[reuters.com] – Siemens, Airbus, Rolls-Royce team up on hybrid-electric propulsion
BioAlgaeSorb is an EU-Norwegian project. From the Cordis site:
The BioAlgaeSorb collaboration will benefit European SME-AGs in diverse business sectors by developing technologies for remediating and valorising industrial and agricultural/aquacultural effluents via microalgae cultivation. The resultant microalgal biomass will form a carbon neutral, environmentally sustainable raw material that is a source for commercially valuable end products, among them renewable energy. The set task is to utilise unwanted effluents as nutrient sources for photosynthetic microalgae, thereby reducing effluent discharge by SMEs and yielding high quality biomass which will be harvested and upgraded using an integrated biorefinery approach into valuable products.
The “raw technical potential” of wind power in Europe is enormous, if you keep in mind that in 2015 total EU electricity consumption was in the order of 3000 TWh. However in reality there are constraints, mostly of esthetical nature.
This study confirms that wind energy can play a major role in achieving the European renewable energy targets. As Table ES.1 makes apparent, the extent of wind energy resources in Europe is very considerable. Leaving aside some of the environmental, social and economic considerations, Europe’s raw wind energy potential is huge. Turbine technology projections suggest that it may be equivalent to almost 20 times energy demand in 2020.
Onshore, the environmental constraints considered appear to have limited impact on wind energy potential. When Natura 2000 and other designated areas are excluded, onshore technical potential decreased by just 13.7 % to 39000 TWh. However, social constraints, particularly concerns regarding the visual impact of wind farms, may further limit the onshore wind energy development.
Offshore, the environmental and social constraints applied have a larger impact on potential. Using only 4 % of the offshore area within 10 km from the coast and accounting for the restrictions imposed by shipping lane, gas and oil platforms, military areas, Natura 2000 areas etc. reduces the potential by more than 90 % (to 2800 TWh in 2020 and 3500 in 2030). When production costs are compared to the PRIMES baseline average electricity generation cost, the onshore potential for wind decreases to 9600 TWh in 2020, whereas offshore wind potential decreases to 2600 TWh. Despite being a small proportion of the total technical potential, the economically competitive wind energy potential still amounts to more than three times projected demand in 2020. However, high penetration levels of wind power will require major changes to the grid system i.e. at higher penetration levels additional extensions or upgrades both for the transmission and the distribution grid might be required to avoid congestion…
A annual electricity generation of 3000 TWh is equivalent of 342 GW continuous average power.
Amadeus is a EU project that investigates the potential to store large amounts of energy in high-temperature molten materials, like silicon and boron.
1414 °C is the melting point of silicon. A company in Adelaide, Australia, has named itself 1414 Degrees and claims to have achieved a breakthrough in energy storage by bringing down storage cost per kWh with a factor of 10 compared with lithium-ion. Based on the latent heat in molten silicon. Energy is fed to containers with silicon in order to melt it. Due to the high latent heat capacity of silicon, much energy is stored during the phase change from solid to fluid silicon. A cube with a rib of 70 cm is said to be able to store 500 kWh. Silicon has a density of 2.33 ton/m3. One tone or 429 liter silicon would suffice to power 28 homes for a day. That would amount to 36 times the capacity of a 14-kWh Tesla Powerwall-2 lithium-ion battery. The company however doesn’t target individual households and doesn’t aim to compete with batteries but instead is aiming at “district heating, major industry, electricity producers and suburb-scale residential developments”. At a large scale the claim is that 1 MWh can be stored at the cost of $70,- or 7 cent/kWh. The number of charge/discharge cycles is said to be virtually unlimited.
[amadeus-project.eu] – EU Amadeus project
[puretemp.com] – Extremely high-temperature TES prototype development in Europe
[wikipedia.org] – Thermionic emission
[aip.scitation.org] – Hybrid thermionic-photovoltaic converter
[ec.europa.eu] – What is Horizon 2020?
[cordis.europa.eu] – Next GenerAtion MateriAls and Solid State DevicEs for Ultra High Temperature Energy Storage and Conversion
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Europe to Lead Research Project for Energy Storage in Molten Silicon
[upm.es] – Innovative molten silicon-based energy storage system
[1414degrees.com.au] – Official site
[theengineer.co.uk] – Molten silicon used for thermal energy storage
[wikipedia.org] – Latent heat
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Silicon Energy Storage Technology Scales Up for Commercial Production
[greentechmedia.com] – Startup Says Molten Silicon Will Make Lithium-Ion Storage ‘Uneconomic.’
[nextbigfuture.com] – Molten Silicon thermal energy storage system has higher energy density and ten times lower cost than lithium ion batteries for utility storage
From the official site:
Hydrogen Europe (formerly known as NEW-IG) is the leading European industry association representing over 100 companies and national associations in the fuel cells and hydrogen sector.
Following the renewal of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking under Horizon 2020 (budget 1.3 billion EUR), the association decided to step up its ambition in advocacy towards EU policy-makers beyond this partnership and thereby transform Hydrogen Europe into a full-fledged European industry body with full external reach.
In so achieving, Hydrogen Europe is building a second pillar within the association comprising European National and Regional fuel cell and hydrogen associations. The underlining objective is to bring together fuel cell and hydrogen industry and national/regional associations in order to streamline and enhance advocacy efforts and ultimately strengthen the European fuel cell and hydrogen sector as a whole.
The key aim of HyTrEc 2 is to create conditions so that a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles market can develop, and promote the NSR as a Centre for Excellence for fuel cells and range extenders. The project will reduce the cost of hydrogen vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions by:
[4coffshore.com] – Ports in NW-Europe with offshore wind facilities
Inventory of North Sea ports that function as hubs in the offshore wind construction boom. Esbjerg in Denmark is no doubt the #1 in scale. Other important hubs in no particular order:
Orange Blue Terminal, Eemshaven in The Netherlands.
