ВЕДОМОСТИ – Электрическая цивилизация

Электрическая цивилизация Экономист Владимир Сидорович о новой структуре производства и потребления энергии Источник: ВЕДОМОСТИ – Электрическая цивилизация…

Источник: ВЕДОМОСТИ – Электрическая цивилизация

Is Tesla a new Uber?

Energy, Tech, Macro

Uber’s prospects may not be as bright as its current 60bn$ valuation implies. Travis Kalanick, the company’s CEO, has once said that if Tesla cars are autonomous by 2020, he wants to buy all 500,000 that are expected to be produced. The problem though may not be with availability of the autonomous vehicles, but that Tesla won’t sell.

In a recently released strategy note describing the company’s plans for the next decade Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated:

“You will also be able to add your (VK: autonomous) car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation <…> In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are”.

It looks…

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Heat map

Energy, Tech, Macro

Is there economic rationale to move to renewable heat solutions from traditional fossil-fuel based heat? Heat market is a peculiar one. It is large. Average household in the UK, for example, consumes 4x more gas (to generate heat) than electricity (measured in comparable units). Heat is local (cannot be transported far from the origin). Heat is often unwanted being a byproduct of some other activity (fossil fuel combustion to generate electricity). This note is an attempt to quantify the costs of renewable heat, and is a finalization of discussion started here.

Incumbent and contenders

Meet the incumbent. Traditional way to generate heat in many places in the world is to burn gas in an in-house gas boiler. Modern gas boilers take 100 units of energy (gas) and convert them into 90+ units of heat.

Here is your traditional gas boiler:

Here is contender #1. Micro-CHP (Combined Heat and Power) boiler…

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Negative externalities

Energy, Tech, Macro

There is a widespread opinion that renewable energy is only alive because of the subsidies. As if to confirm the point a few days ago US president Barack Obama proposed a new 10$ per barrel tax to be levied on the american producers and importers of oil “to upgrade the nation’s transportation system, improve resilience and reduce emissions”.

Actually, alternative energy is not doing so bad. From 2009 to 2015 the cost of wind power dropped by 60%, and solar power by 80% – the sort of progress we normally see only in the information technology industry. Automotive industry is adapting to the emerging reality. BMW announced plans to develop electric version (PHEV) of every major model. Mercedes will introduce 10 new electric (PHEV) models by 2017. Toyota is making a huge bet on its version of the electric vehicle (FCEV). Market capitalisation of Tesla – a recent electric vehicle…

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