My room is a mess, because it’s also a working space. Right now I’ve got years worth of paper documents to scan and organise. I’ve not got a nice fast multi-page feed scanner and once digitised I hope they’ll be a lot easier to manage and I’ll feel a lot better about their safety and longevity. Yay for searchable PDFs and cloud hosting!
“A common speculation suggests that the transition from Type 0 to Type I might carry a strong risk of self-destruction since, in some scenarios, there would no longer be room for further expansion on the civilization’s home planet, as in a Malthusian catastrophe” — Kardashev Scale : Civilization implications
The low-carb, high-fat diet — which first became popular in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsyand diabetes — limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day, which is the rough equivalent of a plain bagel or a cup of white rice. Dietary guidelines laid out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day.Adherents of the keto diet fill up on healthy fats, like cheese, nuts, avocado, eggs, and butter, as well as leafy greens and animal protein. The body switches from burning carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel source — a process known as ketosis, which gives the diet its name.
“If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.” — Elon Musk (in RollingStone)
5+ years of campaigning and we finally have some great news. Solar Thermal is going to be build in Port Augusta!
BREAKING We've secured Solar Thermal for Port Augusta! ✅ Lower bills ✅ World leading clean tech ✅ Jobs ✅ More reliable power when we need it pic.twitter.com/qmvvHo2Bj3
— Jay Weatherill (@JayWeatherill) August 14, 2017
Today, we are taking another massive step forward in delivering our plan for reliable, affordable and clean power for all South Australians.
My Government is backing a world-leading renewable energy project – a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta – delivered by SolarReserve.
This 150MW plant, the biggest of its kind in the world, will supply the Government with its electricity needs and provide more competition to the energy market – delivering lower prices to households.
Construction of the $650 million project will begin in 2018, and is estimated to be completed in 2020.
Importantly, this project will deliver more than 700 jobs, with requirements for local workers, supporting our State’s regions.
The Port Augusta story is a shining example of the transition of the South Australian economy.
We’ve seen the closure of a dirty coal-fired power station. We’re now seeing the commissioning of this world-leading renewable energy project.
This shows just how far renewable technologies have come. Renewables have always been cleaner. Renewables are now cheaper. And importantly, renewables are providing certainty and stability to the market.
This, in addition to our State-owned gas plant, and the world’s largest lithium ion battery, will help to make our energy grid more secure.
It’s another key part of our energy plan, delivering South Australian power for South Australians.
Repower Port Augusta streamed some of the press release live:
BREAKING: Jay Weatherill announces the world's biggest solar thermal power plant to be built in Port Augusta! This is a huge win for our community, South Australia, and the whole country! #solar4ptaugusta
Posted by Repower Port Augusta on Sunday, 13 August 2017
The main reason the Repower Pt Augusta campaign exists is because of the group Beyond Zero Emissions.
They created the Stationary Energy plan, explaining how Australia can get to 100% renewables within 10 years. As part of that it explained how Solar Thermal with storage is needed to help counter the variability of wind. It also showed how Pt Augusta is a prime spot, has lots of power lines, is basically at the start of the desert so has lots of sun. As such they created a small publication about the specifics of Pt Augusta
The group CLEANSA (who I was actively a part of at the time) helped organise BZE to give presentations in Adelaide and Pt Augusta. This helped setup the Repower Pt Augusta community. AYCC, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition then got on board and especially with the help of Daniel Spencer the Pt Augusta community did a vote between gas and Solar Thermal, they overwhelmingly chose Solar Thermal.
Then came the big Walk for Solar. 100+ people (including myself who filmed most of it) walking from Pt Augusta to Adelaide over the course of 2 weeks, with a massive rally at the end. That was a really epic experience and very bonding. Many of the people involved have gone on to do amazing things.
With community support came political support. A Senate select committee was formed to investigate it. The commercial interest was there from very early on. However at the start Alinta energy was the owner of the Northern power station, the large coal power station that was due to be closed down. This however ended up being closed down early after a fire.
During the 5+ years there was an ever increasing amount of SA’s power being generated from wind, to the point that we were having days almost completely powered by wind, with over 30% of the generation on average.
