Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “October, 2019”

Denmark Approves Nord Stream II Trajectory over its Territory

Major geopolitical event!

Denmark has given the green light for the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its waters. Copenhagen’s delay in granting permission has been the main hurdle to completing the project on time.

Pipeline expected to be operational before the end of this year.

[] – Full stream ahead! Denmark removes final hurdle for Russian gas pipeline to Europe
[] – Dänemark erteilt Genehmigung für Nord Stream 2

DENS X2 Formic Acid 25 kW Generator

The startup DENS originated from the student Team FAST of the Technical University of Eindhoven. Their mutual aim is to explore the possibilities of formic acid as a potential hydrogen carrier, to be used as sustainable energy fuel. DENS researches stationary applications, like generators. Their first product is the DENS X2 Formic Acid 25 kW Generator.

[] – DENS X2 Formic Acid specifications
[] – DENS

Charging Your Car in Ten Minutes is Underway


If this were to happen the hydrogen-fuel proponents would lose a major argument in favor of their trade.

The reason why charging is so slow is to prevent damage to the batteries, keyword “lithium plating”. Short story:

[researchers] have now found that if the batteries could heat to 60C (140F) for just 10 minutes and then rapidly cool again to ambient temperatures, lithium spikes would not form and heat damage would be avoided.

The battery design they have come up with is self-heating, using a thin nickel foil which creates an electrical circuit that heats in less than 30 seconds to warm the inside of the battery.

The rapid cooling that would be needed after the battery is charged would be done using the cooling system designed into the car.

Research: Wuhan/China, Stanford/USA.

[] – Charge your electric car in just TEN MINUTES: Engineers develop new fast-charging technique that will allow drivers to add 200 miles to the range of their vehicles in the time it takes to get a cup of coffee and use the toilet

[] – Design of Red Phosphorus Nanostructured Electrode for Fast-Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries with High Energy Density

[] – What is Lithium Plating?

Lithium plating is the formation of metallic lithium around the anode of lithium-ion batteries during charging. Plating, also called deposition, can cause these rechargeable batteries to malfunction over time.

The Early Adopters of Electric Cars

[] – Electric car use by country

Read more…

Voltachem Formic Acid Reactor

[] – Driving on CO2: VoltaChem scales up sustainable production of formic acid
[] – Power-2-Hydrogen
[] – Showing The Potential of Hydrozine as a Sustainable Energy Carrier

Read more…

Presentation of World’s First Bus on Hydrozine

Presentation from 2017. Ambitions have become slightly more modest since.

The ambition of Fast to develop a bus range-extender finally failed as too ambitious. Despite support from a local bus producer VDL, the hydrozine installation was considered too frail to be attached behind a bus, vibrations and all. Energetically/chemically it could have worked, it was the mechanical engineering that the limited the enterprise. The ambitions have been lowered towards developing stationary solutions like generators. Yet the intention remains alive to someday apply a more mature hydrozine technology to automotive.

[] – Formic Acid (“Hydrozine”).
[deepresource] – Formic Acid

Team Fast meanwhile morphed into a startup DENS (Dutch Energy Solutions) and found a new home at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, where they are working on standalone generators for festivals, building sites and the like. Apparently the principle was interesting enough to attract 500,000 euro risk money.

[] – ‘Mierenzuurmotor’ uit Helmond krijgt flinke injectie
[] – Studententeam ‘Team Fast’ wordt startup DENS
[] – Startup site

At least this small prototype did work on a formic acid fuel cell:

Energy density formic acid: 6.4 MJ/liter (1.78 kWh/liter) of 5.3 MH/kg (1.47 kWh/kg)

[] – Carbon Dioxide Hydrogenation to Formic Acid using Supported Gold Nanoparticles

Construction World’s Largest Offshore Wind Park has Begun off the Dutch Coast

The first monopile has been ramned into the seabed of the 1.5 GW offshore wind park Borssele I-V, that is to be the largest of the world when completed in 2021. Borssele I-II will be realized by the Danish energy giant Ørsted. Borssele III-IV by Shell, van Oord, Mitshubishu and Vestas.

[] – First monopile up at 731.5-MW Dutch offshore wind park
[] – First Borssele III & IV monopile in place
[] – Van Oord starts Borssele 3&4 foundation job
[] – Bouw windpark Borssele 1 en 2 begint in december
[] – Events on Borssele 3 and 4 – Blauwwind
[] – Windpark Borssele

Read more…

Global Pumped Hydro Atlas

Scientists have identified 530,000 sites worldwide suitable for pumped-hydro energy storage, capable of storing more than enough energy to power the entire planet…

None of the potential sites are located inside national parks or urban areas, and each one has the potential capacity to hold 2-150 GWh of energy…

The scientists say sites like the ones they’ve identified can operate at maximum power for between 5 and 25 hours…

“Pumped hydro accounts for 97 percent of energy storage worldwide, has a typical lifetime of 50 years and is the lowest cost large-scale energy-storage technology available.”

