Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “March, 2021”

SeaH2Land – Industrial Green Hydrogen

Today, Danish wind champ Ørsted has presented plans to develop an industrial green hydrogen project, backed by clubs like Yara, ArcelorMittal, Dow Benelux, Zeeland Refinery, North Sea Port, Smart Delta Resources, Province Zeeland en Province Oost-Vlaanderen, clubs that recognize a dime if they see one.

The plan: produce 1 GW hydrogen from a new 2 GW offshore wind park, to be located in the southern part of the Dutch exclusion zone, to be realized before 2030. Apparently, this planned new wind park is not part of the broad offshore wind picture so far:

The encouraging aspect is that the industry is pushing for extra wind capacity, independent of Dutch government stimulation programs. Offshore wind apparently doesn’t need any stimulus anymore, not even wind + hydrogen! And why should the industry hold back, if earlier this week, EU-commissioner Frans Timmermans virtually declared war on fossil fuels. All signs are green for, well, green energy.

[] – Ørsted ontwikkelt een van de grootste duurzame waterstoffabrieken ter wereld voor de Nederlandse en Belgische industrie
[] – SeaH2Land project
[] – Ørsted Unveils Plans for Large Offshore Wind-to-Hydrogen Project
[] – Gas has ‘no viable future’ in Green Deal Europe, EU vice president warns industry

Record Solar Day in the Netherlands

Record solar day in the Netherlands, for the first time more than 7 GW, or 45% total Dutch electricity demand.

(In March!)

The most important reason for the record is the 50% growth of installed solar pv-capacity, as compared with 12 months ago. The expectation is further 30% growth for the coming 12 months. For 2030, the projected total solar capacity is expected to be three times that of today.

[] – Martien Visser
[] – Felle lentezon zorgt voor recordopbrengst aan zonne-energie

“HyDeal Ambition” – 95 GW EU Solar Hydrogen Project


Gigantic hydrogen project kicked off by a Southern European consortium of 30 companies.

After 2 years of research and confidential preparation, a group of 30 pioneering European energy players officially launches “HyDeal Ambition” with the aim of delivering 100% green hydrogen across Europe at €1.5/kg before 2030.

Founding participants:

  • Solar developers: DH2/Dhamma Energy (Spain), Falck Renewables (Italy), Qair (France)
  • Electrolysis OEMs, engineering and EPC providers: McPhy Energy (France), VINCI Construction (France)
  • Gas TSOs: Enagás (Spain), OGE (Germany), Snam (Italy), GRTgaz (France), Teréga (France)
  • Energy and industrial groups: Gazel Energie, subsidiary of EPH (France), Naturgy (Spain), HDF Energie (France)
  • Infrastructure funds: Cube, Marguerite, Meridiam
  • Consultants and advisors: European Investment Bank, Corporate Value Associates (CVA), Clifford Chance, Cranmore Partners, Finergreen, Envision Digital, Energy Web

Roll-out scheme:

In total: 95 GW solar and 67 GW electrolysis capacity, resulting in 3.6 million tonnes/year green hydrogen by 2030 or 8.1 kg hydrogen or 272 kWh seasonal storage annually per EU citizen.

– Spain 10 GW (2022)
– SW-France
– Eastern France
– Germany

This is to be seen as the Southern-European answer to the offshore wind successes in North-West Europe.

[] – 30 energy players initiate an integrated value chain to deliver green hydrogen across Europe at the price of fossil fuels
[] – New European project to drive 95 GW of solar and 67 GW of hydrogen
[] – HyDeal press release
[] – European consortium to deliver 95GW of solar and 67GW of hydrogen by 2030
[] – European group aims to use 95GW of solar to push green H2 price to fossil fuel level

E-Magy Nano Technology for EV Li-ion Batteries

Nanoporous silicon, E-magy core technology

The Dutch battery company E-Magy is using nanotechnology to achieve its main selling point: replacing graphite anodes with more efficient nanoporous silicon ones, resulting in 40% higher energy density for lithium-ion batteries. Additional benefits: up to 5 times shorter charging times and lower production cost.

The innovation: replacing graphite anode with nanosilicon in traditional lithium-ion batteries. Advantages as far as the eye can see.

Although the potential applications are numerous, the North-Holland-based company is concentrating on the EV-market and for that purpose is setting up a production line with a capacity of 3,000 tons/year or 500,000 E-vehicles.

Meanwhile, the company has attracted 5 million euro investment capital, backed by the Dutch government to enable production expansion, to be up-and-running by the end of 2023.

[] – E-magy looks to accelerate the EV market with next-gen batteries
[] – Company site
[] – Data sheet
[] – Ribbon-Growth-on-Substrate (core tech production nanoporous Si)
[Google Maps] – E-Magy company location

Russia to Present a Hybrid-Electric Plane in July 2021

The first aircraft with an electric motor [*] will be demonstrated at the MAKS International Air and Space Salon, taking place on July 20-25 in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters this week.
“This is what was done with the Fund of Advanced Studies – an electric airplane based on superconductivity principles,” Borisov said. The electric motor is part of the hybrid powertrain demonstrator that Russia’s Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) is developing.