Alinta had pulled out, the gas power plants weren’t being used much due to the gas contracts being on the International energy market and in September of 2016 there was a massive blackout in Adelaide which rattled everyone. A large Tesla battery was announced as part of the work to help counter such issues. But that’s mainly for stabilising the power with millisecond response times in case of an outage, it isn’t enough to help counter the variable wind and solar to smooth out issues over a larger time frame.
On the 14th of August the SA Government had announced it’s tender for 75% of the government’s long-term power supply. A power purchase agreement with Solar Reserve to supply the next 20 years of power, powered by Solar Thermal with molten salt storage. Success! Nearly 10x the storage of the Tesla battery. SA is on track to become mostly powered by renewables.
There’s a lot LOT more to the story, many actions, events, discussions, politics and technical points which I’ve glossed over.
At both the Global ZDay event in Brisbane, Australia the New Zealand ZDay event in Auckland in 2017 and at the Global Zday event in Frankfurt, Germany in 2018 I gave this presentation about the Price of Zero transition to a Natural Law Resource Based Economy.
The slides are based on the presentation given on Sunday the 26th of March 2017 at the New Globe Theatre in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Zeitgeist Movement’s 9th annual ZDay event, but with some tweaks incorporated from the New Zealand presentation, although that was a shorter version.
The presentation video was based on audio which I recorded in a Karaoke bar in rural Vietnam as the original Frankfurt presentation had audio recording issues.
We’ve heard from plenty of speakers over the last day and a half about how screwed our current socio-economic system is.
It’s obvious that this shit’s got to go.
Thankfully there’s a variety of alternative economic systems we can choose from:
True Cost Economics – which values human well-being and the environment.
Steady State Economics – Which helps us live within the carrying capacity of the Earth.
Participatory Economics (Parecon) – Understands that there’s an issue with voting for people to represent you if they are meant to work in their own self interests.
So instead of representative democracy at the core of Parecon those most affected by a decision are the ones with the most influence in the decision.
Then there’s the Natural Law, Resource Based Economy which is based on
the application of the scientific method to social concerns.
access over ownership and
abundance through automation and a systems design approach
As you can see the current best option is to transition towards is an RBE.
If this is a journey then that’s our target.
It’s a combination of science, technology, and a mindset change which helps us reduce scarcity, waste and violence towards zero.
Before going on our journey we need to know where we are.
We are in a fiat based, fractional reserve lending system
With a culture who’s definition of success is how much financial and material wealth, power control and fame you can acquire.
The engine of this system is the cyclical consumption cycle, powered by people earning money and buying things
Due to the way supply and demand works with the priority of profit, and externalities, when you boil it down we currently consider the cost of things based on :
We don’t really value human wellbeing, nor the environment.
Knowing the system, we can predict 3 main ways that it can collapse.
The Price of Infinity collapse is really just business as usual
Whereby the issues with Capitalism cause Environmental, Energy and Economic crises and would mean that nearly everything costs so much you can’t afford it.
In short, it’s not good.
The Phoenix Model is the price of infinity, but somehow as the monetary system is collapsing we transition to an RBE, despite there not being any Internet and barely enough food, water and electricity to survive.
This is the transition model I heard being advocated a lot when first joined the Zeitgeist Movement.
I think the thinking behind this is that no one will change to a new system if they are happy where they are.
It’s like being asked to cross a long thin plank to go from the roof of one building to another. It’s dangerous, very few people are going to do that.
As per http://kevinpojezny.com/the-compound-effect-part-2/
However, if the building is on fire you bet your ass you will.
You’ll walk, crawl or do whatever you can to get away from the burning building.
But the trick is to put the plank on the ground and make the trip easy and fun.
There could even be a party at the end which people want to go to.
NB: Photo by Michael Kubler
That’s why thankfully there’s a third option, the Price of Zero.
The aim is to at least have Food, Water, Electricity, Transport, Education, Entertainment, Health and all the necessities of life for free to everyone on the planet.
But it’s beyond that. The end game is to create such long term abundance there’s no longer a need for money, so we transition away from Capitalism.
So which is the best transition approach?
Well the Price of Zero is obviously the better option as we can :
Start it today and
we are heading towards the end goal.
