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Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Blue Energy Pilot Plant Operational in the Netherlands

Power pilot installation: 50 kW. Current gain of 2,6 W/m2 membrane, should be lifted towards 5 W/m2. Potential for Dutch electricity generation: 200 MW. Estimated global potential: 5% of total energy consumption. Key technological challenge: combat pollution membranes.

Osmotic power or salinity gradient power is the energy available from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and river water. Two practical methods for this are reverse electrodialysis (RED) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO). Both processes rely on osmosis with ion specific membranes. The key waste product is brackish water. This byproduct is the result of natural forces that are being harnessed: the flow of fresh water into seas that are made up of salt water.

[wikipedia.org] – Osmotic power
[DeeprResource] – Blue Energy

Blue Energy maakt van zout en zoet water energie.
Zout=salt, zoet=sweet (fresh), brak=mixed (brackish). Blue energy=electricity generated from mixing salt and fresh water (osmosis)

The King Willem-Alexander opens the installation (that is already operational for a year).

[rt.com] – New research to turn salty oceans into a renewable energy source

Read more…

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Collapsing Oil Price Casualties

oil-price-casualties[source]

Currencies of oil major exporters Russia, Canada, Norway and Nigeria take a hit as a resulting of collapsing oil prices.

[nytimes.com] – Oil Prices Are Plunging. Here’s Who Wins and Who Loses.

Global Solar PV Installed Base to Triple in 2020

globaldata-solar-installed-base

GlobalData forecasts that the global cumulative installed base of solar PV modules will triple by 2020, from 135.66 GW in 2013 to 413.98 GW in 2020.

[energy.globaldata.com] – Global Solar Photovoltaic Module Installed Capacity to More than Treble by 2020, says GlobalData
[cleantechnica.com] – Global Solar PV Module Capacity To More Than Treble By 2020

Renewable Energy #1 Electricity Source in Scotland

scotland-renewable-energy-2014[source]

We reported earlier that Scotland is doing fine in renewable energy matters. Here some new data to confirm that image: renewable energy is the prime source of electricity in Scotland (32%) over the first half of 2014. And there is still a lot of potential for an even bigger role to play for renewables.

[scottishrenewables.com]

The Cost of Solar Modules

Polysilicon_solar_cell[source]

GTM Research investigated what in 2014 the costs are of producing a multicrystalline silicon solar panel, excluding marketing, transport, administration, warranty, etc. Result:

50 cent/kw (China)

Next in line of cheap producers: Malaysia, Taiwan and the US (68 cent/kw).

2014_module_mfg_costs
Cost structure solar module 2014

[greentechmedia.com]

Oil Price Collapse

oilprice-collapse[source]

New Population Projections 2100

population-projection

[scientificamerican.com] – World Population Will Soar Higher Than Predicted

World Largest PV Plant Now in California (550 MW)

Formerly useless desert becoming useful after all. Topaz solar power plant, located in San Luis Obispo County, California, now operational. This solar panel field generates 550 MW peak watt, which boils down to 125 MW average, on a 24h basis. So, if you want to replace a standard 1 GW nuclear or fossil fuel based power plant, you need 8 of these Topaz fields. Quite a task, but once they are installed, you don’t have to worry about fuel bills and carbon tax for at least 25 years.

Investment volume: $2.5B
Panels: 9 million thin-film technology based CdTe PV panels
Manufacturer: First Solar
Power: 550 MW peak (equiv. to army of 4.3 million men on a home trainer, 8h/day, 250 days/year generating 100 Watt continuously, which is very hard work)
Annual production: 1,096 GWh
Employment: 400 construction jobs

[wikipedia.org] – Topaz Solar Farm
[google maps]

Saving Fuel With More Gears

Volkswagen was the first to introduce in 2003 a gear-box with 6 gears. Mercedes and BMW took up the gauntlet and increased even more. Now Volkswagen brings a 10-gear gear-box for their mass market models Golf and Passat. Advantages: less wear of the coupling and better fuel efficiency (16%). The new gear-box weighs 5 kg more, but has the same size as the old one.

