DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the month “May, 2019”

Trafigura Takes Over Nyrstar

[Source] Nyrstar factory in Budel

This blog reported earlier about the Zinc smelter Nyrstar. This company is interesting in the light of the potential of metal powder as a fuel, as well as the Metalot campus that should promote the “circular economy”. The company was on the verge of going broke, but was saved by the Belgian trading company Trafigura.

[bloomberg.com] – Trafigura to Take Over World’s Second-Largest Zinc Smelter
[finanzen.nl] – Trafigura krijgt zinksmelter Nyrstar in handen
[tijd.be] – Meer Nyrstar-geld voor Trafigura-topman
[deepresource] – Nyrstar – The Next Royal Dutch Shell?
[deepresource] – Metalot Campus

Amsterdam Airport Carbon-Neutral?

The Amsterdam Airport CEO knows that the current business model of flying planes on conventional fuel has no future in the light of the renewable energy policy of the European Union, that says that fossil fuels need to be phased out by 2050, thirty years from now. Enter synthetic kerosene, produced with the ingredients: CO2, water and renewable electricity. A German company has been asked to build an installation with which 1,000 liter of synthetic kerosene can be produced per day, as a pilot project. Radically new is that the CO2 is sourced from the air, not from industrial processes. As a first step, water and CO2 are converted into hydrogen and CO with renewable electricity. From this mixture, synthetic kerosene can be produced.

Independently, the construction of a plant in Delfzijl, in the Groningen province is planned, that will produce annually 75.000 tot 100.000 ton bio-kerosene, also for aviation purposes. Investment volume 250 million euro. For the moment bio-kerosene costs 2-3 times as much as conventional kerosene. Nothing that can’t be solved with higher air fares.

As an additional benefit, the production of renewable kerosene provides an excellent storage opportunity for renewable electricity.

[trouw.nl] – Schiphol en Rotterdam Airport gaan inzetten op synthetische kerosine
[bvm2.nl] – Synthetische kerosine als brandstof voor de luchtvaart (pdf, 58p)
[dvhn.nl] – Eerste Europese Raffinaderij voor Biokerosine in Delfzijl
[dvhn.nl] – Biokerosine: veel schoner, maar ook veel duurder dan gewone kerosine
[topsectorenergie.nl] – Take-off synthetic kerosene production in the Netherlands
[nrc.nl] – Synthetische kerosine is de enige oplossing
[bjmgerard.nl] – Tag: synthetische kerosine

Siemens eHighway

Seven year old Siemens video

It already works for trains and trolleybuses, so why not for trucks as well? Trucks powered by overhead-wires. A test stretch has been build near Frankfurt, on the A5-motorway between Langen and Weiterstadt.

[siemens.com] – eHighway – Electrification of road freight transport
[cleantechnica.com] – Germany Launches eHighway Project
[Google Maps] – Location

Sweden apparently has an eHighway as well.

[scania.com] – World’s first electric road opens in Sweden

Britain Could Do Without Coal for More Than 8 Days

This #Coal free run ended at 8 Days 1 Hour 25 Minutes.

This is the longest run without coal for Great Britain since 1882.

Generation during this time was met by: Gas 45%, Nuclear 21%, Wind 12%, Imports 10%, Biomass 6%, Solar 5%, Large Hydro <1%, Storage <1%

[twitter.com]

China’s Renewable Energy Ambitions

[source] Note that with given population numbers, current per capita energy use (USA 6800, EU 3200, China 2200 kg of oil equivalent, source World Bank), the impact of the Trump administration, as well as Chinese growth ambitions, Europe is destined to achieve a fossil fuel-free economy first.

The world’s biggest energy consumer is aiming for renewables to account for at least 35 per cent of electricity consumption by 2030, according to a revised draft plan from the National Development & Reform Commission seen by Bloomberg.

Chinese energy experts estimate that by 2050 the share of electricity from coal will decline to 30%-50%, and that the remaining 50%-70% will come from a combination of oil, natural gas, and renewable energy sources, including hydropower, nuclear power, biomass, solar energy, wind energy, and other renewable energy sources (Wikipedia).

