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Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “China”

Chinese Solar Farm in Desert Restores Ecosystem

Once totally barren and called the “sea of death,” China’s 7th largest desert Kubuqi takes on a new look after years of green efforts. Follow Xinhua’s Zhao Zehui to a solar farm in Kubuqi to explore how it combines planting, breeding and green power generation.

710 MW solar park.

Why China Can’t Keep The Lights On

China on the Verge of Testing a Thorium Reactor

China is about to start up a thorium reactor in the desert in the North of China. The output of the prototype is sufficient for merely 1000 homes. If the test delivers the desired results, an upscaled model will be designed to power 100,000 homes. In the long run, China intends to export this technology.

A few key data points concerning thorium: no plutonium, waste radio-active for 300, rather than tens of thousands of years, half-life 30 years, far more thorium reserves than uranium (think thousands of years), 1 gram thorium = 2500 liter gasoline. China and others think that commercial thorium reactors could be operational by 2040.

Is everything rosy? Perhaps, perhaps not. The main concern is that intense radiation and corrosive salts, combined with high temperatures, could damage the reactor over a few years. Only time will tell. But the world will be watching the developments in China with great interest.

[nature.com] – China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor
[livescience.com] – China is gearing up to activate commercial nuclear reactor
[france24.com] – Why China is developing a thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor
[wikipedia.org] – Thorium-based nuclear power
[wikipedia.org] – Occurrence of thorium
[volkskrant.nl] – China een stap dichter bij een thorium reactor
[Google Maps] – Wuwei, location thorium reactor

Installation Ships for 20+ MW Wind Turbines Ordered

Two GustoMSC™ designed NG-20000X jackup ships, capable of handling 20+ MW offshore wind turbines, have been ordered at COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry by Cadeler. Expected delivery date: 2024-2025. GustoMSC is a daughter company of NOV. These ships will be the largest in the industry. Siemens has already reserved the future vessel for work at a UK wind farm.

[offshorewind.biz] – NOV to Design and Equip Cadeler’s New X-Class Offshore Wind Jack-Ups
[nl.wikipedia.org] – GustoMSC (NL)
[cadeler.com] – Cadeler corporate site (DK)
[wikipedia.org] – COSCO (CN)
[nov.com] – We power the industry that powers the world (US)

MingYang Launches 16 MW Offshore Wind Turbine

Yet another renewable energy world record: MingYang launches a 16 MW offshore wind turbine, called MySE 16.0-242.

Key data:

Rotor diameter – 242 m
Electricity production: 80,000 MWh/year
Market introduction: 2024

[myse.com.cn] – MingYang Smart Energy launches MySE 16.0-242, the world’s largest offshore Hybrid Drive wind turbine

BYD Blade Battery Breakthrough

BYD of China has introduced a lithium-iron-phosphate blade-shaped battery, that should replace conventional cylinder-shaped batteries. The BYD e-platform 3.0 promises advantages on energy density (and hence range, now up to 900 km), charge time (135 km range in 5 minutes), safety, cost, longevity (3000 cycles or 1.2 million km) and environment (elimination of cobalt).

With breathtaking down-to-earth specs like these, it can be foreseen that the public will flock en masse to e-vehicles, replacing the green avant-garde that had more high-minded environmental motives to support the mobility transition.

Well, what-ever it takes to get the job done.

An avalanche of e-vehicle adoption will trigger an avalanche of demand for green power generation. The average daily distance driven in NW-Europe is about 34 km (Netherlands). A 900 km range means an average visit interval to the charging station of 26 days. This results in beneficial storage consequences; it isn’t exactly seasonal storage, but it is much longer than pumped hydro capacity of basins high in the mountains of Norway.

[automotiveworld.com] – BYD Blade Battery set to revolutionise EV market
[greencarreports.com] – BYD next-generation EV platform: Up to 600 miles, 800V charging, optimized efficiency
[wikipedia.org] – Lithium iron phosphate battery
[wikipedia.org] – BYD Auto

The BYD blade configuration even offers structural reinforcement to the car.

The US Missed Out on Access to $1-3 Trillion Afghan Resources

[source] China has a new client state.

The prominent Dutch newspaper Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant (NRC) sees the recent events in Afghanistan as the Death Knell to American Hegemony. The NRC is a US-friendly newspaper, like all media in Western Europe, empire thingy.

A few hours after the Taliban took over power in Kabul, the Chinese already signaled to be ready for friendly relations with these warriors, straight from the 7th century. Afghanistan is very mineral rich; most interesting potential: lithium, rare earths, gold, silver, zinc, iron.

But most interesting are the lithium deposits, that could be one of the largest reserves in the world, matching those in size of South-America:

[mining.com] – $1 Trillion Motherlode of Lithium and Gold Discovered in Afghanistan

A recently unearthed 2007 United States Geological Service survey appears to have discovered nearly $1 trillion in mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself.