The Price of Zero is also based on the Buckminster Fuller idea that
You Never Change Things By Fighting The Existing Reality.
To Change Something,
Build a New Model which
Makes the Existing Model Obsolete.
So you can’t build a global Resource Based Economy instantly. But we can start small and expand.
Like a plant spreading seeds all over the place
we would want at least a dozen or so RBE like sustainable communities
Which can develop into towns, cities and beyond.
Now, not all will succeed, but we can learn from those that fail.
Through systems based thinking plus automation they will be creating an excess of goods and services which can be sold off to the surrounding monetary system for cheaper and cheaper prices whilst also allowing the communities to expand, converting our current system into an RBE over time.
Just like it takes years for a tree to bear fruit it could take 10 or so years to go from a tribe of under 150 people, to a city of tens of thousands and producing a substantial amount of abundance.
I mentioned 150 people in a tribe as it is Dunbar’s number beyond which you can’t really know everyone in the group.
Adding more people means changing from a connected tribe to a large community,
In the process requiring more complex governance structures plus tools for management, trust and the like.
Thus it’s an important milestone.
After the cities get to around 10k or 100k people that’s when we hit a tipping point.
It’s also when we have to start worrying about crossing the chasm.
With the adoption of new disruptive or highly innovative trends, be it social media,LGBT rights or an RBE different stages of the uptake are done by different groups of people.
At the start the RBE concept is being developed by ourselves. The innovators and early adopters.
We can see the potential and are willing to work on making it a reality.
Even if not that many other people share our passion and aren’t ready to join us.
Then there’s the chasm, this is where a lot of ideas and trends die out. They don’t become mainstream if they can’t cross the chasm.
Often what is needed to cross the chasm is a whole new set of branding as a way of attracting the pragmatists.
These are the people who will join the RBE because it provides a tangible benefit, a better life for them than they currently have.
They are likely to be people who have a dream of something they want to do, but are too limited by capitalism.
After the pragmatists join the late majority will often tag along simply because it’s what everyone else is doing,
whilst the laggards are those still trying to use a rotary phone until they no longer work.
Not shown here are the Luddites, those who will actively try to suppress or attack the adoption of a Resource Based Economy.
The luddites are the main reason why we will need to defend our cities, ourselves and the core RBE concepts.
In saying that, we should treat violence like a contagious disease. We don’t want to inflict it or spread it.
There’s some broad structures we can use for the transition.
I would suggest starting with a Decentralised community of like minded geisters. They would be limited to what they can do whilst living within the monetary system.
But could be an initial support network that are donating their time and resources towards helping create a small village that can grow into a sustainable RBE like city.
These initial cities are for trying out new paradigms, such as being created around access abundance and designed to work without the need for fossil fuels nor money.
Being Distributed is the end goal whereby we have all the communities and cities physically linked together, hopefully by Maglev trains.
The communities should have lots of communication from early on so they can learn from each other.
We don’t want to keep making avoidable mistakes.
Note the structure of the movement should be as leaderless or starfish like as possible.
What I mean by that is that if you:
Many corporations and capitalist systems are spider like in nature, they have a central leader and will attack as if we are the same.
But if you cut the leg off a starfish, it contains everything needed to grow into a new starfish.
That’s the power of leaderless or leader full movements.
When attacked we can spread out and create more communities, fantasia broom style.
The Starfish and the Spider – The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations
When creating the RBE like cities they should be adapted to their local environment and resources.
Trying to live in the desert? Build a long thin city in the sand dunes
Living in Bali? You might want to learn from the green school about how to build with bamboo.
You might also want Earthship houses, tiny houses, Venus project style circular cities or massive million people plus buildings.
An important concept during infrastructure design for reducing waste is Access instead of ownership
An example of access over ownership is that not every house needs a vacuum cleaner. You could have one industrial grade long lasting vacuum that is shared among a block or apartment. Now you’ll be using a 20th of the resources.
Apply that thinking on a large scale for everything from kitchens to cars and you have reduced a lot of the resource requirements, allowing more access abundance.
Although in some cases we might be able to retrofit existing cities we will usually want to create new infrastructure which is designed with this mindset from the start.
