Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Large Scale Solar Project Coming Off The Ground In Texas

OCI Solar Power and utility CPS Energy have agreed to cooperate for a period of 25 years in which OCI will construct solar panels to be managed by CPS. Size project: 400 MW, 70,000 households.


World’s Largest Offshore Windproject in Danger of Delay

Delay until next year of the beginning of the realisation of the world’s largest offshore windturbine project near the German island of Borkum by the German ergy giant RWE. Problems arose in the realm of technology as well as the judicial framework, as it is unclear wenn the turbines could in fact deliver electricity into the grid and who will be responsible for the cost: the grid operator or the electricity producer. A similar RWE project near Helgoland is delayed for the same reasons, although this one is already underway. RWE is expecting losses in the hundreds of millions of euro’s. In total 160 turbines with a total capacity of 1000 MW are at stake.



Exergy is the useful portion of energy that allows us to do work and perform energy services. We gather exergy from energy-carrying substances in the natural world we call energy resources. While energy is conserved, the exergetic portion can be destroyed when it undergoes an energy conversion. This diagram summarizes the exergy reservoirs and flows in our sphere of influence including their interconnections, conversions, and eventual natural or anthropogenic destruction. Because the choice of energy resource and the method of resource utilization have environmental consequences, knowing the full range of energy options available to our growing world population and economy may assist in efforts to decouple energy use from environmental damage.

[Wes Hermann exergy presentation 2006]

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Dmitry Orlov: Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union

Dmitry Orlov experienced the collapse of the USSR first hand. He sees a similar crash coming for the US.


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Prophets Of Doom

Nate Hagens, Michael Ruppert, James Howard Kunstler and others about what is to come.

It’s Too Late for Solutions

Author and social critic James Howard Kunstler has been one of the earliest, most direct, and most articulate voices to warn of the consequences — economic and otherwise — of modern society’s profligate wasting of the resources that underlie its growth.

In his new book Too Much Magic, Jim attacks the wishful thinking dominant today that with a little more growth, a little more energy, a little more technology — a little more magic — we’ll somehow sail past our current tribulations without having to change our behavior.

Such self-delusion is particularly dangerous because it is preventing us from taking intelligent, constructive action at the national level when the clock is fast ticking out of our favor. In fact, Jim claims we are past the state where solutions are possible – instead, we need a response plan to help us best brace for the impact of the coming consequences. And we need it fast.

[transcript –]

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Biogasanlage Willingshausen-Ransbach

German language vide describing a biogas installation functioning for more than a year.

Leaders in Global Energy

Leaders in Global Energy: Andris Piebalgs: European Energy Policy

Selection from the Columbia University SIPA Youtube channel

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Dr. Fatih Birol of the IEA

Dr. Fatih Birol on World Energy Outlook post Copenhagen.

[When will the oil run out?]

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Who Is Who In The World Of Energy?

Earlier we posted a “Who is who in peak-oil“. Here we want to make a broader list of people prominent in the field of energy matters and who have an outspoken opinion about the future of energy, peakers and non-peakers alike and who have expressed their opinion in public. In alphabetical order. This post will be updated regularly.

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Here Comes The Sun

English spoken documentary of Dutch origin [48 min.] about the rise of solar power. Among others interview with Hermann Scheer, one of the driving forces behind the spectacular rise of renewable energies in Germany.

[Hermann Scheer]
[The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future]

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‘There Is Enough Oil To Fry Us All’

Former Guardian peaker George Monbiot recants: “We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all”. He bases his new insight on a new report by the oil executive Leonardo Maugeri, published by Harvard University. Maugeri also wrote a book about it (2006). Obviously not everybody agrees, like Jeremy Leggett.


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Energy Infrastructure Data

Collection of links pointing to information about energy infrastructure in the broadest sense, like pipelines, energy plants, etc. This post will be regularly updated in time.

[] – European network of transmission system operators for gas (map)
[] – Capacity dataset (excel)

[] – All the world’s power plants in a single database (need to install google earth)

[] Europe’s 300 largest power plants

[] Russian gas pipelines

Global Natural Gas Flows

Who delivers gas to whom? Extremely information rich map of global natural gas flows.


EU major natural gas pipelines

Map in the link contains detailed information about individual pipelines.


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Installation of 500,000 German PV Solar Systems

The video shows the installation of over 500,000 PV systems across Germany from January 2009 until September 2011. The area of the circles represents the total installed capacity per location. Data is sourced from Visualization by Chris Davis and Alfredas Chmieliauskas. For more of their work, see

About Cities Adopting a Peak Oil Plan

Susan Krumdieck about cities adopting a peak oil plan.

The World According to Harvard

Harvard maintains in a new study that by the end of this decade the world merrily will produce no less than 110 mbd of oil. The sources for this oil are shown here:
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New Book by James Howard Kunstler

“Too Much Magic” is what Kunstler sees in the bright visions of a future world dreamed up by optimistic souls who believe technology will solve all our problems. Their visions remind him of the flying cars and robot maids that were the dominant images of the future in the 1950s. Kunstler’s image of the future is much more sober. With vision, clarity of thought, and a pragmatic worldview, Kunstler argues that the time for magical thinking and hoping for miracles is over, and the time to begin preparing for the long emergency has begun.


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The Return of Coal

Oil, natural gas, and alternatives dominate the headlines when it comes to energy. But there’s a big and largely-overlooked revolution occurring with the energy source likely to become the most preferred fuel for a world in economic decline: coal.


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