.

Obviously hydrogen will refuse to die as it should, in the face of unsurmountable technical and economical challenges, but at least to our children and nephews we can leave the legacy of the #DOGE, the Day the Oil Grip Eased.

“Ce n’est qu’un début…”