Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “April, 2019”

Giant Solar CSP and PV Projects in Dubai

[] – $13.6B record-breaking solar park rises from Dubai desert

Convert Pollution in Hydrogen

[] – This Amazing Chemistry Process Generates Power From Polluted Air
[] – Belgian scientists turn polluted air into hydrogen fuel
[] – Challenging efficiency records of solar hydrogen production
[] – This Tiny Device Can Convert Polluted Air Into Hydrogen Fuel
[] – Monolithic cells for solar fuels
[] – Monolithic cells for solar fuels
[] – Multinationals in waterstofsector in het offensief
[] – Waterstof uit de lucht halen: Belgische vondst gooit hoge ogen
[] – Waterstof uit Vlaamse lucht is prachtig, maar meer ook (nog) niet

Supercapacitors as Competitors for Hydrogen and Batteries

Currently the batteries seem to win the race for powering the e-vehicle, despite the facts that the majority of automotive brains say that they prefer hydrogen.

However, there is potentially a third competitor looming at the horizon: super-capacitors. The storage of electricity in Coulomb, rather than chemical form. Charging proceeds in seconds, rather than hours. No need for batteries of 400 kg. They have no degradation and go on and on. The only disadvantage: leaking. A full charge will largely disappear after a month. Driving a car with a charged super-capacitor is like consuming an ice-cream on a sunny day: you gotta lick it immediately.

Nothing is decided yet, though. Breakthrough new materials are required to live up to the theoretical promise. Candidate material: graphene.

[] – Supercapacitors: A new source of power for electric cars?

[] – Energy storage leap could slash electric car charging times
[] – Fancy charging up your electric car in 10 minutes?
[] – In 2011 Elon Musk bets on capacitors rather than batteries
[] – Supercapacitor
[] – Graphene
[] – Coulomb
[] – Graphene-Based Supercapacitors Could Lead To Battery-Free Electric Cars Within 5 Years
[] – Could Ultracapacitors Replace Batteries In Future Electric Vehicles?
[] – Cars that run on supercapacitors could be charged in minutes
[] – A fluke breakthrough could be the missing link for an electric car age

Read more…

Iron Powder as the Fuel of the Future?

Dutch language video

Solar and wind energy are meanwhile mature enough for prime time. The last missing link is energy storage to cope with intermittency of renewables. One solution is proposed by the Technical University of Eindhoven: use iron powder.

Fuel cycle: iron powder Fe –> burn it for heat-electricity generation –> Fe2O3 (iron rust) –> reduce the rust powder back to iron powder via electrolysis, using renewable energy.

In the video examples are shown of burning iron powder.

Reducing Energy Losses with Superconductivity

Dutch language video

Towards superconductivity at ambient temperature.

[] – Superconductivity
[] – Dave Blank

Renewable Energy is Going to Win on Price Alone

Dutch language video

No need to fence with debatable arguments like “fossil fuel depletion” or “climate change” or “clean energy” or “silent energy” in order to push renewable energy.
Prospects are that renewable energy is going to beat the competition on price alone.
Prof. Dave Blank argues that solar panels will be very cheap soon.

2018 – 50% Increase Installed Solar Power in the Netherlands

The Dutch national statistics office CBS says that in 2018, installed PV-solar power increased with 50%, or 1500 MW, increasing the total from 3000 to 4500 MW. This means that additional 460,000 households were covered with renewable energy, of a total of 7 million households.

[] – Vermogen zonnepanelen meer dan de helft toegenomen

Lagerwey Self-Climbing Crane on Display in Hamburg

One important factor in the overall cost of installation of a multiple megawatt wind-turbine, is that you have to bring a huge crane to the installation site. The innovation by the Dutch wind energy company Lagerwey is that they recognized that the wind tower under construction can itself function as a crane. All you need is a small crane, that can be transported by merely three trucks, mount it to the wind-tower-under-construction and bring parts of the tower, nacelle and eventually rotor blades to the top. Apparently the crane is now ready for prime time, witnessing the presentation of the crane at the Wind Energy Exhibition in Hamburg.

Lagerwey is selected by the Russian government as the preferred supplier to get wind development started in Russia, in cooperation with local industries and build 26 wind parks. Between 2018-2020, 610 MW is scheduled for installation.

