Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Offshore Wind Capacity Factors


The general rule is: the bigger and the newer the offshore wind turbines, the larger the capacity factor becomes and hence the lower the per kWh price.

[] – Danish data
[] – German data
[] – UK data
[] – Belgian data

The champion: Dudgeon (last 12 months) ==> *** 65.3% ***

Dudgeon: 67 Siemens 6 MW turbines, 32 km offshore Norfolk, operational since October 2017, owners Statoil, Masdar, Statkraft, water depth 18-25 m, rotor axis 110 m, rotor diameter 154 m, nameplate capacity factor 48%

[] – Dudgeon UK offshore wind farm 402 MW
[] – Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm
[] – Capacity factor

[] – Haliade-X Offshore Wind Turbine Platform

The Haliade-X 12 MW also features a 63% capacity factor*—five to seven points above industry standard. Each incremental point in capacity factor represents around $7 million in revenue for our customers over the life of a windfarm.

Self-Climbing Crane Making Progress

The idea is to substantially cut cost installing a wind turbine by using the turbine itself as a crane. The first (positive) experiences are now in with the construction of a 4.5 MW turbine. Large cranes are no longer necessary anymore.

[] – Bouw windturbine snel gerealiseerd dankzij zelf klimmende hijskraan
[] – Zelfklimmende kraan kan niet zonder camera’s
[deepresource] – World Primeur – Lagerwey Self-Climbing Crane in Action
[deepresource] – Lagerwey Climbing Crane

Bill Gates with DOE into Mini Molten Salt Reactors


The Energy Department is participating in major push with electric utility Southern and a company founded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to develop small nuclear power reactors that are less expensive and more efficient than their much larger cousins.

“Molten salt reactors are getting a reboot,” the Energy Department tweeted late Wednesday, offering a schematic of a battery-like power plant module that “could power America’s energy.”

Investment volume: 20 + 28 million $.
Prototype expected by 2030.

[] – Energy Department teams up with Bill Gates to move mini-nuclear plants to market
[] – Molten Salt Reactors

Concrete Battery

Swiss startup Energy Vault wants to lift concrete weights (density 2.4 ton/m3) to store renewable energy when there is no pumped hydro as alternative, currently 96% of the world’s energy storage capacity, with 75% of it in 10 suitable countries only.

The idea: 120 m crane lifting 35 ton of concrete blocks and pile them up neatly. Storage capacity 20 MWh, sufficient for 2,000 household-days. Round-trip efficiency 85%. The lifting and positioning is done automatically, no human intervention necessary, thanks to camera’s and software. The system is relatively insensitive to wind, software compensates for it. The idea is to use building waste, municipalities otherwise pay money for to get rid off.

Currently a demo site with 20 m crane and 500 kg blocks is in operation.
Storage cost:

Lithium-ion: $280-350/kWh
Concrete battery: $150/kWh

First commercial projects are said to be realized early 2019.

[] – Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy
[] – Energy Vault Proposes An Energy Storage System Using Concrete Blocks

The Sudden Death of Peak Oil – 4.5 Trillion Barrels of Oil Left

Google trends – nobody is interested anymore in the topic of “peak oil”

Technology is not just expanding our daily oil production; it also continues to increase the amount of oil and liquid fuels we can count on for the future.

In 1981, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that remaining global recoverable crude and condensate resources were 1 trillion barrels; today, the IEA estimates that it is 4.5 trillion barrels – enough to meet global oil demand beyond the 21st century. By 2040, the amount of resources yet to be produced will still be far higher than total production prior to 2040, even with a 20 percent rise in global oil demand.

Oil reserves according to the IEA and US Geological Survey: 4.5 trillion barrel of recoverable oil left, that would be 27 times the largest oil field in history, Ghawar.

[] – Exxon’s Shocking Supply And Demand Predictions

[] – U.S. Oil Reserves Bigger Than Saudi Arabia’s

Note that the IEA doesn’t state at what price levels these 4.5 trillion barrel can be recovered. Regardless, there is enough oil left to set up a renewable energy base. The challenge is not to find new oil, the challenge is not to use it.

Nord Stream 2

With 1,222 km the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world. The US are against building Nord Stream 2, but 66% of the German population wants to see the pipeline build. Construction of Nord Stream 2 began in May 2018. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Nord Stream I = 55 billion m3/year
Nord Stream II = 55 billion m3/year

That’s an amount of energy of 110 billion m3 gas = 1100 billion kWh or 1100 billion / 0.5 billion Europeans = 2200 kWh per European per year.