To implement this all properly you need to use some systems design thinking which works best by zooming out your view on a problem until you see how the whole system works, and how it should actually work.
An example is Litter
The current thinking is around ensuring people put their trash in the bin.
A better option is to have signs saying Please litter here because the packaging is Bio-nutritional and good for the environment.
When dealing with automation people might ask how for example you would replace checkout chicks at the supermarket. Self-serve checkouts is the current answer but that’s the wrong thinking. Zoom out and you realise what you want is to have Food in your fridge, or things in your cupboards.
Imagine taking some tomatoes out of the fridge, making a meal and by the time you are done a new set has already been picked from the local vertical farm and is already in your fridge.
Now you no longer have a need for supermarkets.
Cradle to Cradle Materials Flow
Just like there’s a water cycle and carbon cycle we should have a materials cycle. Instead of the cradle to grave system used where we throw things away we should be tracking the flow of say steel, titanium, glass and other materials and be creating things to be broken down into their component elements and reused.
It’s not just technical changes, one of the biggest changes is with the mindset.
There will be a much greater focus on Social and community relationships.
Ownership replaced with Responsibility
Another important change is that Instead of money we’ll have to have a culture of responsibility.
Think about it.
you don’t really own an apple.
When you eat an apple you use the life supporting nutrients which then get passed through into the ecosystem.
But, you now have a responsibility to the tree that bore the fruit, the people who helped tend the orchard and the ecosystem that enabled it.
The Price of Zero means that Capitalism Collapses, Because there’s no longer a need for money.
But this isn’t the specifics of an actual transition plan, just a broad approach.
The great news is that there’s already at least 6 different RBE aspiring communities, 5 of which are still active.
Koto Coop – https://kotocoop.org/ : Juuso Vilmunen – Will start in Finland
ASIMPAC – https://www.facebook.com/ASIMPAC/ : Léo Caussan – Aiming to run more like a corporation
Ubuntu Planet – One Small Town http://www.onesmalltown.org/ : Michael Tellinger – USA. Been raising funds.
RBE 10k project – http://en.rbem.org/wiki/RBE10K : Ziggy ( Ezequiel Tolnay ) – Queensland, Australia
Kadagaya – http://www.kadagaya.org/index.php/en/ : The most successful, has been running for years in Peru.
Earth Communities – https://www.facebook.com/earthcommunities.com.au/ : The failed attempt primarily started by Craig Cowling
There’s going to be a whole lot of different variations. There’s already been some attempts, here’s some of the learnings.
Earth Communities was a decentralised RBE like community started in Adelaide, South Australia.
It failed for a number of reasons:
I suggest trying to identify decisions which are important and lasting versus small and inconsequential and ensure that the lasting ones are made with quality and consensus (has buy in).
There’s a variety of decision making processes and often the important point isn’t the voting, but the discussions which stress test the options and can sometimes uncover new, better options.
Ideally we’ll use the scientific method to work out what the best decision making processes are for the variety of decisions.
Some examples of different decisions :
These likely all need to use different decision making processes which will also vary according to the number of people making or being affected by the decision.
For the continued creation of new communities we will need some starting resources.
A great method for this is the revolving funding model.
You get people to donate towards the pool of money and resources. This is used to create the first RBE aspiring communities. As those communities develop they pay back the interest free loan, which can be used to kick start new communities and fund larger projects.
I’ve been a part of a group in Australia called CORENA who’s applied this thinking to SolarPV installations and we’ve funded 14 projects so far. If someone put in some money at the start to buy a SolarPV panel then the money from that has have already gone on to fund multiple panels in other projects.
For those that are interested in the idea a crypto currency smart contract could be a great mechanism for orchestrating this.
Of course, the aim is to not need the fund in the future.
That said, I might be completely wrong about everything.
Failure is OK and expected. Failures provide an opportunity to develop better understandings and mental models.
But, you need to be willing to learn from the mistakes and failures.
The aviation industry is one such org which does that. They have black box flight recorders so that if something goes wrong they can investigate and learn from the problems.
We should learn from them and be open and transparent, recording everything we can. From meetings and decisions to the measurements tracked and outcomes of what was being done.