Zehngang-DSG

gearbox2

Zehngang-DSG

[spiegel.de] – Zehnganggetriebe von VW: Jetzt wird’s zweistellig

Postcards From Pripyat, Chernobyl

Drone pictures of the abandoned city of Pripjat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

[rt.com]

The Second American Revolution

first-salute
‘First salute’ by the Dutch-Caribbean port of St. Eustatius on November 16, 1776 in response to a salute given by the American vessel Andrew Doria. It was the first formal recognition of the United States as an independent nation, in casu by the Dutch Republic.

[amazon.com] – The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution

Although we greatly admire Mel Gibson as an actor, historian and wine connoisseur, he clearly was pushing it a little when Hollywood myth factory attempted to portray the events of the ‘American Revolution’ in a most favorable heroic light, for the Americans that is. Here an implausible scene where ‘Patriot‘ Mel Gibson and his two toddlers are taking on a gang of twenty or so British professional killers and finish them off in less than three minutes. Note how the English soldiers patiently wait until it is their turn to be slaughtered:

Well, well, well. The Jewish-American historian Barbara Tuchman has shown that in reality European colonialists aka ‘Americans’, merely played a supporting role in the ‘American revolution’ (rebellion is a better word) and the otherwise brilliant actions of George Washington were hardly more than a side-show in a drama that essentially was a continuation of a European power struggle on North-American soil, in casu between the French and the Dutch versus the British and their German-Hessian mercenaries.

Tuchman-portrait
Barbara Tuchman.

Let’s first collect a few statistics to put everything in perspective:

Population 1776 (million):

France 23
Britain 11
Netherlands 2
Anti-British Colonialists 2
Pro-British Colonialists 0.5

Conclusion: the Europeans had a vastly larger population base than the European colonialists in North America, not to mention taxation, professional armies, world wide empires, navies and commercial fleets. On top of that, not all colonialists supported the drive for independence, particularly not those of British descent.

Killed in action:

French 13,894
Colonialists 4,435-6,824
British 1,240
Germans mercenaries 1,200

That’s quite a revealing statistic: up to three times more French died during the ‘American revolution’ than Americans! We guess it is yet another example of foreigners doing work Americans refuse to do.

So why were the Europeans heavily involved in the American revolution in the first place? Not because the Dutch and most certainly not the French couldn’t wait to get their first Hamburger served. No, it was because the British were getting a little too powerful in the world to the taste of the French and the Dutch. Depriving Britain of a large colony was a rational strategy, to give the British a ‘haircut’, so to speak, after the British had won huge territorial gains in North-America a few years earlier, during the Seven Years War (1756-1763), although first world war would have been a more suitable name (as proposed by Winston Churchill), considering the extent of the globally dispersed battle arenas:

7yearsWarWorldWide[source]
Seven Years War Arena: a true world war with Britain and France as two major opponents.

Results of the Seven Years War (before & after):

e-1756-new-world[source]
Before Seven Years War

e-1763-new-world
After Seven Years War

The upshot of the Seven Years War was that Britain was the winner and France the loser, with the French losing huge North-American territories to the British. The British now controlled all of North America east of the Mississippi up to the Arctic. The French were not amused and did not forget.

European support for the colonialist’ uprising in the early seventies began with the Dutch though, who were instrumental in delivering weapons to the colonialists via the Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius, to get the uprising started.

dutch-guns
No guns, no revolution. Dutch guns used during the American Revolution.

America at the time was never seen as a competitor by the Europeans, America at the time was a European play-thingy. It would take one and a half century before the Europeans started to realize that America could not longer be ignored, but instead had become the home of the largest number of Europeans within the confinement of a single tax farm and hence as the largest economy on earth by the end of the 19th century:

2000-years-economic-history
Extremely rich source of information: 2000 years of history expressed in terms of GDP. From this picture it can be easily distilled that at the time of the American Revolution, the weight of the US dwarfed in comparison to the Europeans. As a little aside, this graph also reveals that the GDP of Germany in 1939 in its turn was dwarfed by the combined GDP of USA, USSR, UK and France, making short shrift with the self-serving allied Nuremberg lie that ‘Germany wanted to conquer the world’, where in reality the US and USSR wanted to conquer the world, conspired together since 1933 and finally did conquer the world, but we digress.

