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Convert Oil Wells to Solve the Solar Storage Problem

Similar mismatches in supply and demand contributed to massive cascading blackouts in August 2003 in the northeastern United States and Canada, in July 2012 in India, and in March 2019 in Venezuela. The situation is unlikely to get better anytime soon, for three reasons. First, as countries everywhere move to decarbonize, the electrification of transportation, heating, and other sectors will cause electricity demand to soar. Second, conventional coal and nuclear plants are being retired for economic and policy reasons, removing stable sources from the grid. And third, while wind and…

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The End of Infinite Data Storage Can Set You Free

In early January, Google sent an email notifying me that I’d used up 76 percent of my account’s free storage space—the 15 gigabytes shared across Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Drive. I had been vaguely aware that a storage limit did in fact exist and that I might someday reach it, but the notification still caught me off guard. Having lived with the illusion of effectively infinite Google capacity for a decade and a half, I could hardly imagine a world in which I would need to ration my cloud…

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