The US suffered a major geopolitical defeat, and an unnecessary one. The willing European allies were caught by surprise by this blunder (Alzheimer president, Alzheimer policies). For the unwillingness to pay a small price of an occupation force of merely a few thousand troops, the West lost access to immense commodity reserves. China got Afghanistan and its resources thrown into its lap, thank you very much!

And another major potential geopolitical fact has been overlooked so far, namely that China now has a land bridge to Iran via Afghanistan as well, after it acquired a first one since 2015, via Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan, nice-to-have’s for the Chinese and their New Silk Road project. Don’t be surprised that one day, when the dust has settled, China, Afghanistan and Iran announce the construction of a pipeline between Iran and China over Afghan territory, making China less vulnerable to Anglo maritime blockades of the Gulf. Dirt-poor Afghanistan needs to be propped up economically by some Big Spender, who doesn’t interfere with internal policies and value-systems. That big spender is going to be China, not the West.

[Stratfor] China now has TWO landbridges to Iran and the Gulf: Pakistan and Afghanistan. SCO (Russia + China) now dominates everything between the Arctic Sea and the Gulf and Himalaya. The Godfather of modern geopolitics, Halford John Mackinder, is turning in his grave.

Expect China to operate much smarter that then West, that tried in vain to impose its insane globalist-Marxist ideologies onto a deeply Islamic country. The US research institute Pew noted in 2013 [*] that Afghanistan is the most archaic Islamic country on earth, with 99% supporting the Sharia as the desired law of the land and no less than 85% supported stoning [**] as an acceptable form of punishment. The reason why the Taliban took over the country in record time, was that the Taliban IS Afghanistan. Western media love to present rare liberal-minded female Afghan collaborators from Kabul without headwear, but these people are the exception. The vast majority supports the Taliban.

In 1980, the USSR invaded Afghanistan in order to keep a communist regime in the saddle. The Soviets lost the war against the Jihadists, were forced to withdraw, and shortly after, their society collapsed. Expect a similar result for America, after abandoning the “Graveyard of Empires”, and having to face the 2nd test: the Chinese Hong Kong-style take-over of Taiwan. The US will fail to protect that country as well. After that exercise, Beijing will own Taiwan, with its main economic asset, TSMC, responsible for perhaps 50% of the world’s chip production, the numbers vary depending on who you ask:

[economist.com] – How TSMC has mastered the geopolitics of chipmaking

The most important firm in this critical business is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (tsmc). It controls 84% of the market for chips with the smallest, most efficient circuits on which the products and services of the world’s biggest technology brands, from Apple in America to Alibaba in China, rely.

[asia.nikkei.com] – The $490bn question: Can the world afford its Taiwan chip dependence?

Asia has become the heart of global semiconductor production as the industry has grown, thanks partly to the international division of labor between design and manufacturing. Taiwan and South Korea together account for about 43% of semiconductor production capacity worldwide, according to a Boston Consulting Group report. The U.S. has dropped 7 percentage points over the past two decades to 12%, and has been surpassed by China at 15%.

It’s obvious that Taiwan is FAR more important than Hong Kong. If Beijing takes back their “renegade province”, China will dominate the global chip market.

For Europe, the situation isn’t that dire, because it is a little known fact that the Dutch company of ASML controls more than 90% of the market for chips manufacturing machines (yours faithfully is intimately acquainted with ASML, from the inside). ASML, not TSMC, Intel, Apple, Samsung, etc., holds all the technological cards, meaning that China won’t have that much long-term leverage over Europe. But over the US, they will have.

If the EU decided to forbid exporting these machines to China, Japan and the US, said countries would fall back to the industrial Stone Age in a couple of years. Tantalizing thought. Whatever, the EU is well advised with reducing its chips manufacturing capacity from East-Asia, as the EU intends to do.

[dw.de] – Afghanistan: Taliban to reap $1 trillion mineral wealth
[cnn.com] – The Taliban are sitting on $1 trillion worth of minerals the world desperately needs
[n-tv.de] – Taliban sitzen auf riesigem Lithium-Vorkommen
[rtlnieuws.nl] – China wil Afghaanse grondstoffen: er ligt voor meer dan 1000 miljard

[source] Afghan mineral resource map

Read more…

100 MW CSP Plant in China

The molten-salt concentrated solar power plant is located in Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province. The 100MW power plant, also called the “super mirror power plant”, works by using 12,000 mirrors that concentrate the sunlight onto a receiver at the top of a solar tower, which then heats the molten salt. It is designed to generate 390 million kWh of power annually, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 350,000 metric tons per year.

[globaltimes.cn] – CPC emblem displayed at solar thermal power plant shows romance in hardcore technology
[cspfocus.cn] – Super Mirror Power Plant in Gansu, NW China
[Google Maps] – Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu

World’s Largest Offshore Converter Station In Place

The world’s largest offshore converter station has been installed at the Jiangsu Rudong offshore wind farm in China’s Yellow Sea.

