Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “August, 2019”

E-Vehicles 2025 – and the Winner is… Volkswagen!

E-vehicles are mechanically simpler than gasoline/diesel cars.

[] – The great electric car race is just beginning

Advances in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

“Lightweight Battery systems using metallic Lithium are known to offer the highest specific energy. Sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li and, in contrast with conventional lithium-ion cells, the chemicals processes include dissolution from the anode surface during discharge and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. As a consequence, Li-S allows for a theoretical specific energy in excess of 2700Wh/kg, which is nearly 5 times higher than that of Li-ion. OXIS’s next generation lithium technology platform offers the highest energy density among lithium chemistry: 400 Wh/kg already achieved at cell level… Cost Effectiveness Li-S production cost projections are significantly lower than Li-Ion due to lower raw material cost (i.e. Sulfur) and high energy density (less material required for same energy). This cost advantage is expected to be a key driver for widespread adoption of Li-S technology. Full discharge OXIS cells have a 100% available Depth-of-Discharge. This compares with Li-ion batteries which are only used across 80% (or less) of their available discharge range. OXIS cells use all their stored energy – full discharge. Maintenance free OXIS cells have an indefinite shelf-life, with no charging required when left for extended period. Li-ion batteries require a recharge every 3-6 months to prevent failure and often causes significant warranty issues. Eco friendly The OXIS Li-S chemistry is considered to have less environmental impact when compared to other technologies such as Li-ion. The Li-S cell utilises sulfur in place of heavy metals such as cobalt, which have a significant environmental impact, whereas the sulfur used in OXIS manufacture is a recycled material, a by-product of the oil industry.”

[] – Company site
[] – Li-S, Lithium-Sulfur, an energy revolution
[] – Lithium–sulfur battery
[data sheet] – Ultra Light Lithium Sulfur Pouch Cell

Read more…

World’s Largest Wind Tower Arrives in Rotterdam

Haliade-X 12 MW tower arrives in Rotterdam Harbor. The wind turbine will be operational later this year and set a new 12 MW standard for offshore wind in 2 years time and will play a central role in the ambitious Dutch plans to roll out 17.5 GW’s worth of wind power (for starters in the twenties):

[] – Torens van grootste windturbine ter wereld aangekomen in Rotterdam
[deepresource] – 12MW Haliade Nacelle Underway to the Netherlands
[deepresource] – GE’s 12 MW Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam First
[deepresource] – Haliade-X 12 MW Largest Offshore Wind Turbine To Date
[] – Holland, GE Will Build The World’s Largest Wind Turbine
[] – Haliade-X 12 MW deze zomer geïnstalleerd op Maasvlakte

The “Aeolus”, the most advanced Dutch offshore installer vessel operational in the world today. Europe meanwhile has many of those operating in the North sea, Baltic and Irish Sea. With an improved crane, the Aeolus can handle towers like that of the Haliades-12MW.

[source] Sif-terminal in Rotterdam Harbor, where the tower and 12 MW turbine will be installed for testing. Turbine comes from St. Nazaire/France, rotor blades Cherbourg/France, tower Sevilla/Spain.

City Air Pollution is as Bad as Smoking 20 Cigarettes a Day


The study, led by researchers from the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo, is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Another good reason to push through the renewable energy transition.

[] – Air pollution in cities ‘as bad for you as smoking 20 cigarettes a day’, says study

Wind Turbine With Battery Included

Concept: let a wind turbine pump up water from a lower situated basin in times of over-supply of wind energy for storage purposes.
Storage capacity: 70 MWh from 160,000 m3 total water capacity (4 turbines).

[] – Max Bögl Wind puts turbine on THE tallest tower, 178m. Blade tip to 246.5m
[] – Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf (Germany)
[Google Maps] – Gaildorf

Read more…

Large Power-to-Gas Project in Northern-Germany

Produces hydrogen for the national natural gas grid. The location is near the planned LNG terminal opening Brunsbüttel, enabling mixing at the source.

[] – Project site
[] – World’s “first large-scale industrial power-to-gas facility” planned in northern Germany
[Google Maps] – Wind to Gas Südermarsch

Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)

British research club reports the results of their analysis of a liquid air storage system (LAES). The idea is to use renewable electricity to liquefy air for energy storage purposes. Result: storage cost 11 euro cent/kWh for a 20MW/800 MWh storage installation at a round-trip efficiency of ca. 50%. Storage pressure ambient. Recuperation by boiling the liquid and drive a turbine in a Rankine cycle. Efficiency could be increased by combining solar of waste heat, thus increasing the temperature at the expansion phase. Storage of liquid air in large volumes is fairly easy with an energy density of 83 kWh/m3.

