Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “December, 2019”

Siemens-Gamesa Offshore Wind Tower Installation Cycle

Lagerwey L100 – Inside an Efficient Large Wind Turbine

Lagerwey is a grass-roots Dutch wind turbine and tower manufacturer that produces the entire wind turbine chain itself and is around since 1979. Lagerwey has a “special relationship” with Russia in order to get the wind energy revolution off the ground in Russia too by licensing Lagerwey technology to Russian companies.

[] – Lagerwey company site
[] – Lagerwey
[] – Lagerwey trains Russian wind energy specialists
[] – Russia formally joins Paris climate agreement
[] – Lagerwey and NovaWind launch joint venture Red Wind
[] – Russian wind industry boosted by joint venture between ROSATOM and Lagerwey

Largest Windturbine in the World Operational in Rotterdam

Haliade-X, 12 MW, French-built, General Electric. Generates sufficient electricity for a town of 16,000 homes. Will go in production in 2021 after completion of the test series in Rotterdam Harbor, in the Netherlands.

[] – Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine platform
[] – GE Unveils Operation Haliade-X 12 MW
[Google Maps] – Location Haliade-X
[] – Openingsceremonie op toekomstige locatie voor prototype Haliade-X 12 MW in Rotterdam

European Golden Decade 2010-2020

Germany, as a distinct culture circle, exists for more than 1000 years, yet in the past decade they managed to add ca. 30% to their income. Most other European countries did also well, Holland even better.

Both German #1 “paper” MSM der Spiegel, as well as Dutch banking giant ING, evaluate the decade that is now coming to an end and come to the same conclusion: it was a “golden decade”.

But both institutions suspect that the coming decade won’t be as golden and we agree.

[] – Mehr Wohlstand, weniger Überstunden

[] – List of countries by current account balance

The surplus countries in the current account balance overview below are most Europeans (including Russia), Japan and China…

…where the Anglo countries (and France) are the countries with the largest deficit:

This is a clear indication that the political and economic center of gravity is moving away from Anglosphere towards Eurasia. Anglo-supremacy will be seen in hindsight as stretching from 1815-2016, from the Battle of Waterloo and the steam engine to Brexit and Trump. The West is as good as over.

RELEASE – Renewable Storage Initiatives in the Netherlands

The Institute for Renewable Energy Storage of the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands has received Reversible Large-scale Energy Storage (RELEASE)

Researchers Kitty Nijmeijer, Emiel Hensen and Thijs de Groot of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry are part of the interdisciplinary consortium RELEASE (Reversible Large-Scale Energy Storage), which receives over € 10 million from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for research into large-scale energy storage. NWO is investing € 39 million in five large, interdisciplinary research consortia within the Crossover programme, with the aim of helping to meet various social and economic challenges.

Improving the performance and reducing the cost of large-scale energy storage is vital for the transition to sustainable energy. RELEASE will work on new technological possibilities for the short (2030) and long term (2050). The project will focus on hydrogen and hydrocarbon production from CO2 and flow batteries.

[] – Millions for large-scale energy storage research
[] – Our Energy Challenge, Storage and Conversion
[] – Five large interdisciplinary consortia strengthen knowledge and innovation in the Netherlands

Offshore Wind: Can the US Catch up with Europe?

[source] The red area between England, Holland, Germany and Denmark is shallow water, where monopiles can be installed and combined with excellent average wind speed, is ideal for wind power.

Key Findings:

 Europe has more than 90 percent of the world’s total installed offshore wind capacity, and will continue to
dominate the offshore wind market for years to come.

 Differing estimates say Europe will have 23.5 – 40 GW of offshore wind by 2020, and 43.8 – 150 GW by 2030.

 The United States is expected to ramp up its deployment of offshore wind—with three gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020, 22 GW by 2030, and 86 GW by 2050—which will spur the development of a U.S. supply chain.

 China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Taiwan all have ambitious offshore wind targets, adding up to 35 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2020.

 European companies have decades of experience installing offshore wind farms, and stand to gain the most from offshore wind’s global expansion.

[] – Offshore Wind: Can the United States Catch up with Europe?

Conventional World Oil Production Flat Since 2005

[] – Conventional world oil production has not increased since 2005.

Large Lithium Deposits in Sonora, Mexico

Good news for the renewable energy transition. Large Lithium deposits found in Sonora province, Mexico. In fact, the largest in the world.