China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) has written a draft policy that would increase the renewable energy target from 20% to 35% by 2030. (Cleantechnica)

[forbes.com] – China Is Set To Become The World’s Renewable Energy Superpower
[scmp.com] – China’s revised renewable target of 35% by 2030
[cleantechnica.com] – China Wants 75% Increase 2030 Renewable Energy Target
[wikipedia.org] – Renewable energy in China

Ecovat bij BNR en TUE

[ecovat.eu] – Company site
[bjmgerard.nl] – Energy Day TU/e bespreekt Ecovat-systeem

Developments in Offshore Wind Jack-Up Market

New offshore wind installation mega-vessel “Voltaire”, able to lift 3,000 ton, ordered by Jan de Nul, Belgium, scheduled to become operational in 2022.

According to Bloomberg there are merely a dozen ships in the world that can install a large offshore wind turbine, which is understandable with a list price of ca. 300 million euro per ship. Currently almost all these vessels are operating in European waters. Europe is uniquely blessed with ca. 600,000 km2 shallow water with high wind speeds (North Sea, Baltic and Irish Sea, together an area larger than France) that can be utilized for offshore wind, in principle enough to supply the entire EU (300 GW on average), three-five times over.

[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age
[deepresource] – European Wind Energy Potential
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea
[deepresource] – Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential 2030

Principle offshore wind installation vessel illustrated. About one turbine foundation can be realized per day or 4 per week, if fetching a new batch in port is included. The next generation is 10 MW, 13 MW is in the pipeline. Take the Netherlands: 13 GW average electricity consumption. That could be covered by 1,000 wind turbines, or 2,000 rather, if a conservative capacity factor of 50% for large turbines is taken into account. That’s 500 weeks or 10 years installation time. So, a single ship can realize the electricity transition of a country like Holland in a decade. For 100% renewable primary energy we need to calculate twice the amount of electricity consumed today, that’s only two decades! Productivity could be significantly enhanced if a simple cheap barge and tugboat is used to fetch a new batch of 4-6 monopiles from the harbor in Rotterdam, Vlissingen or Eemshaven, while the expensive installation vessel Aeolus merrily hammers away full-time. In that case 4,000 13 MW turbines could be installed in 4,000 days or 11 years. Note that in the mean time a lot of additional solar and onshore wind capacity has been, c.q. will be built. In conclusion: this single ship Aeolus is able to complete the energy transition of the Netherlands, the #17 in the global GDP ranking before 2030, not 2050 as the EU demands. Most likely developing sufficient storage capacity will be the real bottleneck, not electricity generation capacity.

1600 GW waiting to be raked in. EU average power consumption 300 GW. The old continent has no conventional fossil fuel reserves worth mentioning, fortunately Europe doesn’t need to. Armed with the Paris Climate Accords, Europe effectively dissed everybody else his fossil fuel reserves and is offering a viable alternative instead.

Some recent developments in the fields of offshore jack-up vessels:

[bloomberg.com] – Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats
[auxnavaliaplus.org] – Vessels and platforms for the emerging wind market (pdf, 108p)
[deme-group.com] – DEME’s giant installation vessel ‘Orion’ launched in China
[a2sea.com] – A2SEA Invests in a New Jack-up Vessel
[4coffshore.com] – Construction Progressing for Next Gen Vessel
[cemreshipyard.com] – Offshore Vessels Demand for Offshore Wind Activities
[windenergie-magazine.nl] – Jan de Nul orders new installation vessel
[jandenul.com] – Getting ready for the next generation of offshore wind projects
[offshorewind.biz] – Jan De Nul Orders Mega Jack-Up
[industryreports24.com] – Massive hike by Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Market
[renews.biz] – Japan joins offshore wind jack-up brigade
[maritime-executive.com] – Wind Tower Service Firm Plans to Build Jones Act Ships
[iro.nl] – New design jack-up vessels to strengthen Ulstein’s offshore wind ambitions
[newenergyupdate.com] – Flurry US offshore vessel deals prepares market for huge turbines

Hydrogen Out of Thin Air

“There is something in the air”… N2, O2, H2O, CO2, solar radiation. In principle all the ingredients are there to produce hydrogen H2, by using the solar light to split the moist H2O. That’s exactly what Japanese car company Toyota in Europe (TME) and DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) have agreed to research upon. The self-imposed restriction of using moist, naturally present in the air, is justified by pointing at the pure character of the water vapor, no bubbles, as well as applicability in those places where water is not available.

new solid photoelectrochemical cell that was able to first capture water from ambient air and then produce hydrogen under the influence of sunlight. This first prototype immediately took 60 to 70 percent of the amount of hydrogen you can make from liquid water. The system is a membrane reactor in which polymer electrolyte membranes, porous photoelectrodes and materials that absorb water are combined.