American Revolution Timeline

1758-xx-xx – George Washington elected to Virginia House of Burgesses
1763-02-10 – End Seven Years’ War
1767-07-02 – Townshends Acts
1769-05-11 – Thomas Jefferson elected to Virginia House of Burgesses
1770-03-05 – Boston Massacre
1773-12-16 – Boston Tea Party
1774-09-05 – First Continental Congress meets
1775-04-19 – Battles of Lexington and Concord
1775-06-14 – Creation of the Continental Army
1775-06-22 – Congress issues continental currency
1776-07-04 – Declaration of Independence
1776-11-16 – First Salute St. Eustatius: Dutch recognition of the US
1777-10-17 – Battle of Saratoga, first American victory and turning point of the war
1778-02-06 – The United States and France sign the Treaty of Alliance
1779-04-12 – Anti-British Treaty of Aranjuez between Spain and France
1779-06-21 – Spain declares war on Britain
1780-12-xx – Beginning 4th Anglo-Dutch War
1781-02-03 – British capture St. Eustatius
1781-10-19 – Surrender of Yorktown
1783-09-03 – Treaty of Paris
1784-xx-xx – End 4th Anglo-Dutch War. Holland abdicates as a great power

A selection from Amazon.com comments/review section, probably mostly written by American readers:

1. Despite what Disney would have us believe, the Americans didn’t rally to fighting or winning this war. Congress was as slow, and often made as little sense then as it seems to do from time to time now – Washington was a miracle worker for somehow keeping an army on the field at all. The American Revolution was won by French and Dutch money, and mainly the French military (yes it was fought by many brave Americans too, but there was too much apathy, too much self-interest, and there were too few in number to ever WIN it). Through the story of Rodney, the reader is given a unique perspective from which to witness the incredible mismanagement of the war by the British, insight into those self-destructive practices and entrenched egos that characterized monarchy, and just how close this war was to being lost and how easily it could have turned out differently… All in all, another treasure from Barbara Tuchman.

2. There are five outstanding strengths to this work:

  1. Tuchman documents the incredible fragility of the American troops and leadership,held together by the personality and determination and true cunning of George Washington. Many times the revolution was almost lost except for Washington’s efforts to retreat and frustrate the British armies until he was able to strike on his own terms.
  2. the role of the Dutch in assisting the American colonies is fully documented and appreciated. The Dutch supplied the colonies with weapons, traded through the Carribean. Tuchman makes the case that the revolution would have been lost without Dutch efforts on our behalf.
  3. the tremendous role of the French in the success of the American revolution is further documented.
  4. Tuchman carefully and strategically places the story of the American revolution within the context of world affairs at the time, giving more meaning to the actions of the British and the colonist as well as their allies.

A wonderful product, great scholarship, very readable, this is a total historic winner.

3. I’ve read all of Ms. Tuchman’s books, and this might be her best. Certainly as good as “The Proud Tower.” Many Americans don’t care much about the history of the Revolutionary War, and I had never thought before reading this book about aid to the Rebellion from Holland, of all places. We tend not to remember that Holland was one of the foremost mercantile nations, with an enormous empire. We tend not to think about questions like, “Where did Americans get the weapons and ammunition they needed for the Revolution?”

4. Tuchman explains French intervention in the war rather prosaically. Rather than suffering a monarchical affinity to liberty, equality, and democracy, France intervened because of a centuries old, deep seated hostility to Britain, to disrupt the sugar trade and, more immediately, to redress losses suffered in the Seven Years’ War.
As an American it was at first disorienting, and then refreshing, to view the American Revolution from a European perspective.

5. So was the American a true Revolution? Probably not. Better to be described as the American Rebellion, its successful outcome was decisive in spreading the great hopes of change nurtured by the European Enlightenment, but in the end – like the Dutch – it contented with the reaffirmation of offended rights never proposing officially a brave new man like the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.
Very interesting is also the glance cast on the parallel history of the two rebellions: the likeness of William the Silent with Washington, the nature of defensive war, the uneven weight of the forces (both Dutch and Colonies were forced to fight against the strongest superpower of their age), the intestine war (Flanders vs. Holland, American Tories vs. Rebels), the resemblance of the Dutch Act of Rejection and the Declaration of Independence, the actual outcome in the model of federal government.

6. The key to understanding the American Revolution is that of an early national liberation struggle that like all such struggles was desperately in need of arms. And like all such struggles the rebels were not particular about where they got them. This, in the final analysis, is the importance of the first salute- that is the recognition of the colonials to belligerent status by the Dutch in the West Indies where the American rebels could get arms and ammunition.

So why are we bringing up this piece of history?

