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Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Energy. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Biden: Middle Out



आफ्नै नेतृत्वको क्रान्तिले जसलाई निल्यो रुसी राष्ट्रपति बरिस येल्तसिनले गोर्बचोवलाई अपमानित गर्न कुनै कसर बाँकी राखेनन् । येल्तसिनको मात्र के कुरा गर्नु, सन् १९९६ मा रुसी राष्ट्रपतिको चुनावमा उठ्दा गोर्बचोवलाई जम्मा ०.५५ प्रतिशत मत दिएर नागरिकले पनि अपमानित गरिदिए ! ....... १९८५ को मार्च १० मा ७३ वर्षीय पार्टी महासचिव कन्स्तान्टिन चेर्नेको निधन भयो । २८ महिनाको अवधिमा लियोनिद ब्रेज्नेभ र युरी आन्द्रोपोभपछि निधन हुने उनी तेस्रो पार्टी महासचिव थिए । नेताले अस्पतालको शय्याबाट सत्ता चलाउनुपर्ने दुश्चक्र तोड्नुपर्ने, पाको र रोगले जीर्ण भैसकेको नेताको सट्टा युवालाई नेतृत्वमा ल्याउनुपर्ने दबाबमा सोभियत कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी थियो । यसैले त पार्टीको पोलिटब्युरो बैठकमा चार घण्टाको छलफलबाटै ५४ वर्षका गोर्बचोव पार्टी महासचिव चुनिए । ....... २८ वर्ष विदेशमन्त्री रहेका र पश्चिमी दुनियाँमा ‘मिस्टर नो’ भनेर चिनिने आन्द्रेई ग्रोमिकोलाई मन्त्रालयबाट बाहिर जाने बाटो देखाइदिएर गोर्बचोवले एडवार्ड सेभेर्दनाद्जेलाई विदेशमन्त्री नियुक्त गरे । क्यानडाका लागि सोभियत राजदूत अलेक्सान्द्र याकोभ्लेवलाई फिर्ता बोलाई सुधारवादी कार्यक्रमको प्रमुख योजनाकार बनाइयो । ........ जीर्ण–शीर्ण भैसकेको सोभियत अर्थतन्त्र ठोकठाके मरम्मतले अघि बढ्ने देखिएन, त्यसले पूरै ‘ओभरहल’ माग गरिरहेको थियो । अनि सन् १९८६ को सत्ताइसौं पार्टी कांग्रेस बैठकमा गोर्बचोवको ‘सिग्नेचर पोलिसी’ घोषणा भयो— ‘पेरेस्त्रोइका र ग्लासनोस्त’ । ........... सन् १९८५ सम्म सोभियत संघमा सबैभन्दा बढी राजस्व संकलन मदिरा उत्पादन र बिक्रीबाट हुने गर्थ्यो । ‘सुक्खा कानुन’ लागू भएपछि मदिरा बिक्रीबाट संकलन हुने राजस्वमा ह्रास आएकाले यसै पनि कमजोर सोभियत अर्थतन्त्र झनै असन्तुलित हुन पुग्यो । मनमौजी भएर मापसे गर्न नपाउँदा रुसीहरू यसै पनि रन्थनिएका थिए । अल्कोहलको सट्टा मिनरल वाटर सेवन गर्नुपरेको झोंकमा गोर्बचोवलाई कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी अफ द सोभियत युनियन (सीपीएसयू) को ‘जेनेरल सेक्रेटरी’ नभनेर ‘मिनरल सेक्रेटरी’ भन्न थाले । यति सबै भैसकेपछि ‘सुक्खा कानुन’ मार्फत