[] – Lagerwey
[] – Wind Energy Hamburg
[] – Lagerwey at Hamburg Wind Expo

Read more…

First MOIA Ride-sharing Experience in Hamburg

Take your smart phone, start the MOIA app, enter 1 out of 10,000 predefined destinations and press submit. And wait until the MOIA e-van arrives, something in between a bus and a taxi. Price? Think 4.20 euro for 3 km. Price is known in advance, before you commit. Payment via app. Slight detours in order to pick up co-passengers are possible.

At some point in the future, the driver will be phased out, or so is the plan.

Autonomous Driving Update

[] – Audi AI:ME (2019)
[] – Audi AI:me Concept Teased Ahead Of Shanghai Debut
[] – Audi AI:ME is extra groen en zelfrijdend
[] – Audi presenteert eerste zelfrijdende stadsauto, de AI:ME

VW starts level-4 autonomous driving tests in Hamburg with 5 VW-Golf, driver-supervisor included, on a pre-selected 3 km route.


According to Tesla-CEO Elon Musk, all Tesla’s shipped are in principle capable of autonomous driving.


Musk: “autonomous driving is possible in 2020”.


Rembrandt Koppelaar and the Demise of Peak Oil

Rembrandt Koppelaar relaxed speech for the London Imperial College 2013. Gone is the alarmist tone.

[] – London Imperial College conference 2013.
[] – Personal site

Rembrandt Koppelaar was the chairman of Peak Oil Nederland and one of the driving forces behind spreading the “peak oil” idea in the Netherlands. In 2011 however, he published an article at, “The Future of Cheap Energy: Underground Coal Gasification“, stating that there was no fossil fuel shortage immanent and that UCG provided a way out. Now we know that UCG has a potential that dwarfs the possibilities of the fracking technology. Yet, in the light of climate change, UCG is a forbidden fruit and at best can provide a fossil fuel bridge into the renewable energy Nirvana.

[] – The Tesla Revolution: Why Big Oil is Losing the Energy War, 2017
[] – De ondergang van de olie-industrie in 64 stappen, 2017
(The demise of the oil industry in 64 steps)

[] – The site wend dead by the end of 2011, for good reason

[] – The Future of Cheap Energy: Underground Coal Gasification (2011)

Rembrandt Koppelaar in 2008 presenting “peak oil” on Dutch television (English subs). Koppelaar presenting the ASPO-2000, Richard Heinberg tale, he would later abandon (and so did Heinberg)

The romantic early days of the Dutch “peak oil” movement, located at a Amsterdam attic, ‘evangelizing’ a dramatic future that wouldn’t materialize. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Atmospheric Railway – Aeromovel

It is possible to drive a train on air pressure. The principle dates from the 19th century and was in fact in operation in Britain and elsewhere. Today working examples run in Brasil and Indonesia under the name Aeromovel. It should be noted that air pressure or vacuum can be produced efficiently with wind turbines.

owards the end of the twentieth century the Aeromovel Corporation of Brazil developed an automated people mover that is atmospherically powered. Lightweight trains ride on rails mounted on an elevated hollow concrete box girder that forms the air duct. Each car is attached to a square plate—the piston—within the duct, connected by a mast running through a longitudinal slot that is sealed with rubber flaps. Stationary electric air pumps are located along the line to either blow air into the duct to create positive pressure or to exhaust air from the duct to create a partial vacuum. The pressure differential acting on the piston plate causes the vehicle to move.

[] – Atmospheric Railway

Transition Physics

Clean Energy Wiki also known as “Center for Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research (CMDITR)Photonics Wiki”
This wiki is a reference collection on clean energy, organic photovoltaics, research in photonics, and organic electronics.

The bulk of the collection was created by the Center for Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research -NSF Grant #0120967.

The Photonicswiki is now being administered by the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute (CEI) and is transitioning to the Clean Energy Wiki with the addition of new solar materials, energy storage and grid integration topics. Legacy photonics content will be maintained because there is a productive overlap in and fundamental science and the tools.

[] – Clean Energy Wiki

CAES Mechanical Wind Energy Storage


The construction and testing of a modular, low pressure compressed air energy storage (CAES) system is presented. The low pressure assumption (5 bar max) facilitates the use of isentropic relations to describe the system behavior, and practically eliminates the need for heat removal considerations necessary in higher pressure systems to offset the temperature rise. The maximum overall system efficiency is around 97.6%, while the system physical footprint is less than 0.6 m3 (small storage room). This provides a great option for storage in remote locations that operate on wind energy to benefit from a nonconventional storage system. The overall size and capacity of the system can be changed by changing the number of active cylinders, which in this case are off-the-shelf, small pressure vessels used for fire protection. Moreover, the system operation is automated and capable of addressing both high energy and high power density applications with an infinite number of charge-discharge cycles by augmenting the capacity with the required number of storage cylinders. The system is eco-friendly and has low maintenance costs compared to chemical storage.

