Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Siemens – Why Wind Parks Are Worth It

80 windturbines over 25 years save the amount of CO2 that would require a forest area of 1,286 km2 to absorb, if the equivalent amount of energy was generated using fossil fuel.

Siemens has published a detailed ecological review of its wind turbines. The key question is how long it takes a wind farm to generate the volume of energy that it consumes during its lifetime, for example for manufacture, installation and disposal. As expected the calculations show that land-based wind farms pay off faster than their more powerful counterparts on the open sea.

Land-based wind farms are ahead when it comes to amortization, or in other words how long it takes a wind farm to produce the volume of energy that it consumes over its entire lifecycle. For an onshore facility, assuming an average wind speed of 8.5 meters per second, the amortization period is only 4.5 to 5.5 months. This figure also takes materials, production, construction, operation, maintenance, dismantling and recycling into account. Offshore wind farms, on the other hand, take a little longer – between 9.5 and 10.5 months – to offset their energy requirements.

[] – Just how green is wind power?

Eine Form aus zwei Teilen / One mold in two parts

Editor: onshore average wind speeds of 8.5 m/s are not very realistic, but assuming a payback time of 1 year, you still have a proud EROEI rate of 25, assuming a 25 year economic lifetime:


Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution

Gepubliceerd op 11 mrt. 2015 – Renewable energy promotion video.

Germany Trade & Invest presents its short film about Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution, the so called Energiewende (energy transition).
Voices from science, industry, and politics outline the achievements made so far, next steps, and the opportunities the energy transition offers.

[] – What a nation can achieve, if it has the collective will

Green Light For German-Norwegian Interconnector


On March 19, a contract for a subsea cable named NordLink was signed, under supervision of the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima:

Contracts were signed today in Hamburg between NordLink partners TenneT, Statnett and KfW plus ABB AB for the construction and installation of the German section of the high voltage direct current transmission cable (HVDC cable) for the NordLink project and for the two converter stations. NordLink, the “green cable”, is the first direct connection between the German and Norwegian electricity markets.

NordLink is now being build, another one is planned (NorGer)

[] – Royal glamour for NordLink

Green Light For British-Norwegian Interconnector


As was the case with earlier cable NorNed, the idea is to use Norway as ‘Europe’s battery pack‘: if there is too much renewable energy generated in the UK, for instance wind energy after 24:00, send it to Norway through the interconnector cable and use the energy to pump up water into mountain basins. When energy is required in Britain, let the water flow back to lower altitudes and generate electricity, that can be send back through the same cable. Overall efficiency still ca. 80%.

Completion date: 2021
Length cable: 730 km
Capacity: 730,000 homes or 1,400 MW (both ways)
Investment: 2 billion euro

[] – UK and Norway to build world’s longest undersea energy interconnector

Construct a One Megawatt Power Plant in One Week

Gepubliceerd op 24 mrt. 2015
This 1 MW hybrid solar-diesel plant was delivered, unpacked and fully operational in one week. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency supported Laing O’Rourke to develop this innovative new approach to off-grid power.

Editor: interesting to note what a relatively small area (ca. 15 m * 70 m) you need to generate 1 MW (peak), sufficient to power a few hundred-thousand households. There are absolutely no physical constraints that will stop villages world-wide from having these kind of arrays installed next to them.

Today, even in the least developed areas in Africa, most people use a mobile phone, a development that took 20 years. It is not a big stretch to image that someday, every person will have a few solar panels per capita installed, to cover the most ‘basic’ power needs (lights, WiFi and tablets replacing radio/television, mobile phones, fridge, water pump).

A solution could be that once the US empire is dismantled, Paris-Berlin-Moscow and China craft a global development plan, where both ‘divide the underdeveloped world’ between them and Europe and China ‘adopt’ countries on a voluntary basis (colonialism ultra-lite), where Europe and China can exploit local resources and implement a population limitation program, in exchange for real goods (bicycles, building materials, pumps, solar panels, consumer IT), not money that ends up in the wrong hands anyway.

Oil Apocalypse: Peak Oil – What If the Oil Runs Out?

Saudi Arabia Won’t Rule Out Building Nuclear Weapons

[] – Saudi Arabia says it won’t rule out building nuclear weapons

Editor: Saudi-Arabia clearly feels cornered. It is unlikely that Saudi-Arabia is able to build a bomb without outside help. The US won’t be that stupid, now will they?

Peak Oil with Richard Heinberg and James Hamilton

Gepubliceerd op 28 mrt. 2015
Our lead story: This week Stanford said that it would divest all of its investments in coal-mining companies, becoming the wealthiest US university to pledge divestment from sectors of the.

Recorded February 25th, 2014 in Vancouver, BC Richard Heinberg speaks on his newest book, covering the short-term nature of the recent North American oil boom and the financial bubble that.

Richard Heinberg explaining everything that you need to know about Peak Oil and how to prepare for it, because we are already deep in Peak Oil time!

US: Wind Beats Hydro for the First Time

For the moment this applied to the windy November month only. We’ll be back when the same statistic applies to the entire year as well. Won’t be that long.


Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air

Book on renewable energy from 2009, by David JC MacKay, completely online, including 12 MB pdf (370p).

[] – Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air


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