To really solve the renewable energy storage problem, as a rule-of-thumb, a country needs to be able to store ca. 41% of its annual energy consumption, in order to reasonably guarantee energy supply security. Let’s apply this to a country like the Netherlands, with an average power need of 13 GW. Given the energy density of 83 kWh/m3, a storage volume of 562 km3 would be required, which is unrealistic. Liguid air storage is a short term storage possibility (think in a range of hours, not months).

The real solution of the long term storage problem doesn’t lie in gravity batteries or even phase change solutions, like the one presented her, but in combustible material, reduced with renewable means: hydrogen, iron powder, borohydride, ammonia, methanol, formic acid and a wide range of other possibilities.

[] – An analysis of a large-scale liquid air energy storage system
[] – Rankine Cycle

Scientists Develop a Gold Layer of 2 Atoms Thick

Gold-layer of two atoms thick

Important development since a surface like this keeps its macroscopic properties as catalyst. There are many important applications where expensive catalysts play an crucial role. Now price of a material hardly matters anymore.

[] – Sub‐Nanometer Gold Nanosheets as Efficient Catalysts
[] – Nur zwei Atome dick – das dünnste Gold der Welt

Pros & Cons of Planting Large Numbers of Trees

[] – Planting A Trillion Trees Is A Nice Thought, But Real?
[] – Ethiopia Planted 350 Million Trees In One Day.

German Renewable Energy Transition in Trouble


Der Spiegel sounds the alarm bells: the German Energiewende is stalling. Few new wind turbines are currently being installed, only 35 in H1-2019, the lowest rate since 2000! This year new installations to the tune of 1.5 GW can be expected at best, down from 5.3 GW in record year 2017. The minister of economic affairs and transition proponent Altmaier is forced to call for an emergency meeting with all parties involved. 26,000 jobs were lost in the wind branche since 2017. Several companies went bust.

Who are the main culprits?

1. German government (Altmaier’s ministry)
2. German public (“not in my backyard” attitude)

Ad 1) Since 2017, the German government introduced a new dubious tender system for new wind parks. Additionally: bureaucracy. A lot of wind projects are in the pipeline, waiting for approval… and stay there (10 GW or more). Furthermore, regulations are too restrictive, killing off projects for no good reason, like excessive distance from urban areas, radio masts, etc. Currently renewable electricity in Germany is at 40% and should be 65% in 2030. That’s going to be difficult to achieve, according to der Spiegel.

Hopefully the upcoming emergency meeting after the Summer will address the issues raised above.

[] – Die große Windkraftkrise

Germanys Renewable Energy Revolution

Germany Trade Invest presents its short film about Germanys Renewable Energy Revolution, the so called Energiewende (energy transition). Germany is pushing for 80 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2050. (2017)

Autonomous E-Busses in Hamburg, Utah and Finland

4.9 GW European Wind Installations 1H 2019

[] – Europe Installs 4.9 Gigawatts Of New Wind In 1st Half Of 2019

24 Arguments Against Nuclear Power

[] – 24 Questions That Show Nukes Are NOT The Answer

Stefan Reichelstein: Solar Energy’s Bright Future

[] – Stefan Reichelstein

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen

The recent sharp decline in the cost of renewable energy suggests that the production of hydrogen from renewable power through a power-to-gas process might become more economical. Here we examine this alternative from the perspective of an investor who considers a hybrid energy system that combines renewable power with an efficiently sized power-to-gas facility. The available capacity can be optimized in real time to take advantage of fluctuations in electricity prices and intermittent renewable power generation. We apply our model to the current environment in both Germany and Texas and find that renewable hydrogen is already cost competitive in niche applications (€3.23 kg⁻¹), although not yet for industrial-scale supply. This conclusion, however, is projected to change within a decade (€2.50 kg⁻¹) provided recent market trends continue in the coming years.

[] – Hydrogen Economy

Power Mix India

[] – Share of Fossil Fuel In Indian Power Mix Drops For 14th Consecutive Quarter

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