DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the month “December, 2015”

Utility Scale Solar for 5 cent/kWh

solar-apple

An upbeat report from a stakeholder: utility solar in the US is doing fine and reaching grid parity, if one includes tax incentives, scheduled to last until 2021. But reduced tax benefits maybe compensated by continued price decline of large scale solar installations. Several large utility scale PV power stations came online this year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California.

The first reported contract for solar power under five cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) occurred in 2014: Austin Energy’s 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison for 150 MW of solar power. The trend continued in 2015, when Nevada Energy secured a 4.6 cent per kWh PPA with SunPower.

Editor: articles like this explain why we have lost interest a little in energy problems, because the initial fear, which prompted us to start this blog nearly four years ago, namely a world running out of energy fast, has been pushed to the background and replaced with worries about the state of the economy and international finance, the destabilizing refugee crises and the threat of war.

Personally, it costed merely 3000 euro to have a solar installation on the roof that will annually produce almost twice as much electricity as needed for the next 25-30 years.

Now that utility solar has reached grid parity, the only remaining energy related problem is storage, to overcome daily and most important seasonal demand and supply fluctuations. Potential solutions: pumped hydro and perhaps fuel production from electricity. But there is little doubt that a 100% renewable energy base is feasible within a few decades.

[blogs.edf.org] – A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar

North Pole: 0 Degree Celcius

hohono[source]

It is winter at he North Pole and dark 24/24. Yet the temperature is 0 degree Celcius, more than 30 degrees higher than normal.

[spiegel.de] – Sturm “Frank”: Bojen am Nordpol melden extremen Wärmeschub

How Big Oil Conquered the World

IS Oil Routes

IS-oil-routes

[infowars.com] – Caught On Tape: Russian Fighter Jets Destroy Huge ISIS Oil Convoy in Transit to Turkey

Hard Row Italy-Germany Over Sanctions & Pipelines

Hard and emotional row

Dr. Merkel is the #1 driving force behind keeping the anti-Russian sanctions in place, the good US lapdog that she is. Yet at the same time, Germany and Russia merrily work on planning the expansion of the North-Stream pipeline, where at the same time Brussels ordered Bulgaria to stop implementing South-Stream. Italian PM Renzi, one of the EU politicians with the relatively most positive attitude towards Putin-Russia, got irritated by this and a row escalated during the last summit in Brussels. According to Tusk, the discussion had been “hard” and “emotional”.

After all, the South-Stream pipeline was torpedoed as part of the sanctions policies and now Germany does go ahead with North-Stream, making Germany the main distributor of Russian gas in Europe. No wonder the other Europeans are mad about this German hypocrisy.

For the record: we want maximum European dependency on Russian gas & oil and as such want to see both South-Stream and North-Stream expansion implemented without delay or “third energy package” baloney (and all sanctions lifted).

[spiegel.de] – Pipeline-Projekt Nordstream 2: Heftiger Streit zwischen Merkel und Renzi auf EU-Gipfel

[politico.eu] – Matteo Renzi picks fight with Angela Merkel

You cannot say that you are giving your blood to Europe,’ the Italian premier told the German chancellor at the EU summit. “It was very impressive how tough he was” in confronting Merkel on several key EU issues, said a minister who was in the room. The clash with Merkel highlights Renzi’s increasingly confrontational posture towards EU officials… Renzi is under political pressure at home, facing local elections next year in which he is expected to lose ground to populist, Euroskeptic parties. During the course of the two-day meeting in Brussels, Renzi went on the attack against Berlin several times, according to sources. And with Italians increasingly disillusioned with German-led Europe, his more aggressive strategy could be popular with voters… Renzi also accused Merkel of a political double-standard over the involvement of German companies in the construction of a gas pipeline with Russia, Nord Stream, at a time when the EU is about to approve the extension of sanctions against Moscow, according to a diplomat. Renzi said he was opposed to automatically renewing the sanctions without opening a discussion on the pipeline project.

