Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

Solar Figures


IceWind – Small Scale Wind Power

Important Step Taken Towards Energy Hub North Sea

TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) today signed a trilateral agreement for the development of a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. This so-called ‘North Sea Wind Power Hub’ has the potential to supply 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050.

This important step towards a broad consortium was taken in the presence of the European Commissioner for an Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič. Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, and Torben Glar Nielsen, CTO of Energinet, signed an agreement aimed at investigating the feasibility of one or more ‘Power Link Islands’.

dogger island map north sea

[] – Three TSOs sign agreement on North Sea Wind Power Hub
[] – Cooperation European Transmission System Operators to develop North Sea Wind Power Hub
[] – TSOs Sign North Sea Wind Power Hub Deal

TenneT and Energinet, as well as any other parties that want to join, will spend a few years on investigating the details and potential of one or more Power Link Islands. If the TSOs decide to go ahead with the project, a Power Link Island could be developed by approximately 2035

Estimated size: 6.5 km2
Estimated cost: 1.25 billion euro

[] – Denmark looking into building North Sea wind energy island

[] – Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands Want to Build an Island Hub to Support 100GW of Offshore Wind

The island might feature power-to-gas as a storage technique to utilize high volumes of wind generation, said Rasmussen. The North Sea is home to a sophisticated network of gas pipelines, which could help bring wind-generated gas to countries around Europe.

“A part of this work will be to include power-to-gas technology and other storage technologies,” he said. “What, when [and] how much is what we will look into further. It is too early to go into details.”

The Netherlands Fossil Free in 2030

“A new world”. Dutch economist and politician Herman Wijffels about the necessity of a global sustainable transition.

There is pressure mounting in the Netherlands that the country should speed up the implementation of the Paris accords and EU energy policy of “Europe fossil free by 2050” and get the country largely fossil-free as early as 2030. The public financial position of the Netherlands is good (surplus) and there is broad popular support for the 2030 policy objective. And last but not least: there is a large commercial advantage if you are able to offer energy services to the rest of a world-in-transition. The idea is to influence the program of the new government, the formation of which is yet underway.

[] – Herman Wijffels
[] – Sign the petition for The Netherlands fossil free by 2030.
[] – Oproep aan nieuw kabinet: Nederland fossielvrij in 2030
[deepresource] – Netherlands Sustainable by 2030
[] – Manifest Jan Terlouw voor een duurzamer Nederland

[] – New Dutch national energy commissioner Ruud Koornstra.
[] – Ruud Koornstra eerste Energiecommissaris van Nederland

Tennet Installs ‘Sockets’ at Sea

[source] Dutch grid provider Tennet wants to install 5 of these able to convert 3.5 GW wind AC into DC in order to connect planned offshore wind parks to the Dutch grid.

[source] Dolwin “socket” already installed at German part of the Northsea by Tennet.

[] – Dutch Grid Operator to Invest €25 Billion in North Sea Wind Energy
[] – Tennet gaat het ‘stopcontact op zee’ beheren

Read more…

Dutch Island Ameland Energy Independent in 2020

Ferry to Ameland. Every Dutchman has positive associations with the island of Ameland. Ameland: that’s beaches, dunes, birds, holiday, cycling trips.

The ambitious mayor of Ameland wants to bring his island energy independence with solar panels, fuel cells, heat pumps, energy storage and bio gas. No wind turbines.

[] – Ameland


Read more…

MegaWindForce Turbine

A rotating ring containing many generators rather than a traditional axis and single generator plus gear box. Turbine can be constructed with low weight carbon fiber, low maintenance and long life span.

A company in Winschoten, the Netherlands, patented a new wind turbine design, with which it claims it can generate the same amount of electricity with lighter wind turbines with a rotating ring rather than an axis, causing enormous wind forces to be absorbed by a larger surface, enabling lighter design. Under offshore conditions a Megawindforce turbine of 135 m tip height would generate the same power as a conventional 200 m turbine. Additionally the new turbine design is supposed to begin to generate energy at lower wind speeds by gradually switching on ever more generators inside the ring with increasing wind speed. Because of this variable load principle the turbine can operate at lower rotational speeds which lowers the forces, enabling a staggering 80% reduction of the overall weight and proportional lower cost.

