Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

A Century of US Demonization Propaganda

Putin the Tyrant[source]

Typical US propaganda in action. Just show a picture of a crying woman and link it to Putin. It is simplistically crude, but the US boobs…


…will fall for it, after all, aren’t we exceptional or what?! Anglosphere is the demonization champ in world history.

Read more…

Hyper-efficient Volkswagens

This is the worlds most fuel efficient car in 2013 (133 km/liter; 313 MPG), the Volkswagen 313 MPG XL1.
Weight: 771 kg.
Top speed: 160 km/h, 100 mph

Obviously this car is the horror for oil companies and many suspect that that is the real reason why these kind of cars are not allowed in the US, the cartel and 1% Nirvana.

[] – Volkswagen’s New 300 MPG Car Not Allowed In America Because It Is Too Efficient
[] – article debunks claims that XL1 is not allowed on US roads because of Big Oil conspiracy.
[] – We Drove The 261 MPG Volkswagen XL1 In Manhattan Because You Can’t


Hybrid diesel/electricity
Efficiency: 110 km/l, 256.8 mpg
Price: 22200 euro, 28000 $
E-Range: 50 km, 31 mile

[] – VW twin up!
[] – Volkswagen Up Twin Drive concept review

Editor: the standard car is based on an outdated concept. Just position yourself next to a busy road and watch the cars passing by, to verify that the average occupation rate of the standard 5-seater car is ca. 1.25, meaning that 3.75 chairs are superfluous. So why not design a 1 or 2-person car, like the XL1 above?

China Invests in Russian Solar Panel Production


Who: Solar Systems, subsidiary of China’s Amur Sirius
Where: Tatarstan
How much: $1 billion investment volume for 100 MW/year panel production

Russian law requires that panels sold in Russia are to be produced in Russia.

[] – China expected to invest $1bn in Russian solar energy

EIA Projections US Oil Production Until 2040 and Post Carbon Institute Review

Oil projections for US production from all sources according to the EIA.

Breakdown sources Light Tight Oil

‘Most likely’ production scenario according to the Post Carbon Institute compared with EIA findings.

The Post Carbon Institute critically examines the findings of the EIA report about “Light Tight Oil projections”.

[] – Full report (315p): “Drilling Deeper” [pdf]

Editor: the days that we take everything the Post Carbon Institute says for granted are over. Three years ago we started this blog in the expectation that ‘peak oil’ would start to bite soon. It did not, at least not in terms of supply contraction. Ten years ago, after an imprudent diet of Richard Heinberg literature we proclaimed to everybody who wanted to hear that ‘in ten years time Joe Sickpack would not drive a car any longer’. That was obviously wrong. Although there are signs that we approaching ‘peak car’ in terms of car ownership and miles driven, at least in the West (young westerners no longer have car ownership as a high priority), many roads are still congested. It is obvious that the practice of fracking does indeed provide a substantial ‘delay of execution’ of peak oil and hence of the old industrial society with at least a decade. But there are other reasons why peak oil watching and barrel counting has become less prominent on our agenda. It seems that peak oil is not going to be the ‘next big thing’ in the coming years. Financial and geopolitical developments are more interesting. Interesting as in catastrophic.

  • Countdown towards US financial collapse, hand in hand with the ‘dedollarization’ of the world
  • Possibility of US elites attempting the ‘flight forward’ into a police state and/or WW3 in order to stay in power
  • The relentless rise of China
  • The possibility that France could be the first to break the western status quo and move towards Russia
  • On a positive note, all the technological preconditions for a ‘solar economy’ are already fulfilled. From now on it is a matter of investment decisions. Peak oil, yawn.

German Industry at Disadvantage due to High Electricity Prices


RT reports that big German production companies have decided to no longer expand in Germany due to high energy prices.