Warmest December Ever in the Netherlands

ANP-Amsterdam-warm-december-weerrecord-_0Amsterdam, Rokin, this week: lunch outside on a terrace. As we type these lines, outside 16 degrees Celcius (61 Fahrenheit), one week before Christmas. Jokes about people with winter tires and those who planned a skying vacation. An exceptional large number of people suffer from hay fever due to the pollen in the air.

Ahchoo.

[rtlnieuws.nl] – Weerrecords sneuvelen: warmste 17 december ooit

The World is Drowning in Oil

galvestonGalveston harbor

The world oil overproduction is now so bad that oil-tankers are used as storage facilities and parked one the Atlantic, waiting for customers. Like 40 crude tankers with a combined cargo capacity of 28.4 million barrels waiting to anchor near Galveston.

So what’s going on?

  • Solar & wind breaking through?
  • Everybody busy with saving energy?
  • Everybody switching to small cars?
  • Young people no longer bothering to own a car and instead use their location aware mobile gadgets to share a car?
  • Economic recession, denied by western governments?
  • Very mild ‘winter’ in Europe, vastly lowering house warming fuel consumption?
  • Increased fracking production, outpacing ‘peak-oil’ supply contraction?

All of the above?

[zerohedge.com] – Something Strange Is Taking Place In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean
[fortune.com] – Oil Prices Could Drop to $20 a Barrel Next Year
[reuters.com] – Diesel tankers make U-turn in mid-Atlantic as Europe stocks swell

Home Gardening – A Glimpse of the Future

People turning their ordinary garden in a vegetable garden. We did it as well. A freezer full with food from your own garden and powered by your own solar panels, that’s a new quality of well-begin.

Gepubliceerd op 14 dec. 2015

“I’m not a millionaire but I feel like one,” declares Gabriel Pliska. This Vancouver, B.C. urban farmer gives a tour of a residential front yard garden, including planted boxes in the boulevard strip beside the curb. Several homeowners provide him yard space and water for cultivating veggies, flowers, herbs, wildlife habitat and beauty. They receive beautifully tended gardens all year round (and some produce, too!) Gabriel harvests veggies for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes and sells the surplus at a weekly growers market. Gabriel’s “hyper-local” enterprise is achieved almost entirely on bike. We finish with images of his “guerrilla garden” on an unused railway spur, accompanied by a music track of with his own lyrics “Garden Nostalgia.” Episode 298.

Wendelstein Fusion Initial Success

wendelstein3

The German engineers of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald succeeded in producing the first plasma, no surprises here.

The first plasma in the machine had a duration of one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees. “We’re very satisfied”, concludes Dr. Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X, at the end of the first day of experimentation. “Everything went according to plan.” The next task will be to extend the duration of the plasma discharges and to investigate the best method of producing and heating helium plasmas using microwaves. After a break for New Year, confinement studies will continue in January, which will prepare the way for producing the first plasma from hydrogen.

[news.sciencemag.org] – Germany fires up bizarre new fusion reactor
[ipp.mpg.de] – The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation

 

Here Comes The Sun – Wendelstein Operational Today

wendelstein2

Leave it to the Germans to get a high-tech engineering project done. The global scientific community has the Iter-fusion project in France, that perhaps will begin testing in a decade or so. The Germans have their own little fusion project called Wendelstein 7-X stellerator and they will start testing today, so if the world blows up, you know why. The goal is to show that continuous fusion operation can work, not just seconds. Goal for today: to keep a 30 m3 plasma at 100 million degrees Kelvin for minutes, what no one has done before.

Good luck.

[en.wikipedia.org] – Wendelstein 7-X
[spiegel.de] – Kernfusionsanlage Wendelstein 7-X: Diese künstliche Sonne soll alle Energieprobleme lösen

Rijswijk Buiten, Holland’s Most Sustainable Residential Area

Rijswijk Buiten is located near The Hague. Unlike almost any other group of houses, these ones no longer have a connection to the natural gas grid. Electricity comes from solar panels and powers heat pumps for space heating via floor heating.

Between now and 2023, 3500 new energy neutral homes without connection to natural gas grid are planned to be build. From 2020 every new build home in the Netherlands must be energy neutral like the ones presented here in Rijswijk Buiten.

