Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

World’s Largest Solar Park Noor in Morocco

– investment: $9B
– 540 MW peak
– Technology: CSP and molten salt
– Construction begin: 2013
– Commission date: 2016
– Build bij TSK-Acciona-Sener/Spain

[] – Ouarzazate Solar Power Station

Long Term Storage of Heat in Isomers

Chalmers University in Sweden has come up with a novel way of long-term (years) storing (solar) heat, namely in isomers.

– Discharge operating temperature: 63 C
– Storage capacity: 0.25 kWh/kg (2x Tesla Powerwall)
– 125 charge-discharge cycles without detoriation.

Researcher Moth-Poulsen thinks there is a lot of potential for improvement, like operating temperatures of 110 C.

[] – Scientists Develop Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun’s Energy
[] – Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage
[] – Emissions-free energy system stores heat
[] – Macroscopic heat release in a molecular solar thermal energy storage system
[] – Isomer

Arlanda Test Results

The idea: mount a metal conductor strip/rail to the road and voila, you have an e-road, a sort of inverted trolley-bus system for cars and trucks. If a country like Sweden would install these rails in the main routes only, ensuring that no home would be further away from a road with such a rail, it would reduce the required size of the battery of e-vehicles enormously. Think 50 kg instead of 400 kg, because the car would charge the battery during driving.

A test route was equipped with a conducting rail earlier this year and the test results are in. And they are encouraging. 200 kW can be delivered, think a truck. The system works good under snow and ice conditions. No need for heating the rail.

Back-of-an-envelope calculation of the cost of an e-road system: The producer Elways claims that the cost per kilometer for 2 lanes is less than 1 million dollar. Go to Google Maps to verify that from Malmö in the South to Gällivare in the North it is 1740 km over road. Two parallel North-South roads exist, that’s 3500 km at a varying distance of 50-150 km. Add some East-West legs to connect these two roads and you arrive at perhaps 5,000 km or less than 5 billion $ to electrify your roads. Sweden has 10 million citizens, so that would be 500 $/capita. That’s very affordable. Note that autonomous driving will relieve the population of the need of owning a car, reducing the per mile cost with a factor of 4-10 according to this study.

More videos below and even more in the elways-link.

[] – Arlanda Test Results
[deepresource] – E-Road, E-Vehicles Breakthrough in Sweden?

Read more…

Sif Terminal Rotterdam

Borssele 1-4 offshore wind parks (1.5 GW) now under construction. For the first time 8 MW and 9.5 MW turbines are being used offshore.


[] – Borssele III & IV to Feature MHI Vestas 9.5MW Turbines, Sif Monopiles
[] – Borssele III & IV Moving to Construction Phase
[] – Borssele III & IV – Blauwwind Offshore Wind Farm
[] – Windpark Borssele

Prof. Begemann Doesn’t Believe in a Man-made Climate Crisis

Dutch language video with no subs.

Prof. Begemann visited the North- and South-poles 6 times and arrived at contrarian conclusions.

[] – Drijfijs

HYBRIT – Fossil Free Steel

Global crude steel production in 2017: 1.69 billion metric ton.
Every metric ton of produced steel comes with 1.83 ton CO2 emission.
Total global CO2 emissions are 3.09 billion metric ton.
Total global CO2 emission are 50 billion metric ton.
In other words, steel production is responsible for ca. 6% of global CO2 emission.

The Swedish HYBRIT program aims at taking out these 6% by switching from coal to hydrogen, replacing CO2 emissions with the harmless output of water.


[] – HYBRIT: Globally-unique Pilot Plant for creating Fossil-free steel
[] – HYBRIT – Toward fossil-free steel
[] – CO2 Emissions in the Steel Industry
[] – List of countries by steel production
[] –

Donald Sadoway

[] – Donald Sadoway

He is a noted expert on batteries and has done significant research on how to improve the performance and longevity of portable power sources. In parallel, he is an expert on the extraction of metals from their ores and the inventor of molten oxide electrolysis, which has the potential to produce crude steel without the use of carbon reductant thereby totally eliminating greenhouse gas emissions… As a researcher, Sadoway has focused on environmental ways to extract metals from their ores, as well as producing more efficient batteries. His research has often been driven by the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving quality and lowering costs. He is the co-inventor of a solid polymer electrolyte. This material, used in his “sLimcell” has the capability of allowing batteries to offer twice as much power per kilogram as is possible in current lithium ion batteries…. In August 2006, a team that he led demonstrated the feasibility of extracting iron from its ore through molten oxide electrolysis. When powered exclusively by renewable electricity, this technique has the potential to eliminate the carbon dioxide emissions that are generated through traditional methods… In 2009, Sadoway disclosed the liquid metal battery comprising liquid layers of magnesium and antimony separated by a layer of molten salt[8] that could be used for stationary energy storage. Research on this concept was being funded by ARPA-E and the French energy company Total S.A. Experimental data showed a 69% DC-to-DC storage efficiency with good storage capacity and relatively low leakage current (self discharge). In 2010, with funding from Bill Gates and Total S.A., Sadoway and two others, David Bradwell and Luis Ortiz, co-founded a company called the Liquid Metal Battery Corporation (now Ambri) in order to scale up and commercialize the technology.

Read more…

Expansion Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Scheme To 475 MW

[] – Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Scheme To Double To 475 MW

Nel H2Station Factory

Norwegian “Nel Hydrogen” company has a hydrogen gas stations factory in Denmark with a capacity of max. 300 stations per year.

