DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Green Light Swansea Bay Tidal Power Station?

A UK government commission under former energy cabinet minister Charles Hendry has advised to go ahead with a 320 MW tidal energy project in Swansea Bay, Wales.
The British industry may have missed the boat with wind energy manufacturing, here is a chance to lay a claim on becoming a leader in tidal power.

#BritanniaRulesTheWaves

Three largest operational tidal power plants:

  1. Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, South Korea – 254MW
  2. La Rance Tidal Power Plant, France – 240MW
  3. Annapolis Royal Generating Station, Canada – 20MW

[wattisduurzaam.nl] – Groen licht voor Britse getijdencentrale van ±500 megawatt
[deepresource] – Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
[wikipedia.org] – Charles Hendry
[telegraph.co.uk] – Tidal lagoon developer to sign grid deal for £8bn Cardiff project
[bbc.com] – Ecotricity chief says Swansea tidal lagoon ‘too costly’
[walesonline.co.uk] – Everyone in Swansea is being urged to ‘Love the Tidal Lagoon’ to try to help make it happen
[power-technology.com] – Tidal giants – the world’s five biggest tidal power plants

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Crane Aeolus Jack-Up Vessel Being Upgraded

Pictures from Schiedam harbor near Rotterdam. The 900 tons crane of the offshore wind jack-up vessel Aeolus is being replaced with a 1600 tons one to prepare the ship for installation of heavier 8 MW wind turbines. Investment volume 300 million euro. The ship is playing an important role in getting the planned 4.5 GW offshore wind capacity installed by 2020 (Germany 6.5 GW and UK 10 GW by 2020). The Aeolus is able top operate in water depths of up to 45 m. The crane adaption has to be made only 3 years after the ship was commissioned, illustrating the rapid pace with which the offshore wind sector is developing and subsequent price decline.

In 2016 the Dutch government was prepared to subsidize 12 cent/kWh, but Danish Dong offered to do it for 7.27 cent. Later Shell, Van Oord, Eneco and Mitsubishi/DGE were awarded the tender for Borssele III & IV for merely 5.45 c/kWh. In Germany tenders were awarded for wind parks to be built in 2024-2025 with no subsidy at all. Won’t be long until wind developers will be fighting over available offshore locations for the privilege of being allowed to build ever larger wind farms.

In 2017 technology has advanced to the tune that monopiles are installed with an 8 m diameter, 80 m long and weighing 1300 tons. Vestas and Siemens are building 8 MW turbines and the next steps towards 10-15 MW machines are being prepared. The Aeolus can install one foundation per day.

[heavyliftnews.com] – “Aeolus” of Van Oord being upgraded with stronger Crane
[maritiemnieuws.nl] – Huisman gaat voor 300 miljoen aan nieuwe kranen bouwen
[ayop.com] – Van Oord lays strong foundations for wind
[maritiemnederland.com] – Waar liggen de limieten in offshore wind?
[noordzeeloket.nl] – Noordzeeloket

Segmented Wind Towers

Industry 4.0

[wikipedia.org] – Industry 4.0
[wikipedia.org] – Smart manufacturing
[i-scoop.eu] – Industry 4.0: the fourth industrial revolution
[forbes.com] – Why Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution
[spiegel.de] – Industrie 4.0 – Das Internet der Dinge

Read more…

All-Energy Glasgow 2017

[all-energy.co.uk] – All-Energy 2017
[all-energy.co.uk] – All presentations (scroll down)

Read more…

Offshore Wind Energy 2017 Opening Video

Offshore Wind Energy 2017 conference was held on 6-8 June earlier this year in London.

[offshorewind2017.com] – Official site

V164 3D Training Simulator

LG 365 Watt Solar Panel

LG Efficiency breakthrough 21.1% resulting in a 365 Watt panel or 26% more power than the regular 290 Watt panels of the same size (1686 x 1016 x 40 mm / 66.38 x 40 x 1.57 inch).