Answer: because what happened during the American Revolution could very well serve as a template for events in a not too distant future, namely the return of continental Europeans to North-American soil, to once again liberate Americans from an oppressive regime.

American troops have been active on European soil twice in the 20th century. There is absolutely no reason why European troops could not be active on north-American soil in the beginning of the 21st century. Once the Paris-Berlin-Moscow confederation/military alliance of 700 million or so is in place, Europe gets unprecedented options for these kind of operations.

And we Europeans should not forget about our own interest in this. If we do nothing, this is going to be the world of the future:

1984_fictious_world_map
Orwell’s 1984: Judaic Anglosphere = totalitarian Oceania (pink), Christian Euro-Siberia (purple), Islamic Caliphate (yellow), Confucianism (green).

The mortal danger exists of a potential Anglo-Chinese alliance, which would leave Euro-Siberia surrounded and we would have more or less the situation of 1941 back, with continental Europe surrounded by an Anglo-Soviet alliance, with known disastrous consequences (for Europe).

From a European perpective it is much better to draw at least a constitutionalist part of the US to our side and as such ‘neutralize America’. Here is a recent map of potential secessionist movements within the US:

secession-which-states[source]
American states with secession movements, with a staggering 25% support, with considerable upward potential when the situation in the US deteriorates. Texas could be the first to secede and provide a convenient landing place for European logistical support and eventually troops.

SECESSION_opinion_map-with-q[source]
American states with the highest public desire to secede from Washington. Again Texas scores highest. It is obvious that Europe should concentrate on Middle-America aka ‘fly-over country’ and stay clear from the coastal cities.

The map shows that potential for a ‘liberated constitutionalist strip’ exists between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, effectively splitting the US in the middle. With the Latino majority states, like California, New Mexico and Arizona returning to Mexico…

Mapa_de_Mexico_(Imperio_Mexicano)_1821
Mexico 1821. Could reemerge when the buck from Washington will stop after the end of the dollar era and the subsequent USSR/Yugoslav/Iraq/Syria-style ethnic Great Divorce.

…leaving only NYC and DC to the neocons to play ‘benevolent empire’ with, good luck with that. Game, set and match European civilization. A European Commonwealth of ca. 800 million (Paris-Berlin-Moscow, Canada and US constitutionalists) is more than enough to balance a rising China of 1300 million and provide for a very stable security architecture for the rest of the 21st century.

In this scenario, Euro-Americans will get a choice: 1) do you want to live in a totalitarian third world USA, threatening the rest of the world or 2) do you define yourself as Europeans after all and as such soldier on as a secessionist sovereign state within a ‘European commonwealth’, together with Canada and protected/guaranteed by Europe (now including Russia).

So when could this scenario being played out? Answer: when the world dumps the dollar at the latest and the US government will be broke.

DWO-EU-27Nachhaltigkeitsran
The US is a financial house of cards about to implode

That’s when the massive social unrest and looting will begin on a continental scale. Large parts of the US one big Ferguson.

Ferguson during the past 24 hours.

That’s when the Euro’s decide to have enough, grab for their guns and attempt to secede, which DC and its third world proletariat will try to prevent. That will be the moment for Europe to side with the secessionists and begin to support them, exactly like how Russia supported the Donbass insurgency with material support and freelance fighters and perhaps eventually with regular troops.

The John Adams of the future second American Revolution (Alex Jones?) should establish diplomatic relations with European nationalist parties now, as well as Putin-Russia. He should ask for talks with Marine le Pen first and make sure he gets a handshake captured on camera. Next he should try to do the same with a high-ranking Russian officials of Putin’s United Russia party.

[lewrockwell.com] – The Second American Revolution. Very serious topic hidden in a humorist message.

watson-tunisian-fruit

esq-alex-jones-gun
Europe’s natural allies: Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Pat Buchanan, Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, Edward Snowden, Lew Rockwell and many others.

Pictures from the 1984 winter olympics in Sarajewo, Yugoslavia. On the stand lots of Yugoslavs, proudly and harmoniously celebrating the opening ceremony of their Olympics. Seven years later Yugoslavs no longer existed, just Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Bosnians, etc. nota bene all ethnic Slavs, inhabiting the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Won’t be different with America after the fall. By 2030 at the latest, Americans will have cease to exist and what will remain after the Great Divorce will be just Europeans, Africans, Latino’s, Asians and native Americans in a balkanized territory known as the Former Republic of America (FRA).