Whenever there is an issue we can do a 5 whys analysis. Asking why a problem occurred and then you ask why that was allowed to happen and keep asking why until you get to the core problem. You then work on fixes for each level of why.
There’s lots of other techniques, like randomised controlled trials, A/B testing, dealing with the cultural issues of blame, fear of failure.
Learning from failures and near misses is probably the most important part of my talk as I can be wrong about nearly everything else and with the right approach we can discover the best solutions.
This is also the core of what the Zeitgeist Movement advocates.
Check out the NZ Earthsong community for information about how they go about their consensus based decision making process which is great for up to 70 or so people.
We still have a lot we can learn from existing communities.
For example Christie’s Walk, the only sustainable community in a capital city in Australia (Adelaide) found that working on things together helps with conflict resolution so much they haven’t yet needed a formal conflict resolution process.
But when looking at the communities we have to realise that few communities are trying to be RBE like.
That’s why the Brisbane ZM chapter (which also hosted the Global ZDay) has started creating the RBE Aspiration Index. A way of rating the sustainable communities they have been visiting.
Currently the ratings are based upon :
It’s still in it’s infancy but ask me or Zac Syme if you’d like to learn more.
Because you’ll be limited to what the government requirements are, from building codes to use of money and paying of taxes, it will likely help if you can convert the RBE like city’s land into a micro-nation, a block of land that’s considered it’s own country.
There are 12 Micronations in Australia alone and 79 around the world.
Although few are still active or officially recognised as it’s hard to pull off.
The Hutt River Province is one of the most famous micronations in Australia and Sealand is more well known Internationally.
You likely have a number of questions and want every step of the transition explained in great detail. Unfortunately
This is a long journey currently without a good map.
We know the direction to head, but like the Fog of War concept used in computer games, we can only see a few steps ahead of us, not all 100,000 steps.
Thankfully as we walk along we can work out the next few steps ahead of us and in an iterative process make our way towards ->
A far more abundant, inter-connected and sustainable Future…
Other things I could have also mentioned if there was more time :
Disclaimer and other notes :
Whilst I’ve purchased or taken many of the stock photography used in these slides, there’s still plenty of images that I’ve used which comes from online and I’ve had for such a long time I’ve lost the references to. I’m sorry if I haven’t properly credited your imagery, please let me know if this is the case.
This was a repost from the ZInfo website. But I have kept this version more up to date, so this is now the canonical version.
Wow, the last 4+ weeks has been INTENSE. Certainly the most intense of my life so far.
First it was 12-16hr days at work trying to get a web project at work over the line.
Then 20 hour days (yes, only 4hrs sleep a night) trying to move out, putting most of my stuff into storage. There was my sisters wedding (sorry about being late for that sis, I got the starting time wrong).
Then with only just enough time I was off to Brisbane and I’d be doing both mentally and physically demanding work.
Eleanor Goldfield and Casey Davidson walking along the Brisbane river
Things got busy once I picked Eleanor up from the airport, from then on we were all very busy. There was social events every night and lots to do during the day. I still had my ZDay presentation to prepare for, tech stuff to organise and there was a whole lot of other stuff happening, Zac and his mum working on the food, Casey and all of us organising things, people and unexpected changes, etc..
Even before ZDay started we did so much socialising and connecting. Doing a pre-Zday podcast at Frequencies TV wtih Paul who even edited it. Meeting with Jason, visiting New Globe the venue, doing the presenters meet and greet at Zac’s, meeting Federico, cleaning up the venue, then the pre-Zday get together at Frequencies TV again, meeting Peter Joseph, plus a whole lot more amazing people.
Zac, Federico and PJ at Frequencies TV
Zac’s place had become the main hub of geisty activity and most of us there were only getting 4-6hrs of sleep a night.
ZDay hit and there was only an hour and a bit between rocking up at 8:45 and allowing people in. It was hectic but lots of people rocked up early and helped make it work.
I loved being able to delegate very broad tasks, like “You are now in charge of the Workshop space, you can delegate the task to someone else but it’s your responsibility for now” and then an hour or two later checking it out and things were running smoothly. The same with the merchandise and other areas. People just helped out.