Power output warranty:

First 5 years : 95%
After 5th year : 0.4% annual degradation
25 years : 87.0%

[solarelectricsupply.com] – LG NeON R LG365Q1C-A5 365W Solar Panel
[solarpowerworldonline.com] – LG introduces 365-W solar panel to residential market
[wikipedia.org] – LG Corporation

The Great Nutrient Collapse

[Source]

Researchers claim that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere is not good for the quality of the food we ate.

[politico.com] – The Great Nutrient Collapse

Dubai Announces Winning Tender for World’s Largest Solar Project

Dubai has awarded a 700 MW Solar CSP Contract For Mammoth Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The entire solar park is planned to produce 1 GW in 2020 and 5 GW in 2030. The tower will have a height of 260 meters.

[arabnews.com] – DEWA announces winning tender for world’s largest solar project

Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene

Schematic of a solar-powered electrolysis cell which converts carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon and oxygenate products with an efficiency far higher than natural photosynthesis. Power-matching electronics allow the system to operate over a range of sun conditions. (Credit: Clarissa Towle/Berkeley Lab)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has designed a “competitor” for natural photosynthesis in plants in a setup where CO2 from the atmosphere is transformed into Ethanol (C2H5OH or CH3−CH2−OH or C2H5−OH) and Ethylene (C2H4 or H2C=CH2) using renewable electricity, with an efficiency far greater than in plants: 3-5% vs 0.2-2%.

[newscenter.lbl.gov] – Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene
[wikipedia.org] – Ethanol
[wikipedia.org] – Ethylene
[wikipedia.org] – Photosynthetic efficiency

70%, 80%, 99.9%, 100% Renewables — Study Central

Pointer to articles that describe the feasibility of 70-100% renewable energy systems.

[cleantechnica.com] – 70%, 80%, 99.9%, 100% Renewables — Study Central

Navya – The Autonomous Shuttles of Paris La Defense


Youtube text:

Three autonomous driverless and 100% electric shuttles circulate all week long, for six months, in the most visited business district in Europe! The three autonomous shuttles operate on three different tracks in order to cover the district of La Défense which hosts more than 500 000 visitors daily!

During the first three months of the service, welcome officers will be present with the passengers onboard the shuttles to acquaint them with this unprecedented service. Then they will circulate without any welcome officers during the last three months.

The experimentation will be conducted, at least, until end of December 2017. It will allow to test this 100% autonomous and eco-friendly public transport service, in a very dense urban area, for the purpose of a possible deployment in the years to come. The goal of this service is to transport passengers on the first and last kilometer.

This service, offered by the STIF, Keolis, NAVYA and DEFACTO, is free during all the experimentation.

[navya.tech] – Company site

Read more…

Water Splitting Catalyst Breakthrough?

Molecular models representing a 2D heterostructure made of graphene (gray background hexagonal lattice), and islands on top of hexagonal WS2 and MoS, as well as an alloy of the two. Water (H2O) molecules in red (oxygen) and gray (hydrogen) come from the bottom left hand side and get transformed catalytically after interacting with the heterostructures into H2 bubbles (top right hand side). Credit: Penn State Materials Research Institute.

Platinum is a near perfect catalyst for splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The only drawback is that it is very expensive. Researchers from Houston, Penn State and Florida State University claim to have found a cheaper replacement: Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). A Swiss team already proposed this solution in 2011.

No efficiency numbers are given.

The Wiley link from 2016 mentions 12.4%

[phys.org] – Low cost, scalable water splitting fuels the future hydrogen economy
[phys.org] – Researchers report new, more efficient catalyst for water splitting
[pubs.rsc.org] – Amorphous MoS2 films as catalysts for electrochem. H2 prod. in H2O
[pubs.acs.org] – Amorphous Molybdenum Sulfides as Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts
[onlinelibrary.wiley.com] – MoS2 as a co-catalyst for photocatalytic hydrogen production from water
[wikipedia.org] – Molybdenum disulfide
[wikipedia.org] – Gibbs free energy

Renewable Cooling – Ice Energy

Solutions like these can be seen as a storage facility. Produce ice when there is abundant cheap renewable electricity and release the cold when it is needed and electricity supply is low and prices are high.

