Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “June, 2017”

Baltic Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

Spanish developer Iberdrola, 350 MW, 70 turbines, area 34 km2, water depth 37-43 m, distance to German shore 39 km.

[] – Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

The Dutch Windwheel

A 2014 plan was revived yesterday. The idea is to create a new sustainable landmark icon for the Dutch port city of Rotterdam: a wheel-shaped building with a giant hole at its center, for generating power, not with a rotor but with wires (“electrostatic wind-energy converter”). Height: 174 meter. Diameter hole in the middle: 108 meter. What started as a ‘wild plan in a pub’ has meanwhile grown out to something serious, with many parties involved.

Technical university Delft works at ‘Ewicon’, perhaps applied in the ‘Dutch Windwheel’ building.

[] – Introducing The Dutch Windwheel
[] – This Dutch Windwheel Holds 72 Apartments And Could Power an Entire Town
[] – ‘Megalomane’ Dutch Windwheel moet Rotterdams duurzame icoon worden
[] – Bladeless wind turbine produces energy with no moving parts
[] – Dutch Windwheel project moves forward

[source] Ewicon test setup in front of the Delft Technical University

[] – Ewicon – The World’s First Blade-less Wind Turbine

Read more…

‘Finger in the Dike’ Latest – Holland Struggles With Rising Sea Levels

“The beauty of waterland”. Drone pictures of Uitdam, 12 km north of Amsterdam. Note at [1:32] that the water level on the right side of the dike is higher than the houses on the left side of the dike.

Sigh of relief in Uitdam, the Netherlands. A commission has deemed it unnecessary to tear down the old picturesque dike in order to replace it with something more solid.

Yet, the entire dike between Hoorn and Durgerdam, protecting 1.2 million citizens, has been rejected from a safety point of view and will need to be reinforced. The people of Uitdam have demanded that this will not come at the cost of the village scenery. Price tag: twice as high as in the earlier plans. To be continued.

[Google Maps] – Uitdam
[] – De Markermeerdijk bij Uitdam hoeft niet te worden verplaatst.

[source] Hansje Brinker’s children’s tale


[] – Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates

Ubitricity Has a Cheaper Method of Charging E-Vehicles

[source] The new way to charge e-vehicles?

The large-scale introduction of e-vehicles could very well imply the need for large-scale electricity charging stations along the way-side, like this situation in Berlin:


This could become quite costly, not to mention endless amounts of ugly car-chargers littering the streets of the near future.

The German company Ubitricity has come up with an idea to reuse old lampposts to achieve the same charging performance, but much cheaper and no impact for the way streets look like.

[] – Maak van een oude lantaarnpaal een goedkope laadpaal

But nothing has decided yet as there are other methods in the works to recharge you e-vehicle… instantaneous at the pump, as usual!

[deepresource] – IFBattery – Instantaneous Recharging Batteries

China to Install 403 GW New Wind Capacity in a Decade

[source] Top 10 distribution of global installed wind power

Currently China has installed 169 GW of wind power, all onshore. According to the renewable energy analysts MAKE Consulting China will add 403 GW new wind capacity between 2020-2030. Note that the total average EU electricity production from all sources is 360 GW alone, although it needs to be remarked that real wind power is ca. 25% of name plate power.

Nevertheless, China, the giant that is awakening.

[] – MAKE Consulting
[] – China To Install 403 Gigawatts Of Wind Energy Over Next Decade

Price Utility Solar to Drop with 27% in 2022

Already prices for utility solar are below $1/Watt in 2017. According to a new report by GTM Research price will fall further with 27% over the coming 5 years time.

[] – PV System Pricing H1 2017: Breakdowns and Forecasts

Hywind Scotland Floating Wind Turbines Pilot Completed

A small 30 MW wind farm has been completed in the waters of Stord, Norway and will be towed to Scotland. The project consists of five 6 MW wind turbines. What makes the project unique is that the turbines are floating, ensuring that shallow water is no longer necessary for offshore wind to work.

[] – Innovation in world´s largest floating wind farm by Siemens Gamesa can open new offshore areas
[] – Floating wind turbine
[] – Hywind
[] – Scotland Will Be Home To The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm
[] – Schottlands schwimmende Windkraftwerke

German Gode Wind 1 and 2 Offshore Wind Farms Go Live

DONG Energy has officially inaugurated the German Gode Wind 1 and 2 offshore wind farms, together 582 MW.

Next DONG projects in the North Sea: 240 MW OWP West, 240 MW Borkum Riffgrund West 2 and the 110 MW Gode Wind 3, total 590 MW.

[] – Gode Wind Farm
[] – Gode Wind construction starts
[] – Gode Wind 1 and 2 Offshore Wind Farm

[] – OWP West
[] – Borkum Riffgrund West 2
[] – Gode Wind 3

Solar Team Twente Presents “Red Shift”

This year the University of Twente in the Netherlands will again participate in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.