That said, in hindsight I didn’t delegate the video camera stuff in quite the right way. I’d happily give people a camera, show them the shutter button and let them loose, but I should have delegated someone to make sure the GoPro was working at pointing at the stage and another person to be filming with the Canon 600D from the other side of the stage during the talks but taking photos during the breaks.
Still, the Panasonic HC-PV100 was amazing and I’m glad I got it. The dual SD card slots meant it would fill up one card and continue recording onto another.
We had all sorts of tech issues. The HDMI -> VGA adapter failed in various ways, mainly that it’d work the first time you tried, esp on a Windows machine, but if you disconnected it and reconnected then it wouldn’t connect. Restarting the computer would sometimes not even be enough.
We had a spare projector we used for the first presentation.
Then found enough laptops with direct VGA cables which would work flawlessly… Except everyone had their own devices. Mac’s, Windows, Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Docs. They all needed their own bits of work and most people needed to see the presenter notes (myself included) so whilst showing PDF slides was our ultimate backup, it wasn’t really acceptable in most cases.
Day 1 came and went and I needed sleep and to work on my presentation and dump all the footage and charge all the batteries, so I missed out on the after party.
Then Day 2. Whilst we had a bit more of a groove, I didn’t have as many people to delegate tech things to and those who I could, Jason and Ziggy were both presenting as well and at the end of the day all three of us were on the panel, so that made things a little harder. There was also much more animated presentations and I had planned to put the slides over the top of people’s presentations but animations or people directly pointing to parts of their slides was not something I’d put enough effort into filming.
Still, we’ve got plenty of good audio, 3 copies of the house / mixer audio, a zoom H4n and shotgun mic on the stage as backup, plus mic on the Panasonic camera and whatever else was recording.
The Canon 7D with zoom lens got some great close up photos. Thank you Jason and others for picking it up, and the other cameras and taking snaps.
My presentation went fairly well, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I went for a short run and also meditated to burn off some of the excited energy, but I was also very exhausted. The biggest issue was that I was reading from the presenter notes a reasonable amount and the screen and microphone weren’t quite in the best position. I’ve not got the charisma of some of the Day 1 presenters, but I did get some great thanks and feedback from people like Libby, THANK YOU! I love that people loved it and found the Price of Zero transition presentation informative and even wrote some notes.
Zday Panel Day 2 with myself and some amazing geisters
After Zday I wanted to go to the after party, I had my heart set on it, I’d basically been dreaming about it. Finally a chance to relax and hang out with people after the pressure was off, but Zac, myself and others ended up at the wrong hotel and didn’t get in. It’s a long story.
Amazing, intense conversations continued, especially between Federico and Rich, some of which is still going, continued as an online group chat.
I’ve finally paid off enough sleep debt to think properly and with all the cyclonic weather yesterday flooding the place it was the best day for staying indoors and just watching movies and sleeping.
Now the rains have past and it feels like ZDay 2017 is already fading into the past a little and I’m able to start thinking about what is happening next. But this ZDay was a big milestone point in my life and I think in the lives of the many people it’s touched.
For most the work for Zday is over, but it’s only just begun for myself and others who will be editing the videos or dealing with the positive and negative effects from such an amazing meeting of minds. The biggest annoyance now is that I didn’t stop/start the recordings after each presenter so there’s 8hr audio recordings and 1.5hr+ video recordings but people only need their 20mins of all the different files which can be over 30GB in size. That’ll be fun.
On the 8th of April I’m heading off to Auckland NZ so that the next day I can present my talk at their ZDay event. A week after that I’ll be back in Adelaide, living at my Dad’s place, back working on web development stuff and doing ‘normal’ things. Whatever that is. Probably dealing with web servers and programming more PHP and NodeJS sites.
The conversations have been amazing and intense. We’ve worked out whole new ways of decision making, esp when selecting people and thinking about change.
I’m reminded of a ‘an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We have to go far — quickly. And that means we have to quickly find a way to change the world’s consciousness about exactly what we’re facing, and why we have to work to solve it.’
I hope that we’ll collectively help get Humanity to being a Type 2 civilisation instead of a major collapse. As Eleanor put it in her talk. we have to both Fight and Build.