Rationale: supply security, read become independent from unreliable overland intermediaries like the Ukraine.

[] – Nord Stream
[] – War and fuel: Angela Merkel’s headaches in Russia talks
[] – Construction begins on gas pipeline connecting Germany to Russia

German AfD populists pressing to get the pipeline built, explicitly calling to ignore US demands

Ecovat Modelling

[] – Improving an Integer Linear Programming Model of an Ecovat Buffer by Adding Long-Term Planning
[deepresource] – Ecovat Seasonal Heat Storage


If you realize that the average occupation rate of your standard sedan is ca. 1.25 persons, meaning that a car mindlessly mainly moves 3.75 empty seats around… if you additionally realize that in a carbon-starved world, not because we run out of carbon but rather that we running into limits of the amount of carbon the atmosphere can handle, we cannot continue with our old ways… if you also realize that a car is mainly used for single person commuting (in Holland on average 34 km/day), shopping and business travel and not for happy families of 5 travelling to the seaside with dad-knows-best behind the steering wheel and mum distributing the sandwiches… these three realizations should really cause car designers to rethink traditional personal transportation assumptions.

Enter the Swiss-made Microlino:

Battery: 8 kWh or 14.4 kWh
Acceleration (0-50 km/h): 5 seconds
Range: 120 km or 215 km (with 14.4 kWh battery)
Maximum speed: 90 km/h
Price: 12,000 euros
Market-ready: 2019

Note: this could be the solution for those happy few who still will own a car. For the lesser Gods, the self-driving shared van could be the future.

[] – Microlino
[] – Micro Mobility Systems
[] – The Tiny Electric Microlino Is The Ideal City Mobility Answer
[] – The adorable Microlino car just got approved for European streets

Oh, and happy families can take the train to the sea-side, once or twice a year

Battolyser – 90% Storage Efficiency With Combining Batteries and Electrolysis


The idea: combining battery and hydrogen-production functionality in one device. Battery + electrolysis: battolyser. Players: Technical University Delft and Proton Ventures from Schiedam, Netherlands. The battery is Thomas Edison patented technology from 1901. The production of hydrogen was so far an unwanted side effect during charging of the battery. Researchers now want to turn this bug into a feature. The production of hydrogen begins when the battery is as good as fully charged. It is this combination that leads to an excellent overall storage efficiency of 90%. All you need is abundant available zinc, iron and water.

First experiments early 2019 with a 15 kWh prototype, but the university, energy giant Nuon and Proton are already thinking aloud about a 10 MW model

[] – Nickel–iron battery
[] – Hoe deze antieke accu uit Delft oneindig veel windenergie opslaat
[] – Efficient electricity storage with a battolyser, an integrated Ni–Fe battery and electrolyser

Our results demonstrate a remarkable constant and a high overall energy efficiency (80–90%), enhanced electrode storage density, fast current switching capabilities, and a general stable performance. The battolyser may enable efficient and robust short-term electricity storage and long-term electricity storage through production of hydrogen as a fuel and feedstock within a single, scalable, abundant element based device.

Siemens Gamesa & Van Oord To Build 380 MW Fryslân Wind Farm

Power: 382 MW
Turbines: 89 4.3 MW Siemens-Gamesa
Operational: mid 2021
Construction cost: 500 million euro

[] – Official project site
[] – Windpark Fryslân Offhore Wind Farm
[] – Siemens Gamesa & Van Oord Chosen To Build 380 Megawatt Fryslân Nearshore Wind Farm
[] – All Clear for Windpark Fryslân Construction

Developments in Growing Food in an Age of Climate Change

Scientists in the Netherlands say they are close to a breakthrough which will allow crops to be grown in deserts. Many say this could completely alter life on the African continent and even end hunger. World leaders meeting at the climate talks in Germany are being urged to commit to more funding for new agricultural projects in drought-stricken parts of the world.

