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Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “China”

Longi Launches 540-Watt Hi-MO5 Panel

Chinese solar panel manufacturer Longi setting new standards:

Wafer: 182mm, M10.
Panel size 2,256 x 1,133 mm.

[pv-magazine.com] – Longi launches 540-Watt Hi-MO5 module
[solarmagazine.nl] – LONGi lanceert zonnepaneel Hi-MO5 van 540 wattpiek

China Intends to Build Solar Power Station in Space by 2025

[wikipedia.org] – Space-based solar power
[hln.be] – China werkt aan zonne-energiepark in ruimte
[dailymail.co.uk] – China wants to build a power station in SPACE by 2030
[bloomberg.com] – China Wants to Build the First Power Station in Space

Lingyun Self Balancing Motorcycle

Transcript spoken text:

Read more…

China is Building 60 GW Annual Output Solar Panel Factory

BEIJING, April 2, 2020 /CNW/ — GCL System Integration Technology Co., Ltd. (GCL-SI) (002506.SZ), a leading PV company in China, recently announced a plan to build a 60GW module factory in Hefei, capital of east China’sAnhui Province. According to the agreement it signed with the Government of Feidong County recently, GCL-SI will invest a total of 18 billion yuan in the project which will be built in four phases, each with a production capacity of 15GW, from 2020 to 2023. The first phase requires a total investment of 5 billion yuan and is expected to start operation this year. Upon completion of the project, GCL-SI will have the world’s largest module production capacity, said the company.

Note that the annual output of this factory would be larger than what Germany installed over 30 years! Oh and Michael Moore is an idiot.

[businessinsider.com] – GCL-SI to build 60GW module factory in Hefei, east China
[pv-tech.org] – GCL-SI building 60GW integrated solar module megacomplex in Hefei

Floating Vessel Crane Collapse

Set-back for the offshore wind installation industry. A German-made crane (Liebherr), mounted on a Chinese-made offshore wind installation vessel, owned by the Belgian-based DEME Group, collapsed in the German harbor of Rostock during initial load tests. The ship was about to begin the construction of the 950 MW Moray East wind farm in Scottish waters. The exact cause is yet unknown.

[wikipedia.org] – DEME
[wikipedia.org] – Liebherr Group
[deme-group.com] – Accident on board of offshore installation vessel ORION 1 at the occasion of and during crane load tests

China’s Father of Electric Cars Says Hydrogen Is the Future

200 MW Solar-Hydrogen Plant Construction Started in China

Construction has started on the largest solar-powered hydrogen pilot plant in the world.

Input electricity: 200 MW
H2-production: 160 million m3/year
Contractor: Baofeng Energy Group, China
Location: Ningxia
Price tag: $198 million
Operational: end of 2020

[smart-energy.com] – Work begins on world’s largest solar-powered hydrogen plant

Researchers Produce (a Little) Electricity out of Thin Air

[source]

The system is quite straightforward and consists of a thin film of protein nanowire just seven micrometers (sometimes known as a microns) thick which is positioned between two electrodes and exposed to the air. For reference, a human hair is roughly 75 microns across, depending on the person.

This nanowire film absorbs water vapor present in the atmosphere, thus creating a small electrical charge through the diffusion of protons in the material.

“I found that exposure to atmospheric humidity was essential and that protein nanowires adsorbed water, producing a voltage gradient across the device,” Yao said.

Similar experiments have been conducted previously using nano materials like graphene, but they only produced intermittent, short bursts of electricity, rather than a “continuous voltage output” like the Air Gen system.

Air-Gen reportedly produces a sustained voltage of 0.5 volts at 17 micro amperes per square centimeter; in other words, you’d need multiple Air-Gen devices linked together to charge your smartphone, so don’t throw out those solar panels just yet.

0.5 Volt and 17 micro ampere per centimeter, that would be 0.35 Watt/m2 or 0.5 Watt for a surface like that of 300 Watt standard panels.
Indeed, don’t throw away your solar panels. Useless.

Next.

[nature.com] – Power generation from ambient humidity using protein nanowires
[wikipedia.org] – Geobacter
[rt.com] – Researchers produce electricity out of thin air
[umass.edu] – UMass Amherst Generates Electricity ‘Out of Thin Air’
[spiegel.de] – Forscher erzeugen Strom aus Luftfeuchtigkeit

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.