Liquid Air Energy Storage

[source]

Core idea: freeze air with excess renewable electricity for storage purposes and when you need electricity, warm the liquid air with heat from the environment and as such create high pressure air that can be used to drive a generator. Advantage: scalability, mature technology, low cost, high lifespan, possibility to include waste heat (for instance from powerstations) to increase efficiency. 50 MWh typical storage volume (“entry level”).

Round-trip efficiency:

In isolation the process is only 25% efficient, but this is greatly increased (to around 50%) when used with a low-grade cold store, such as a large gravel bed, to capture the cold generated by evaporating the cryogen. The cold is re-used during the next refrigeration cycle. Efficiency is further increased when used in conjunction with a power plant or other source of low-grade heat that would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere. Highview Power Storage claims an AC to AC round-trip efficiency of 70%, by using an otherwise waste heat source at 115 °C. The IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) agrees that these estimates for a commercial-scale plant are realistic. However this number was not checked or confirmed by independent professional institutions.

[source]

[lowcarbonfutures.org] – Liquid Air Technologies – a guide to the potential
[highview-power.com] – Highview company site
[energystorage.org] – Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)
[renewableenergyworld.com] – A Look at Liquid Air Energy Storage Technology
[wikipedia.org] – Cryogenic energy storage
[the-linde-group.com] – Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)
[highview-power.com] – Liquid air storage tour
[wikipedia.org] – Georges Claude
[wikipedia.org] – Liquefaction of gases

[source]

Read more…

Lagerwey L136 4.5MW Onshore WindTurbine Construction

Location: Eemshaven, the Netherlands.
A second L136 tower will be built by the end of the year with a self-climbing crane (see video at the bottom), turning the tower in a self-constructing wind turbine.

[lagerwey.de] – Lagerwey builds the first L136 4.5MW turbines for Growind
[lagerwey.de] – L136-4.0-4.5MW

Still waiting for this one to materialize:

Blueprint 100% Renewable Energy Base for Germany

Scale the numbers up and you have the solution for Europe, with significant changes in numbers for individual nations. The cost of this renewable energy system would not be higher than our current fossil fuel based energy system.

Legenda:

Gud – “Gas und Dampf” (gas and steam).
KWK – “Kraftwärmekopplung” (co-generation. “power-heat-coupling”)
Solarthermie – thermal solar (solar collectors)
BHKW – “Blockheizkraftwerke” (co-generation. “block heat and power generation”)
Gas-Wärmepumpen – Gas-heatpumps
Pumpspeicher – Pumped hydro
Wärmespeicher – heat storage (water medium)
Wärmelast – heat load
WP – “Wärmepump” (heat pump)

[fraunhofer.de] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland

[deepresource] – Norway Europe’s Green Battery
[deepresource] – Norway Wants to Become Europe’s Battery Pack
[deepresource] – The European Supergrid
[deepresource] – First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands
[deepresource] – Opel Ampera E (Chevrolet Bolt)
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea
[deepresource] – Power to Gas
[deepresource] – MERITS Seasonal Heat Storage Breakthrough
[deepresource] – Hamburg Considers Large Scale Storage of Heat

Can Society Run on Renewable Energy Alone?

Kris de Decker

The Flamish energy thinker Kris De Decker blogs at “Low Tech Magazine“, was guest author at “The Oil Drum” and writes for many prominent newspapers in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. De Decker presents a big picture view on the possibility of a 100% renewable energy society. De Decker preaches “low tech” if not “no tech”.

The article.

The author admits that there is potentially more than enough renewable energy available. In Europe 10 times, in the US even 100 times present day electricity consumption, that’s not the problem. The real issue is intermittency. How can we guarantee that our energy grids remain stable, like they have been over the past hundred year, when we switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy? They author describes the intermittency of wind and solar in more detail and we assume he has done his homework. A first positive observation is that throughout the year solar and wind intermittency somewhat compensate each other. There is more wind in the winter months and more solar in the summer.