[] – Nel Company site

Read more…

City Transformer – Fold-up Car

Israeli startup “City Transformer” has developed a small city e-vehicle. Range 150 km, 90 kmh top-speed, 2-seater, width can vary between 100-140 cm and can be parked on a motor cycle parking spot. Price tag $10.500. Production start 2020.

[] – Company site
[] – Foldable eletric vehicle future urban driving
[] – Israeli folding vehicle to take on urban street woes
[] – Dieses E-Auto lässt sich einklappen

Read more…

Wind Meets Gas in the Netherlands

The Dutch minister of “economic affairs and climate” is passing the message that the Netherlands commits itself to a hydrogen economy and that it expects to be a major player in the hydrogen business within a decade.

Pumped Hydro Storage for Flatlanders

[source] Dr. Jan Huynen (86) during the academic promotion plenum last month at the university of Utrecht in the Netherlands on the topic of large-scale underground hydro-storage.

Holland is “zo plat als een dubbeltje” (as flat as a dime)…


…and hence not suitable for large-scale pumped hydro-storage, because for that you need mountains, right? Like in Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Scotland?

“Wrong!” says dr. Jan Huynen (86), who received his PhD last month, his second, by defending his thesis that post stamp sized country the Netherlands can very well harbor large-scale hydro-storage… under ground.

The economist-engineer-entrepreneur Jan Huynen has been working 30 years on his brainchild and advocates that the Netherlands should build an underground storage facility for excess renewable energy. Exporting electricity to neighbours is no long-term option, because variations in solar and wind will often go hand-in-hand cross-border. Huynen proposes an above ground reservoir of 400 x 500 meter and ca. 15 meter deep and a secundairy reservoir, 1400 meter below the surface, the maximum altitude modern pumps can bridge. In the southern province of Limburg suitable locations could be found, but more research is necessary. Huynen’s design encompasses a pump/generator of 1400 MW, a total storage capacity of 9.4 GWh. Construction time 6-7 years, investment volume 1.8 billion euro. Payback time 50 years.


[] – Energieopslag met water kan in Nederland
[] – Windenergie behouden in water kan óók in landen zonder bergen
[] – Blue battery for green energy (index)
[University Utrecht] – L. Corbijn, Benefits of Underground Pumped Hydro Storage (UPHS) in the Dutch power system (thesis, 103p, 2017)
[] – 86-jarige heeft revolutionair windenergie-plan
[] – Presentatie/Interview Jan Huynen
[] – Wind en zon opslaan in ondergrondse waterkrachtcentrale

[] – Blue battery for green energy, 25 euro

Encouraging Tesla S/X Battery Degradation Data

A Dutch-language forum of Tesla-owners (Netherlands + Belgium) gathered usage data of their over 350 Tesla vehicles and battery capacity data in particular. The results are encouraging to say the least and suggest that a single battery could power a Tesla S/X for the entire economic life-cycle of the vehicle. Degradation is at its fastest during the first 50,000 miles, a very acceptable 5% only. Then you have to work harder to get at the next 5%: 136,000 miles.

In continental European words: you can drive your Tesla S/X over 300,000 km and your battery will still be able to contain north of 90% of the original energy capacity (85 kWh).

These figures are not universal though. Nissan for instance has far less shining figures, see links below.

[] – Tesla battery degradation at less than 10% after over 160,000 miles, according to latest data
[] – Forum data

ScottishPower Into 100% Wind

[Google Maps] Shoreham gas power plant

Scottish power company ScottishPower announced on Tuesday that it has completed the sale of its traditional generation business to British electrical power generation company Drax Group for £702 million in cash, resulting in ScottishPower becoming the first integrated energy company in the UK to shift completely from coal and gas to wind power…

Note that the Shoreham plant won’t be decommissioned, so no short term climate advantages are realized here. But the signal is clear:

This makes ScottishPower the first vertically integrated UK energy company to exit coal and gas electricity generation and the first to transition to being powered entirely by renewable energies.

ScottishPower can set itself up as a “100% green power company” and expand its customer base accordingly.

[] – 100% Green Generation for ScottishPower with Sale of Remaining Gas Plant
[] – ScottishPower Ditches Remaining Gas Plants In Move To 100% Wind
[deepresource] – World-Record Pumped-Hydro Storage for Scotland?
[Google Maps] – Location Southern England (not Scotland)

Ocean Cleanup Started Operations

Dutch based venture “Ocean Cleanup” has begun operations this week to being to clean up the oceans of the world, to begin with the dirtiest one, the Pacific, mostly from Asia.


[] – Ocean Cleanup
[] – Müllfänger nimmt Arbeit am Pazifik-Strudel auf

Question: if most plastic ends up in the ocean via Asian rivers, wouldn’t it make more sense to filter the rivers estuary; cleaning up at the source?

Royal Dutch Shell to Become Renewable Energy Leader

Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to “turbocharge” its bid to become a global leader in clean energy in the coming years as it seeks to overcome the “existential” challenge posed by climate change, boss Ben van Beurden has told The Sunday Telegraph… “The biggest calling card we have is scale. We can scale much faster than anyone else,” he added.

[] – Shell set to ‘turbocharge’ its clean energy drive in the 2020s
[] – Shell Energy Transition Report [pdf]

Ben van Beurden earlier this month participated in Energy Week forum in Russia, joining a panel together with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

[] – Shell to develop geothermal energy in the Netherlands

[] – Shell Pernis-refinery to heats tens of thousands of households

[] – Innogy and Shell in floating wind turbines

Read more…

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

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