[spiegel.de] – Mehr Wohlstand, weniger Überstunden

[wikipedia.org] – 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.

Renault K-ZE, the Poor-Man’s Tesla

Upbeat report by der Spiegel about the latest Renault K-ZE e-vehicle.

Made in China. 921 kilo. Touchscreen. 300 liter bagage.
Battery 27 kWh, 150 kilo (!).
Max speed 105 kmh. Range 271 km or 350 km at 60 kmh.
10 km = 1 kWh = 10 cent in the US or 20 cent in Europe at 100 kmh speed.
270 km = 2 weeks commuting for 2.70 in the US or 5.40 in Europe.

#TooCheapToMeter

Price: 10,000 euro if subsidies kick in. Price will probably be a few thousand higher in Europe.
The car will be available in China first in 2020 and perhaps 1-2 years later in Europe.

The argument that e-vehicles are “too expensive” no longer applies.

[spiegel.de] – So gut und günstig kann stromern sein
(So good and cheap can an e-vehicle be)
[elektrischeauto.nl] – RENAULT CITY K-ZE KOMT NAAR EUROPA
Renault K-ZE will be marketed in Europe for ca. 11k. Production in China only.

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.

[phys.org] – Storing energy in hydrogen 20 times more effective using platinum-nickel catalyst
[greencarcongress.com] – Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages as efficient catalysts for fuel cells
[tue.nl] – 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

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

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

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

Charging Your Car in Ten Minutes is Underway

[source]

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.

[dailymail.co.uk] – 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

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

[upsbatterycenter.com] – 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.

eHang 1st eVTOL Service Operational In December

[cleantechnica.com] – eHang Is About To Make Aviation History — 1st eVTOL Service Coming In December
[wikipedia.org] – EHang

LONGi 166 mm Wafers Becoming the New Norm

Many regular solar panels are based on mono-crystalline silicon wafers. The solar PV industry is moving towards larger wafers, from 125 to 156 mm, that reduce production cost. Further increase towards 166 mm has now been realized by wafer producer LONGi, realizing a wafer price of $0.49. This is the largest wafer size than can be realized with currently available production tools.

[pv-tech.org] – Why are monocrystalline wafers increasing in size?
[pv-tech.org] – How LONGi’s M6 wafer boosted module output ten years ahead of schedule
[pv-magazine.de] – Longi will 166-Millimeter-Wafer zum Industriestandard machen
[solarmagazine.nl] – LONGi: 2 gigawattpiek orders voor zonnepaneel met wafer van 166 millimeter

[source]

China’s Renewable Energy Ambitions

[source] Note that with given population numbers, current per capita energy use (USA 6800, EU 3200, China 2200 kg of oil equivalent, source World Bank), the impact of the Trump administration, as well as Chinese growth ambitions, Europe is destined to achieve a fossil fuel-free economy first.

The world’s biggest energy consumer is aiming for renewables to account for at least 35 per cent of electricity consumption by 2030, according to a revised draft plan from the National Development & Reform Commission seen by Bloomberg.

Chinese energy experts estimate that by 2050 the share of electricity from coal will decline to 30%-50%, and that the remaining 50%-70% will come from a combination of oil, natural gas, and renewable energy sources, including hydropower, nuclear power, biomass, solar energy, wind energy, and other renewable energy sources (Wikipedia).

China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) has written a draft policy that would increase the renewable energy target from 20% to 35% by 2030. (Cleantechnica)

[forbes.com] – China Is Set To Become The World’s Renewable Energy Superpower
[scmp.com] – China’s revised renewable target of 35% by 2030
[cleantechnica.com] – China Wants 75% Increase 2030 Renewable Energy Target
[wikipedia.org] – Renewable energy in China

Developments in Offshore Wind Jack-Up Market

New offshore wind installation mega-vessel “Voltaire”, able to lift 3,000 ton, ordered by Jan de Nul, Belgium, scheduled to become operational in 2022.

According to Bloomberg there are merely a dozen ships in the world that can install a large offshore wind turbine, which is understandable with a list price of ca. 300 million euro per ship. Currently almost all these vessels are operating in European waters. Europe is uniquely blessed with ca. 600,000 km2 shallow water with high wind speeds (North Sea, Baltic and Irish Sea, together an area larger than France) that can be utilized for offshore wind, in principle enough to supply the entire EU (300 GW on average), three-five times over.