एक कदम अघि बढेका गोर्बचोव दुई वर्षपछि नै लेनिनले भनेझैं दुई कदम पछि हटे, सन् १९८७ मा यो अभियान फिर्ता लिइयो । ......... हजारौं सोभियत सैनिक मुजाहिद्दिनसँगको युद्धमा हताहत हुँदा सोभियत नागरिक चरम निराशामा थिए- भियतनाम युद्धले अमेरिकीमा ल्याएको बेचैनीजस्तै । आर्थिक रूपले पनि सोभियत संघलाई यो हस्तक्षेप निकै भारी हुँदै गइराखेको थियो । गोर्बचोवले अफगानिस्तानबाट बिनासर्त सोभियत सेना फिर्ता गर्ने निर्णय गरे । सोभियत संघको राम्रो पकड रहेका हंगेरी, पोल्यान्ड, चेकोस्लोभाकिया र पूर्वी जर्मनीमा रक्तपातरहित भेल्विट कलर रेभोलुसन (मखमली क्रान्ति) सुरु भयो । पहिलेको सोभियत सत्ताले झैं ती देशहरूमा हस्तक्षेप गर्न गोर्बचोव इच्छुक देखिएनन् । .......... ‘सीपीएसयूको महासचिव पदमा चुनिनुअघिसम्म उनले कुनै त्यस्तो योजना वा भिजन अघि सारेकै थिएनन् ।’ हुन पनि त्यसअघिसम्म उद्धृत गर्नलायक उनको कुनै विचार र सिद्धान्त फेला पार्न सकिन्न । यसैले कतिपयले उनलाई भिजनरहित नेताको उपमा पनि दिने गरेका छन् । ‘ताक दाल्से नी पाइद्योत’ अर्थात् यसै गरी अब अघि बढ्न सकिन्न उनको चर्चित नारा थियो । अगाडि जाने कसरी ? त्यसका निम्ति उनको न कुनै अन्तर्दृष्टि देखियो न तयारी नै । सुधार उनी अवश्य चाहन्थे तर गन्तव्यको पहिचान गर्न सकेनन् । उनी कुशल वक्ता थिए, घण्टौं धाराप्रवाह बोल्न सक्थे । तर भाषणहरू बहुधा अस्पष्ट हुन्थे । जसरी देङ स्याओपिङले आर्थिक सुधारमा मात्रै केन्द्रित भई अजंगको जनसंख्या रहेको चीनको व्यवस्थापन गरे, गोर्बचोवले त्यो बाटो पहिल्याउन नसकेकै हुन् । ............ घटनाक्रमले सत्ताबाट बाहिरिएपछि अपमान खेपेर पनि गोर्बचोव पलायन भई अन्यत्र निर्वासित हुन चाहेनन् । सोभियत संघ विघटनको पूर्वसन्ध्या र त्यसपछि पनि रुसी राष्ट्रपति बरिस येल्तसिनले उनलाई ठोसेको ठोस्यै गरे । उनलाई लाजमर्दो हुने गरी पेन्सन भत्ता उपलब्ध गराइयो, जम्मा ४ हजार रुबल । सन् १९९४ को विनिमय दरबमोजिम त्यो रकम केवल १.३ अमेरिकी डलर हुन्थ्यो । उनको कूटनीतिक पासपोर्ट खोसियो । यतिसम्म कि, उनले सुरु गरेको गोर्बचोव फाउन्डेसनलाई समेत येल्तसिनले केही समय प्रतिबन्ध लगाएका थिए । ......... १९९१ को मार्चमा सोभियत संघमा जनमतसंग्रह गराइयो । जनमतसंग्रहमा नयाँ सोभियत संघको अवधारणाअनुरूप राज्यको नाम ‘यूएसएसआर’ नै रहे पनि सोभियत समाजवादी गणतान्त्रिक संघको सट्टा ‘सोभियत सार्वभौम गणतान्त्रिक संघ’ रहने प्रस्तावलाई ७७.