Lithium deposits, world-wide:

Location Size (Mt)
Sonora, Mexico 244
Thacker Pass, Nevada, USA 179
Wodgina, West-Australia 152
Pilgangoora, West-Australia 108
Earl Grey, West-Australia 94
Greenbushes, West-Australia 86
Whabouchi, Quebec, Canada 37
Altura, West-Australia 34
Goulamina, Mali, Africa 31
Arcadia, Zimbabwe, Africa 27

[] – All Sights on Mexico as it Discovers World’s Largest Lithium Deposit
[] – Top ten biggest lithium mines in the world
[] – Mineral Resource Estimate Update for the Sonora Lithium Project, Mexico
[] – Bacanora preparing to start Sonora lithium build in 2020
[] – Lithium-ion battery

[] – Lithium Price Spotlight

Lithium carbonate, 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price cif China, Japan & Korea, $/kg (midpoint)

Read more…

US Nord Stream Sanctions Fallout

The president of the “Great Satan”, Trump, has implemented sanctions against the German-Russian Nord Stream pipeline project, entirely in the mold of Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard, in an effort to ensure that Europe and Russia don’t get too cosy with each other. In response the Dutch-Swiss contractor Allseas has withdrawn from the project, with an eye on the numerous ties it has with the US and work in the Gulf of Mexico in particular.

[] – Nord Stream
[] – The Grand Chessboard
[] – Company site
[] – Nord Stream 2 to press on with Europe gas pipe
[] – ‘Interference in domestic affairs’: Germany fumes at US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 pipeline
[] – ‘Sanctions just a hiccup’: Nord Stream 2 will be completed, & US knows it but cannot bear the thought – former US diplomat

So, what is going to happen next? Will Germany and Russia just roll over and accept defeat? Of course not! Here is what could be the solution to a minor problem, namely hiring a ship from a country that already is under sanctions, RUSSIA!

[] – FORTUNA, Pipelay Crane VesselPipelay Crane Vessel

The Pipelay vessel Audacia of Allseas, that constructed 1800 km pipeline, with the last 300 km missing.

The Dutch Energy Transition – Faster Than You Would Expect

Total Dutch average electricity consumption 24/7/365: 13 GW.
Total installed power generation base: 29 GW.
The sport is to replace all remaining fossil capacity with renewable.

The price of a renewable kWh has come down considerably between 2010-2018 and further price erosion is to be expected.

[] – Duurzame energie komt sneller dan verwacht

Read more…

Hydrogen Bus in Pau, France

[] – Pau unveils first of 8 hydrogen fuel cell buses
[] – Französische Stadt nimmt Wasserstoff-Schnellbus in Betrieb
[] – Van Hool’s Fuel Cell Bus Awarded Bus of the Year at Busworld
[] – Van Hool

Highest Wind & Solar Energy Producing Countries Until 2018

Read more…

Andrew Dessler and Fred Singer Talk About Climate Change

[] – Andrew Dessler (conformist)
[] – Introduction to Modern Climate Change

[] – Fred Singer (skeptic)
[] – Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years

Read more…

Entropy and the Stirling Engine

IBM Presents Cobalt-Free Battery Technology

Advantages new battery technology according to IBM:

  • Lower cost: The active cathode materials tend to cost less because they are free of cobalt, nickel, and other heavy metals. These materials are typically very resource-intensive to source, and also have raised concerns over their sustainability.
  • Faster charging: Less than five minutes required to reach an 80 percent state of charge (SOC), without compromising specific discharge capacity.
  • High power density: More than 10,000 W/L. (exceeding the power level that lithium-ion battery technology can achieve).
  • High energy density: More than 800 Wh/L, comparable to the state-of-art lithium-ion battery.
  • Excellent energy efficiency: More than 90 percent (calculated from the ratio of the energy to discharge the battery over the energy to charge the battery).
  • Low flammability of electrolytes

[] – Free of Heavy Metals, Battery Could Alleviate Environmental Concerns
[] – IBM’s cobalt-free EV battery uses materials extracted from seawater

Fraunhofer Institute Road Map Storage Renewable Energy

So how much storage does a country like Germany really need? Renowned academic clubs like the Fraunhofer Institute put themselves to the task to find out. Here are the major findings:

