Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “EU”

Europe’s 2021 Energy Situation in Charts

[] – Europe’s energy crisis: Five charts to explain why your bills might go up this winter

Car Free Cities

EU 2019 Renewable Primary Energy Share

[] – Martien Visser

National Emission Reduction Performance

Yellow = better than agreed upon, orange = worse. Vertical axis: deviation in %

[] – Martien Visser

Italy’s E-Vehicle Market is Booming

The first six months of 2021 have marked a period of yet exceptional growth for electric mobility on a global scale. Europe is leading the charge, and Italy – the continent’s fourth largest market – is now on the verge of reaching double-digit market share for plug-in vehicles, following consistent monthly growth and quarter-end peak registrations.

[] – Italy’s EV Market More Than Quadrupled In The First Half Of 2021!

EU27 Share Fossil Primary Energy Constant until 2030

Contrary to popular belief, the share of oil and gas in the EU27 primary energy mix will remain roughly constant until 2030. In the FitFor55 plans, primary energy demand falls by 20%; mainly thanks to ‘boring’ energy savings.

[] – primary energy consumption EU27
[] – Fit for 55 package under the European Green Deal
[] – ‘Fit for 55’: De EU wil afslanken tot 55% minder emissies

Formation European Offshore Wind Foundation Alliance

Five European offshore wind foundation companies have formed an alliance, named OWFA, in order to streamline coordination with the EU and kindly remind the latter of its ambitious 2050 decarbonization program (and shove in the billions while they are at it).

The objectives in their own words:

  • Advocate for EU policy supporting the ramp-up of offshore wind in line with the Green Deal targets and adding European jobs in line with the Industrial Strategy;
  • Ensure foundation suppliers take the lead in setting standards and certification processes that concern them;
  • Establish a level playing field ensuring the sustainable manufacturing of offshore wind foundations;
  • Make sure EU member states maintain sufficient maritime space for offshore wind projects.


[] – OWFA consortium site

Russian Ambitions to Become Major EU Hydrogen Supplier

[source] Vladimir Putin and Anatoly Chubais

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russia will be able to occupy the developing European hydrogen market, if it creates an efficient hydrogen industry, special envoy of the Russian President for relations with international organizations on achievement of sustainable development goals Anatoly Chubais said on Monday… According to Chubais, Russia’s share of the European hydrogen market could amount to $20-30 bln… When asked about the preferred technology of hydrogen production in Russia… “It is right for Russia to start with blue [hydrogen] and then gradually increase the share of green”… But in the future, electrolysis plus renewable energy will provide economic benefits, he noted. “Russia has fantastic opportunities for renewable energy. Russia is the number one country in the world in terms of wind potential,” Chubais said.

Well, mr Chubais, what are you waiting for? The advantage Russia has, is a vast pipe-line network, that can be reused for hydrogen delivery to Europe. Western Europe has space problems, that could prevent the EU to achieve 100% renewable energy production within its own borders, and if somebody else can produce cheaper, why not? 100% decarbonization remains the goal, but that doesn’t necessarily imply 100% autarkic hydrogen production.

[] – Russia has chance to take over European hydrogen market
[] – Anatoly Chubais

The Future of the North Sea, Europe’s Largest Power Plant

Youtube text “Into Europe”:

Into Europe: The North Sea is turning into Europe’s largest power plant, with massive wind farms being built all across the North Sea. While oil and gas extraction and fishing have historically played a huge role in the region, their importance is set to be dwarfed by the creation of massive wind farms in the North Sea.

Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany are set to build a series of wind farms that will change the way the North sea operates. The creation of energy islands and hubs will turn the region into a center for Europe’s energy transition.

What role will the North Sea play in Europe’s future?

Germany Finally Falling for its Own Products

Until recently, Germany preferred to manufacture and sell e-vehicles, rather than drive them. Thanks to a federal subsidy, this is now changing. The fact that e-vehicles accelerate much faster, could be a beneficial factor as well, as Germans are generally intrigued, if not obsessed, with speed, horse-power and acceleration of their liebstes Kind (“most beloved child”).

More in general, e-mobibility is taking Europe by storm, illustrating that world-wide, the renewable energy transition is progressed most in the “Old Continent”, as Americans prefer to call us, suggesting that Europe is lagging behind America.

