Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “EU”

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.

[] – Mehr Wohlstand, weniger Überstunden

[] – 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.

Offshore Wind: Can the US Catch up with Europe?

[source] The red area between England, Holland, Germany and Denmark is shallow water, where monopiles can be installed and combined with excellent average wind speed, is ideal for wind power.

Key Findings:

 Europe has more than 90 percent of the world’s total installed offshore wind capacity, and will continue to
dominate the offshore wind market for years to come.

 Differing estimates say Europe will have 23.5 – 40 GW of offshore wind by 2020, and 43.8 – 150 GW by 2030.

 The United States is expected to ramp up its deployment of offshore wind—with three gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020, 22 GW by 2030, and 86 GW by 2050—which will spur the development of a U.S. supply chain.

 China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Taiwan all have ambitious offshore wind targets, adding up to 35 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2020.

 European companies have decades of experience installing offshore wind farms, and stand to gain the most from offshore wind’s global expansion.

[] – Offshore Wind: Can the United States Catch up with Europe?

European Green Deal

Around the globe several ‘Green (New) Deals’ exist. In the European context is means:

On December 11, 2019, the European Commission presented its European Green Deal with the main objective of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050. By 2030, a 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is envisaged.

[] – Official site
[] – Green New Deal Report
[] – EU Green Deal will change economy to solve climate crisis
[] – Channel European Green Deal Czar Frans Timmermans
[] – Green New Deal
[] – Europe’s Green Deal: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Announces “Europe’s Man on the Moon Moment”

INGRID Hydrogen Storage and Grid Balancing

Startdate INGRID project: 2012. Budget €24 million.

From the DOE:

The INGRID project will combine the recent advances in Smart Grids and hydrogen-based energy storage to match energy supply and demand and optimize the electricity generated by intermittent Renewable Energy Sources while ensuring security and stability of the power distribution network The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3.500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will be fully controlled by advanced smart grid solutions provided by Engineering and will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.

[] – INGRID Hydrogen Demonstration Project

[] – Ingrid project site
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – Hydrogenics, Canadian participant in the consortium.

The Great Potential of Tidal Energy

Typical machine size: 2 MW
Total market potential: 100 GW (one/third of the average EU-electricity consumption)
Advantage over solar and wind: less intermittent and more predictable.

[] – Tidal energy is predicable, cheap and has great global potential

WindFloat Atlantic Begins Offshore Installation

Unlike the countries bordering the North Sea, Portugal is not blessed with shallow waters. Here floating wind turbines have to come to the rescue. The installation of the largest of those to date in Europe has begun.

• Turbines: Vestas V164-8.4 MW
• Number of Turbines: 3
• Project Capacity: 25 MW
• Location: Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Northern Region
• Distance From Shore: 20 km
• Sea Depth: 100 metres

[] – First Turbine of WindFloat Atlantic Moves Into Position

Airbus eVTOL Getting Serious

Airbus pursuing its vision of autonomous flying city taxis.

[] – The Airbus Vahana Flies
[] – VTOL
[] – Airbus shares more details on Vahana flight test program
[] – The Airbus A³ Altiscope Blueprint For Urban Air Mobility Strategy

We’re not entirely sold on that vision. In cities cars can drive bumper-to-bumper, in the air that’s not possible, you need more distance for safety. On the other hand, above you are not confined to limited space provided by roads. And you can fly at different altitudes, 3D rather than 2D. Could become a logistical nightmare of keeping all these buzzers from crashing into each other. Noise pollution could be significant. Niche applications are possible, like transport of VIPs.

Everybody Loves Perovskite

When people talk about solar cells, they typically think of silicon wafers, produced in a non-trivial process. But do we really need silicon to harvest solar energy? Actually not. Far cheaper alternatives do exist, keyword perovskite:

A perovskite solar cell (PSC) is a type of solar cell which includes a perovskite structured compound, most commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material, as the light-harvesting active layer. Perovskite materials, such as methylammonium lead halides and all-inorganic cesium lead halide, are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture.