५ प्रतिशत जनताले समर्थन गरे । यद्यपि त्यस जनमतसंग्रहलाई १५ वटा सोभियत गणराज्यमध्ये ६ वटा गणराज्य लिथवानिया, लाटभिया, येस्तोनिया, जर्जिया, अर्मेनिया र माल्दोभाले बहिष्कार गरेका थिए । ............. नयाँ संघीय सन्धिमा हस्ताक्षर गरेपछि सोभियत संघको अस्तित्व नै मेटिन्छ भन्ने डरले कट्टरपन्थी गुट सक्रिय हुन थाल्यो । गोर्बचोव छुट्टीबाट फर्केर मस्को आउनुअघि नै उनलाई अपदस्थ गर्न सकेमा सोभियत गणराज्यहरूलाई नयाँ सन्धि गर्नबाट बचाउन सकिन्छ भन्ने सोचले यो समूहले योजना बनाउन थाल्यो । गुटका प्रमुख योजनाकार तत्कालीन केजीबी प्रमुख भ्लादिमिर क्र्युच्कोभ भए पनि उनको योजनालाई समर्थन गर्ने गोर्बचोवनजिकका धेरै मित्र थिए । ............ गोर्बचोव सिकिस्त बिरामी भएका र कार्यभार वहन गर्न नसक्ने अवस्थामा रहेकाले उनलाई पदमुक्त गरी राज्यमा आपत्कालीन अवस्था घोषणा गर्नुपरेको भन्दै गर्दा गेन्नाडी येनाएभले हात कमाएको दृश्य देख्ने जोकोहीले पनि राज्य विप्लवकारीमा दम छैन भन्ने अनुमान गरिसकेका थिए । .......... येल्तसिनको सहयोगमा १९९१ अगस्त २१ का दिन गोर्बचोवलाई क्रिमियाबाट मस्को फिर्ता बोलाइयो । राज्य विप्लव योजना असफल भएपछि योजनाकारमध्येका एक गृहमन्त्री बरिस पुगोले आत्महत्या गरे भने बाँकी विप्लवकारीहरूलाई त्यसै दिन पक्राउ गरियो । यसरी कट्टरपन्थीहरूको राज्य विप्लव योजना ७२ घण्टा पनि नटिक्दै १९९१ अगस्त २१ का दिन पूरै विफल भयो । ...........कट्टरपन्थीहरूको षड्यन्त्र र सुधारवादीहरूको आक्रामक विरोधलाई उनले व्यवस्थित गर्न सकेनन् । येन–केन–प्रकारेण ७४ वर्षसम्म टिकाइएको शासन व्यवस्था भित्रभित्रै मक्किसकेको थियो । सोभियत संघ विघटनका धेरै कारण हुन सक्लान् तर विघटनको प्रमुख कारक सोभियत गणराज्यहरूको स्वायत्त हुन पाउने अधिकार र जातीय रूपमा विभाजन नै हो । ........ पूर्व सोभियत गणराज्य लगायत वार्सा सन्धि संगठनका अधिकांश देश अहिले युरोपियन युनियन र नाटो सैन्य गठबन्धनमा आबद्ध भइसकेका छन् । ........... गोर्बचोव अधिनायकवादी थिएनन्, नरम स्वभावका नेता थिए । पोलिटब्युरो सदस्य येल्तसिनसहितले विद्रोह सुरु गरेपछि सोभियत कम्युनिस्ट पार्टीको साबिक चलन अनुसार उनले पनि विरोधीलाई दमन गर्न सक्थे तर त्यस्तो केही गरेनन् । भिल्न्युस, बाकु, तब्लिसीमा छुटफुट घटना भए पनि सैनिक बलका भरमा विद्रोहीहरूलाई दबाउने प्रयास कहिल्यै गरेनन् । उनी खासमा शान्तिपूर्ण उपायबाट पुरानो शासन प्रणालीलाई व्यवस्थापन गर्न चाहन्थे ।

