"One of the benefits of having billionaires is that they can build things for humanity just because they like them, without worrying about returns."

This has to be one of the most tone-deaf write ups ever. Call it what it is- a tremendous waste of resources on vanity projects. These things aren't "for humanity" they are closely guarded and privately held and controlled. Why should we be optimistic because billionaires have the means to help people who are literally starving or dying because they are shitting themselves to death (dysentery) but instead choose to waste it or build a bunch of crap that's tangential to the actual problems humanity faces on THIS planet? Or are you trying to say that we'll all somehow mysteriously benefit downstream in the long run by this when we all get to pay to get these services? Don't hold your breath.

This is just another sloppy trickle down economics argument, and we all know how well that works.

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Other cool things built by billionaires

The Long Now Clock (Bezos)

The first ever free public library (Carnegie)

Neuralink - Musk

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FYI: went into Spam

Re: Renewables

It is increasingly clear that the systemic issues introduced to the US grid by renewables, at high penetration, are extremely serious.

One example: the California duck curve has hit negative average demand in the middle of the day. Check out this pic https://media.licdn.com/dms/image/D5622AQHAGLeALl675A/feedshare-shrink_800/0/1684349888819?e=1687996800&v=beta&t=wq1d3lVayGwJ7TgFiFwW0rCIIHjrlH6-dyFod64j-gk

Note that this is NOT a triumphal graph as some people think.

For one thing, the middle of the day is normally when demand on the grid is the lowest; it is the morning and evening spikes which are problematic. As can be seen from the graph - the increasing amount of California solar PV is not solving the problem areas (peak demand) even as it introduces new problems. In particular: the negative average demand isn't cost free - utilities have to pay money to make this oversupply go away. If there are feed-in tariffs involved - then the utilities get hit with both paying the feed-in tariff for the power coming in and then paying again for some grid supplier to turn off in order to equalize supply and demand.

As I've said ad nauseam before: the capacity factors plus intermittency for solar PV and wind guaranteed that this was going to happen because you need 3x name plate capacity for solar PV and 2x for wind to replace 1x fossil fuel or nuclear from an absolute kWh perspective, but the problem is that the actual solar PV and wind is going to be 3x and 2x, respectively, of what fossil fuel/nuclear outputs at peak production. So the sun shining means too much power in the middle of the day, and the wind blowing turns out to mean too much power at midnight in many cases.

For California in particular: for 2021, California curtailed (i.e. threw away) 1.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity. This is with solar PV supplying only a bit over 5% of California's overall electricity. Clearly 2022 and 2023 - the situation is worse and getting worse every year.

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