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”.


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