5 Months ago I remember hearing about their plan to introduce programming into elementary curriculum. http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/09/04/2136256/estoni...
They have executed well in the building. Financing is kinda easy for a country of only 1.3 million people heavily subsidized by the European Union (which Estonia is a part of).
During the 2008-2009 crisis (which is not done yet but I digress), the Estonian GDP took a gigantic hit: -20% of the GDP. That's what you get when you're taxing the private sector like crazy: the private sector, in usual circumstances, can barely survive. If any crisis happens, then the private sector dies and the economy crumbles (thank you socialism for the crazy high confiscatory tax rates on the private sector).
It's like Poland, for example: I love this country and it feels incredibly more "new" and even sometimes more "hi-tech" (e.g. in big cities malls) than western europe... But Poland is receiving crazy funding from the EU to get up to speed.
As an EU taxpayer, that said, it's good that at least some of money is used to invest in technologies that are bound to become very important in the future...
What is interesting to me about Estonia now is the lack of overall diversity in the tech sector there. The biggest tech employers seem to be the government, the banks, and Skype.
Maybe Skype buyout V2 will inject more in the way of a startup culture there.
Here is one Estonian Startups list:
- all in all, there are 100+ active startups in Estonia, which I would say for a country of 1 million people is quite a startup culture. Estonia now has I believe 7 or 8 European startup accelerator Seedcamp winners, trailing only UK, Seedcamp's home country.
Even then, we as Estonian startup people don't care where the main legal entity is. If it's started and run by Estonians, we consider it Estonian.
I believe that's not unique to Estonia. The biggest tech employers in my country are the government and the banks as well (No Skype here).
wow, it's nice you say that, but could you elaborate?
Support for start ups that create long term jobs and values might be a better use of the carbon credits they sold to Mitsubishi.
"Estonia has the highest gross domestic product per person among the former Soviet republics. It is listed as a "high-income economy" by the World Bank, is identified as an "advanced economy" by the International Monetary Fund, and is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The United Nations classifies Estonia as a developed country with a very high Human Development Index, and the country ranks highly in measures of press freedom (3rd in the World in 2012), economic freedom, political freedom and education."
And first amongst former soviet states is not exactly knocking it out of the ball park.
> And first amongst former soviet states is not exactly knocking it out of the ball park.
Clearly, they should be ZEROTH.
That being said, tech might be top-notch, but the economy is sinking. Sure, they raised the minimum wage to 350 EUR / month, but all it really did was increase the number of "officially poor" and since living cost is catching up with Finland (not in houses or apartments as of yet, but pretty much everything else) the ~400 EUR most people get for paychecks around here is not for living, it's for suffering.
So perhaps a better thing to do would be to just fall behind in the tech field a bit (a bit, not die) and actually do whatever the hell is needed to provide companies with enough income to pay decent salaries. I have no idea how the entire "money making" system works and I'm sure it's complicated as hell, but if they have money to make Estonia a tech country that has a ton of poor people who are struggling to collect enough money to get the hell out of here then maybe they should instead invest that money in people - and in return get people invest in the country itself.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6768395.stm says there's a 30km/h speed limit and an accident in 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments_for_Drivers says there are 1,000 cars in Vatican City.
A-ha! Here's a description of the people who drive in Vatican City: http://mes.stparchive.com/Archive/MES/MES03141997p05.php . It's at the bottom, along with a description of the parking problems and congestion. Based on http://www.slate.com/articles/life/welltraveled/features/201... , these roads are not open to the public.
Lol. The joys of automatically generated text. http://www.expedia.co.uk/Compare-Cheap-Car-Hire-In-Vatican-C... claims "However, most car hire vendors will also have pick up/ drop off locations within Vatican City, so if you are staying in the city then you may want to consider this as an option ... If you plan to hire a car and drive around Vatican City to take in the sights, it's worthwhile taking a bit of time out and stopping off and visiting the historical Casina Pio IV (Villa Pia). The big advantage of hiring a car in Vatican City will not only allow you to enjoy the scenery within the city boundaries but will also makes it much easier to explore beyond the city."
Casina Pio IV is "home to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas." I'm pretty sure it's not on the top things to see while in Vatican City.
Hm, they could just restrict driving to golf carts and be the first fully-electric-car nation ...
Anyone understand what this sentence from the article means?
Mitsubishi needs to purchase these credits to stay within regulatory requirements pertaining to emittance of CO2 probably in the EU. Given that Mitsubishi is a large manufacturer they probably produce above their alloted quota of CO2 and therefore must purchase credits from someone/some organization (in this case Estonia) that does not use their full quota.