SolarStratos – Solar-Powered Flight to Stratosphere


[rt.com] – Solar-powered mission to edge of space is on

Volkswagen XL1 review

Youtube text:

After nearly ten years in the making, the Volkswagen XL1 has arrived, and we were lucky enough to drive one in this video review.

Volkswagen had one thing in mind with the XL1 – to create a useable, everyday vehicle that would use just a single litre of fuel for every hundred kilometres it travelled. Three concept cars and thirteen years of development later, the Volkswagen XL1 has now become a production reality.

It boasts a stylish teardrop design, shaped by aerodynamics to create as little drag as possible. It sits just over a metre tall, which is lower than most sports cars, including a Porsche Boxster.

When the XL1 finally arrives in the UK, only around 20-30 cars will be on offer, with early estimates of the price tag coming in at around £100,000.

Volkswagen claim the car can achieve 313mpg, so to put this to the test, we drove the XL1 around a short loop in full electric mode. Astonishingly, we managed to achieve 403mpg – so it actually beat the figures stated by Volkswagen.

Okay, so, when we did drive the XL1 a little faster, that figure did fall to 196mpg. But it’s still efficient, and hardly going to break the bank. Overall, we were pretty impressed with the XL1 – the build quality of the interior was stunning, and it was hard not to be seduced by the cutting-edge technology on board.

Don’t worry, though; it’s going to be a while before the next Volkswagen Golf looks like an XL1.

Electricity Prices EU-USA 2013

electricity-prices-eu-usa-2013[source]

Philae Discovers Organic Molecules on Comet

Halley's_Comet,_1910[source]

ESA probe Philae discovers organic molecules on comet:

The Philae space probe was powered down earlier than expected, but not before an instrument discovered an organic compound that was first detected in the comet’s atmosphere, the Wall Street Journal exclusively reported Monday. The find is extraordinary considering the organic compound contains the carbon atom, which is the basis of life on planet Earth.

[ibtimes.com]

Drone Pictures World’s Largest Operational Wind Turbine E-126

The Enercon E-126 is the largest operational wind turbine in the world (7.5 MW). Here drone pictures of such a turbine installed near the 700 years old small town of Medemblik in the Netherlands [map].

[wikipedia.org] – E-126
[windpowermonthly.com] – 10 biggest wind turbines in the world

Note that Medemblik is several meters below sea level, which can be seen in the video [1:16]:

AHN_Nederland_2003

Installation E-70 Wind Turbine Ireland

Very detailed video documentation of the installation of an Enercon E-70 windturbine in Caherdowney, near Cork in Ireland (beautiful music from [9:37]).

[thewindpower.net] – Caher Downey windfarm (Ireland)
[enercon.de] – E-70
[wikipedia.org] – Enercon

Read more…

The Latest German Renewable Energy Figures

Germany-renewable-energy-power-capacity-2014
Wind and solar data represent peak watt capacities and do not represent real output, except for windy and sunny days.

Germany-renewable-energy-generation-2014
Real output figures. All renewable electricity generation combined (wind, solar, biomass, hydro) represents the largest segment already.

Germany-solar-wind-energy-complementary-2014
Solar and wind output combined. Here you can clearly see that wind and solar are more or less complementary over the seasons, minimizing the need for long term storage. For Europe a mix of wind and solar is the answer.

[solarlove.org]

Short Term Battery Storage Could Eliminate Need Fossil-Based Backup Capacity

Battersea_Power_Station_London_7962288232[source]
Battersea power station in London

Earlier we reported about considerable progress being made in bringing down the price of storage of electrical energy. This could greatly reduce the need for maintaining fossil fuel based backup capacity. In the modern grid there is always spare capacity standing by, that can be switched on quickly to meet varying demand patterns. If indeed the cost of storage could be brought down to ca. 100-200$/kwh, than the need for the spare capacity mentioned above could be considerable reduced and backup power stations can be closed.

And it is not just batteries that will replace the need for backup generation capacity, there is also the option of pumped hydro storage, that could cover both short and medium term storage capacity.

[renewableenergyworld.com] – Energy Storage Will Soon Replace Simple Cycle Combustion Turbine Peaker Plants

Renewables Energy Subsidies 2013

renewables-subsidies-2013[source]

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