August 11, 2017: Cool Stuff

This will be a very quick Newsletter for this week. Cintia and I are currently sitting in one of the many micro-breweries in this part of the world, drinking a Rye Ale and using their free wifi. This particular establishment is in Helena, Montana and is called the Ten Mile Creek Brewery but it’s just one of dozens of micro-breweries that have sprung up in Western Montana since I used to live here. Missoula has gone crazy with them. It seems there’s one on every corner and they all seem to be full of customers all the time. The all have a nice, crafty atmosphere, live music and interesting brews. If you like beer, this is pretty close to heaven.

Solar Good, Batteries Bad For the Environment?

Meanwhile, from back home, comes this article from Solar Quotes which cites a peer-reviewed study published in Scientific American which basically states that solar panels are good for the environment but batteries are not. This is a fairly controversial position to take as you can tell if you read the comments that follow the article.

If you’re thinking about getting a battery for your home solar system I think it’s worth considering. For me the subject was best summed-up by the following comment on the article.

I can say with 100% assurance I am installing battery storage in order to give the finger to the big power companies that are holding consumers to ransom. I installed my PV system to help cut emissions.

$5000 Electric Vehicle by GM

General Motors' new $5000 electric vehicle

General Motors’ new $5000 electric vehicle

I’ve written a lot about electric vehicles and how I wish someone would come out with a small, simple EV with decent range for a reasonable price. I’ve often said that I thought it would be either an Indian of Chinese company that did it. Who would have guessed that it would be the US car giant, General Motors?

According to this article from New Atlas, GM has launched a tiny EV called the Baojun E100 in China with a range of  155km and a price tag of $5,300. This sounds fantastic to me… the only problem is, it’s only going to be available in China.

Why, oh why, can’t someone offer something like this in Australia, the US or Europe where our cars just seem to keep getting bigger, more complex and more expensive?

That’s all I have time for this week… too many new brews to try.

Cheers, Andy

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