Key data: 1.1 GW, sourced from 3 offshore wind farms, 100 km offshore, 2.4 TWh or 1.36 million households. Weight 22 kTon.

[offshorewind.biz] – World’s Largest Offshore Converter Station In Place
[Google Maps] – approximate location in the Yellow Sea

CATL’s Sodium-Ion Battery – Better than Lithium?

[wikipedia.org] – Contemporary Amperex Technology

Chinese Offshore Wind Installation Vessel Capsized

Installing offshore wind turbines, with a ship on stilts, remains a risky business. The Chinese Sheng Ping 001 jack-up vessel has toppled on July 25. Four people are missing from a crew of 65.

[offshorewind.biz] – Four Missing After Jack-Up Vessel Tilts at Offshore Wind Farm in China

Other jack-up ship accidents in the past (Denmark and Africa):

First Chinese Offshore Wind Farm Past 1 GW

Pictures from another offshore wind farm near Yangjiang (Nanpeng island).

China Three Gorges (CTG) Renewables has announced that its Shaba (Shapa) offshore wind project, currently under construction off the city of Yangjiang in Guangdong Province, surpassed an installed capacity of 1 GW on 15 July, making it China’s first GW-range offshore wind farm.

[offshorewind.biz] – China Gets Its First Gigawatt-Range Offshore Wind Farm

CATL – The World’s Largest Battery Manufacturer

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (Chinese: 宁德时代), abbreviated as CATL, is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011 that specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems (BMS)… According to SNE Research, in the year of 2020, CATL’s EV battery consumption volume ranks No.1 in the world for four consecutive years…. In June 2020, CATL’s founder Zeng Yuqun announced that the company had achieved a battery for electric vehicles rated as good for 1 million miles (or 2 million kilometers) and was waiting to receive orders.

[wikipedia.org] – Contemporary Amperex Technology

Read more…

China rolls out first renewable energy sky train

Youtube text:

A glass-bottom sky train of China’s first renewable energy-suspension railway demonstration line rolled off in southwest China’s Chengdu on June 26. The sky train has glass paneling on three sides, offering passengers on board a stunning 270-degree view. The maximum capacity of one carriage is 120 people. Driven by new energy resources, the sky train is greener and more economical. According to its developer, the train tops out at 80 kilometers per hour and costs only about one-sixth to one-eighth of a regular subway.

Baihetan Hydropower Station

The Baihetan Dam is a large hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River, an upper stretch of the Yangtze River in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, in the southwest of China. The dam is a 277 m tall double-curvature arch dam with a crest elevation of 827 m, and a width of 72 m at the base and 13 m at the crest. It is considered the last large hydropower project in China to be completed since a series of projects starting with the Three Gorges Dam, the third largest dam in China and the fourth in the world, in terms of dam volume. The facility will generate power by utilizing 16 turbines, each with a generating capacity of 1,000 MW, taking the generating capacity to 16,000 MW. In terms of generating capacity, it will be the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world, after the Three Gorges Dam.

The new hydropower station will be fully operational by the end of 2022.

[wikipedia.org] – Baihetan Dam
[globaltimes.cn] – World’s largest hydropower project under construction starts operations marking China’s world leadership

First Chinese Offshore Wind Turbine Installed Abroad

The first Chinese offshore wind turbine was installed off the coast of Vietnam, a modest GW155-3.3MW.

[offshorewind.biz] – Goldwind Goes International as First Offshore Wind Turbine Outside China Stands

Chinese Greenhouses

[lowtechmagazine.com] – Reinventing the Greenhouse
[resilience.org] – Solar greenhouses, Chinese-style

Read more…

How China Won Solar (& Why Germany Lost)

Chinese Plan 20 MW Offshore Wind Installer Ships

The Belgian jack-up company Jan de Nul gave the good example earlier and will have a 3000 ton offshore weight-lifting champ “Voltaire” operational in 2022.

Now the Chinese have announced plans to do the same:

The deal with compatriot offshore wind contractor Boqiang Heavy Industry Group will see CIMC Raffles deliver the first of numerous 3060 WTIV-series vessels in the first quarter of 2023… This vessel will be equipped with a giant crane — to be supplied by Huisman that will have lifting capacity of 2200 tonnes — a rack and pinion jacking system that will enable the vessel to operate in wave height of 2.5 metres… It will be capable of installing turbines of up to 20MW.

[upstreamonline.com] – CIMC Raffles nets deal to build novel offshore wind vessels amid energy transition drive
[offshorewind.biz] – CIMC to Build Next-Gen Wind Installation Vessel for OIM
[deepresource] – Voltaire Mega-Jackup Vessel under Construction
[deepresource] – Developments in Offshore Wind Jack-Up Market

Global Offshore Wind Champions 2020

Country Power (MW)
China 3,060
Netherlands 1,500
Belgium 706
UK 483
Germany 237

[offshorewind.biz] – China Close to Overtaking UK in Offshore Wind Capacity Rankings

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