The World Economic Forum studied 115 countries to see which ones were the best prepared to achieve the renewable energy transition first. The result was no surprise: Europe is best positioned, just like last year.
The report says despite the diversity of the top performing nations in their primary energy mix, systems and resources, they all share certain characteristics, demonstrating a combination of technical advances and effective policy-making and implementation.
Countries with high ETI scores also performed well on their readiness for energy transition, with Finland topping that list, followed by Denmark, and Austria in third.
Again, these countries have commonalities: stable regulatory frameworks, innovative business environments capable of attracting investment and strong political commitment to energy transition.
[weforum.org] – European Countries Are The Most Ready For Global Energy Transition
Data from an EU report concerning electrolyser and fuel cell technology in Europe. Today, hydrogen is mostly produced from natural gas and only 4% from electrolysis. In the light of the Paris Climate Accords and renewable energy policy of the EU this could very well change drastically, and soon. The data presented here is already 5 years old. Technology has progressed since.
Within the EU Project HELMETH, Efficiency of Methane Gas Production from Renewable Electricity Increased to more than 75 Percent due to Thermal Linking of Chemical Processes. The natural gas network may serve as a buffer for weather-dependent electricity from the wind and sun. This requires economically efficient processes to use electricity for the production of chemical energy carriers. The EU project HELMETH coordinated by KIT has now made an important step. It has demonstrated that high-temperature electrolysis and methanation can be combined in a power-to-gas process with an efficiency of more than 75 percent.
One of the participants in the Helmeth project is the German company Sunfire, specialized in hydrogen production via high-temperature electrolysis of water. In the diagram above they do the conversion from O2 and electricity in and H2 out.
[source] Sunfire’s key technology is the PowerCore — a stack of high-temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs). The PowerCore can be used both as an electrolyser to convert electrical energy into chemical energy, and as a fuel cell to convert various liquid and gaseous fuels based on hydrocarbons (natural gas, LPG) into electricity and heat.
US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is not a reason to stop the project, stated European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger on December 28. He said that any attempts to prevent the construction will encounter serious opposition as the construction is already underway.
This confirmation of commitment to the project comes after the EU parliament adopted a resolution to halt the construction of the pipeline that is currently underway. It would be a major breach of trust between Russia and Europe, exactly what the Americans hope to achieve.
[uawire.org] – EU: construction of Nord Stream 2 hard to stop
[dw.com] – Nord Stream 2 pipeline row just got dirty
[reuters.com] – AKK suggests reduced gas flow through Nordstream II
[offshoreenergytoday.com] – EU Parliament calls for Nord Stream 2 to be stopped
[spiegel.de] – Trittin verteidigt Nord Stream 2
[carnegieeurope.eu] – The (German) Politics of Nord Stream 2
[wikipedia.org] – Nordstream
The narrator suggests that US lobby groups in Brussels were responsible for the EU parliament resolution to halt Nordstream-2.
From Executive Summary:
In 2017, renewable energy again accounted for the overwhelming majority (85 %) of new EU electricity-generating capacity… The EU-wide share of renewable energy in final EU energy use increased from 16.7 % in 2015 to 17.0 % in 2016 and to an expected 17.4 % in 2017… However, the average yearly growth in the RES share slowed down in 2016 and2017, compared with the average annual pace of growth recorded between 2005 and 2015. As shown elsewhere (EEA, 2018b), the slower RES progress in recent years can largely be attributed to increasing energy consumption across Europe. Although installed renewable capacity has continued to grow, the proportion of energy from renewable sources has fallen as more energy from non-renewable sources is consumed… The increased use of renewable energy sources since 2005 allowed the EU to cut its fossil fuel use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions by more than one tenth in 2017.
[eea.europa.eu] – Renewable energy in Europe — 2018
Dublin, Ireland-based Gaelectric was granted €90m in European Union backing for a compressed air energy storage (CAES) project due to be built in Larne, east Antrim, on the Northern Irish coast. (2017).
The funding came on top of €15m in previous grants, the BBC reported. The Larne CAES project, due for completion around 2022, is a European project of common interest that will generate up to 330MW of power for up to six hours.
Editor: hopefully Brexit won’t ruin this project.
[energystoragereport.info] – Europe chases GWh energy storage
[wikipedia.org] – Compressed air energy storage (CAES)
[arup.com] – Storing compressed air energy in underground caverns
[energycentral.com] – EU Funds 330-MW Northern Ireland CAES Storage Project
[cleantechnica.com] – Additional €8.3 Million For Northern Ireland Energy Storage Project
Source: [eera-set.eu] – Gaelectric Energy Storage –> 54% efficiency
[warwick.ac.uk] – CAES presentation ParkID/Franc Mouwen
From the report conclusions:
Compare the (nameplate [*]) figures below with the current average EU electricity consumption of 300 GW.