When Toyota approached DIFFER, the latter group was already working on hydrolysis of water vapor. They have meanwhile shown that the idea works, but only for the 5% UV light. The next challenge is to expand the amount of light that can be used for the desired conversion. Once that has been achieved, scaling is next.

Both DIFFER and Toyota are operating in a social climate that is receptive towards hydrogen as an energy carrier. Both Japan as well as the Netherlands aspire to operate a hydrogen economy. The end goal is (very) local hydrogen production (like your roof), for instance for mobility, Toyota’s interest. Your home as the replacement for the petrol station.

Sunlight and this stand-alone prototype: all you need to produce hydrogen.

[gasworld.com] – DIFFER and Toyota partner to produce hydrogen from humid air
[differ.nl] – Hydrogen Fuel from thin air
[differ.nl] – Catalytic and Electrochemical Processes for Energy Application
[newsroom.toyota.eu] – Hydrogen fuel from thin air
[hydrogenfuelnews.com] – Toyota and DIFFER explore innovative hydrogen production from humid air
[nl.wikipedia.org] – DIFFER (fusion & solar fuels)

Read more…

Chemical and Sorptive Thermal Storage Methods

Space heating is an important slice of the total energy consumption pie and storage of thermal heat is as important as storage of electricity. The German Fraunhofer institute has an innovation program for “chemical and sorptive thermal storage methods”.

[fraunhofer.de] – Chemical and sorptive thermal storage methods
[fraunhofer.de] – Sorptive Heat Storage
[aalto.fi] – Sorption thermal storage for solar energy (pdf, 26p)

In a sorption process, heat is stored by breaking the binding force between the sorbent and the sorbate in terms of chemical potential.

Energy in the Netherlands 2019

Infographic depicting the energy consumption in the Netherlands:

Sector PJ %
Industry 1132 46
Households 673 28
Transport 500 20
Agriculture 135 6
Total 2440 100

197 Megaton CO2-emissions

[energieinnederland.nl] – Project site
[energieinnederland.nl] – English

State-of-the-Art Electric Energy Storage Technologies

[source]

Abstract (2014)

Electrical power generation is changing dramatically across the world because of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to introduce mixed energy sources. The power network faces great challenges in transmission and distribution to meet demand with unpredictable daily and seasonal variations. Electrical Energy Storage (EES) is recognized as underpinning technologies to have great potential in meeting these challenges, whereby energy is stored in a certain state, according to the technology used, and is converted to electrical energy when needed. However, the wide variety of options and complex characteristic matrices make it difficult to appraise a specific EES technology for a particular application. This paper intends to mitigate this problem by providing a comprehensive and clear picture of the state-of-the-art technologies available, and where they would be suited for integration into a power generation and distribution system. The paper starts with an overview of the operation principles, technical and economic performance features and the current research and development of important EES technologies, sorted into six main categories based on the types of energy stored. Following this, a comprehensive comparison and an application potential analysis of the reviewed technologies are presented.

[sciencedirect.com] – Overview of current development in electrical energy storage technologies and the application potential in power system operation
[pdf] – 26 pages

World’s Largest CO2 Storage Planned in the North Sea

The Netherlands is lagging behind in Europe with the implementation of renewable energy and as a consequence is lagging behind with reducing CO2-emissions, the country has committed itself to as a member of the EU. But there is an alternative to renewable energy sources to reduce emission and that is storing CO2 underground. The Harbors of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp and others will build the world’s largest CO2-storage in the North Sea with a capacity of 10 million tons CO2 per year, pending an EU-subsidy. A ring-pipeline will be built around Rotterdam, that harbors the largest refineries in Europe, a major source of CO2, that will collect the CO2 and pump it under the North Sea in an empty gas field, 10 km out of the coast. Cost: 450 million euro. Environmental organisations would prefer to invest this money in renewable energy generation. Rotterdam harbor is responsible for 17% of all Dutch emissions.

