Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “July, 2019”

Lithium-ion Storage Price Development


Cheap storage is a necessary requirement for a successful renewable energy transition. It looks like that the short-term storage problem is going to be solved with price levels of below $100/kWh in 2024. For less than $1.000,- an average household can supply for its own energy during the evening and morning hours autonomously, provided of course that sufficient sunshine was available during the previous day.

Sodium-Ion Batteries

Lithium (Li) and Sodium (Na) have comparable positions in the periodic table and hence similar chemical properties.

Lithium is relatively rare and expensive and its mining environmentally problematic, where sodium is cheap and abundant. Combined with the fact that they have similar chemical properties, sodium is considered to be a potential alternative for lithium-ion batteries. New Korean research suggests that copper-sulfide electrodes could play a role in boosting this form of storing electricity in chemical energy, offering a life-span of up to five years, based on a single charge-cycle per day.

Advantages: cheap, abundant, rapid charging, drainable to 0% without damage (Li-ion must keep 30%), safe storage and shipping, “excellent electrochemical features in terms of charge-discharge, reversibility, coulombic efficiency and high specific discharge capacity”.
Disadvantages: less energy density, heavier.

Less suitable for e-vehicles, but potentially very suitable for grid-or home-storage purposes.

[] – High-performance sodium ion batteries using copper sulfide
[] – Sodium-Ion Battery Research Shows Promising Results
[] – Sodium-Ion Battery
[] – Are sodium-ion batteries worth their salt?
[] – Sodium is the new lithium

Read more…

12MW Haliade Nacelle Underway to the Netherlands

Total height: 260 m
Rotor diameter: 220 m
Commercial rollout: 2021

The first exemplar of the 12 MW French-made wind turbine GE-Haliade has been shipped to Rotterdam in the Netherlands for testing. Once installed it will look like this:

Germany: Spectacular Growth With Less Energy and Emissions

Germany 1990-2017:

+50% economic growth
-9% primary energy consumption
-28% less emissions

[] – Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts

The First European Hyperloop Test Facility in the Netherlands

New Dutch hyperloop test facility at the Technical University of Delft. Travelling in near-vacuum, faster than a plane.

[] – Official project site
[] – Hyperloop
[] – Energy Efficiency of an Electrodynamically Levitated Hyperloop Pod
[] – Scaling laws for electrodynamic suspension in high-speed transportation
[] – Hyperloop – an Innovation for Global Transportation? (skeptical)

Projections Offshore Wind Capacity in 2030


Area Capacity (GW) Population (billion)
Asia 100 3.5
EU 78 0.5
USA 10 0.3


Saving the Planet with 1 Trillion Additional Trees


Science has published research claiming that one trillion of additional trees could solve a lot of the world’s CO2-problems. By that, 2/3 of the cumulative emitted CO2 since the beginning of the industrial era, could be removed from the atmosphere and stored in harmless trees.

According to NASA, there are about 61 trees per person on this planet. One trillion extra would mean 143 trees per person on a world population of 7 billion. That would mean more than two times the amount of trees we already have extra.

Personally we would be more than happy to sacrifice a few days of our holiday in, say Spain, to contribute and plant 300 little tree-plants, provided it would be done in a collective save-the-planet effort.

[Source] Tree champ Finland, tail-light Egypt

[] – The global tree restoration potential
[] – How Many Trees Per Person?
[] – Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis
[] – There are 3 trillion trees on Earth – but they’re disappearing fast
[] – The wrong kind of trees: Ireland’s afforestation meets resistance
[] – Much to consider in planting a forest

(Of course we have the discussion of what counts as a tree and what as bush)

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