EWEA’s new Central Scenario expects 320 GW of wind energy capacity to be installed in the EU in 2030, 254 GW of onshore wind and 66 GW of offshore wind. That would be more than twice as much as the installed capacity in 2014 (129 GW) and an increase of two thirds from the expected capacity installed in 2020 (192 GW).
Wind energy will produce 778 TWh of electricity, equal to 24.4% of the EU’s electricity demand. The wind energy industry will provide over 334,000 direct and indirect jobs in the EU and wind energy installations in 2030 will be worth €474 bn. The 96,000 wind turbines installed on land and in the sea will avoid the emission of 436 million of tonnes (Mt) of CO2. EWEA’s Low Scenario only foresees 251 GW of wind energy installations, 22% lower than in the Central Scenario, equal to meet 19% of EU electricity demand in 2030. Such level of installations would mean 307,000 jobs in the wind energy sector, €367 bn worth of investments, 339 Mt of CO2 emissions avoided and 76,000 wind turbines installed and connected to the grid in 2030. The High Scenario expects 392 GW installed in 2030, 23% higher than in the Central Scenario, equal to meet 31% of EU electricity demand. 366,000 jobs will be generated, as well as €591 bn of investments, 554 Mt of CO2 emissions would be avoided and 114,000 wind turbines generating electricity in the EU would be installed.
[ewea.org] – Wind energy scenarios for 2030
[*] – “Nameplate power” is the power value the manufacturer associates with his product.
Wind: a 5 MW offshore wind turbine means that under optimal conditions the turbines can generate 5 MW. In reality the conditions are seldom optimal. In case of wind power the bridge between ideal and reality is formed by the concept of “capacity factor“. Currently for North Sea offshore wind, for 5-6 MW turbines, that capacity factor is ca 0.5. For very large 15-20 MW turbines that factor is expected to level off at 0.65 or 65%. In other words, a 5 MW turbine in the North Sea generates 0.5 x 5 MW = 2.5 MW on average (24/7/365).
Solar: standard solar panels of 100 cm x 160 cm can have nameplate 300 Watt. That means that if you put one in the Sahara, on a usually very bright day, tilted towards the sun, you can expect the panel to generate 300 Watt. In countries with mediocre solar conditions, like Holland, the reality is far less rosy. As a rule of thumb, if you want to know how many kWh’s this 300 Watt panel will produce over a year, multiply the peak-Watt value (300 Watt) with an experience factor of 0.85, to arrive at the kWh’s your 300 Watt panel will produce over a year: 300 x 0.85 = 255 kWh. And since a year has 365 x 24 = 8760 hours, the average power your proud “300 Watt panel” will generate 255,000 Wh/8760h = 29 Watt on average (24/7/365).
14 December 2017 – An ultra-low cost reusable rocket engine, Prometheus, using liquid oxygen–methane propellants, is set to power Europe’s future launchers. Today, ESA and ArianeGroup signed a contract to develop a full-scale demonstrator to be ground tested in November 2020. Prometheus demonstrates the systematic application of an extreme design-to-cost approach, new propellant and innovative manufacturing technologies. It lowers costs to a tenth of those for Ariane 5’s Vulcain 2 engine.
[esa.int] – Prometheus to power future launchers
[wikipedia.org] – Prometheus (rocket engine)
[eucass.eu] – Prometheus, a LOX/LCH4 Reusable Rocket Engine
[spacenews.com] – ESA kickstarts Prometheus reusable engine with first funding tranche
[spacenews.com] – France, Germany studying reusability with a subscale flyback booster
[popularmechanics.com] – Europe Is Building Its Own Reusable Rocket
14 June 2018 – The ESA Council met today in Paris to discuss the path towards the future exploitation of Ariane 6. In view of the progress made in the Ariane 6 programme, Participating States have decided on the completion of the development up to full operational capability and agreed to fund industrial incentives associated with the development of Ariane 6 and P120C solid rocket motor.
[esa.int] – ESA decides to complete Ariane 6
[wikipedia.org] – Ariane 6
[twitter.com] – Ariane 6
[arianespace.com] – Ariane 6 user manual
[flugrevue.de] – Erster Startauftrag für die Ariane 6 [9/2017]
[wikipedia.org] – List of pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations
(world-wide, over 1000 MW)
Arguments pro and con.
[greentechmedia.com] – Why Norway Can’t Become Europe’s Battery Pack
[greentechmedia.com] – The Debate Over Norway’s Ability to Become a Hydro Battery for Europe Is Surprisingly Robust
[greentechmedia.com] – Norway Could Provide 20,000MW of Energy Storage to Europe
[eera-set.eu] – European Energy Storage Technology Development Roadmap Towards 2030 –
[ec.europa.eu] – Energy storage
[store-project.eu] – stoRE – Final Publishable Report (pdf)
[store-project.eu] – Facilitating energy storage to allow high penetration of variable Renewable Energy (pdf)
[setis.ec.europa.eu] – Mapping of energy storage innovation in Europe
[wikipedia.org] – International storage projects
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.