Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Cold Fusion 2.0

In 1989 two of the world’s leading electrochemists, the Brit Fleischmann and American Frenchman Pons, shocked the world with their announcement that they had found a way to initiate a exogenous nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature. After initial world wide excitement, things calmed down. Cold fusion research however never really stopped and now an Italian inventor and entrepreneur Andrea Rossi claims to have developed a cold fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) thermal power source. 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available, that is on pre-order – yours for just $1.5 million.

[] – 1-megawatt cold fusion power plant now available – yours for just $1.5 million
[] Finally! Independent Testing Of Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion Device: Maybe The World Will Change After All
[] – Psstt! Want An E-Cat LENR Generator? For Free?
[] – Cold fusion

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Breakthrough Iranian Nuclear Program

For more than a decade the Iranian nuclear policy has been on the top of the international political agenda, but today a breakthrough was accomplished in Geneva between Iran and the P5 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, United States). Terms of the agreement: Iran can continue to enrich uranium but no more than 5% and limits the stockpile of enriched uranium. More transparency is agreed upon. In return some sanctions will be lifted and the basic right of uranium enrichment is acknowledged. The agreement is intended for six months, creating time for a permanent settlement. The most important conclusion is that the agreement is acceptable for all and that military strikes are off the table.


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New Apple HQ Proposed With Solar Array

Youtube, published 21 Oct 2013 – Apple’s Senior Director of Real Estate & Facilities, Dan Whisenhunt, provides a presentation on the Apple Campus 2 project at the October 1, 2013 Joint Study Session of the Cupertino City Council and the Cupertino Planning Commission.

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Keep a Room Warm for 14 $ Cent a Day

Here a guy who claims you can keep your little study warm during the winter with a computer installation, one human exothermic chemical process… plus 2 * 4 = 8 waxine lights.

P.S. We did not test this idea. Our hobby horse remains thermo-wired cloths as the cheapest way to stay warm during the winter. And the safest. Other simple means to stay warm: 5 minutes/hour of intensive physical exercise on a home trainer or rowing machine.

Renewable Energy Charts & Facts


[] – Renewable Energy: Capturing the Potential (pdf)
[] – Renewables 2013 Global Status Report (pdf)

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Varese Ligure 100% Renewable

Varese Ligure is located in northern Italy and has 2400 inhabitants and produces more electricity from renewable sources than it consumes. The number of tourists increased six fold as a result. Varese Ligure has four wind turbines. Several buildings have solar panels and to top it off: 108 organic farms supply 98 percent of the town’s food.


Freiamt 100% Energy Autarkic

Freiamt is a community of 4200 people, located in the Black Forest in SW-Germany. Taking advantage of the feed-in tariff system, Freiamt currently produces more electricity (15.4 GWh) than it strictly needs (12 GWh). Breakdown (2009):
Wind – 11 GWh
Biogas – 2.6 GWh
Photovoltaics – 1.3 GWh
Hydropower – 0.5 GWh

[] – data sheet

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Samsø 100% Powered by the Wind

Samsø is an island of four thousand inhabitants situated in central Denmark and 100% electricity self sufficient and 75% of its heat comes from solar power and biomass energy. Samsø achieved that in less than ten years.


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Germany To Increase Speed Energy Transition

Old target of 35% renewable power by 2020, increased to 40%. This is the outcome of coalition talks between the CDU and SPD parties that are to constitute the next government. Other results: less emphasis on wind power, more on solar and biogas. Less offshore wind: 6.5GW rather than 10GW. Subsidies for wind only on promising locations, that is in the windy north, not in southern Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg. No agreement on the target for 2030 yet; CDU wants 50-55%, SPD 75%. Furthermore, in the past the cost of the Energiewende was shouldered by private persons only. In the future corporations should contribute as well.


Biofuel Breakthrough: Quick Cook Method Turns Algae Into Oil

Michigan Engineering researchers can “pressure-cook” algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude… Once producing biofuel from algae is economical, researchers estimate that an area the size of New Mexico could provide enough oil to match current U.S. petroleum consumption.


J. David Hughes – PCI – Energy Sustainability Dilemma

Youtube text: A fascinating talk by J. David Hughes, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, given at Cornell, May 2, 2012, “Energy Sustainability Dilemma : Powering the Future in a Finite World”. Most of the easy energy is gone. This was from oil which was plentiful, and easy to get, with a very high net Energy Return on Investment (EROI). Now we are pursuing Deep Ocean Drilling, Tar Sands, Fracked Shale Gas, etc. Are we heading for a dead end? What about Wind and Solar? Can they make up the difference? This talk is somewhat technical, but essential if we are to understand our energy options as our society pushes for more energy. [slides]

Fritz Vahrenholt – There is no Man Made Climate Change

From The effect of the sun’s activity on climate change has been either scarcely known or overlooked. In this momentous book, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr Sebastian Luning demonstrate that the critical cause of global temperature change has been, and continues to be, the sun’s activity. Vahrenholt and Luning reveal that four concurrent solar cycles master the earth’s temperature – a climatic reality upon which man’s carbon emissions bear little significance. The sun’s present cooling phase, precisely monitored in this work, renders the catastrophic prospects put about by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and the ‘green agenda’ dominant in contemporary Western politics as nothing less than impossible.


P.S. 14 December 2013: Sphinx covered in snow, mildly contradicting the global warming story:

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Wind Power in the Netherlands

(NUON Flevoland, IJsselmeerdijk windpark)

(Westereems windpark)

(Egmond aan Zee windpark)

(Egmond aan Zee windpark, detail)

(Prinses Amalia windpark)


(Alphen aan de Rijn, N11)

(‘De Goliath’, Eemshaven, is the small traditional windmill (1897) in the middle)

The original source for this map provides detailed interactive information about all wind energy projects displayed in the map.

(Dutch offshore wind)

[] – In-depth discussion Dutch wind energy situation
[] – Large resource with Dutch wind energy news
[] – List of ca. 1170 traditional windmills

Offshore Wind-parks NW-Europe


Gold Production & Reserves

(Map shows yearly production in kg)

Many doubt the stability of the current financial system and predict a prominent role for gold in any future financial system. Here an overview of who produces how much. A few observations:
– With a current (Nov 2013) gold price of 1000 euro, 1 ton of gold represents 35 million euro.
– One glance at the map reveals why Mali is interesting for France (gold, uranium).

country-ranking-gold-reserves[full list]
(Country ranking official gold reserves. Source: World Gold Council)
These figures are to be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of western European gold is stored in the US, which refuses to allow verification, not even to members of Congress.

(Gold production 2012, source U.S. Geological Survey. Mali ranked #11 in 2006)

(10 largest gold companies: 9 Anglo, 1 Russian)

(World gold reserves. Source: )

[] – Country ranking gold production
[] – Largest gold companies

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