[rijswijkbuiten.nl]

Read more…

South Stream not Dead

75.000-Steel-Pipes-Ordered-for-South-Stream[source] Pipes waiting to be deployed on the bottom of the Black Sea.

[reuters.com] – Turkey row leaves Russia stuck with abandoned gas pipes worth billions

Gas pipes worth 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) are to be left stranded on the shores of the Black Sea after Russia’s decision to suspend work on the Turkish Stream pipeline, a potent symbol of Moscow’s falling out with Ankara…

Gazprom ordered pipes from as far afield as Japan and Germany for the 2,400-kilometre (1,491-mile) South Stream pipeline, originally slated to open in 2018, which were then reassigned to Turkish Stream after the project was axed…

Industry sources said the pipes can only be used for projects in the Black Sea because of their specialized construction.

We’re not going to let these pipes rot away on a Black Sea beach, now do we?

The Dutch company South Stream Transport was responsible for the construction of the pipeline; their website still talks about Turk Stream. The Bulgarians now proposed to at least construct the Black Sea part of the original South Stream pipeline.

[standartnews.com] – Bulgaria in talks with EU for a shorter South Stream

Bulgaria has been discussing a shorter version of its cancelled South Stream gas pipeline with the European Commission for months, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Tomislav Donchev revealed in the most recent parliamentary control blitz questions session. Especially in the light of the suspension of the Turkish Stream due to the recent tensions between Russia and Turkey, the new plan to deliver Russian gas to the receiving terminal in the Black Sea near Varna could bring back Bulgaria into the game of how to get more Russian gas into Europe.Копирано от standartnews.com

Editor: dear Bulgarians, don’t wait for permission from the euro-losers. The new sport in Europe is to defy orders from Brussels, humiliate them and act in both your national and European interest, like for instance in the case of building fences, preventing the euro-fools and George Soros drones from destroying European civilization on orders of the US oligarch overlords. Talk with Putin and implement the pipeline and present Brussels with a fait accompli. This is a very pro-European thing to do since the future of the Middle East is now so uncertain that gas supply to Europe from this source is not guaranteed.

south-stream-map-enThis is the original plan for the 2400 km South Stream pipe line

south-stream-map[gazprom.com]The original 925 km route through the Black Sea. Now that the Crimea is Russian again, the new pipeline can be made shorter, closer to the Crimean coast.

The Origin of Oil: Organic or Abiotic?

Discussion about whether oil has an organic or abiotic origin. The latter theory is popular in Russian scientific circles. We are agnostic on this question, although we never understood how oil can be of organic origin and yet seems to concentrate in huge oil fields.

Perhaps the real answer is that oil can be either of organic or abiotic origin.
Perhaps the largest oil field on earth Ghawar is of abiotic where shale oil is of organic origin.

Crimea to be Connected to Russian Grid Soon

putin-simferopol

Surprise visit Vladimir Putin to Simferopol, the capital of the Crimea, to announce that the Crimea will be connected to the grid again via an undersea cable, coming from main-land Russia as per December 15. The Crimea is currently cut-off from previous electricity-provider Ukraine.

[en.kremlin.ru] – The President launched first stage of power bridge to Crimea
[spiegel.de] – Putin eröffnet “Energiebrücke” auf der Krim

Red Sea-Dead Sea Pipeline Decided Upon

deadsea

Israel & Jordan need water and decided to implement a decades old plan, namely to transport water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea via a canal.

Scope:

  • Volume: ca. 300 million m3/year.
  • Desalinization: 65-85 million m3/year.
  • Cost: $800 million.
  • Length: 180 km
  • Red Sea loses 700 million m3/year
  • Partners: World Bank, US, EU countries

[timesofisrael.com] – Israel, Jordan unveil $800m joint plan for ‘Red-Dead’ canal
[spiegel.de] – Jordanien startet Ausschreibung: Megakanal soll Rotes und Totes Meer verbinden

[wikipedia.org] – Dead Sea Canal

dead-sea-from-masada[source] Dead Sea from Masada.

[spiegel.de] – Megakanal vom Roten Meer: Das Tote Meer wird wiederbelebt

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