  • productivity: 900 head of lettuce per m2 (200 kg). Any other crop will do as well.
  • 1 hectare (100m x 100m): 4 workers, mainly supervising. Planting, watering, harvesting, packaging, all automated
  • production: around the year, completely planned, meaning little necessity for storage. Straight from the “field” to the super market
  • these production facilities can be build next to Amsterdam, Stoke-on-Trent, Johannesburg, Riaydh, Reykjavik, anywhere. Almost complete independence from environmental conditions
  • almost no transportation cost: production next to consumers
  • lights from leds doesn’t take that much energy. And if you don’t stack, you can let in sunlight (Summer)
  • Water requirements: near zero. All water remains in the building, apart from the small quantities embedded in the product

[] – “900 kroppen sla per vierkante meter en slechts 4 arbeiders per hectare”

Hoover Dam to Become Mega-Battery


Date of first operation: 1936
Primary reservoir: 35.200 km3, 180 km
Generating capacity: 2.080 MW
Annual generation: 4.2 TWh
Project cost: $3B
Date operational start hydro storage: 2028

[] – Hoover Dam
[] – Hoover-Damm soll Mega-Batterie werden
[] – LA To Turn Hoover Dam Into World’s Largest Hydro Storage
[] – The $3 Billion Plan to Turn Hoover Dam Into a Giant Battery

e.GO Life, City E-Vehicle for 12k Euro

New German e-vehicle grass-roots development. Price 15,900 euro minus 4,000 euro subsidy. Four-seater.

Motor: 20-40-60 kW
Range (city): 104-124-158 km
Range (NEFZ): 121-142-184 km
Battery: 14,9-17,9-23,9 kWh
Consumption: 10 km/kWh [*]
Weight: 880 kg
Production volume: 10,000/year
Production start: end 2018

[] – e.GO Life
[] – Günther gegen Goliath
[] – Interview mit Prof. Dr. Schuh/CEO von e.GO

[*] Average commuting distance Holland is 34 km. Two standard solar panels with mid-summer irradiation would suffice to bridge this distance. Or 90 euro cent electricity per commuter trip against Dutch grid electricity prices, much cheaper than petrol.

Read more…

Expertise Hub Interviews

Westermeerwind Offshore Windpark Construction

Siemens promo.

The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy

Natural gas power plant Eemshaven. One of the blocks is retrofitted for hydrogen.

The Netherlands are “plat als een dubbeltje” (flat as a dime) and as such pumped hydro storage solutions are virtually impossible. The people behind the recent Climate Accord, that is from the industry to environmentalist groups, see hydrogen as the key of the energy transition. Current annual hydrogen production (from natural gas) is 800,000 ton, mostly for agriculture and refineries. The goal is “green hydrogen”, produced from solar and wind, without CO2 as a byproduct. Hydrogen is needed for several purposes: as storage and for certain aspects of industrial society that can’t be covered with electricity alone. Batteries alone are no solution. For the storage of 2000 kWh you would need 3 sea containers per household at the cost of 40,000 euro/year. You can store the same 2000 kWh worth of energy in a hydrogen container of merely 1 m3. And yes, there are considerable conversion losses from electricity –> H2 –> electricity, but hydrogen can be exported via existing but retrofitted natural gas networks, where building new cables would be 100-200 times more expensive.

Dutch industry is already busy with laying the foundations of a hydrogen economy. In the northern Groningen province, GasUnie is developing a small factory where solar electricity is converted in hydrogen (“power-to-gas”). The best location for large scale hydrogen factories is probably at sea, near the wind parks. Fortunately there is an enormous pipeline infrastructure in the North Sea, a left over of the gas and oil age, that can be reused for hydrogen. Large scale hydrogen production won’t happen before 2030, simply because there is yet not enough wind power generated that can’t be used immediately. 3,000 turbines are seen as a critical number from where storage would become necessary.

Currently Holland is competing with post-Fukushima Japan to be the owner of the first hydrogen economy.

[] – Ineens lijkt waterstof het antwoord op alle energieproblemen

[deepresource] – Nederlandse Regering Presenteert Klimaatakkoord
[deepresource] – First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands
[deepresource] – Prof. Ad van Wijk (#1 Dutch hydrogen guru)
[] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands (English pdf, 51p)
[] – A Roadmap for The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands

The report contains significant financial analysis on how green hydrogen can be produced at industrial scale, either from biomass gasification or water electrolysis, at a cost of EUR 2.20 to 2.30 per kg.

Nederland Waterstofland

Retrospect conference organized by Dutch employers’ organizations VNO-NCW and MKB on the topic of “The Netherlands Hydrogen Country”.

[] – Terugblik conferentie Nederland Waterstofland

National hydrogen guru prof. Ad van Wijk is baking an egg on hydrogen.

Norwegian Battery Breakthrough


Researchers at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE) in Kjeller say they have perfected a way to substitute silicon for the graphite commonly used in the anodes of lithium ion batteries.

silicon battery technology NorwayThe discovery will lead to batteries that can power an electric car for 600 miles or more, the researchers claim… The researchers have found a way to mix silicon with other elements to create an anode that is stable and long lasting and which has three to five times higher capacity than a conventional graphite anode.