“German industry is at increasing disadvantage owing to the growing energy price disadvantage that it faces. Average industrial electricity prices in Germany have risen approximately 60 percent since 2007, while prices in the United States and in China have increased less than 10 percent,” market research firm IHS wrote in a study published earlier this year.

[] – Germany goes green, forces energy companies abroad

RT sells German renewable transition efforts as ‘greening of the economy’, as if the environment is the largest concern, where in reality fossil fuel depletion is the real motivation. Germany is gaining long term energy security at the cost of higher energy prices in the short term.

This Is How a 200MW Solar Plant Looks Like


Location: Jin Chang, Gansu Province, China
Power production: 300 million kWh/year
Investment: $300 million (RMB1.8 billion)
Size: 11,416 acres
Status: completed and connected to the grid

[] – JinkoSolar Partners with Jinchuan Group to Complete and Connect the First Phase of China’s Largest 200 MW PV Plant

EU Offers to Guarantee Gas Deliveries to Ukraine


Earlier this week, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the price ($385/1000m3) of Russian gas deliveries for the coming winter. That’s settled then. Oh wait, Ukraine has no money. No worries, there is still the EU, we mean, the European tax payer. EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger suggested that if the Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz could not pay for the gas, the EU could buy the gas and resell it to Ukraine, obviously against soft conditions. Another suggestion could be that Russia will subtract the price of gas deliveries to Ukraine from the transfer fees it is paying to Ukraine for the right to transfer gas to Europe, through Ukraine. Europe is Russia’s most important source of income. Gazprom is lukewarm about the idea of the EU playing the cavalier, probably because in this way, Russia is loosing political leverage over Ukraine. Therefor Gazprom points at existing contracts that supposedly forbid reselling practices.

Next week a final agreement is expected between all parties involved.

[] – Ukraine’s multi-billion dollar gas debt: Who pays?

Peak Gold Now?

Youtube text: On behalf of Matterhorn Asset Management, financial journalist Lars Schall talked with exploration geologist and mining entrepreneur Keith Barron. They’ve discussed, inter alia: the challenges for gold mining companies; the effects of a downward rigged gold price on Third World countries; the “inevitability” of a gold price at 5000 USD per ounce in the future; and Barron’s support for the Swiss gold initiative.

*Peak Gold = a moment in time that gold mining peaks

[] – “I believe we’ve seen Peak Gold”, Keith Barron PhD

Country ranking by gold production 2013

Until 1985 the equation was: “gold = South-Africa”. Now China is the largest producer.
China and Russia are still able to increase production, the others are in decline, so the idea of ‘peak gold’ is not far fetched.

[] – List of countries by gold production (2013)

Editor: Keith Barron is an exploration geologist with over 27 years experience in the mining sector. He thinks that the world has reached the maximum gold production level (“peak gold”). Additionally he believes that the US in particular is not honest about its real gold stockpile and that most has been leased or sold.

The Next Generation 7.5MW Windturbines

The next generation 7.5 MW wind turbines in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. 140-Megawatt-Windpark located near Grapzow (Kreis Mecklenburgische Seenplatte). Part of the electricity production is used for hydrogen production.

[] – 7.5 Megawatt Wind Turbines(!) & Power-to-Gas Pilot Project In Germany
[] – Windpark mit größter Wasserstoffspeicheranlage am Netz
Google Maps – Grapzow
[] – Windpark Werder/Kessin

SolaRoad Finally Launched

It is almost two years ago that we reported on an innovative renewable energy project in Holland: SolaRoad. Now that project is finally implemented as a world first.

Photo-voltaic electricity generation requires quit a lot of space. In a very densely populated country like the Netherlands [484/km2], space needs to be treated economically. An example of this principle is: leave wheat production (22 $ cent/kg) to North-Americans and their endless empty plains and instead dominate niche world markets with something more colorful, that brings several dollar per kilo biomass and adds beauty to your landscape as a bonus:

[flower fields of Holland]

Solar panels, same story. The conventional approach of solar panels is to place panels on a roof and combine electricity generation with the protection function against wind, rain and cold. But there is a new possibility of dual use of the scarce space resource: roads. The idea behind Solaroad is to combine the transportation function of a road with the possibility of photo-voltaic electricity generation.