De Decker lists five strategies to combat the negative consequences of intermittency:

  • 1. Backup Power Plants. Don’t opt for 100% renewable energy supply but keep fossil fuel backup capacity alive. And since it regularly happens that no renewable energy is available at all, this would imply that all fossil fuel power generating capacity must remain in place. The only difference is with the present is that they will be (partially) idle for a long time. Essentially a hybrid system.
  • 2. Oversizing Renewable Power Production. “Solution”: build so much capacity that supply always matches demand. The author admits that this would lower the energy efficiency (EROI) because the energy system would over supply which necessitates switching power generation off.
  • 3. Supergrids. Another more practical way to combat intermittency is connecting large geographical areas into a single supergrid and use “statistics” to even out irregular supply. This would require a continental grid with much higher voltages and in Europe a renewed grid with twelve times more transport capacity.
  • 4. Energy Storage. The author claims that in the case of Europe, 400 TWh net storage capacity is needed or 1.5 months worth of consumption. Pumped hydro can supply 80 TWh and car batteries 7.5 TWh. The rest should be batteries.
  • 5. Adjusting Demand to Supply. The author (correctly) questions the necessity of “supply should always meet demand”. Why not consume energy if it is available. The Dutch of the 17th century for instance reclaimed new land by pumping it dry and sawed planks for their commercial fleet with wind power, despite its intermittency.

There is not much wrong with the article and De Decker basically supports the idea of a 100% renewable society even if he is skeptical that we can have a plug-and-play solution and instead advocates that we should learn to live with a less comfortable situation where demand will follow supply instead of the other way around.

Is he right? Eh no. He is ignoring the impact of other promising storage technologies. Take the blueprint of the 100%-renewable energy model as promoted by the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute. Note this is the overall energy picture, not just electricity. The model and numbers are for Germany, but can be scaled up for Europe, with adaptions in the numbers for the respective local situations:

[source] 100% renewable energy blueprint for Germany according to the Fraunhofer Institute

Summary in numbers:

Input: 542 GW intermittent renewable energy, mostly wind (200 GW) and solar (252 GW).

Storage: batteries 52 GWh, pumped hydro 60 GWh, power-to-gas (methane) 88 GW and other, see legenda:

Legenda:
Gud – “Gas und Dampf” (gas and steam).
KWK – “Kraftwärmekopplung” (co-generation. “power-heat-coupling”)
Solarthermie – thermal solar (solar collectors)
BHKW – “Blockheizkraftwerke” (co-generation. “block heat and power generation”)
Gas-Wärmepumpen – Gas-heatpumps
Pumpspeicher – Pumped storage (hydro)
Wärmespeicher – heat storage (water medium)
Wärmelast – heat load
WP – “Wärmepump” (heat pump)
Überschuss Wärme – Excess heat

Essential is the Energiesanierung (energy renovation) of buildings, which should result in a reduction of space heating energy requirement of 64.9% as compared to 2010 level.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute would the cost of this renewable energy system not be higher than our current fossil fuel based energy system.

[lowtechmagazine.com] – How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Solar and Wind Power Alone
[krisdedecker.org] – Kris de Decker
[fraunhofer.de] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland
[sueddeutsche.de] – Wie Deutschland auf 100 Prozent Ökostrom umsteigen kann
[acatech.de] – Stabilität im Zeitalter der erneuerbaren Energien

2 GW Offshore Windpower Planned for British Columbia

DONG of Denmark did it again. After acquiring the 1.4GW Hornsea-UK project in the North Sea, they now will build an even bigger 2GW project off the West coast of Canada. For DONG this means an expansion beyond European borders and the Danish wind energy giant could ascend to become one of the global players in wind power that in a few decades will have replaced the mainly Anglo oil majors (“Seven Sisters”). European Seven Brothers, anyone?

[cleantechnica.com] – DONG Partners With NaiKun Wind Energy Group To Develop 2GW BC Offshore Wind Site
[4coffshore.com] – Naikun Haida Energy Field Offshore Wind Farm
[deepresource] – DONG to Build World’s Largest Offshore Wind Park Hornsea-UK
[wikipedia.org] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)
[deepresource] – The Seven Brothers – Europe Taking Lead in US Offshore

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