[] – Low pressure, modular compressed air energy storage (CAES) system for wind energy storage applications

UCG Reader

[] – University of Leeds: UCG Where in the World? (2014)

Read more…

“Climate Change, Are We Doomed?” Public Discourse Heating Up in Holland

Ir. Guus Berkhout is niet zo maar iemand: afgestudeerd TU-Delft, lid Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau. O.a. gewerkt voor Shell. Berkhout heeft een open brief geschreven naar onze premier, zie hieronder. Daaronder ons kommentaar.

Geachte heer Rutte,

Geluk heeft te maken met geloof in de toekomst. Daarom kijken velen van mijn generatie met warme gevoelens terug naar de jaren ’60, waarin we veel minder welvaart hadden dan nu, maar waarin we vast geloofden dat alles beter zou worden. Bedrijfsinvesteringen lagen dan ook op een hoog niveau. Wat een verschil met nu, waarin onze welvaart weliswaar aanzienlijk hoger is dan toen, maar waarin het geloof in de toekomst ver te zoeken is. De huidige generatie wordt overladen met inktzwarte verhalen over de toekomst van de aarde. En ze krijgen al jaren te horen dat er in ons land honderden miljarden nodig zijn om te proberen catastrofale klimaatrampen te voorkomen. Het is volgens de klimaatbeweging vijf voor twaalf! Maar is dat wel zo?

Meneer Rutte, ik weet dat u met ons land graag voorop wilt lopen in het nemen van klimaatmaatregelen. Maar bent u er zich wel van bewust dat u vreselijk verkeerd bent voorgelicht? Realiseert u zich wel dat de werkelijkheid heel anders is dan het sombere beeld dat u nu al jaren voorgeschoteld krijgt? Weet u wel dat als we alles gaan uitvoeren wat er in uw kostbare klimaatplannen staat, de wereld slechts 0,00030C minder opwarmt? Dat getal is niet te meten!

In mijn brief wil ik u graag vijf aantoonbare onjuistheden in de argumenten van uw voorgenomen klimaatbeleid voorleggen.

De bewering dat 97% van de klimaatwetenschappers er van overtuigd is dat opwarming wordt veroorzaakt door de mens, is een gemanipuleerd getal. Van de 11.944 klimaatartikelen die werden geraadpleegd waren er 7930 die zich daar helemaal niet over uitlieten, slechts 41 artikelen die er echt in geloofden (slechts 41 van de 11.944!) en de resterende artikelen die min of meer twijfels hadden.

Klimaatverandering is een razend ingewikkeld proces en de wetenschap is er nog lang niet uit. Met name over de effecten van wolken en oceanen is nog weinig bekend. Bovendien, de nieuwste wetenschappelijke resultaten laten zien dat de invloed van CO2 op de temperatuur aanzienlijk kleiner is dan eerder geschat. Dat verklaart waarom tot nu toe de voorspellingen van klimaatmodellen altijd veel te hoog uitkwamen. De daaraan gekoppelde doemverhalen zijn dus niet op feiten maar op fictie gebaseerd.

De wereld van het klimaatonderzoek zit al jarenlang vol met bedenkelijk gedrag. Temperaturen uit vroegere warme perioden worden naar beneden bijgesteld, met als gevolg dat de hoge temperaturen van vandaag uniek lijken in de geschiedenis. Ook zien we regelmatig dat metingen van nu juist naar boven worden bijgesteld, met als gevolg dat metingen en modelresultaten goed overeen lijken te komen. Waarom deze misleidende acties in naam van de wetenschap?

Zon en wind kunnen bij lange na niet ons land voorzien van voldoende energie. Dat is geen zaak van technologie, maar van klimaat. Nederland heeft relatief weinig zon en wind, met ook nog eens een grote variatie in het aanbod. Bovendien, ons land is welvarend en gebruikt daardoor veel energie. We zullen ons land dus propvol moeten gaan zetten met windparken en zonneweiden. Als één van de dichtstbevolkte landen ter wereld is dat geen prettig vooruitzicht. Maar het is nog erger. We zullen ook nog een peperduur back-up systeem operationeel moeten houden om energie te leveren op dagen met weinig zon en wind.