[] – Researchers In Norway Claim Lithium Ion Battery Breakthrough

Nederlandse Regering Presenteert Klimaatakkoord

Today the Dutch government presented its “klimaatakkoord”, a detailed energy strategy for the coming three decades. Core points:

– 49% less CO2 emissions in 2030 as compared to 1990, more than the 40% required by EU regulation
– Lower taxes on electricity and higher taxes on natural gas to encourage the transition
– 11.5 GW North-Sea wind by 2030
– 75 GW North-Sea wind by 2050
– Required extra investment: 15-20 billion euro
– CO2 sequestration is an option
– 3-4 GW hydrogen production by 2030
– By 2030 84 billion kWh needs to be renewable, 5 times the 2018 amount. 49 billion Kwh will be from offshore wind
– 50% of the renewable energy capacity needs to be owned by local parties, like private households
– Demand management will be introduced
– Intermittent supply is admittedly “a problem”, c.q. “challenge”
– Traffic becomes “green”
– Most of the Dutch part of the North-Sea will be filled with turbines; fishing will be impossible for large ships.

The Dutch government exploited its huge natural gas reserves to the max in order to avoid being stuck with stranded assets, but now that due to soil subsidence further large scale extraction is no longer possible, the government is radically changing course and has the ambition to advance from being Europe’s rear light in all things renewable energy into becoming a front-bencher. The government can build on deep acceptance within Dutch society for the expensive transition that lies ahead.

[] – Official project site
[] – Official detailed report for download (pdf p89)
[] – Hoofdlijnen Klimaatakkoord
[] – Zo moet Nederland er op energiegebied over twaalf jaar uitzien
[] – Wind at Sea
[] – Wie krijgt straks de rekening van het Klimaatakkoord?

[] – Dit betekent het klimaatakkoord voor je woning

In de komende drie jaar worden 102.500 bestaande corporatiewoningen van het gas afgesloten… Energie moeten we dus uit andere bronnen gaan halen. Nieuwbouwwoningen worden sinds 1 juli niet meer aangesloten op het gasnetwerk… Dat betekent niet dat je als huiseigenaar zelf verantwoordelijk bent voor het verzinnen van de beste aanpak. In het akkoord staat dat gemeenten in Nederland eind 2021 hun visie op deze transitie moeten vaststellen. Daar moet in staan welke wijken wanneer worden aangepast. Woningen worden wijk voor wijk verduurzaamd. Dat kan met warmtenetten, helemaal elektrisch, met warmtepompen of met duurzaam gas. Gemeenten moeten samen met bewoners en gebouweigenaren per wijk de beste oplossingen bepalen. Het isoleren van je woning wordt in 2030 verplicht. Je gemeente vertelt je vanzelf welke maatregelen er in jouw wijk worden genomen… In het akkoord wordt een nieuw soort lening omschreven: de gebouwgebonden financiering. Daarmee wordt het voor huizenbezitters eenvoudiger om ook maatregelen te nemen. De lening is gekoppeld aan het huis en niet aan de eigenaar. De kosten van de lening mogen niet hoger uitvallen dan wat de verlaging van de energierekening oplevert. De looptijd van een lening wordt dertig jaar en gaat dus over van bewoner op bewoner. Ook krijgen huizenkopers bij elke aankoop een aanbod om woningen te isoleren met financieringsmogelijkheden… De subsidie op zonnepanelen is al stopgezet, maar de overheid geeft nog steeds subsidie op de aanschaf van zonneboilers, warmtepompen, pelletkachels en biomassaketels.

[] – Voorstel Klimaatakkoord gepresenteerd

[] – De verbouwing van Nederland beginnen

Al ruim voor 2030 verduurzamen we ieder jaar 200.000 woningen. Daarmee reduceren we onze CO2-uitstoot enorm. Een CO2-neutrale gebouwde omgeving in 2050 is geen utopie, het kan echt… De komende jaren zetten we bovendien alles op alles om meer technici op te leiden voor de energietransitie… Het Klimaatakkoord schrijft het huidige aardgasnetwerk nog niet af. Daarmee blijft de mogelijkheid open in de toekomst gebruik te maken van duurzaam gas. Het huidige gasnetwerk is daarvoor uitermate geschikt. In het akkoord is op aandringen van UNETO-VNI opgenomen dat er demonstratieprojecten komen voor duurzaam gas en waterstof. De installateurskoepel verwacht dat dit een belangrijke bijdrage gaat leveren aan de energietransitie. Woningen zullen worden verwarmd door warmtenetten en collectieve of individuele (hybride) warmtepompen.