I’ve done a lot of fighting the current system, but that just negates things. It’s time to focus on the building a new model, a new system. Let’s get ready and do it!
Elon says he can fix the issue in 100 days by providing 100+MW of battery storage. Mike Cannon-Brookes says he can find the money and deal with the politics.
As a member of both the Repower Pt Augusta alliance and also an avid Entrepreneur I’m torn.
The short of it is that battery storage is a decent but reasonably expensive short term fix, although Solar Thermal is a cheaper better long term option.
I was a part of the group who got Beyond Zero Emissions to come out to SA and helped with the historic meeting where we (well Mark Ogge who was the director of BZE) explained how Australia can get to 100% renewable energy within 10 years using a combination of Solar Thermal and wind power.
Solar Thermal being a large power plant that uses mirrors to concentrate the suns energy at a tower where it heats a molten salt to about 560°C the hot liquid is stored in an insulated tank and when you need power you put the molten salt near water, the water turns to steam and the steam turns turbines, just like a standard coal or gas power plant. What’s great is it’s renewable but also because of the storage it can work at night or ramp up/down do deal with the changes in demand and variable energy supply from wind and solar pv.
This was all many years ago. We did a big Walk for Solar back in 2012 and I filmed most of it. That’s over half a decade ago now that we’ve known that the Nothern power station was going to close down, that the domestic gas contracts were going to be linked to the International energy market and the blackout issues we are seeing today would come about if nothing was done.
5+ years of campaigning. The community is behind the idea and why shouldn’t they be, the creation of Solar Thermal power plant also means the creation of a new manufacturing industry and lots of jobs, plus stable electricity prices as well as stable power.
We wouldn’t be in this mess if even just 2 or so years ago the Government or energy companies took up the call and we’d started building. Solar Reserve and other such solar thermal companies have had people willing to provide the investment for years, but they need a buyer of the energy.
Unfortunately a lack of long term thinking and I suspect some wilful ignorance has lead us to the point that there’s been some very disruptive blackouts.
The entrepreneur in me wants to see Tesla battery storage happen here. even just the chance that Elon might visit SA gives me tingles and I remember walking past Atlassian and going to some startup drinks events in Sydney hoping to see Mike Cannon-Brookes who’s definitely the Aussie Entrepreneurial superstar. But I also recognise that there’s other options here in Australia like Zen Energy or RedFlow which has Simon Hackett behind it and even just the reduced transport would probably make it worth it.
I should note that CORENA, the Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia, of which I’m a board member currently doesn’t fund battery storage, only Solar PV installations and energy efficiency measures as those are what reduce CO2 emissions the most effectively.
Of course any of the battery options is going to be a better short term fix then one suggested option of building yet another Gas plant. South Australia already has enough gas generation to power all of SA but as I mentioned over the last few years the commercial gas contracts have been linked to the International energy market, especially Japan. As such the gas companies find it more profitable to sell the gas to Japan then burn it here and sell the Electricity.
If you follow the scent the gas option has the smell of lobbying from the fossil fuel industry. They are trying to get fracking to happen here in SA so they can sell even more gas, but will destroy large areas of land, especially farmland, in doing so.
To me it comes down to this :
This means that batteries could create a great one, two punch when followed up with Solar Thermal.
As a side note there’s another option that could be done with the battery storage. Microgrids. Instead of connecting the 100MW of power to a couple of substations you could setup a shipping container sized setup in each block or so that can have the energy of that block or even suburb connect to it, you’d have storage, but in a distributed way that would allow more community connection. SolarPV owners could be charging their local microgrid which with enough Solar PV could make it self-sufficient. But in our privatised energy market this seems like a pipe dream.
For more information check out :
http://www.repowerportaugusta.org/ – Repower Port Augusta. The campaign to get Solar Thermal built in South Australia.
http://corenafund.org.au/ – CORENA A revolving funding model applied to Solar PV and other renewables and energy efficiency. I’m on the board.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-10/tesla-boss-elon-musk-pledges-to-fix-sas-electricity-woes/8344084 – The first article I read about this.
Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts and are not necessarily representative of the organisations that I’m associated with.
