The government of Scotland aims to increase the speed with which it wants to implement new renewable energy capcity to the tune of 50% by 2030. This involves overall energy consumption, including heat and transport, so not just electricity.
An interdisciplinary team of researchers has laid the foundations for an entirely new type of photovoltaic cell. In this new method, infrared radiation is converted into electrical energy using a different mechanism from that found in conventional solar cells. The mechanism behind the new solid-state solar cell made of the mineral perovskite relies on so-called polaron excitations, which combine the excitation of electrons and vibrations of the crystal lattice.
[phys.org] – Scientists lay foundations for new type of solar cell
[onlinelibrary.wiley.com] – Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite
[cleantechnica.com] – Holy Hot Polarons, Batman! New Perovskite Solar Cell Shows Promise
Forget everything you know about solar cells and check this out. A research team based at the University of Göttingen in Germany has come up with something they call an “entirely new” way to harvest energy from sunlight. In effect, the new solar cell puts the brakes on excited electrons, extending their lifetime. The result is a more efficient solar cell, with less energy lost in the form of heat and more energy converted to electricity.
[wikipedia.org] – Polarons
A polaron is a quasiparticle used in condensed matter physics to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material. The polaron concept was first proposed by Lev Landau in 1933 to describe an electron moving in a dielectric crystal where the atoms move from their equilibrium positions to effectively screen the charge of an electron, known as a phonon cloud. This lowers the electron mobility and increases the electron’s effective mass.
Location: Delfzijl [Google Maps]
Capacity: 7500 households
Owner: German energy company Wirsol
Size: 65 soccer fields
Coming Spring the title “largest solar park in the Netherlands” will move from Delfzijl to Vlissingen [Sloehaven], with 140,000 panels.
In general, investment in solar energy is booming in the Netherlands. In 2016 500 MW new capacity was installed, 100 MW more than in 2015.
[source] Same park
The report underscores that SEE possesses vast technical renewable energy potential – equal to some 740 GW.” This renewable energy potential is dominated by wind and solar. “The region’s wind energy (532 GW) and solar PV (120 GW) potential is largely untapped, and 127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.”
[irena.org] – Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe (pdf 124p)
[cleantechnica.com] – 790 Gigawatts of Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Potential in South East Europe
Belgium giving the good example: railway tracks covered with solar panels.
Great-Britain is a mid-sized country with high population density. Not strange then that a study has been started to see if space near railway tracks can be used to place solar panels.
[solarlove.org] – UK Studying Track Side Solar Panels To Power Electric Trains
Tower height: 240 m
Power: 121 MW
Cost: $700 million
|Name||Diam.||Power||Firm||Country of Origin|
|V164||164 m||8 MW+||Vestas||Denmark|
|AD-180||180 m||8 MW||Adwen||France|
|SWT-8.0-154||154 m||8 MW||Siemens||Denmark|
|E-126||127 m||7.5 MW||Enercon||Germany|
|SCD||140 m||6 MW||Ming Yang||China|
|152||126/152 m||6.2 MW||Senvion||Germany|
|Haliade||151 m||6 MW||Alstom||Spain|
|SL6000||128/155 m||6 MW||Sinovel||China|
|AMSC||140 m||5.5 MW||Dongfang/Hyundai||China|
|AD5-135||135 m||5 MW||Adwen||France|
Roger van Boxtel, the CEO of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail, DR) could be persuaded to pull a stunt and let himself be tied to a wick of classic Dutch wind mill to promote the point that as of January 1, DR is for 100% powered by wind energy.
The international dispersed wind parks obviously don’t really power the locomotives of DR, but what DR did was subsidize the construction of sufficiently wind power, matching their own electricity demand. In end effect it doesn’t really matter, since Europe has an interconnected grid. What DR did was giving the good example to other corporations to do the same and as such give themselves a well deserved green image and help realizing the renewable energy transition.
The Dutch national energy bureau ECN says that by 2023, the cost of offshore wind energy could be reduced with 40%. Way to achieve this:
This would mean that the price of our virtual barrel of oil equivalent, calculated here, would be reduced to $6/barrel (if that wind energy is applied for mobility purposes).
[flow-offshore.nl] – FLOW, Competitive Through Cooperation (pdf 88p, Eng.)
[flow-offshore.nl] – FLOW, Concurrerend Door Samenwerking (pdf 88p, Ned.)
[windenergiecourant.nl] – ECN: 40 procent goedkoper offshore wind haalbaar
[wikipedia.org] – List of countries by energy intensity (2003)
|Country||Ton of oil/million $ GDP|
Countries like Russia and to a lesser extent the US with lots of resources don’t need to invest too much time and effort in reducing energy waste as other (European) countries and Japan, that have few natural energy resources.
The video and Wikipedia differ about China, probably due to 12 years time difference.
[yearbook.enerdata.net] – Energy intensity of GDP at constant purchasing power parities
Youtube text: Published 11 March 2015
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.
Halleluja video (turn down the volume)
Yet another wind park? This one is different as it is being realized thanks to the efforts of (4000) private persons in the Dutch province of Zeeland.
34 turbines will be producing at least 100 MW for 100,000 households.
Start project 2016. Operational: 2019.
Multinationals buying electricity: Akzo, DSM, Google and Philips.
Youtube text: Published on 12 dec. 2015
In Denmark, officials have taken strides to minimize the effects of climate change by converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Over the next 35 years, the country aspires to become the first nation on earth to run completely, including transportation, on clean energy. NewsHour Special Correspondent Lisa Desai reports.
Studying this graph could give cause to a somewhat relaxed attitude regarding doom stories related to a so-called “energy crisis”. The kicker: in 1945 there was hardly any electricity production in the Netherlands worth mentioning. If you project the current level of “decentral” generated electricity (wind, solar, bio, hydro, etc. and fossil based electricity and heat production by private parties other than power stations) onto the past, you arrive at 1970. Life was already pretty good in those days. There is no reason to assume that society would break down if for some reason electricity production would be reduced substantially.
Not to give the impression that “decentral” is the same as “renewable” (dark blue). It isn’t and there is no reason to be complacent. But once these offshore wind GWs are installed after 2030 there is no reason to despair with the Dutch energy situation as far as electricity is concerned. Space heating is a different story. Solution approach: seasonal storage of solar heat and most of all geothermal.
[source] Partitioned North Sea
A considerable part of Dutch wealth since 1960 was based on the natural gas field in Slochteren, once the #9 gas field in the world. That gas field is now running on empty. So what’s going to happen to the Cloggies and their wealth? Dire poverty? Not so fast.
Post-stamp country Holland measures 42k km2, think Kentucky. Its share of the North Sea however is larger: 57k km2… and has the potential to become the Dutch new energy province, replacing Slochteren and the coal mines of the Limburg province, closed down in the seventies.
Let’s make some simple back-of-the-envelope type of calculations to get an idea of the potential of this new energy province.