[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age
[deepresource] – European Wind Energy Potential
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea
[deepresource] – Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential 2030

Principle offshore wind installation vessel illustrated. About one turbine foundation can be realized per day or 4 per week, if fetching a new batch in port is included. The next generation is 10 MW, 13 MW is in the pipeline. Take the Netherlands: 13 GW average electricity consumption. That could be covered by 1,000 wind turbines, or 2,000 rather, if a conservative capacity factor of 50% for large turbines is taken into account. That’s 500 weeks or 10 years installation time. So, a single ship can realize the electricity transition of a country like Holland in a decade. For 100% renewable primary energy we need to calculate twice the amount of electricity consumed today, that’s only two decades! Productivity could be significantly enhanced if a simple cheap barge and tugboat is used to fetch a new batch of 4-6 monopiles from the harbor in Rotterdam, Vlissingen or Eemshaven, while the expensive installation vessel Aeolus merrily hammers away full-time. In that case 4,000 13 MW turbines could be installed in 4,000 days or 11 years. Note that in the mean time a lot of additional solar and onshore wind capacity has been, c.q. will be built. In conclusion: this single ship Aeolus is able to complete the energy transition of the Netherlands, the #17 in the global GDP ranking before 2030, not 2050 as the EU demands. Most likely developing sufficient storage capacity will be the real bottleneck, not electricity generation capacity.

1600 GW waiting to be raked in. EU average power consumption 300 GW. The old continent has no conventional fossil fuel reserves worth mentioning, fortunately Europe doesn’t need to. Armed with the Paris Climate Accords, Europe effectively dissed everybody else his fossil fuel reserves and is offering a viable alternative instead.

Some recent developments in the fields of offshore jack-up vessels:

[bloomberg.com] – Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats
[auxnavaliaplus.org] – Vessels and platforms for the emerging wind market (pdf, 108p)
[deme-group.com] – DEME’s giant installation vessel ‘Orion’ launched in China
[a2sea.com] – A2SEA Invests in a New Jack-up Vessel
[4coffshore.com] – Construction Progressing for Next Gen Vessel
[cemreshipyard.com] – Offshore Vessels Demand for Offshore Wind Activities
[windenergie-magazine.nl] – Jan de Nul orders new installation vessel
[jandenul.com] – Getting ready for the next generation of offshore wind projects
[offshorewind.biz] – Jan De Nul Orders Mega Jack-Up
[industryreports24.com] – Massive hike by Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Market
[renews.biz] – Japan joins offshore wind jack-up brigade
[maritime-executive.com] – Wind Tower Service Firm Plans to Build Jones Act Ships
[iro.nl] – New design jack-up vessels to strengthen Ulstein’s offshore wind ambitions
[newenergyupdate.com] – Flurry US offshore vessel deals prepares market for huge turbines

Water Electrolysis Catalyst Technology State-of-the-Art

[source]
Abstract:

Production of hydrogen by water splitting is an appealing solution for sustainable energy storage.Development of bifunctional catalysts that are active for both the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) andthe oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a key factor in enhancing electrochemical water splitting activityand simplifying the overall system design. Here, recent developments in HER–OER bifunctional catalystsare reviewed. Several main types of bifunctional water splitting catalysts such as cobalt-, nickel- andiron-based materials are discussed in detail. Particular attention is paid to their synthesis, bifunctionalcatalytic activity and stability, and strategies for activity enhancement. The current challenges faced arealso concluded and future perspectives towards bifunctional water splitting electrocatalysts are proposed

[researchgate.net] – A review on noble-metal-free bifunctional heterogeneous catalysts for overall electrochemical water splitting
[phys.org] – High-efficiency, low-cost catalyst for water electrolysis

World’s Largest Chinese Jackup Vessel With 2000 Ton Crane

Lifting capacity: 2000 ton, sufficient for 10 MW turbines.

[xindemarinenews.com] – World’s largest offshore wind platform delivered in E.China

1600 Ton Offshore Wind Monopiles in China

To be built in a series of 500. Realization 5 months. Principal: SPIC Guangdong Electric Power Co., Ltd. Destined for Chinese record water depth of 37 m and 3.2 GW project power.

[offshorewind.biz] – Record-Breaking Monopiles Roll Out in China

New Chinese e-SUV with Interchangeable Battery

Go to [3:45] to see how this works.

[spiegel.de] – Akku, wechsel’ dich!

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