[] – Industrie gaat CO2 ondergronds opslaan

De industrie moet inzetten op efficiëntere processen en efficiënt gebruik van warmte. Schone stroom vervangt op termijn fossiele brandstof en grondstoffen worden hergebruikt of vervangen door duurzame grondstoffen. Omdat deze omschakeling tijd en geld kost, wordt eerst gestart met de ondergrondse opslag van CO2… Ondergrondse opslag van CO2 is nodig om in 2030 genoeg CO2 uit de lucht te houden… Arbeidsmarkt en scholing zijn sterk bepalend voor het tempo van de energietransitie en het draagvlak daarvoor. Om de klimaatdoelstellingen mogelijk te maken zijn tienduizenden extra vakkrachten nodig, die nu al niet gemakkelijk te vinden zijn. “Het is nu aan het kabinet en de Tweede Kamer om met richtinggevende keuzes te komen”, zegt voorzitter van het Klimaatberaad Ed Nijpels. “Daarna kunnen de partijen de hoofdlijnen uitwerken in concrete en bindende afspraken. Als het tempo erin blijft, ligt er eind dit jaar een akkoord met handtekeningen… Het is de bedoeling dat de zeven miljoen huizen en miljoen gebouwen in Nederland met duurzame warmte worden verwarmd. Hiervoor wordt een wijkgerichte benadering gehanteerd. Om het aanbod van duurzame warmte te vergroten, wordt geothermie fors opgeschaald. De ambitie is een uitbreiding van 3 petajoule naar 50 PJ in 2030 en meer dan 200 PJ in 2050.

Waterbeheerders willen werk maken van aquathermie, het gebruik van koude en warmte uit afval- en oppervlaktewater. Zij verwachten 80 tot 120 PJ in 2050 te kunnen realiseren. Deze energiebron is relatief nieuw, waardoor nog veel ervaring nodig is. Daarom wordt voorgesteld om vanaf 2019 een driejarig programma voor aquathermie uit te voeren. Tevens wordt aquathermie onderdeel van een aantal proeftuinen in het kader van het 100-wijken programma, dat is bedoeld om jaarlijks 30.000 tot 50.000 bestaande woningen aardgasvrij te maken voor het eind van de kabinetsperiode…

Waterstof wordt aangeduid als een sectoroverstijgende hoofdlijn. De sectortafels voor elektriciteit en industrie stellen een programmatische aanpak voor. Hierin worden de investeringskosten van elektrolyse versneld verminderd, zodat groene waterstof die is opgewekt uit duurzame bronnen (wind en zon) een goede rol in de toekomst kan spelen. De ambitie is om 3 à 4 gigawatt aan groene waterstof in 2030 te produceren.”

[] – Stevige Bijdrage van Aquathermie en Groene Waterstof

Het Voorstel voor hoofdlijnen van het Klimaatakkoord zoals het document officieel heet, is opgesteld door meer dan honderd maatschappelijke partijen. Zij hebben vier maanden lang gediscussieerd aan vijf sectortafels: elektriciteit, gebouwde omgeving, industrie, landbouw & landgebruik en mobiliteit. De organisaties dragen de bouwstenen aan voor hoe Nederland de doelen in het Klimaatakkoord van Parijs kan halen.

[] – Zeewier en warmtepomp: deze bedrijven profiteren van Klimaatakkoord
[] – Windmolen wordt het nieuwe gas
[] – Huiver voor ‘energiearmoede’ door klimaatakkoord
[] – Dit moeten stadsverbeteraars weten over het Klimaatakkoord
[] – Klimaatakkoord: nog veel losse eindjes
[] – Dit betekent het klimaatakkoord voor je woning

Chairman Dutch building industry Maxime Verhagen expresses his support for the Klimaatakkoord

Major Dutch banks have announced to support the transition by providing long-term loans (think 30 years or even intergenerational) to make houses more sustainable (isolation, heat pumps, solar panels). After 2030 taking up loans for this purpose could become obligatory.

Switzerland – The Alpine Battery

Swiss hydro power generates 60% of the countries electricity.

[] – Electricity sector in Switzerland

More General Electric renewable energy drone videos:

Read more…

Post Navigation