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jerryking : batteries   15

Windfall, by Meghan O’Sullivan
Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power, by Meghan L O’Sullivan, Simon and Schuster $29.00

the shale revolution has meant the US has become a leading global oil producer and net exporter of natural gas. Extraction from shale rock has upended global oil and gas markets, but could also have geopolitical ramifications. For most of the 20th century, western powers were locked in a scramble for oil across the globe. So what happens when technology unlocks substantial supply on home turf?

According to Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the answer is a geopolitical shift that should benefit the US. She provides a powerful argument for how America should capitalize on the “New Energy Abundance”. Having a domestic supply of oil and gas not only strengthens the US economy, it can also provide leverage globally......US gas has transferred low prices to Europe and also offers an alternative source of supply. That “has helped make Europe less vulnerable to one of Russia’s longstanding foreign policy tools — the political manipulation of natural gas markets”, O’Sullivan writes......the book details the benefits to US “hard” as well as “soft” power,....It will not lead to reduced US involvement in the Middle East, .....Nor can the US ever be self-sufficient to provide all the oil it needs,.....The book points out that energy is likely to be a major future determinant of geopolitics....China’s One Belt One Road project shows Xi Jinping’s intent to change the strategic orientation of the Eurasian landmass......a challenge to O’Sullivan’s thesis is that renewables and electric vehicles could drive seismic shifts. If China becomes the Saudi Arabia of batteries, will this give it greater influence? What about those who control the raw materials needed, from lithium to cobalt? O’Sullivan hints at this in her introduction, saying we should expect renewables “eventually to have major repercussions for global politics”. These could include cartels around lithium or the state collapse of some oil producers.
nonfiction  books  fracking  energy  natural_gas  soft_power  policy_tools  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  pipelines  oil_industry  geopolitics  renewable  electric_cars  batteries  One_Belt_One_Road  Xi_Jinping 
december 2017 by jerryking
GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old - The New York Times
Pagan Kennedy APRIL 7, 2017

Pagan Kennedy is the author of “Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World”

it’s easy for us middle-aged folk to believe that the great imaginative leaps are behind us, and that innovation belongs to the kids.

On the contrary, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that late blooming is no anomaly. A 2016 Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study found that inventors peak in their late 40s and tend to be highly productive in the last half of their careers. Similarly, professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University in Japan, who studied data about patent holders, found that, in the United States, the average inventor sends in his or her application to the patent office at age 47, and that the highest-value patents often come from the oldest inventors — those over the age of 55.....The more I talked to Dr. Goodenough, the more I wondered if his brilliance was directly tied to his age. After all, he has been thinking about energy problems longer than just about anyone else on the planet.....“I’m old enough to know you can’t close your mind to new ideas. You have to test out every possibility if you want something new.”

When I asked him about his late-life success, he said: “Some of us are turtles; we crawl and struggle along, and we haven’t maybe figured it out by the time we’re 30. But the turtles have to keep on walking.” This crawl through life can be advantageous, he pointed out, particularly if you meander around through different fields, picking up clues as you go along. .... The tapestry reminds him of the divine power that fuels his mind. “I’m grateful for the doors that have been opened to me in different periods of my life,” he said. He believes the glass battery was just another example of the happy accidents that have come his way: “At just the right moment, when I was looking for something, it walked in the door.”
physics  batteries  energy  creativity  biases  patents  midlife  genius  aging  late_bloomers 
april 2017 by jerryking
Why Samsung Abandoned Its Galaxy Note 7 Flagship Phone
OCT. 11, 2016 | The New York Times | By BRIAN X. CHEN and CHOE SANG-HUN.

How quickly Samsung will emerge from the Note 7 fiasco is less clear. The company is facing an immediate, and substantial, financial blow. Perhaps more worrisome is how people may lose trust in the Samsung brand. An editorial in South Korea’s largest newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, said: “You cannot really calculate the loss of consumer trust in money.” It said that Samsung must realize that it “didn’t take many years for Nokia to tumble from its position as the world’s top cellphone maker.”
Samsung  product_recalls  mobile_phones  batteries  complexity  brands  reputation 
october 2016 by jerryking
Apple’s drive for world auto dominance spooks the industry - The Globe and Mail
GREG KEENAN, BRIAN MILNER AND OMAR EL AKKAD
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015,

Apple’s big advantage over traditional car makers is simple, yet hard to overcome, and it lies in the cloud.

The cloud consists of remote servers that store vast amounts of data and run applications, giving everyone on the planet with a connected device access to unlimited computing power essentially for free. It is also revolutionizing the way companies do business by instantly providing them with vast amounts of customer data. And it means Apple would not need to acquire car manufacturing capacity or build assembly and distribution networks in order to create chaos in the club.

It’s an advantage few traditional manufacturers, including auto makers, fully grasp, let alone have the ability to exploit.....“Apple thinks from the cloud out,” says Mr. McInerney, who would definitely line up for an Apple vehicle. At least then, he says, he would be assured of a better communications interface than the clunky one in his new upscale German model.

“If you’re an Apple or a Google, it allows you to use the same power to manage your supply chain that you use to manage your customers,” he says.

“That’s a revolution in thinking that allows you to identify all the cash-wait states [where money sits idle] and to collect a stunning amount of customer information in real time. Put the two together and you’re turning that information into cash at an accelerated rate. Car companies don’t think like that.”
automotive_industry  automobile  Apple  batteries  autonomous_vehicles  cloud_computing  connected_devices  layer_mastery  digital_first  data_coordination  incumbents  monetization  cash  customer_data  idle_funds  SMAC_stack  connected_cars 
march 2015 by jerryking
Is there a low battery warning indicator?
Once your battery is past 3 years - take it out every 6-9 months and take it to any auto parts store and have it LOAD TESTED...this is not checking voltage, it is checking the actual ability of the ba...
automobile  warning_signs  batteries 
september 2014 by jerryking
Does America Need Manufacturing? -
August 24, 2011 | NYTimes.com | By JON GERTNER. Interesting
article about how the U.S. is stumbling its ways towards a tepid,
stealth industrial policy with respect to the making of lithium-ion
batteries to support getting said batteries to be cost-effective enough
for use in electric vehicles.
manufacturers  industrial_policies  batteries  stealth  electric_cars  automotive_industry  MIT  cleantech  start_ups  unemployment  Michigan 
september 2011 by jerryking
The next juice box - The Globe and Mail
May. 28, 2009 Globe & Mail | by David Fielding. The last
great innovation in energy storage came when researchers developed the
lithium-ion (li-ion) battery almost 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the
lithium ion is little changed or improved since Sony first offered these
batteries for your Walkman. Moore’s Law doesn’t hold true for
batteries. There’s no point in the U.S. trading dependence on Saudi oil
for a dependence on Asian batteries.
ideas  innovation  batteries  venture_capital  Moore's_Law 
june 2009 by jerryking
Obama Administration Sparks Battery Gold Rush - WSJ.com
MAY 26, 2009 | WSJ | by WILLIAM M. BULKELEY. Companies, States
Vie for $2.4 Billion in Funding Aimed at Turning U.S. Into Top Maker of
Fuel Cells for Electric Cars.
batteries  electric_cars 
may 2009 by jerryking
Better Place Demonstrates System for Quickly Swapping Batteries in Electric Cars - WSJ.com
MAY 14, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by JOHN MURPHY. Better
Place plans to function like the mobile-phone industry, with drivers
subscribing to plans that bill them for the miles they drive each month,
just as mobile-phone users are charged for minutes.
electric_cars  automotive_industry  batteries  Better_Place 
may 2009 by jerryking

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