Potential Holland: 450 km2 road. Assuming a yield of 130 kWh/m2/year, as well as a reduction of 30% due to sub-optimal placement of the road panels (not optimal directed towards the sun), this theoretically could result in a maximum electricity production of the Dutch road system of 45 billion kWh/year. An average Dutch household consumes 3500 kWh/year. Distribution of these 45 billion kWh over 7 million Dutch households results in 6430 kWh/household. In other words, the Dutch road system alone could provide enough energy to power all Dutch homes and additionally generate a lot of surplus energy that could be used for transportation and industry.

And reserve the scarce fields for cows, vegetables and flowers, rather than solar panels. Although Holland is one of the smallest countries in the world, it is nevertheless the second largest agricultural exporter, not too far behind the US (240 times as big as Holland) and before Germany and France. Solaroad could help create the conditions for Holland to stay in the upper regions of the global agricultural production pecking order.

[] – Niederlande bauen ersten Solarradweg der Welt

SolaRoad Dutch language video.

The idea is picked up elsewhere as well

The idea has been promoted for years by the American couple Julie und Scott Brusaw. Now it is happening in the Netherlands for the first time.


Read more…

Storage For Less Than $100/kWh


Large investment banks keep reporting about technological progress made in the realm of batteries. That large institutions like UBS, HSBC and Citigroup are paying attention to developments in this field should be an indication that something real is going on; after all, these folks consider themselves as too expensive to waste time on topics that does not promise revenue.

Last week, Citigroup claimed a threshold of $230/kWh would be sufficient to put fossil fuel out of business (in combination with renewable energy generation, like wind and solar). Now UBS has produced a report, stating that $230/kWh could actually be achieved within two to three years and that $100/kWh could be possible in the long term.

As a consequence, the market for storage is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. UBS: between 2014-2020 with a factor 50. These batteries could be used to bridge the gap between renewable energy production from solar panels during the day and consumption in the evening, lessening the dependency on the grid.

Potential applications:

  • Transportation (electric vehicles)
  • Utilities (swift response to sudden changes in demand)
  • Distributed storage (households with solar panels)

[] – original article (download problems)

Editor: news like this shows that the world does not really have an energy problem in the very long term; the solar economy is not an utopia. The real problem is how to arrive at the renewable energy Nirvana on time. All the indications are that we are simply too late for a smooth transition and that financial and subsequent economic collapse, armed conflicts and geopolitical upheavals will stand in the way. Brace yourself for a bumpy ride.

Russian-Ukrainian Gas Deal

Ukraine pipeline[source]

Ukrainian president Poroshenko has confirmed that natural gas supply from Russia has been secured for the coming winter, after an agreement was reached over the price: $385/1000m3. On top of that Ukraine will repay a part of its outstanding gas debts.


Editor: it means that Ukraine has caved in 100% to Russian demands. The alternative would have been Ukrainians freezing in their homes. Ukraine could have had gas for $269, as negotiated under ousted president Yanokovich, but after EuroMaidan and the CIA-sponsored coup, Ukraine went west. Well then, don’t expect a discount.

What If Russia Stops Delivering Gas to Europe?

The EU commission wrote an internal report about what the consequences would be if Russia decided to stop delivering natural gas to Europe. The result can be seen in four graphs, depicting the European situation after 1, 3, 6, and 9 months respectively without Russian supply. Green is normal, dark red means less than 50% of normal consumption.

Read more…

It Could be a Cold Winter in Europe


Milan came, Milan went. Despite declarations from politicians about agreement over ‘parameters’, there is no real solution for the gas crisis in Ukraine. Meanwhile in Moscow, the first snow has fallen. Perhaps in a week or so, Ukraine will follow.