An innovative electric motor based on high-temperature superconductors with a capacity of 500 kW (679 HP) was created by materials specialist Superox.

Trials of a promising superconductive aircraft electric motor started on February 5. A special flying laboratory has been created on the basis of the Yak-40 aircraft.

The advantage of a hybrid-plane is that it significantly reduces noise during take-off and landing.

[] – Russia to debut world’s first electric plane at MAKS 2021 airshow
[] – Yak-40LL with a new electric motor is preparing for flight tests
[] – Yakovlev Yak-40

[*] – That is pertinent nonsense. Here a German lightweight 100% e-plane, in 2015, able to cross the Alps, (obviously) on a single charge:

Chalmers University Announces Breakthrough Massless Batteries

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fibre that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ’massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

Translation: the car itself is becoming the battery.

Current energy density: 24 Wh/kg or 20% of Li-ion
Expected energy density: 75 Wh/kg (separate project SNSA)

Building a car from carbon fibre gives it the same strength as aluminum, but the material has 50% less weight, lowering the required electrical energy per kilometer.

Here the Audi A2, a less than 900 kg car, made from aluminum. Yours faithfully once had one himself (33 km/l diesel or 78 mpg).

Funding: European Commission’s R&D program Clean Sky II and USAF.

[] – Big breakthrough for ’massless’ energy storage
[] – Durchbruch beim strukturellen Super-Akku
[] – Structural battery
[] – Aluminium vs carbon fiber – comparison of materials
[] – Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking

Calls For Building Homes from Wood Only

In the Dutch city of Weert, 16 new homes have been delivered, constructed entirely from wood, in a social rental-housing project. Traditional building with stone, concrete and steel comes with large amounts of CO2. Recycling wood is a non-issue. Wood can function as a CO2 container, if the logged tree is replaced by a new one.

If EU climate targets are to be met, it is inevitable that increased usage of wood in construction is realized. In France, for example, regulation exists that new government buildings must consist for at least 50% of wood. The Amsterdam metropolitan area wants to push through that as of 2025, 1 in 5 new homes will be made of wood. Amsterdam also plans to build a wooden office tower of 86 m, next year, provided the plan survives Covid-19.

[] – Hout moet oplossing bieden voor verduurzaming woningbouw
[] – Eerste bewoners nemen intrek in houten woningen Leuken
[Google Maps] – Weert, Leuken

Nur Holz. Dutch-language documentary about the environmental advantages of building wooden homes.

A tour through a wooden home in Weert.

Voltaire Mega-Jackup Vessel under Construction

Main crane: over 3,000t
Operating depth: over 80m
Payload: 14,000t
Personel: 110 persons
Start operations: 2022
First project: Dogger Bank 3.6 GW, Haliade-X 12 MW turbines
Ultra-Low Emission vessel.

[] – Jan De Nul Lays Keel for Mega Jack-Up

Donald Sadoway on Molten Metal Batteries

Specs Ambri liquid metal batteries:

Capacity: 400-1000 kWh, up to 250 kW
DC Efficiency: exceeds 80% under wide range of use cases
Response time: <500 milliseconds
Voltage: 500 —1500 V
Footprint: 10-foot shipping container

[] – Ambri (company)

[] – Corporate site

[] – TerraScale to deploy Ambri liquid metal battery at Energos Reno Project

[] – Ambri’s liquid metal battery to be used at desert data centre in Nevada

Ambri has designed a battery that uses a liquid calcium alloy anode, molten salt electrolyte and a cathode made of solid particles of antimony. The company claims this enables a low number of steps in the cell assembly process while the materials are low-cost. Ambri also integrates the batteries into a containerised energy storage system solution.

Website comment: Bloomberg predicts $58,-/kWh for 2030. But, to its credit, this technology doesn’t use potentially scarce lithium. Interesting development.

Bloomberg – Europe Dominates the Renewable Energy Battle

Bloomberg is one of the very few authoritative voices in the North-American energy landscape that are sympathetic towards the renewable energy transition, because they think it can be done (and the US could miss the boat?). Yesterday they admitted that Europe is dominating the transition scene: and that especially their oil companies with deep pockets are committed to make it work, even if the largest share of their turnover is still based on fossil fuel:

European oil companies, including Total, Galp, Equinor, BP and Royal Dutch Shell lead a group of the 39 most publicly-traded oil and gas companies in preparedness for a low-carbon world, according to Bloomberg’s Climate Transition Scores. These companies have ranked highly due to ambitious climate targets and deep transition-related investments in an industry heavily exposed to transition risks in the face of widespread climate action. For example, these five oil majors own some 11GW, or 78%, of the renewable energy assets held by the 39 scored companies.

[] – Integrated European Majors Lead on Preparedness for a Low-Carbon World Among 39 Global O&G Companies

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