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vivek Wadhwa: The Smartest Dude In Silicon Valley

(reprinted without permission)

If I am an optimist, it is because Vivek is looking into his crystal ball. I want this guy on my company's Board so bad!



"New trillion-dollar industries will come out of nowhere and wipe out existing trillion-dollar industries."






2014 is ending, but this wave of technology disruptions is just beginning

Dec 22, 2014 23,004 Views 732 Likes 153 Comments

Changes in technology are happening at a scale which was unimaginable before and will cause disruption in industry after industry. This has really begun to worry me, because we are not ready for this change and most of our leading companies won’t exist 15–20 years from now. Here are five sectors to keep an eye on:

1. Let’s start with manufacturing.

Robotics and 3-D printing have made it cheaper to manufacture in the United States and Europe than in China. Robots such as Baxter, from Rethink Robotics, and UR10, from Universal Robots, have arms; screens which show you their emotions; and sensors that detect what is happening around them. The cost of operating these is less than the cost of human labor. We can now have robots working 24×7 and doing some of the work of humans. Over time, these robots will become ever more sophisticated and do most human jobs. The manufacturing industry is surely going to be disrupted in a very big way. This is good news for America, Europe, and parts of Asia, because it will become a local industry. But this will be bad for the Chinese economy — which is largely dependent on manufacturing jobs.

In the next decade, robots will likely go on strike, because we won’t need them anymore. They will be replaced by 3D printers. Within 15 to 20 years, we will even be able to 3D print electronics. Imagine being able to design your own iPhone and print it at home. This is what will become possible.

2. The reinvention of finance.

We are already witnessing a controversy over Bitcoin. Many technology and retail companies are supporting it. Crowdfunding is shaking up the venture-capital industry and making it less relevant because it provides start-ups with an alternative for raising seed capital. We will soon be able to crowdfund loans for houses, cars, and other goods. With cardless transactions for purchasing goods, we won’t need the types of physical banks and financial institutions that we presently have. Banks in the United States seem to be complacent because they have laws protecting them from competition. But our laws don’t apply in other countries. We will see innovations happening abroad which disrupt industries in the United States.

3. Health care.

Apple recently announced Healthkit, its platform for health information. It wants to store data from the wearable sensors that will soon be monitoring our blood pressure, blood oxygenation, heart rhythms, temperature, activity levels, and other symptoms. Google, Microsoft, and Samsung will surely not be left behind and will all compete to provide the best health-data platforms. With these data, they will be able to warn us when we are about to get sick. AI-based physicians will advise us on what we need to do to get healthy.

Medical-test data, especially in fields such as oncology, is often so complex that human doctors cannot understand it. This will become even more difficult when they have genomics data to correlate. Over the last 15 years, the cost of human genome sequencing has dropped from the billions to about a thousand dollars. At the rate at which prices are dropping, the cost of sequencing will be close to zero in a few years and we will all have our genomes sequenced. When you combine these data with the medical-sensor data that the tech companies are collecting on their cloud platforms, we will have a medical revolution. We won’t need doctors for day-to-day medical advice any more. Robotic surgeons will also do the most sophisticated surgeries. We’re going to disrupt the entire health-care system.

4. Now take the energy industry.

Five years ago, we were worried about America running out of oil; today we’re talking about Saudi America — because of fracking. Yes, fracking is a harmful technology; nevertheless it has allowed America to become energy independent and will soon make it an energy exporter. And then there is solar energy, which some people have become negative about. But it is a fact solar prices have dropped about 97 percent over the past 35 years, and, at the rate at which solar is advancing, by the end of this decade we will achieve grid parity across the United States. Grid parity means it’s cheaper to produce energy at home on your solar cells than to buy it from utilities. Move forward another 10 or 20 years, and it will costs a fraction as much to produce your own energy as to buy it from the grid. This means that the utility companies will be in serious trouble. This is why they are beginning to fight the introduction of solar. If solar keeps advancing in the way it is, it will eclipse the fossil-fuel industry. Solar is only one of maybe a hundred advancing technologies that could disrupt the energy industry.

When we have unlimited energy, we can have unlimited clean water, because we can simply boil as much ocean water as we want. We can afford to grow food locally in vertical farms. This can be 100 percent organic, because we won’t need insecticides in the sealed farm buildings. Imagine also being able to 3D print meat and not having to slaughter animals. This will transform and disrupt agriculture and the entire food-production industry.