Cost claim: 3 cent per kWh.

A prototype is being built in the Groningen province this year, financially supported by Groningen authorities.

[] – Mega Windforce

[] – Windturbine met Bladen op een Ring
[] – Nederlandse megamolen mooi klein voor Hollandse kust

German Voice Against Energy Wende

Youtube text:

Published 3 nov. 2014

Universitätsöffentlicher Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn, Präsident des ifo Instituts, 16. Dezember 2013

[] – Energiewende ins Nichts

Wir haben ein Klimaproblem: 85 Prozent des Endenergiebedarfs der OECD-Länder und auch der Bundesrepublik Deutschland werden aus fossilen Brennstoffen gewonnen. Davon müssen wir weg. Bislang schien die Atomkraft den Weg in eine klimaneutrale Energieversorgung zu ermöglichen. Mit der Energiewende und ihrem Ausstieg aus der Atomkraft und den fossilen Energien steht man nun mit ziemlich leeren Händen da. Die Vorstellung, die Energieversorgung Deutschlands mit Wind- und Sonnenstrom aus heimischen Quellen zu sichern, ist eine Illusion. Die unsichere Versorgungssituation ist Gift für die Investitionsplanung der deutschen Industriefirmen. Die deutsche Politik sollte umsteuern und ihren nationalen Alleingang aufgeben. Professor Hans-Werner Sinn erläutert in einem universitätsöffentlichen Vortrag in der Großen Aula der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität die Konsequenzen der aktuellen Energiepolitik.

[] – Hans-Werner_Sinn

2016 Was a Bad Onshore Wind Energy Year

The windindex (windex) of Yard Energy Group.

Wind parks in the Dutch province of Gelderland didn’t do very well in 2016 as there was 20% less wind in the province, the 3rd or 4th worst wind year in a century. And the first months of 2017 weren’t very good either. On a positive note 2015 was a good year.

Solution: go offshore.

[] – Windmolens draaien verlies door gebrek aan wind
[yardenergy] – Origin Windex wind energy index
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea

Storage Breakthrough – $100/kWh has been achieved

Cheap storage to counter the intermittent supply of renewable electricity is the missing link en route towards the desired renewable energy base of the future, but that problem could now have been solved. Technology has developed so rapidly in recent years that cost of electricity storage has been brought down from $1000 to $100 per kWh.

City College NY has improved an old concept of mangandioxide-zinc batteries. Result: 6000 charge-cycles for less than $100/kwh.
Price storage of a single kWh: 1.67 dollar cent or say 8 cent per day per 5 kWh/day household. Peanuts.
Can also be used for cars: 40 kWh battery for $4000. Bye-bye gasoline.

Mangan-Oxid is abundant and non-toxic.
This NYC startup is going to produce the batteries first:


[] – Sustainable, high energy density battery created
[] – Regenerable Cu-intercalated MnO2 layered cathode for highly cyclable energy dense batteries
[] – Unexpected discovery leads to a better battery
[] – Power dense zinc-manganese power unit as cheap as a car battery
[] – Manganese
[] – Zinc
[] – Batterijdoorbraak: magische grens van 100 dollar is geslecht

Nissan Leaf Autonomous Drive Demonstration in London

The London experience was not without problems and glitches. But again: the self-driving car harbors the potential to abolish expensive private car ownership and make it part of the public transport system. This will lead to fewer cars driving on the roads and zero cars parked, with as a consequence less embodied energy of the entire car fleet, that will be far more utilized than privately owned cars. More people will have access to affordable (because driverless) “taxis”.

[] – Firsthand Account Of Self-Driving Nissan LEAF Trip In London

Power to Gas

Storage of intermittent renewable energy is one of the core challenges that needs to be addressed to make the energy transition away from fossil fuel work. Pumped hydro is a reliable method, but this requires the presence of mountains and valleys and these are in overpopulated Europe in short supply. Another approach is the conversion of renewable electricity into gas, like H2, CH4, CO, etc. “Power-to-gas”.