Offshore Wind Port Bremerhaven in Germany.
Cuxhaven, Germany offshore terminal
Here an interview with Dr Gregor Czisch, a consultant specializing in energy supply at the firm Transnational Renewables Consulting. Dr. Czisch likes to think big. His area of expertise and passion is to design a big picture for renewable energy. On a continental scale no less. The largest hindrance of large scale implementation of renewable energy is its intermittent character: no solar energy at night or during periods of cloudy skies and rain or several days of no wind worth mentioning. The problem is not so much producing large amounts of kWh’s in a renewable fashion, the problem is to make supply meet demand. Although there is still much room for further improvement of wind and solar energy production, in essence we have reached a mature state of technology already. The bottleneck currently is storage.
To make a long story short: according to Dr. Czisch a major contribution to breaking down hurdles standing in the way of a 100% renewable energy future would be to strive for a “super grid” on o continental scale. Both in Europe and America. The greatest obstacle in realizing that aim is of a political nature, not technical.
Dr. Czisch has made mathematical models for both Europe and the United States that show that the larger the integrated area of renewable energy generation is, the lesser intermittency will be a problem.
[germaninnovation.org] – Talking about the Super Grid
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea
[isesco.org.ma] – Supergrids for Balancing Variable Renewables
[solarwerkstatt.org] – Vollversorgung aus erneuerbaren Energien
[de.wikipedia.org] – Gregor Czisch
[amazon.com] – Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply: CostOptimised Variations on Supplying Europe and its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies
Between 1990 and 2014 Europe reduced emissions of greenhouse gases with 23%, yet at the same time increased its real term GDP with 46%.
An new report titled “Unleashing Europe’s offshore wind potential” by London-based renewable energy consultancy BVG Associates paints an optimistic picture for the European offshore wind sector. Currently we have 12.6 GW installed in shallow European waters. By 2030 the offshore wind share to the EU electricity production could be 7-11%, which constitutes merely a fraction of the true potential of three European bassins: the Baltic, North Sea and Atlantic from France to the north of the UK.
Key findings for offshore wind:
[bvgassociates.com] – Company site
The 64p pdf report, free download in return for your email address:
[source] Overview border-crossing power exchanges.
In 2007, the EU was importing 82% of its oil and 57% of its gas, which then made it the world’s leading importer of these fuels. Russia, Canada, Australia, Niger and Kazakhstan were the five largest suppliers of nuclear materials to the EU, supplying more than 75% of the total needs in 2009. In 2015, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes.
The European Union has a decarbonisation policy that aims at phasing out most fossil fuels by 2050 (original goal: 95% cut from 1990 levels). Purpose: minimization climate change and help keeping global warming under 2 °C.
[wikipedia.org] – Energy policy of the European Union
Renewable energy sources, that are supposed to replace fossil fuel, are notoriously intermittent. This requires a continental grid where large amounts of energy can be transported from one country to another. In 2002 the EU decided that by 2020 every member state should be able to acquire at least 10% of its electricity needs from neighboring states. Currently 22 out of 28 EU member states are on track, c.q. have already achieved that aim.
[energypost.eu] – The Great Grid Special: where is Europe going with its grids?
In the 2014 the EU proposed to extend the 2020-10% target to 2030-15%:
Long distance electricity transport over thousands of kilometers is extremely cheap and efficient, with costs of US$ 0.005–0.02 / kWh. As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for direct-current transmission was determined to be 7,000 kilometres (4,300 miles). The consequence is that it is possible to contemplate the design of intercontinental grids, where offshore wind energy from Northern Europe (North Sea, Irish Sea and Baltic) can be combined with abundant solar energy from Northern Africa, the Sahara and even Saudi-Arabia (ignoring political aspects).
[wikipedia.org] – Electric power transmission
It is these kind of considerations that have led to the idea of the “European Super Grid”
[wikipedia.org] – European super grid
The outgoing oil age was dominated by the so-called Seven Sisters, the giant Anglo [*] oil companies Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP), Gulf Oil (later part of Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil Company of California (SoCal, now Chevron), Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Esso, later Exxon), Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony, later Mobil, now part of ExxonMobil), Texaco (later merged into Chevron).
[*] – if we categorize the Dutch as “Anglo-Germans”.
[wikipedia.org] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)
It looks like wind is going to play a major role in the energy generation of the 21st century, taking over from 20th century oil and that this time the rising industry will be dominated by European firms:
The report underscores that SEE possesses vast technical renewable energy potential – equal to some 740 GW.” This renewable energy potential is dominated by wind and solar. “The region’s wind energy (532 GW) and solar PV (120 GW) potential is largely untapped, and 127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.”
[irena.org] – Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe (pdf 124p)
[cleantechnica.com] – 790 Gigawatts of Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Potential in South East Europe
Everybody prefers to talk about wind and PV-solar when it comes to renewable energy. The reality is that electricity is only a relatively small part of the energy consumption of private households. Take the energy consumption of Dutch households:
[clo.nl] – Energieverbruik door huishoudens, 1990-2013
Natural gas: 3/4 (space heating, cooking, bath)
Electricity: 1/4 (lights, TV, fridge, freezer, router, etc)
In other words: the greater challenge is to replace fossil fuel for heating purposes with renewable sources. Two major renewable sources for heating are
1) thermal solar
The problem with thermal solar is the mismatch between supply and demand. You need heat in the Winter but the sun shines mostly in the Summer. Apparently a major breakthrough has been achieved in storing large amounts of solar heat in molten salts.