De vaak genoemde optie van biomassa verbranden is aanwijsbaar veel slechter dan het verbranden van steenkool. Waterstof dan? Helaas, waterstof is een zeldzaam gas in de natuur. Dat gas moet de mens dus zelf maken en daarvoor is goedkope groene elektriciteit nodig. Maar die hebben we juist niet. Dus zitten we hier in een cirkelredenering.

In conclusie, meneer Rutte, de wetenschap weet het nog (lang) niet, de natuurlijke fenomenen zon + wind zullen in ons land nooit de benodigde hoeveelheid energie op een betrouwbare en betaalbare manier kunnen leveren, het verbranden van biomassa is erger dan het verbranden van steenkool en groene waterstof is pas toepasbaar als we de groene energie hebben om het te maken.

Maar wat u echt zorgen moet baren is dat de samenleving zienderogen polariseert. Steeds meer burgers willen Nederland niet zien veranderen in een jungle van gesubsidieerde windturbines en zonnepanelen, terwijl ze weten dat er geen meetbaar effect zal zijn op het klimaat. Ze beginnen nu ook te merken aan hun besteedbaar inkomen dat ze er wel veel armer van worden.

Daarom, tot slot meneer Rutte, mijn dringende advies aan u is om klimaatbeleid over een heel andere boeg te gooien. Het kan nu nog. Haal milieu- en klimaatbeleid uit elkaar, stop met de omvangrijke houtkap, temporiseer de energietransitie en geef de burger juiste informatie over de nationale kosten. De laatste wetenschappelijke stand van zaken laat zien dat we ruim de tijd hebben om met deskundige critici – die tot nu toe niet aan de klimaattafels van ja-knikkers mochten plaatsnemen – een alternatief voorstel op te stellen met als beginsel: aanpassen aan zaken waar de mens geen invloed op heeft (‘adaptatie’) en voorkomen van zaken waar de mens wél invloed op kan uitoefenen (‘mitigatie’). Is het bestuurlijk niet onverantwoord van uw kabinet om klimaatbeleid te gaan uitvoeren zonder kennis te hebben genomen van de nieuwe inzichten in het alternatieve voorstel?

[] – Open brief aan Mark Rutte
[] – Guus Berkhout: ‘Stop met doemdenken!’
[] – Guus Berkhout

Onze reaktie:

Read more…

De Offshore-Windindustrie

Dutch language video.

TurkStream Completed (Nov 2018)

Construction start: May 2017
Completion date: November 2018
Contractor: Dutch company AllSeas B.V. with Pioneering Spirit vessel

Unfortunately this project was second choice for all those who favor good European-Russian relations and would have preferred the construction of South Stream instead, but the Americans managed to arm-twist and intimidate the Bulgarians. In the end of the day however, with weakening US grip on Europe, it is always possible to construct a new leg of say 50 km, directed at Bulgaria.

[] – TurkStream
[] – Pioneering Spirit (ship)
[] – Company site
[] – South Stream
[] – Serbia, Hungary push for the second line of TurkStream

Gordian Raacke – It Can Be Done 100% Renewable Energy

This talk is a wonderful global perspective on climate change and the effective actions we can take as individuals to collectively save the planet. Gordian Raacke is executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a not-for-profit organization working to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy systems. With a degree in civil engineer and 25-year track record on regional energy issues, Mr. Raacke will portray why and how we must and will transition to a 100% renewable energy supply glocally.

Gordian was a founding member of the Long Island Offshore Wind Initiative established in 2002, helped build the solar market on Long Island, and was trained by Vice President Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader. In 2011, he led an initiative to study a one-hundred percent renewable electricity future for the region. He chaired the Energy Sustainability Committee of the Town of East Hampton and serves on the Town of Southampton Sustainability Committee, helping to formulate and implement community-wide 100% renewable energy goals. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Renewable Energy Breakthroughs Tipping Point


Gepubliceerd op 31 okt. 2018

We are at an amazing tipping point with recent renewable energy breakthroughs. To achieve a carbon-free world, the challenge is staggering, but so is the size of the opportunity. Technology and innovation pioneer Bill Gross shares new developments that make this tipping point a reality.

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