The data suggests otherwise.

Recently, Donald Rumsfeld died.
Of old age.
RIP Donald.

[] – Verdoppelter Elektroauto-Zuschuss kostet Bund knapp zwei Milliarden

The Winning Renewables – Solar/Wind or Fusion?

Currently, renewable energy generation, like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and hydrogen and batteries as storage, have a cutting edge globally. In the long term, however, huge technological surprises are still possible. Fusion power in a way is proven technology. In fact, the entire universe is based on it. Without fusion energy, there would be no wind, solar and the rest.

The only real difference between stellar fusion and human fusion attempts is that in the first case, the fusion reactor is kept together by the forces of gravity, something that on earth is unthinkable.

The Californian private company TAE Technologies claims to have achieved a significant breakthrough:

Foothill Ranch, CA — April 8, 2021 — TAE Technologies, the world’s largest private fusion energy company, has announced a landmark fusion technology milestone by producing stable plasma at 50M+ degrees Celsius in a proprietary compact reactor design that can scale to competitive fusion-generated power.

The fuel consists of hydrogen and boron-11. The company, that has no shortage of cash, expects to bring a commercially competitive fusion reactor to market by 2030.

The company was founded in 1998, has 150 employees and by 2021 has accumulated $880 million. It has the backing of investors like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., Rockefeller’s Venrock, New Enterprise Associates and the Russian government.

The company said it can now sustain a plasma for an indefinite amount of time. TAE’s reactor needs to be able to heat plasma to 100 million degrees Celsius, but it recently demonstrated it can get to 50 million degrees C, which gives it confidence it can reach its goal before the end of the decade.

Not sure to look forward to a future with cheap, infinite energy, even if clean. It would be a hyper-mobile world.

TAE is not the only one making real progress:

[] – China’s Artificial Sun Sets New World Record Getting Closer to Nuclear Fusion

The artificial sun, also called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), achieved plasma temperature at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds and 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius) for 20 seconds, reported the Chinese state-affiliated newspaper Global Times

The Chinese achieved higher temperatures than the Americans, but admit that they still haven’t achieved “stability”.

The Wikipedia page for TAE says…

In 2021, TAE Technologies stated Norman was regularly producing a stable plasma at temperatures over 50 million degrees

…which begs the question of what their stability duration record now really is. And if it is stable, can they acieve 100 million Celsius and still keep it stable?

The TAE-fusion reactor

[] – Fusion Energy Milestone from TAE Technologies
[] – TAE Technologies
[] – Carbon-free Energy by Fusion Technology
[] – Fusion timeline
[] – Alle Energieprobleme auf einen Schlag gelöst? Großer Durchbruch bei der Kernfusion in den USA
[] – Look inside this lab where scientists are recreating the energy of the sun to produce nearly unlimited clean energy
[] – This Nuclear Reactor Just Made Fusion Viable by 2030. Seriously.
[] – TAE reaches ‘hot enough’ plasma milestone
[] – Claiming a landmark in fusion energy, TAE Technologies sees commercialization by 2030

Read more…

The Ukraine to Become EU’s Hydrogen valley

There is a fascinating solution in the works for the simmering controversial pipeline project North Stream 2. Poland is against it, as it historically dislikes any form of cooperation between its two mighty neighbors Germany and Russia. The Ukraine is also against NS2, but for different reasons, because it fears to lose out on a lot of transfer fees for transporting Russian fossil fuel to Europe over its soil via huge pipelines:

Yours faithfully once stood personally under such an impressive pipeline near Poltava.

Nevertheless, a way out of this dilemma is offering itself on a silver platter: how about using the existing pipeline, connecting the Ukraine and the EU for transport of hydrogen, produced on Ukrainian soil and territorial Black Sea waters?

Nine western European countries, among them Italy, Spain and the UK, are cooperating in a scheme to set up a pan-European dedicated transport infrastructure, called the European Hydrogen Backbone. The Ukraine would love to join and become a major European hydrogen province and upgrade the existing fossil fuel pipeline infrastructure, that could be obsolete soon due to NS2 coming online, to be able to carry hydrogen and transport it into the European Hydrogen Backbone.

To be continued.

[] – Ukraine Hydrogen Valley
[] – Ukraine ready for pipeline switch to fuel Europe’s hydrogen drive
[] – