Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “November, 2019”

KLM Aims to Have Scale Model Wing Plane Flying This Year

Earlier this year KLM announced it was ready to fund R&D in a radical new V-shaped plane design. KLM estimates that fuel efficiency could increase with 20% as compared to an Airbus-350. This year a TU-Delft-produced prototype of 3 meters and 25 kilo should fly.

[] – Prototype Flying V moet nog dit jaar vliegen
[deepresource] – KLM to fund R&D wing plane
[] – Flying-V
[] – KLM to fund development of fuel-efficient Flying-V plane
[] – The Flying V

The Carver is Back!

The Carver was invented in the nineties but production came to a halt when Asian suppliers stopped supplying essential parts. This time around, things might look a little different. Component production and pre-assembly takes place in China, Taiwan and South Korea. End-assembly has started up in Leeuwarden in the North of the Netherlands.

The Carver is back, for the moment in the less-ambitious shape of an e-scooter, with a max. speed of 45 kmh, as to avoid having to register it as a car and bring down the price (8,000 euro). Battery 5.4 kWh, range 100 km. With an average Dutch daily commuting distance of 34 km, that would be 3 commutes per battery charge and with 200 working days per year and thus 6800 commuting kilometers, the total average commuting energy footprint would be 368 kWh/year. That amount of energy could be generated with slightly more than a single solar panel on a roof in the grey and rainy Netherlands.

[] – Company site
[] – Carver (automotive company)

The gasoline Carver, presented in British car show “Top Gear” in 2011.

Read more…

“Renewable Hydrogen Already Cost Competitive”

Calculated “break-even price” of renewable hydrogen for Germany (left) and Texas (right) compared to benchmark prices for hydrogen supply from fossil fuels not using CCS. For Germany, this assumes a waiving of the requirement for subsidies that renewable electricity be fed into the grid. The peak in 2020 for Texas is due to a phasing out of the production tax credit (PTC), a fixed credit per kWh of produced electricity. [Source: Glenk & Reichelstein (2019)].

Conclusion of a study, published in “Nature”, about the cost of hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis, powered by renewable electricity:

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.

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen (source)
[] – Renewable hydrogen “already cost competitive”, says new research

Dutch Consortium to Build Gigawatt Electrolysis Plant

Partners in the Gigawatt Electrolysis Consortium.

The Dutch government has planned more than 10 GW offshore wind capacity for the coming decade.

Dutch offshore wind plans. The Borssele wind park (bottom left) is currently under construction, the largest world-wide to date (1.5 GW). The planned 1 GW electrolyzer will be located onshore nearby.

With this prospect, ignoring the storage problem is no longer possible. The Netherlands officially has adopted the hydrogen economy as the model for the low-carbon future (“power-to-gas”). With this in mind the road is cleared for planning and constructing large-scale hydrogen storage facilities in the Zeeland province.

The Netherlands has a head-start in this because it owns a fine-mazed natural gas grid, that can be re-used for hydrogen or one of its several derivatives. That grid is a left-over from “Groningen“, what was once the 9th largest natural gas field in the world and the largest in Europe.

[] – Start of initiative for construction of 1 GW electrolysis plant for green hydrogen in Zeeland
[] – Starting signal for design of GW electrolysis plant
[] – Kick-off for Designing a Gigawatt Electrolysis Plant

Hydrogen Economy Taking Off in Europe

There are several large players in Europe positioning themselves for competition on the market of large-scale electrolysers/fuel cells, think 20-100 MW. Key-players are Siemens and Thyssen-Krupp in Germany, ITM in Britain, Nel-hydrogen in Norway, Gasunie and Akzo-Nobel in the Netherlands, just to name a few.

The yearly Hannover Messe is a good place to get informed about the state of the art of hydrogen engineering.

[] – Hannover Messe 2020, hydrogen
[] – Youtube channel with hundreds of videos for hydrogen professionals

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Thyssen-Krupp – Coal Out, Hydrogen In

The struggling German steel giant Thyssen-Krupp, that is losing the competition against cheap Chinese steel, is trying to reinvent itself, away from coal towards hydrogen. This month it has started steel production in the Duisburg plant on a hydrogen basis, away from coal dust. By 2022 all four blast furnaces will need to operate with hydrogen.

Thyssen-Krupp 20 MW electrolysis module, based on “zero-gap” technology with 82% efficiency and large electrode plates (2,7 m2). Zero-gap electrolysis: distance between electrode plates less than 0.5 mm, rather than larger than 2 mm. The key to improve activity/throughput is nano-structuring of electrodes.

Thyssen-Krupp is putting its money where its mouth is and since 2018 brings large-scale electrolysis modules on the market (20 MW).

[] – Thyssenkrupp bringt großindustrielle Wasserelektrolyse auf den Markt
[] – Water electrolysis: Power to gas
[] – Thyssenkrupp: A steel giant fights for its future
[] – Thyssen-Krupp testet erstmals Stahlproduktion mit Wasserstoff
[] – Zero-gap water electrolysers

Zero-gap electrolysis.

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INGRID Hydrogen Storage and Grid Balancing

Startdate INGRID project: 2012. Budget €24 million.

From the DOE:

The INGRID project will combine the recent advances in Smart Grids and hydrogen-based energy storage to match energy supply and demand and optimize the electricity generated by intermittent Renewable Energy Sources while ensuring security and stability of the power distribution network The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3.500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will be fully controlled by advanced smart grid solutions provided by Engineering and will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.

[] – INGRID Hydrogen Demonstration Project

[] – Ingrid project site
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – Hydrogenics, Canadian participant in the consortium.

Green Hydrogen in European Steel Production

[] – World’s largest “green” hydrogen pilot facility successfully commences operation
[] – Hydrogen In, Fossil Fuel Out For Leading Steelmaker, Eventually
[] – The project is carried out within an EU-framework
[] – Targeting a future without CO2

Between 2010-17 a Windier World Brought 17% Extra Wind Power

Study carried out by Princeton and published in Nature, and based on data from 1,400 weather stations in North-America, Europe and Asia. One cause is temperature and increased pressure.

[] – A reversal in global terrestrial stilling and its implications for wind energy production
[] – The world is getting windier and it could mean a big boost for alternative energy

Breakthrough in Electrolyzer Technology

Researchers from the Netherlands, China, Japan and Singapore have developed a method to increase electrolysis throughput per unit of volume with a factor of 20. Think a 10 MW electrolyzer device with the size of a standard household fridge. Keyword: nanocages of an alloy of nickel and platinum. The key to success is essentially a radical increase of active catalyst surface achieved with nano-technology.

On top of that, the breakthrough is achieved with a cheaper catalyst; no longer pure, expensive and rare platinum needs to be used, but an alloy with cheap nickel works even better than is possible with present day state-of-the-art platinum catalysts. The expectation is that hydrogen industry will be able to develop a commercial electrolyzer of 10 MW capacity, with merely the size of a fridge. This device could for instance absorb the output of a large offshore 10 MW wind turbine and transform the electricity “on the spot”. Alternatively, such an electrolyzer could be installed in residential areas, absorbing solar electricity from panels installed on roofs, thereby greatly reducing grid load.

[] – Storing energy in hydrogen 20 times more effective using platinum-nickel catalyst
[] – Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages as efficient catalysts for fuel cells
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel

The catalyst can be used both in electrolysis as well as fuel cell mode.

[source] Professor Emiel Hensen, with the XPS setup (Near Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) Molecular Catalysis, inorganic materials chemistry, Scheikundige Technologie, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

[] – Nanocages That Split Water Seventeen Times Faster Might Be Hydrogen’s Big Bang
[] – Minder platina nodig in waterstofauto’s
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel
[] – Brandstofcellen kunnen met minder platina toe
[] – Electrolysis of water
[] – Insituut for renewable energy storage

[] – There Could Be A Magnetic Solution To Building The Hydrogen Economy

Perhaps nanocages and magnetism could be combined to increase productivity even more.

10 MW REFHYNE Electrolyzer Project for Shell Germany

[] – 10MW Electrolyser at the Rhineland Refinery

The Great Potential of Tidal Energy

Typical machine size: 2 MW
Total market potential: 100 GW (one/third of the average EU-electricity consumption)
Advantage over solar and wind: less intermittent and more predictable.

[] – Tidal energy is predicable, cheap and has great global potential

27 Dutch Municipalities To Be Detached from Gas Grid


The Dutch government has allocated 27 municipalities to be prepared for becoming “aardgasvrij” (“earth gas-free”) in the coming years, boiling down to 18,000 homes. No less than 75 towns had signaled interest to participate, a selection needed to be made. Subsidy volume €125 mln.