Solar cell efficiencies of devices using these materials have increased from 3.8% in 2009 to 25.2% in 2019 in single-junction architectures, and, in silicon-based tandem cells, to 28.0%, exceeding the maximum efficiency achieved in single-junction silicon solar cells. Perovskite solar cells are therefore currently the fastest-advancing solar technology. With the potential of achieving even higher efficiencies and very low production costs, perovskite solar cells have become commercially attractive.

Meanwhile the EU has discovered perovskite and started a massive development program, where everybody and his mother in Europe joined in, see list at the bottom.

Price erosion potential: from 75 cent for silicon to 10-20 cent per installed Watt for perovskite. Think 300 Watt panels for 45 euro or dollar. If this will materialize, the most expensive aspect of solar will not be the panel but the space it occupies, certainly in over-crowded Europe.

[] – Potential of Perovskite Solar for Lower Cost Energy
[] – Perovskite Solar Cell Fever Reaches Fever Pitch
[] – Perovskite solar cell

Jumpers onto the EU perovskite bandwagon:

Solliance Solar Research (NL, BE, DE), TNO (NL), including:

Read more…

4.9 GW European Wind Installations 1H 2019

[] – Europe Installs 4.9 Gigawatts Of New Wind In 1st Half Of 2019

85% Y2Y Growth E-Vehicles in Europe


European car branche organisation reports that in Q1-2019:

EV’s +85%
Diesel -18%
3 in 5 new car’s are petrol, diesel 1/3.
Alternative fuels: 8.5%.
EV’s 2.5%, hybrid 4.6%.

[] – Elektrische Auto’s Populair, Dip Voor Diesel

Energy Transition Index 2019

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.

[] – European Countries Are The Most Ready For Global Energy Transition

Structure Electricity Prices Europe




State of Electrolysis in Europe – 2014

Electrolyser suppliers (not exhaustive)

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.

[] – Development of Water Electrolysis in the European Union (2014)
[] – Electrolysis of water

Read more…

EU Helmeth Project – Power-to-Methane (75% Efficiency)

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.

[] – Project site
[] – Summary goals (pdf 3p)

Sunfire group photo

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.

[] – Solid oxide electrolyser cell
[] – High temperature water electrolysis in solid oxide cells
[] – Solid Oxide Fuel and Electrolysis Cells

EU Commission Confirms Construction Nordstream II

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.

[] – EU: construction of Nord Stream 2 hard to stop
[] – Nord Stream 2 pipeline row just got dirty
[] – AKK suggests reduced gas flow through Nordstream II
[] – EU Parliament calls for Nord Stream 2 to be stopped
[] – Trittin verteidigt Nord Stream 2
[] – The (German) Politics of Nord Stream 2
[] – Nordstream

The narrator suggests that US lobby groups in Brussels were responsible for the EU parliament resolution to halt Nordstream-2.

2018 Status Renewable energy in Europe

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.

[] – Renewable energy in Europe — 2018

Europe Chases CAES GWh Energy Storage

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.

[] – Europe chases GWh energy storage
[] – Compressed air energy storage (CAES)
[] – Storing compressed air energy in underground caverns
[] – EU Funds 330-MW Northern Ireland CAES Storage Project
[] – Additional €8.3 Million For Northern Ireland Energy Storage Project

Source: [] – Gaelectric Energy Storage –> 54% efficiency

[] – CAES presentation ParkID/Franc Mouwen

Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential 2030

The three major European offshore wind zones: North Sea, Atlantic and Baltic.

From the report conclusions:

  • Offshore wind is expected to produce 7% to 11% of the EU’s electricity demand by 2030.
  • Offshore wind could in theory generate between 2,600 TWh and 6,000 TWh per year at a competitive cost – €65/MWh or below.
  • 25% of the EU’s electricity demand could, in theory, be met by offshore wind energy at an average of €54/MWh in the most favourable locations.

Baseline scenario: in the coming decade the British, Dutch, Germans and French (in that order) will be the largest installers of new offshore wind capacity.

Likewise, upside scenario.

2030 projected installed offshore wind capacity per country (baseline and upside scenarios).

Read more…

European Wind Industry Energy Scenarios for 2030

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.

[] – 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).

38% Electricity OECD Europe Renewable

More than gas and coal combined (March 2018).

[] – IEA

[] – Monthly Electricity Statistics

Post Navigation