Estonia is using the income from this agreement to fund the fast-charging network.
This is all educated speculation as to its meaning. Apologies for no links to references to back up my understanding. I am sure a quick search will provide more information.
Apparently that's part of the game with capping the emissions... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissions_trading#Emission_mark...
As far as I see - way to go :-)
Mitsubishi are giving this network for free to Estonia in exchange for a right to some of their pollution allowance under the kyoto protocol.
Estonia has a lot of allowance spare because quotas were based upon the amount of polluting you used to do, and Estonia used to have a lot of heavy industry which fell apart in the 90s.
So really, they got lucky and they got this network for free thanks to a quirk in the Kyoto protocol.
For "cold" see  the idea of using the potential energy of snow on mountains (or hills). Maybe create artificial avalanches.
For "darkness", no idea. :)
I could beat the US in Internet speed if I setup a neighborhood network.
That rating is totally humiliating for a country which invented Internet and they should do something about it.
For the Bay Area numbers:
Mind you I was talking to their sales team in London, who probably needed to offload unsold Roadsters.
Not to mention, solar is rapidly approaching the point where it will be cheaper than coal, so it's only a matter of time before coal will start getting phased out anyway.
I'm pretty sure it's the opposite. Do you have a particular study/calculation in mind?
Moving to electric makes you reliant on current means of energy production, but to move to cleaner tech you replace 100 power plants instead of 10,000,000 cars.
Secondly, the electrical grid acts like a technology buffer. In the future, those coal plants can be replaced by water, wind, solar or something else, without changing the grid or the vehicle charging network.
There's no environmental case for EV-only cars, unless you are powering the grid with solar, wind, or hydro.
Sure, but that's a different metric than the OP was asking about and talks about one particular method of mining. On the specific question of system efficiency -- mechanical output divided by heat content input ("well to wheels") -- it is indeed generally right that coal electricity + transmission/battery losses still has a higher efficiency than everyone burning gas in their own poorly-maintained vehicle.
>There's no environmental case for EV-only cars, unless you are powering the grid with solar, wind, or hydro.
If you make the question black-and-white, perhaps. But hopefully we can recognize that e.g. oil-derived electricity powering cars is a step up from millions of aging ICEs using that oil in refined form;
- and that natural gas-generated electricity is a step up from that
- and that it's easier to change the (ultimate) power source on an electric car than a gas-powered one, which has a very "picky" engine.
Trucking hydrocarbons around to thousands of endpoints doesn't actually compare favorably to line loss.
Plus the electric cars can only buy renewable energy, it would nullify the point of selling CO2 quotas if they used fossil fuel to produce that energy ;)
How much energy can a car have with a "full tank of hydrogen", and what would that tank look like? Remember, a bucket of gasoline contains more hydrogen than a bucket of liquid hydrogen, and the gas kan be reasonably safely kept in the bucket, but the hydrogen requires very special equipment.
How will you get the hydrogen into the car? Gas can be poured into the gas tank, how would you transfer liquid hydrogen safely? Remember, chain-smoking stressed out soccer moms with three screaming kids in the car have to be able to do this without blowing themselves up.
How will you get hydrogen to the gas stations? How will you manufacture the hydrogen? You can't mine it or collect it, so you would have to create it by splicing water, a process which consumes a lot of energy. Where will you get that energy from? And if you're going to use electricity anyway, how much of that energy is lost in the process?
What's the "well to wheels" efficiency of a hydrogen vehicle? I'm pretty sure it's smarter to just charge a battery in the vehicle directly, through the electricity network, rather than going the roundabout way of creating volatile hydrogen at special plants, transporting that hydrogen to gas stations, having equipment for allowing people to fill up their cars, and finally combust the hydrogen in the car to make it move.
So what happened? Someone did the math on the whole chain, instead of just handwaving the massive infrastructure problems away.
They've already "solved" most of the problems you mention; the "problems" are with scaling that sort of infrastructure. Scaling EV chargers is just much simpler.
However, I am interested in hydrogen as a fuel from a long term perspective. In the future when we have vehicles that need to run on other planets, presumably hydrogen will be the fuel; however I'm not sure those engines will be IC; maybe miniaturized jet engines? :)
edit: probably not, since jet engines need oxygen which may not be available on other planets
I don't know what you mean by "contains more hydrogen", but if we look at the calorific value (energy per unit weight) then hydrogen has almost 3 times that of gasoline 
You are correct in that liquid hydrogen has more energy per weight than gas, but gas is ten times denser, so it has around three times more energy per volume, and both are important when it comes to designing a safe fuel container that fits in a car.