Sunday, July 06, 2008

Well done Nadal and Spain!

This is the year of Spanish sport. After Spain won the European Cup at football after 44 years, tonight Rafa Nadal is the first Spanish tennis man to win the Wimbledon in 42 years. Both the Spanish football team and Nadal won in style, playing superb matches. Felicitaciones a ambos.

Update: that does not diminish the merits of Federer, this final was the best tennis match I saw since I started watching this sport. Both Federer and Nadal are great players, it's a pleasure to watch them.

The cost of wind energy

I read a very interesting analysis regarding the total cost of using wind power to generate electricity on The Register. Basically, the idea is that since wind is not guaranteed to blow all the time, you need to have back-up energy generating capacity to keep the energetic system in balance. There are various theories and proposals to fix this problem like: wind doesn't blow in one region/country but might blow in another one so the spread of wind mills will create a balance, or when you have excess wind you can use a part of the energy to pump some water uphill and use hydro-energy as back-up when the wind doesn't blow. This study demonstrates that in the case of UK these solutions are not feasible (using statistics regarding the wind intensity patterns), so in the end you need to have gas/coal back-up power plants. This leads to a total different cost of wind energy. It's interesting to see who will pay this cost. Normally the ones who install wind mills should be asked to pay for the back-up capacity too.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New book - Doctor Jivago

I started a couple of weeks ago to read Doctor Jivago by Boris Pasternak. It took me a while to get in the mood for reading, so only a few days ago I started reading more than a half a page per day :)
It has many characters so it takes a while to fix them in your memory, but I'm enjoying it. I also saw the movie many years ago, but I don't remember much, just the atmosphere and a sleigh going through the Russian fields covered in snow.