[volkskrant.nl] – Havens van Rotterdam, Antwerpen en Vlissingen willen samen CO2 opslaan in de Noordzee
[portofrotterdam.com] – CO2-opslag onder Noordzee technisch haalbaar en kosteneffectief
[spiegel.de] – Weltweit größter CO2-Speicher in der Nordsee geplant

[source] – Location “Porthos” storage near Rotterdam, in the North Sea

D66 Wants Solar Panel Fields in the IJsselmeer

The very EU-friendly Dutch left-liberal party Democrats-1966 (D66) proposes to install in the inland sea IJsselmeer, 4000 hectare worth of “solar islands”, enough to supply 1 million households with electricity (year-to-year, ignoring storage). That would amount to 4% of the IJsselmeer area. The Netherlands btw has 8 million households, so 32% of this relatively calm water body would suffice to cover the entire Dutch private electricity needs, assuming adequate efficient storage would be in place. The far less calm North Sea could easily provide the rest with wind turbines. A mixture of the solar and wind is desirable because it more or less compensates for seasonal fluctuations (solar in the summer and wind in the winter) and thus reduces the need for storage.

The timing of the launching of the plan could have something to do with the upcoming EU-elections, on the other hand, the Dutch are far behind with the implementation of the EU renewable energy policy and something has to be done. Money could for a large part come from private investors and pension funds, who will see this as a safe investment opportunity with predictable returns, exactly like every German farmer in the north could cash in from the wind energy Bonanza.

Other parties have not yet reacted.

[trouw.nl] – Als het aan D66 ligt, drijven er binnenkort zonnepaneeleilanden op het IJsselmeer
[ijsselmeervereniging.nl] – Predictable objections from the “not-in-my-backyard” crowd
[twitter.com] – D66

85% Y2Y Growth E-Vehicles in Europe

[source]

European car branche organisation reports that in Q1-2019:

EV’s +85%
Diesel -18%
3 in 5 new car’s are petrol, diesel 1/3.
Alternative fuels: 8.5%.
EV’s 2.5%, hybrid 4.6%.

[autoweek.nl] – Elektrische Auto’s Populair, Dip Voor Diesel

Record German Renewable Share of 54.5% in March

[energy-charts.de] – Energy chart 2010-2019

In merely 9 years, economic super power Germany increased share renewable electricity (yearly maximum to maximum) from 24% to 54%

European Support for SolaRoad

The Dutch SolaRoad project now exists for 6 years and is gaining traction. So much so that the EU has injected ca. 5 million euro fresh money in the undertaking. It started with a bicycle lane in Krommenie, now more ambitious bus lanes are tackled. Experiences from the 2014-bicycle lane project in Krommenie has shown that 90 kWh/m2 per year can be harvested. Investment cost is near-astronomical, but that was to be expected for a pilot project. The challenge is now to bring down cost with a factor of ca. five in order to become viable through economy of scale by automating the production of concrete road-elements with solar cells and glass cover on top.

[interregemr.eu] – Rolling Solar
[solaroad.nl] – FAQ
[solliance.eu] – Interreg Rolling Solar
[duurzaam-actueel.nl] – Interreg V-project Rolling Solar van start
[solaroad.nl] – Project site
[tno.nl] – Nieuwe fase SolaRoad: ook autoweg gaat elektriciteit opwekken
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Update 2019
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Followup Project (2018)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Project Still Alive (2017)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Project Update (2016)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Operational (2014)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad Finally Launched (2014)
[deepresource] – SolaRoad (2013)

Bicycle lane density in Europe. The Netherlands has 35,000 km bicycle lanes. Covered with solar panels, they could generate 15 TWh or nearly 1% of the current total Dutch electricity production. The potential for car solaroads is many times bigger.

[fietsersbond.nl] – Bicycle lane data the Netherlands

Local television reports about a new solaroad near Haarlemmermeer, this time not for bicycles but a heavy duty bus lane.

For the skeptics, remember the price of pv-solar in the seventies? Anyone who had predicted that by 2020 solar panels would be installed on ever more private rooftops, would be declared insane. It happened anyway. Solaroad economy of scale needs to bring down prices with ca. a factor 5, in order to become economical. It is too early to say that it can’t be done.

Li-ion Battery, How Does It Work?

Australia’s Booming Renewable Energy Industry Starts Hitting Hurdles

Morocco Turns Sahara Into Solar Energy Oasis

Flexible Low-Cost Solar Power by Kolon Industries

[wikipedia.org] – Kolon Industries

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