[] – Huge Global Study Just Smashed One of The Last Major Arguments Against Renewables
[] – Global pumped hydro atlas, project site

[deepresource] – World-Record Pumped-Hydro Storage for Scotland?
[deepresource] – Overview Pumped Hydro Facilities in Europe
[deepresource] – Pumped Hydro Storage for Flatlanders
[deepresource] – Pumped Hydro Storage in Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany
[deepresource] – Doggerbank Pumped Hydropower Storage
[deepresource] – Unconventional Pumped Hydro Storage

IEA Expects 50% Increase Renewables Until 2025

[] – Global solar PV market set for spectacular growth over next 5 years

WindFloat Atlantic Begins Offshore Installation

Unlike the countries bordering the North Sea, Portugal is not blessed with shallow waters. Here floating wind turbines have to come to the rescue. The installation of the largest of those to date in Europe has begun.

• Turbines: Vestas V164-8.4 MW
• Number of Turbines: 3
• Project Capacity: 25 MW
• Location: Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Northern Region
• Distance From Shore: 20 km
• Sea Depth: 100 metres

[] – First Turbine of WindFloat Atlantic Moves Into Position

eHang 1st eVTOL Service Operational In December

[] – eHang Is About To Make Aviation History — 1st eVTOL Service Coming In December
[] – EHang

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles


Let’s be honest, even as supporters of the energy transition we have to admit that solar panels mounted to a roof do not exactly increase the aesthetics of the entire building. It’s much better to have the solar and roof function merged into one. That’s where Tesla solar roof tiles come in. Downside of the good looks, expect a price tag ca. twice as high for solar panels produced in China with the same electricity production. Tesla produces its tiles in New York.

[] – Everything You Need To Know About Version 3 Of Tesla’s New Solarglass Roof Tiles

Greta Thunberg Speaks at Edmonton Rally

Airbus eVTOL Getting Serious

Airbus pursuing its vision of autonomous flying city taxis.

[] – The Airbus Vahana Flies
[] – VTOL
[] – Airbus shares more details on Vahana flight test program
[] – The Airbus A³ Altiscope Blueprint For Urban Air Mobility Strategy

We’re not entirely sold on that vision. In cities cars can drive bumper-to-bumper, in the air that’s not possible, you need more distance for safety. On the other hand, above you are not confined to limited space provided by roads. And you can fly at different altitudes, 3D rather than 2D. Could become a logistical nightmare of keeping all these buzzers from crashing into each other. Noise pollution could be significant. Niche applications are possible, like transport of VIPs.

Europe Onshore & Offshore Wind Outlook 2030 and Beyond

[] – Offshore renewable energy industry outlook – 2030 and beyond

Wind Could Power the World 18 Times Over – IEA

Wind power has the potential to power the world 18 times over, says a new report by the IEA. Especially offshore wind will contribute increasingly to the installed base. We’re talking about a trillion euro industry here, cumulative until 2040. The boom will be driven by declining costs, technological progress, government support. The offshore market grew with 30% between 2010-2018, mostly in Europe, for now. But in the 150 offshore projects currently underway, China has taken over the lead over any other country.

The EU currently has 20 GW offshore wind but that number will grow to 180 GW by 2040, but the potential is far higher. Current average EU electricity consumption is 300 GW.

By 2025, China will take over from the UK as the country with the most offshore wind and by 2040 will have 110 GW.

A relatively new development will be floating wind turbines, eliminating the need to find shallow waters and monopile-based wind-farming.

[] – Offshore Wind Outlook 2019 (paid)
[] – Wind power could meet entire world’s electricity needs 18 times over, says International Energy Agency

Nord Stream 2 Update

Two more months and the Nord Stream II pipeline project will be completed, despite a lot of geopolitical pressure to abandon the project. The last remaining hurdle is related to Denmark, that unfortunately is too afraid for US sanctions and so far has refused to grant permission to lay a part of the pipeline in its waters. Putting that part of the pipeline in international waters, is an alternative, but will come at hundreds of millions extra cost. Gazprom has announced it will opt for that solution if the Danes refuse to cooperate. Once that pipeline will be a fait accompli it will remain there, even if unused for a couple of years, until geopolitical conditions will have changed, like a growing rift between the EU and US+UK in the wake of Brexit or a war in the Gulf.

[] – Pipeline to bring Russian gas to Europe is 3/4 complete
[] – Denmark Under Pressure to Acquiesce to Nordstream 2
[] – Nord Stream

Volksswagen Launches ID.3

ID.3 = Idea #3, after #1-Beetle and #2-Golf.
Available 2020, Europe only.
Price below 30,000 euro.
45 kWh: “Up to” 330 km (205 mi)
58 kWh: “Up to” 420 km (260 mi)
77 kWh: “Up to” 550 km (340 mi)

The car is to be expected to sell in the millions.

[] – Volkswagen ID.3
[] – Volkswagen unveils the ID.3, its first ‘electric car for the masses’

It’s Still Around, the 260 MPG Volkswagen XL1

Ignore the nasty, juvenile reviewer, equipped with a sense of entitlement, who loves to think that he can blast through the landscape in his 20 mpg SUV till kingdom comes. Idiots like him, who stopped developing at 12 year old, are outdated like a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix 421 ‘Super Duty’ rust bucket. By [10:00] he regresses towards down syndrome levels. Like with all prototypes this 2009 car was pricey, like $144k. All 250 exemplars were sold regardless.

The point to make is that it is very well possible to produce extremely fuel efficient cars, if you drop requirements like “looking sexy” or “fast acceleration” or having “the size of a living room”.

[] – Volkswagen 1-litre car

Lazard’s Report “Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis v4” is Out

[] – Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis v4 (pdf)
[] – Lazard

Post Navigation