5. Communications.

Yes, even this industry will be disrupted. Note how AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have seen their landline businesses disappear. These were replaced by mobile—which is now being replaced by data. When I travel abroad, I don’t make long-distance calls any more, because I just call over Skype. Soon we will have WiFi everywhere, thanks to the competition between companies such as AT&T and Google to provide superfast Internet access. We will be able to make free calls over open WiFi networks.

***

In practically every industry that I look at, I see a major disruption happening. I know the world will be very different 15 to 20 years from now. The vast majority of companies who are presently the leaders in their industries will likely not even exist. That is because industry executives either are not aware of the changes that are coming, are reluctant to invest the type of money that is be required for them to reinvent themselves, or are protecting legacy businesses. Most are focused on short-term performance.

New trillion-dollar industries will come out of nowhere and wipe out existing trillion-dollar industries. This is the future we’re headed into, for better or for worse.




Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Ocean City

You need to believe this, I wrote my last post before I read this article, which is mind blowing.

The Next Giant Chinese City Will Float In The Ocean
The whole city is designed to be fairly self-sufficient. Tidal energy will power the island, and farms and hatcheries around the edge will provide food. Trash will be converted into more energy on site. The island will even have its own factory producing some hyper-local goods..... As futuristic as it seems, the island may be coming soon--a large Chinese property investment firm is reviewing the design now and expected to begin testing some of its components in 2015.



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Monday, July 30, 2012

Pragmatic Solar

English: Solar panel installation at an inform...
English: Solar panel installation at an information center adjacent to Ögii Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cheaper than fossil fuels is that magical line.

Ultra-Efficient Solar
Semprius's solar panels use glass lenses to concentrate incoming light .... using materials other than silicon, the most common semiconductor in solar panels today. ....... a highly efficient material called gallium arsenide ..... maximizes their power production by putting them under glass lenses that concentrate sunlight about 1,100 times. ..... Semprius's small cells produce so little heat that they don't require cooling, which further brings down the cost. ..... make enough solar panels annually to deliver six megawatts of electricity. The company hopes to expand that to 30 megawatts by the end of 2013 .... conventional silicon panels, whose prices fell by more than half in 2011 alone.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Solar Makes Sense

solar-powered solar system 19/365
solar-powered solar system 19/365 (Photo credit: Faisty.com)
It is like tapping into nuclear energy minus any of the radiation: the Sun is at a safe distance. But the trick has been to make business sense out of it.

The Dog Days of Solar
The solar industry has done a spectacular job lowering costs in the past three years, slashing per-watt costs in half.... The challenge isn't lack of innovation or financing ..... smaller players face the powerful headwinds of competing against giant incumbent providers with access to large amounts of cheap capital, all while needing to work out the kinks of a new production process at scale ..... Many upstart solar companies did the right thing by betting on new technologies to bring the cost of solar power closer to that of fossil fuels. In the end, though, market woes may trump their technical advances.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Microgrid

Solar Panel - Labatts Plant in Background
Solar Panel - Labatts Plant in Background (Photo credit: chucka_nc)
Microgrid Keeps the Power Local, Cheap, and Reliable
ties together power from fuel cells, solar panels, wind turbines, and diesel generators ..... to form a microgrid that can operate independently of large, centralized power plants. ..... an emerging smart-grid technology that's providing a cleaner, more reliable, and, in some parts of the country, significantly cheaper alternative to the conventional grid. ..... special software and power electronics to integrate multiple sources of power and energy storage to provide electricity around the clock, even when the sun isn't shining or regulations limit the use of diesel generators ..... If the utility experiences a large spike in demand, the microgrid can respond by selling excess power to the utility. .... The first customers for microgrids are businesses and organizations that can't afford even short power outages—such as jails, hospitals, data centers, and military bases—or remote areas that don't have access to the grid.
This philosophy has to be applied to the growth and consumption of food. Not all of it. But at least some parts of it. People should have the option.


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