[] – Power to gas

Read more…

Blueprint for 100% Renewable Energy Base in Germany

d-erneuerbar[Source]Share renewable energy Germany timeline

The renowned German Fraunhofer research institute presented in 2012 a blueprint of how a 100% renewable energy base could be realized in Germany. From the summary (p31):

It is possible for Germany to have a 100% renewable energy base (electricity and space heating) with a cost comparable with today and equal electricity consumption. Assumed though is a reduction of 50% of energy required for space heating through insulation measures. Wind power opportunities need to be completely exhausted. Long term energy buffering can be done with methane gas produced from renewable electricity. Warm water production from solar collectors and industrial waste heat, combined with seasonal storage. Installed PV: 200 GW (1250 million m2), solar-thermal: 130 GW (190 million m2). 75% can be installed on existing building roof tops. Additional required surface area: 400 km2 (20 x 20 km) or 0.011% of Germany.

[] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland (German)

Charles Hall on EROI

Talk Princeton 2016.

Hall comes from ecology and that’s where he minted the concept of energy return on invest. It was first applied to fish and fish migration patterns. Hall discovered that my moving around at the energy cost of 1 calorie, the fish gained 5 calories (salmon eating plankton). Life in general has to engage in energy investments.

Next Hall applied EROI on humans. Hunter/gatherers need to walk/run to find food, nuts and animals. Fire enhanced EROI since it made cooking of food possible, which was more abundant and easier to acquire than animals.

Next step agriculture allowed for food storage, yielding in EROI in the range of 10-50, enabling leisure, resulting in socializing, like story telling.

Next step fossil fuel exploitation. Secret: you want more wealth? Use more energy. During Hall’s lifetime, energy use per capita, as well as wealth increased by a factor of 7.

Next graph that shows the % of GDP spent on energy, with a sharp decline after 1850 (application of coal). In the 1990s that % went up again. Hall states that EROI of most of our fuels is declining as they are depleting.

Hall acknowledges the importance of technology and that technology is in competition with depletion and refers to his book about (low) EROI of solar with Pietro. Pietro today is even more pessimistic about EROI of PV-solar than before.

Refers to the reality of peak (conventional) oil. Decline EROI of Norwegian North Sea oil from 1:40 to 1:20. Patterns applies to everywhere else. Net energy cliff. Offshore wind has EROI of 52. Shows picture with peak fossil (all included) at 2045. Familiar pyramid of cultural achievements as related to EROI. For arts you are supposed to need 14:1 (a ridiculous notion, the highest art was created before the fossil fuel age).

Hall has extremely little hope for renewable energy and suggests that by 3000, humans will be hunters-gatherers again. Hall nevertheless says it is wise that we move the renewables and downplays importance climate change a little and that the EROI discussion-implications are more important for society.

[cassandralegacy] – Charlie Hall speaks about EROI (and many other things)

New Renewable Power Storage Method


Tests have been completed in the German Bodensee with a 20 ton, 3 meter concrete hollow sphere, sunk to the bottom of the lake. When water flows into the sphere, electricity can be generated. Alternatively, wind power can be used to empty the sphere again and as such (virtually) load the battery again. Future dimensions are thought to be 20 meter or lager (4,200 m3 volume).

In March 2017 the research project StEnSea (Storing Energy at Sea) announced their successful completion of a four-week test of a pumped storage underwater reservoir. In this configuration a hollow sphere submerged in deep water acts as the lower reservoir while the upper reservoir is the enclosing body of water. When a reversible turbine integrated into the sphere uses surplus electricity to pump water out of the sphere the force of the pump must act on the entire column of water above the sphere, so the deeper the sphere is located, the more potential energy it can store and convert back to electricity by letting water back in via the turbine. As such the energy storage capacity of the submerged reservoir is not governed by the gravitational energy in the traditional sense, but rather by the vertical pressure variation.

Estimated storage cost at large scale operation: 1.6-2.0 eurocent/kWh.
Storage capacity hollow sphere with 30m diameter with a volume of 12,000 m³ and water depth of 700 meter: 20,000 kWh.
Norway would be a suitable location as it has trenches off the coast with water depths of up to 725m. More depth means higher pressure and more power storage capacity per m3 storage volume.

[] – Riesige Betonkugel speichert Energie
[] – Pumped-storage hydroelectricity
[] – StEnSea, Storing Energy at Sea
[] – STENSEA – Stored energy in the Sea
[] – Subsea Pumped Hydro Storage


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