  • For a 100% renewable energy system, flexibility is the key word. Means to achieve that: grid expansion, a European electricity market, demand management, flexible biogas installations, cogeneration, power-to-Heat.
  • Until a renewable electricity share of 60%, no electricity storage is necessary, provided a limited form of demand management is in place.
  • Even with renewable electricity shares of 90% in Germany and 80% in Europe, storage can be avoided in return for flexibility in demand and supply.
  • Even with high shares of renewable energy (90% in Germany and over 80% in Europe), it is possible to do without electricity storage, in case of flexibel demand-supply patterns.
  • If demand-management will not be possible, a need for very short-term electricity storage will arise. At a very high share of renewable energy, storage at day-level will be required too.
    Yet, production-levels from storage will be low, as compared to alternative generation from biomass, geothermal or CSP-installations and do not constitute a serious cost-component.
  • The expansion of the grid will be necessary to achieve the goals of the energy transition. If not, serious botlenecks will occur within Germany.
  • Setting up electricity storage can be helpful in case of a delayed grid-expansion. Especially power-to-gas ficilities should be considered, although they come at a considerable cost. If however the grid expansion has been completed, power-to-gas storage for support of the grid will no longer be required.
  • Storage, other than tied to the grid, can play a considerable role in the energy supply system.
  • It is essential that storage cost comes down. Support for such a development could come from politics/government.
  • Storage will come at a relatively high cost, because of low efficiencies. It is always best to directly use supply when it is available.
  • The judicial situation and unfavorable government measures in Germany are insufficient to stimulate investments in electricity storage. Especially in the planning and approval, as well as in production phase. What is lacking in Germany is a consistent approach towards storage.
  • The approval (licensing) of electricity storage depends very much on a particular type of storage and is especially problematic in case of pumped hydrio-storage.
  • What is NOT required is subsidizing storage in line with the example of feed-in tariffs. It would merely cause a run on storing as much electricity as possible.

[] – Roadmap Speicher

REMod-D – Modelling the Energy System Germany 2050

In 2013, the German Fraunhofer institute developed a model for the renewable energy base of Germany for 2050, see link below. The report shows the modelling assumptions as well as the results of the modelling and optimization.

Energy profile Germany 2010


[] – National Energy System Model with Focus on Intersectoral System Development

[] – Optimierungsmodell REMod-D

More information about the REMod modelling:

Programming environment: Delphi/Python
Programming approach: Prozedural/objektorientiert
Preferred solver: Nichtlinear: PSO-Algorithmus (Particle Swarm Optimization)
Deterministic: simulation yes, optimization no
Target function: minimizing total system cost
Simulation time step: 1 hour


European Green Deal

Around the globe several ‘Green (New) Deals’ exist. In the European context is means:

On December 11, 2019, the European Commission presented its European Green Deal with the main objective of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050. By 2030, a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is envisaged.

[] – Official site
[] – Green New Deal Report
[] – EU Green Deal will change economy to solve climate crisis
[] – Channel European Green Deal Czar Frans Timmermans
[] – Green New Deal
[] – Europe’s Green Deal: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Announces “Europe’s Man on the Moon Moment”

Terra X

High quality German language videos, filtered for renewable energy and climate related topics.

[] – Terra X
[] – Harald Lesch

Read more…

First Time 11 MW Turbines For Subsidy-Free Offshore Windpark

The Netherlands have barely begun to build the largest offshore wind park in the world, Borssele I-V (1.5 GW) and already the next 1.5 GW Mammoth is being planned: “Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 & 2” (“Dutch Coast South 1 & 2”), expected to be operational in 2023, 22 km out of the coast near The Hague.

For the first time, 11 MW Siemens-Gamesa turbines will be installed, 140 of them eventually, to arrive at 1.5 GW.

Between 2025 and 2030 it will be a neck-and-neck race between the Netherlands and the UK about who is the largest installer of new offshore wind capacity, with ca. 2 GW/year each.

[] – Eerste subsidievrije windpark krijgt molens van liefst 11 MW
[] – Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 krijgt nieuwe 11 MW Siemens Gamesa turbines
[] – Nieuwste en grootste turbines voor windpark Vattenfall Hollandse Kust Zuid
[] – Windpark Hollandse Kust Zuid

[source] Europe dominates the offshore wind market, at a distance followed by China.

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