A summary of the state of affairs: the Russians since June insist on a gas price of $485/1000 m3, but offer a discount of $100, provided the Ukraine first pays the outstanding gas bills. And from now on, considering the behavior of the Ukrainians in the past, the Russians will only deliver new gas on a pre-paid basis. The Ukrainians reject this and demand that the “just price” should be $269 (past and present), as negotiated by ousted president Yanukovitch in December. But that price was from a time when Ukraine was still in Russian orbit and Russia’s friend. Currently it is a western colony and now market prices prevail. Under pressure from the Europeans, they offered to pay the outstanding debt on a temporary $320 basis, until a final agreement would have been reached. The Ukrainians however insist that this kind of money paid would be for gas delivered, not payments on outstanding debt. The Russians declined and went home.

So what’s next? Temperatures will fall and Ukraine is going to suffer. Not difficult to predict what the Ukrainian government will do next: illegally tap, just like they did in 2009, forcing the Russians to shut of deliveries, intended for Europe, but passing through Ukraine. And since the Eurofools, on orders of Washington, halted the construction of South-Stream, (after all, we don’t want to be too dependent on Russia, now don’t we?) as a result, Europe is now dependent on Ukraine.

Guess what’s going to happen next? Europe is forced to foot the Ukrainian bill, that’s what’s going to happen. And isn’t that fair? After all, the pathetic eurofools who did show up on Euro-Maidan…

Brussels conquers Maidan. In the insane asylum, everybody thinks he is a Napoleon.

… as water-carriers for the US global empire, did they not proclaim that they would show solidarity with the protesters? Well then, pay, you suckers, at the expense of the European tax payers. What the eurofools achieved was, that instead of adding another huge territory (larger than France) to their EU empire on the cheap, they imported a total economic basket case, with a population, four times that of Greece, in far worse economic condition, but with huge expectations. Good luck with that. And on top of that they ruined relations with Russia. The satanic DC mafia can’t stop laughing. We don’t like to say it, but it remains to be seen if the EU construct can survive the errors made in the recent past.

[] – Deadlock and Gas Talks in Milan

EU Study Recommends Onshore Wind Energy As Cheapest Energy

Structure externalized costs of diverse energy sources

Ecofys on behalf of the European Commission presented a study, giving thumbs up for onshore wind energy.

Onshore wind is cheaper than coal, gas or nuclear energy when the costs of ‘external’ factors like air quality, human toxicity and climate change are taken into account, according to an EU analysis.

The report says that for every megawatt hour (MW/h) of electricity generated, onshore wind costs roughly €105 (£83) per MW/h, compared to gas and coal which can cost up to around €164 and €233 per MW/h, respectively.

Nuclear power, offshore wind and solar energy are all comparably inexpensive generators, at roughly €125 per MW/h.

[] – Wind power is cheapest energy, EU analysis finds
[] – EU report: Subsidies and costs of EU energy [pdf]
[] – It should be kept in mind that Ecofys is a renewable energy consultancy firm, so not entirely impartial.

Russian Demographic Winter Halted in the Tracks


During the nineties, Russia suffered a catastrophic population decline, strongly correlated to the collapse of the economy and the sell-out of state assets to the US backed oligarchs. But in 2000, the oligarch Berezovski, who recently for good reason committed suicide, made the blunder of his life by promoting Wladimir Putin to become the new leader of Russia. Showing little gratitude to his backers, Putin started a war against the oligarchs and US interests and soon the oligarchs fled and found refuge in Britain or Israel. And at the same time, Wladimir Putin started to court Europe and Germany in particular, a relationship that became so cosy, that the US neo-con ruling political class opined that there was a real danger that some day Europe could change sides. The events in Kiev (CIA backed fascist coup + Kiev shooting MH17, coordinated with the US) then provided the opportunity for Washington to draw a red line and European cowards obeyed and went back in the Atlanticist ranks, but we digress.