The students have presented their new solar car called “Red Shift” at the Twente Airbase in the presence of the Australian ambassador, who returned home with a bottle of “Twent’s bier” [0:57]. In 2015 Twente ended second. Twente is confident that they will win this year.

[] – Official site
[] – Solar Team Twente
[] – Solar Team Twente presenteert Red Shift-zonneauto



Weight 139 kg and achieves 90 kmh with the energy of a small water-cooker.

Prof. Olaf Schuiling has a Solution for the CO2 Problem

2009 Shell subsidized olivine test in Brennels/Flevoland [Google Maps]

Olaf Schuiling (1932) is an emeritus professor in geosciences at the university of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He has a background in petro-science and geology and has spent some time at Princeton as a NATO research fellow. Between 1972-1997 he was professor in geochemistry and experimental petrology in Utrecht.

Prof. Olaf Schuiling’s main claim to fame is that he believes that he has the solution for global warming, caused by increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, due to burning of fossil fuel: olivine:

This month, Schuiling has published his new book Olivijn, de steen der wijzen (Olivine, the stone of wisdom). Schuiling especially targets the idea of sequestring CO2 in the earth. Olivine will provide the solution for a fraction of the cost. One kilo olivine can bind 1.25 kilo CO2.

Schuiling wants to use the abundantly present mineral olivine (Mg2SiO4/Fe2SiO4) to reabsorb CO2 from the atmosphere. The idea is to grind olivine and let it react with water and CO2 from the atmosphere. The resulting bicarbonate dissolved in water will flow to the sea, where it will settle out as limestone and coral.

Schuiling proposes to pulverize an olivine mountain of 7 km3/year and spread the powder over land and beaches. When the olivine has done its work it can be plowed under and as such enhance the fertility of poor soil. Huge olivine reserves exist in China, India en Brasil. Cost 10-15 euro per ton olivine. Sequestering CO2 like was proposed and cancelled in the Netherlands in contrast costs 70-100 euro/ton CO2.

Olivine is relatively equally distributed over the earth’s crust, so there is no need for large transportation effort. All it takes is deposit a layer of 3.5 mm olivine powder on an area of 2 million km2, that’s four times France, every year, to neutralize that year’s global CO2 emissions.

Schuiling is participating in the Al Gore/Richard Branson VirginEarth Challenge, a contest for offering a solution to CO2-sourced climate change and has made it to the final 11:

[] – Virgin Earth Challenge: How Goes It?

Evaluation: what is lacking is an evaluation of the energy cost to mine, grind and disperse olivine. As far as we are concerned it seems to make more sense to get away from using fossil fuel poison first, as proposed for instance by the European Union renewable energy policy. It doesn’t make sense to ‘mop with the tap wide open’, so to speak. As a measure of last resort this kind of megalomaniac-sounding scheme could be considered to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels after the transition has been accomplished.

At [4:18] Richard Branson

[] – Olivine
[] – Olaf Schuiling
[] – Smart Stones
[] – Let the Earth save the Earth
[] – Groot plan voor de planeet
[] – Een paar km3 olivijn om het klimaat in de hand te houden
[] – Emeritus hoogleraar gelooft nog steeds in olivijn, een steen die CO2 slurpt
[] – Olivijn, de steen der wijzen

Climate Activists Block Coal Transhipment in Amsterdam Harbor

A group of climate activists named “Code Rood” (“Code Red”) has infiltrated the grounds of the OBA company in Amsterdam to protest the unrestricted use of coal. Amsterdam is the world’s largest petrol and Europe’s second coal harbor. “Code Rood” justified its actions by pointing at a judicial decision of two years ago stating the government is responsible of protecting its citizens against climate change (“Urgenda case”).

According to “Code Rood” nothing has happened since.

The Urgenda Foundation pushes for The Netherlands fossil free as early as 2030, not the EU goal of 2050.

[] – Urgenda Foundation
[deepresource] – Netherlands Sustainable by 2030
[] – Klimaatactivisten leggen kolenoverslag in Amsterdamse haven stil

[] – OBA Bulk Terminal Amsterdam
[Google Maps] – OBA Bulk Terminal Amsterdam

And the Winner of the E-Vehicle Transition is… Norway!

Norway is ahead of everybody else in its ambition to get rid of the stinking petrol clunker once and for all. In 2017 the majority of new vehicles sold in Norway are e-vehicles. By 2025 all vehicles sold should be electric by law.

Why Norway? Because of government regulations and the convenient fact that Norway has a lot of hydro-power, the easiest form of renewable energy around, which ensures that e-driving is really clean and not a zero-sum game of moving emissions from a car exhaust to the fossil power station smoke stack.

And as the Dutch proverb goes: “if one (Norwegian) sheep has crossed the dam, more will follow.”

Like the Netherlands for instance. The flatlanders have no hydro-power worth mentioning, but ambitious offshore wind park plans, to be realized before 2023, providing enough electricity from wind to power an entire Dutch e-vehicle fleet. Like Norway, the Netherlands wants to phase out petrol cars after 2025.

[deepresource] – Suitable Offshore Wind Locations

The Dutch part of the North Sea could (in theory) power all European cars.