I use apache to host lots of WordPress sites, custom sites (e.g Symfony) and the like and Certbot helps keep them secure. Except when it doesn’t understand the <VirtualHost> config.
Here is a virtual host entry that works. running /opt/certbot-auto sees it and lets you create an SSL cert for it.
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org ServerName www.kublermdk.com ServerSignature On DocumentRoot /var/www/kublermdk/www/ CustomLog /var/log/apache2/www.kublermdk.com.log vhost_combined ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/www.kublermdk.com.error.log <Directory /var/www/kublermdk/www/> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory> </VirtualHost>
Here’s a similar virtualhost entry. Apache happily uses it and it looks fine but Certbot can’t see it. See the difference? I’ve bolded the two characters that have changed.
<Virtualhost *:80> ServerAdmin email@example.com ServerName www.kublermdk.com ServerSignature On DocumentRoot /var/www/kublermdk/www/ CustomLog /var/log/apache2/www.kublermdk.com.log vhost_combined ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/www.kublermdk.com.error.log <Directory /var/www/kublermdk/www/> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory> </Virtualhost>
That’s right, the certbot apache plugin doesn’t understand <Virtualhost> with a lowercase h, only <VirtualHost> with an uppercase H, but Apache accepts both versions.
It took me 2 hours and lots of struggling to realise this. Hopefully this post saves you some time and maybe Certbot will be updated to work with either.
Also, if you are trying to get it to work with multiple ServerAlias’s that won’t work. So if you have www.kublermdk.com kublermdk.com and resume.kublermdk.com they all need their own site config file and to be configured individually, which is a bit of a pain.
More info :
I’m using certbot v0.11.1
https://github.com/certbot/certbot/issues/3545- I got a touch of help reading this and understanding that the apache plugin reads the sites-available folder for the HTTP version of the site not HTTPS and after reading through some of the actual certbot apache plugin code I found out it uses a specific parsing engine and there was a reference to how they parse VirtualHosts needing more work.
https://github.com/certbot/certbot/issues/4183 I posted a bug report about the issue.
aliasd_baseand pasting it in again into the file.
$ diglookup kublermdk.com ===================== === kublermdk.com === ===================== Wed Jan 18 11:36:58 ACDT 2017 --- dig kublermdk.com 18.104.22.168 --- dig www.kublermdk.com kublermdk.com. 22.214.171.124 --- dig kublermdk.com mx 20 aspmx2.googlemail.com. 30 aspmx4.googlemail.com. 30 aspmx3.googlemail.com. 40 aspmx5.googlemail.com. 10 aspmx.l.google.com. 20 alt1.aspmx.l.google.com. --- dig kublermdk.com txt "i=221&m=domains-mx2-p11" "keybase-site-verification=XREU5_ZiKnxXnNBV2L5Jcmn1tfUvL371DsulTNs7s9I" "google-site-verification=m1fr_lDxzFtXawjhPXV56vbyOzKdw0SyTa1zCrdbArU" --- dig mail.kublermdk.com ghs.google.com. ghs.l.google.com. 126.96.36.199 --- whois kublermdk.com Whois Server Version 2.0 Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net for detailed information. Domain Name: KUBLERMDK.COM Registrar: NETREGISTRY PTY. LTD. Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 677 Whois Server: whois.netregistry.net Referral URL: http://www.netregistry.com.au Name Server: NS0.DNSMADEEASY.COM Name Server: NS1.DNSMADEEASY.COM Name Server: NS2.DNSMADEEASY.COM Name Server: NS3.DNSMADEEASY.COM Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited Updated Date: 29-oct-2014 Creation Date: 06-jul-2007 Expiration Date: 06-jul-2017 >>> Last update of whois database: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:06:49 GMT <<< For more information on Whois status codes, please visit https://icann.org/epp [...] --- Web server's reverse IP 'nslookup 188.8.131.52' li1459-66.members.linode.com. Server: 10.0.2.3 Address: 10.0.2.3#53 Non-authoritative answer: 184.108.40.206.in-addr.arpa name = li1459-66.members.linode.com. Authoritative answers can be found from: ---======---
alias kublermdk-logs='tail -f /var/logs/apache2/kublermdk/*.log /var/www/kublermdk/www/app/logs/*.log'