[] – Miljoenen extra voor aardgasvrije wijken: 27 gemeentes nu al aan de slag
[] – Project site
[] – Essay prof. Brounen – 5 financiële inzichten op weg naar aardgasvrij

Overview participating towns and districts

Town District
Amsterdam Van Der Pekbuurt
Appingedam Opwierde-Zuid
Assen Lariks West
Brunssum Brunssum-noord
Delfzijl Delfzijl Noord
Den Haag Bouwlust/Vrederust
Drimmelen Terheijden
Eindhoven ’t Ven
Groningen Paddepoel en Selwerd
Hengelo Nijverheid
Katwijk Smartpolder
Loppersum Loppersum-’t Zandt- Westeremden
Middelburg Dauwendaele
Nijmegen Dukenburg
Noordoostpolder Nagele
Oldambt Nieuwolda-Wagenborgen
Pekela Boven Pekela en de Doorsneebuurt
Purmerend Overwhere-Zuid
Rotterdam Pendrecht
Sittard-Geleen Limbrichterveld-Noord
Sliedrecht Sliedrecht-Oost
Tilburg Quirijnstok
Tytsjerksteradiel Garyp
Utrecht Overvecht Noord
Vlieland Duinwijck
Wageningen Benedenbuurt
Zoetermeer Palenstein

[] – Wijk Het Ven in Eindhoven moet als eerste aardgasvrij worden op warmtenet


Hoorn decoupled from has grid before 2040

[] – Transitievisie Warmte Hoorn – route naar een aardgasvrije gebouwde omgeving

Frysian village Garyp wants to be the first in the Netherlands to be energy neutral: space heating and electricity only from local means.

Maximum Speed From 130 to 100 kmh in the Netherlands

The Dutch government has announced rigorous measures to curb nitrogen emissions:

1. maximum speed on motorways will be reduced from 130 to 100 kmh, between 7:00-19:00, the hours with the most traffic.

2. mandatory enzyme-rich silage for cattle, reducing nitrogen in excrement, a measure even more effective than the first.

[] – Solutions for the nitrogen emissions crisis
[] – Nitrogen crisis in The Netherlands: are the Dutch going to cut speed limits? [spoiler: yes]
[] – ’Autorijden wordt constante oefening in zelfbeheersing’

Note: “nitrogen” in this context means: nitric oxide (NOx) and ammonia (NH3). Together with sulfur dioxide (SO2), these substances are acidifying substances.

Dutch overview of the sources of emissions of three acidifying substances in 2017, expressed in millions of tonnes of acid equivalents. Emissions from construction, represented in red, are dwarfed by those from transport (in blue) and agriculture (in green). Source: CBS,

Dutch Municipality Nagele to Become Fossil-Free

The Municipality of Nagele in the Noort-Oostpolder, built on reclaimed land from the sea in 1942, will become independent of fossil fuel, the first village to do so in the Netherlands, or rather the Karweihof district of ca. 500 homes. Core of the plans is a large storage of seasonal heat. Nagele has ca. 1.885 inhabitants and is one of 27 similar projects in the Netherlands that have been chosen by the government to become “gas-free” over the coming decade. Once a few districts have completed the transition, expect many more to follow the example and eventually all.


[] – Nagele in Balans
[] – Hoe Nagele gasloos wordt
[] – Nagele: ‘Energie in balans’ met seizoensopslag
[] – Proeftuin aardgasvrije wijk gehonoreerd
[] – Nagele

Read more…

Port of Rotterdam to Build Largest Green Hydrogen Plant in Europe

Scale: 45,000 tonnes hydrogen per year or the equivalent of absorbing 250 MW of renewable electricity.
Compare this with Dutch plans to have 12 GW offshore wind by 2030.

[] – Largest ‘green’ hydrogen plant in Europe
[] – Energy transition results in extensive plans for hydrogen

Camping De Ossewei van het Gas Af

Seizoensopslag van warmte op een camping in Brabant.

Green Corridor

Core “Green Corridor” agreement: to build a “climate neutral transport corridor” between Zoeterwoude (Heiniken brewery) and the Port of Rotterdam. Participants: Nedcargo, province South-Holland, HEINEKEN Nederland, Port of Rotterdam N.V., municipality Alphen aan den Rijn, Zeeman, Hartog & Bikker, Rijkswaterstaat, Eneco and municipality Bodegraven-Reeuwijk.

Electric trucks and inland e-shipping coming up. Heineken. Beer.


[] – Organisaties tekenen intentieverklaring Groene Corridor
[] – Heineken verricht doop nieuw duurzaam containerschip van Nedcargo in Rotterdam


Christening of the (hybrid) e-ship Bon Jovi of Nedcargo.

[] – De binnenvaart gaat elektrisch, dankzij Bon Jovi

Heineken invests in 4 wind turbines for own use.

Canary Islands – Wind Energy With Pumped Hydro Storage

Dutch language video

Heat Alliance Taking Shape in the Netherlands

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