[deepresource] – Gemini Wind Farm Live Data

[] – The Country Adopting Electric Vehicles Faster Than Anywhere Else

Read more…

Algae-for-Fuel Breakthrough?

Previous attempts to boost the oil concentration in algae — an important step in biofuel production — failed because the cells stopped growing when they were overloaded with lipid. The new genetic process maintains growth until 40 per cent of the biomass consists of lipid, an industrially useful level.

[] – Finally, a Biofuel to Get Excited About

TU-Eindhoven Presents Stella Vie

The Technical University Eindhoven in the Netherlands (and alma mater of yours faithfully) has played a prominent role in designing solar cars and scoring successes in participating in the World Solar Challenge in Australia. This week Solar Team Eindhoven presented its new model the Stella Vie, for the 2017 edition of World Solar Challenge (8-15 October), an event Eindhoven won twice before. This is the third Stella, after the 2015-Stella Lux and 2013-Stella.

Stella Vie:
Range, on a Dutch sunny day: 1000 km
Max. speed: 130 kmh
Motor in the wheels
Motivation: fighting climate change

Read more…

Kretschmann Caught Ranting Against “Unrealistic” E-Vehicle Transition Timeline

Winfried Kretschmann is a member of the German Greens party and happens to be the first ever Green Minister-President of any German state, in casu of Baden-Württemberg, home of Mercedes-Benz. Within his party he is a right-winger and relatively business-friendly. Kretschmann was caught on camera while ranting against the left-wing of his party, that insists that selling new petrol-driven cars should be forbidden as of 2030. Kretschmann deems this to be unrealistic.

We don’t.

[] – Winfried Kretschmann

[] – Netherlands wants to ban non-electric car sales by 2025
[] – Norway Doubles Down on Plans to Make Gas Cars Obsolete by 2025

Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[source] Dieselgate – cartoon with US pickup-truck driver telling a German motorist: “You should be ashamed of yourselves”

The manipulated CO2-emissions by Volkswagen-engineers was a fraud and should be prosecuted. It is just… well… are Americans really the ones to cast the first stone? Annual carbon dioxide emissions [tonnes] per capita:

USA 18
Saudi-Arabia 17
Russia 12
Japan 9
Germany 9
UK 8
Italy 7
China 6
France 6
Nigeria 0

[] – List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita

Bloomberg reports that now the US economy is picking up steam again, the Americans are returning to their SUVs, pickup-trucks and vans. The US abandoning the Paris accords also sends the wrong signal. The US remains the only great power not to have an official renewable energy policy/vision, although a lot of state level initiatives do occur. If for instance Texas were a country, it would be the fourth wind power in the world. Many leftists like to blame president Trump for this, ignoring that a Clinton administration and deep state darling would not have made a jota difference, but instead would have ensured the US would be at war with Russia by now. In this respect the Trump administration is the lesser evil.

Volkswagen was forced to settle with US justice at the astronomical amount of $14.7 billion for a fleet of 500,000 cars involved. This amounts to the insane sum of $30,000 per car. This has nothing to do with justice but everything with US industrial cannibalism. A criminal act exercised by a predator country that itself couldn’t care less about the environment.

Despite the settlement, the US justice department has announced that it has issued arrest warrants against VW managers. They don’t know when to stop, now do they?

[] – Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[] – eport: US issues arrest warrants for former VW executives
[] – Interpol Seeks Five Ex-VW Managers Over Emissions Fraud
[] – Warum die USA fünf VW-Manager fassen wollen
[] – USA schreiben VW-Manager weltweit zur Fahndung aus
[] – USA fahnden weltweit nach VW-Mitarbeitern

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany

Not directly related to energy saving or renewable energy, but German innovative power never ceases to amaze. Elevators of the future will no longer use cables but tracks and linear motors. ThyssenKrupp has build a 246 meter high elevator test tower, where the new elevator concept “Multi” will be tested.

[] – World’s tallest elevator tower rises in Rottweil, Germany
[] – The bizarre tower built to test the elevator of the future
[] – Company site
[] – Aufzugstestturm (Rottweil)
[Google Maps] – ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany

Read more…

eGO Life Elektroauto

[] – Company site

Deutsche Post DHL Uses StreetScooter

StreetScooter GmbH is an electric vehicle manufacturer located in Aachen, Germany. In December 2014 Deutsche Post DHL Group announced that it was purchasing the company. Deutsche Post DHL Group explained that electric vehicles were part of GoGreen initiative to reduce CO2 emmissions. In addition to replacing diesel powered vans with the electric vehicles in their own fleet, Deutsche Post DHL/StreetScooter plans to market the products to other potential customers starting in 2017.

[] – StreetScooter

Vaclav Smil – Energy and Civilization

New energy big picture book by Vaclav Smil: “Energy and Civilization”.

[] – Energy and Civilization: A History
[] – Energy And Civilization: a review
[deepresource] – Vaclav Smil on Energy Transitions
[] – This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading

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