Parallel to these foreign policy escapades, Wladimir Putin started a program to stop the decline of the Russian population in an already very sparsely populated enormous country. And it seems as if he is on the way to success. Over 2013, Russia for the first time had a small but positive demographic balance again. There is some cause for optimism that the population has reached a bottom at 143 million now and could climb to 150 million in 2030.

For details, see article below:

[] – Russian demographics: winter or spring…


The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline – BBC, The Curse of Oil


Read more…

$43 Billion is not Enough


You have almost certainly seen the Bond movie “The world is not enough“. The film responded to the emerging oil boom in the Caspian basin, where reserves of up to 200 billion barrel are expected.


That was 1999. One year later the world’s largest oil discovery in three decades was made in Kashagan (not to be pronounced as ‘cash all gone’), on the Kazahk side of the Caspian Sea. According to projections at the time the field should produce 1.2 million barrels per day by now, enough to cover Spain. Fourteen years and $43 billion later, still almost nothing has been produced. The new horizon for production to start is 2016. Main problems are:

corrosive and poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas, pumped up from the seabed along with the oil, has eaten through pipes bringing it onshore.

Another Kazakh cash burner has been the Tengiz field ($40 billion), but that field at least produces ca. 500,000 barrel per day. Both fields combined contain reserves worth 22 billion barrels.

[] – One Of The World’s Biggest Oil Projects Is A Total Fiasco
[] – The Great Kazakh Oil Fail

Overview of all major oil & gas pipelines in the Caspian basin, as well as exploitation right per country.

Planned pipelines Caspian basin. The planned pipeline through Afghanistan (red line, bottom right) is the main reason why the US are still in that country. The bin Laden story is for newspaper readers.

Condoleezza Rice on Russian-European Energy Relations

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and only woman with a bulky and greasy oil tanker named after her, forcing her to pretend that she actually liked that charming distinction, has some good advice for Europeans: lessen your dependency on Russian oil & gas and start to rely on your good friends in North-America.

La Rice ignores that the US is still and probably always will be a net fossil fuel importer, despite all the talk about increased shale oil and gas production. In other words: there is no mythical excess North-American supply that can replace Russian oil & gas. Washington will only be our friend, as long as Europe will play the second fiddle in the US multicultural global empire and the weaker Europe and its economy is, the better it is for the US. With friends like the US, who needs enemies?

Our Euro-centric neo-Gaullist political outlook of course is: ignore this self-serving advice, aimed at driving a wedge between Europe and Russia and bide time for the suitable moment to escape from the sarcophagus of European civilization, aka the West, led by financial house of cards and ethnographic time bomb USA. In this sense we can sympathize with the Turks, who have roughly the same attitude vis-a-vis Washington.

There is no way that the US, dominated by the all-powerful Israel Lobby, but that is rapidly changing into a third world country, can dominate 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.6 billion Muslims, 500 million Europeans and 200 million Slavs (with nuclear parity) ad infinitum. And the more it tries, the more it mobilizes counter forces and eventually will ensure that the entire world will unite against the US: France and Germany joining the BRICS for instance, would tilt the balance. Most likely the demise of the US as global hegemon will be initiated by China and Russia as the result of their clear intent to work towards the point where they no longer will accept dollar payments. The US, that needs to print $85 billion per month to keep itself afloat, will sink away in hyperinflation and chaos, once all the worlds dollars will return home, to the only place where they can’t be refused as legal tender.

Man’s Victory Over Nature


Human civilization started about 10,000 years ago with the rise of agriculture and domestication of animals. At the time the human presence in terms of ‘pounds of flesh’ was negligible as compared to wild animals. Today the roles are completely reversed: the amount of wild life (kilo-wise) is negligible to the amount of humans and their flocks.

Let’s hope it is not a Pyrrhic victory (don’t hold your breath).

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