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The good ol' comma operator. Designed specifically to trap young players.
I grew up, many moons ago, in the era of 80 x 25 character screens for programming and so squeezing as much code as you could into as few lines as possible saved the ESCCtrl + F / B keys from wearing out. The ++/-- operators, dense conditionals in loops and single character variable names were what kept you productive (sorta).
Those days are long, long gone now. The comma operator now just gives me 'Nam flashbacks
We have seen similar situations with electric power generated from windmills in Denmark and Germany. When the working day is over, the need for electricity falls drastically i Middle Europe, but the windmills spin at the same speed. Nor can other kinds of power plants, like oil and more than any other: coal, easily be cranked up and down to adjust production to needs.
It turns out to be cheaper to pay Norway for accepting the excess electricity than alternative ways to regulate it. Besides, the Norwegian peak consumption is highest in early morning, before business life wakes up, and from late afternoon until midnight. This is because we are much more dependent on electric light and electric home heating that most other countries. Norway's hydroelectric turbines can be turned from zero maximum production (or vice versa) in not that many minutes. (It takes more time to switch the direction of those huge trans-ocean cables than it takes to adjust the production!)
So, during a few periods the last few years, Norway has been paid for covering peak demands mid-day, and been paid for handling the surplus power at night time. That's a fairly good deal. All it takes to copy that for the oil is to have storage space for a few billion barrels of oil. Or an immediate need for a few billion barrels, but that is less likely.
Being fortunate enough to have won the topography lottery and have lots of hydro to buffer renewables peaks refusing to align with human activity (wind peaks overnight, solar at noon). Elsewhere until batteries become a lot cheaper the only reasonable option is to build lots of gas turbine plants that can spin up/down in the course of a few minutes.
In the US cheaply produced domestic gas also has the benefit of costing less to produce power than burning coal (vs places where it's an expensive import and coal is cheaper) meaning that winning marketshare in a shrinking (non-renewable) market means that over the last ~15 years we've largely built up the gas generation we'll need to handle first production/demand mismatches and later weather refusing to cooperate while gutting the most polluting legacy power plants in the process.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, weighing all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
Further south in Germany, where it is getting more mountainous, as well as in several other countries (USA included), they have built huge artificial dams in the hills. At nighttime these are being filled from a lower reservoir by electric pumps utilizing the surplus electricity from wind power, nuclear power, coal and oil power plants. At daytime, when all the power is needed, the dams are emptied through water turbines to the the lower reservoir. This is a local/regional alternative to ship electrons back and forth across the North Sea.
If you do the math, you'll see that it takes huge amounts of water to produce a thousand kWh. Or, the water must be lifted to a great height: If you collect it as rain at 1500 meters above sea level, it represent 15 times as much energy per cubic meter as you get by pumping it up to an artificial dam 100 meters up. So those pumped hydro power stations do not have sufficient capacity to save energy from one season to another, only from nighttime to daytime.
(We certainly have huge artificial dams in Norway as well - take a look at Vatnedalsdammen[^], and notice the fellow standing at the foot of the dam. The water surface is roughly 800 m above sea level and dam capacity is 1.15 billion cubic meters.)
I'd slightly disagree with your fear of future higher prices. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but the US fixed this problem by deregulating oil and natural gas production. When prices fall below a certain point, most of the older oil wells are just turned off. When the price starts going up, they're turned back on. It keeps us from having the stupidity that we had back in 1973 "the oil crisis".
Now your concern is valid for many other businesses. I'm glad I don't own stock in cruise ships, hotels and airlines, but that reminds me, might be a good time to buy now.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
Oil wells, sure. But a lot of shale oil producers are toast unless something changes very quickly. Forget their shareholders; even their bondholders will learn a lesson that they'll not soon forget. Unless, of course, shale oil gets bailed out, which wouldn't surprise me. It would just be another variation on the insane easy money policies that have seen artificially low interest rates encourage the financing of all manner of asinine endeavors, including stock buybacks by zombie companies that would go bankrupt if they couldn't keep rolling over their debt.
Breakthrough Solid State Battery - 900 Wh/L Samsung  - YouTube[^]
If it's not total bull (and if you think I understand all that, you don't know me that well) then that's the kind of breakthrough we need if we are to get electric vehicles out of "niche" and into the mainstream. 1000 Km range, 1000 charge cycles, faster charging, lower manufacturing cost? That's ticking a lot of boxes for those of us who don't live in a city with a private drive to park the car on while it charges.
And ... a phone that lasts more than a day without needing charging?
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
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This is where you run into other issues. Most people will be try to charge their vehicles at home. To charge a battery of any type to capacity to last 1000km will require a significant amount of electricity from you home supply which will not generally be rated for that capacity. Hence the charging will generally be over many nights with driving during the day. Unless of course you make major change to your power supply. (and the utility company will play a large part in deciding that)
Hence it all depends on how the battery will handle half, quarter charges (or whatever) on a frequent bases.
A Fine is a Tax for doing something wrong
A Tax is a Fine for doing something good.
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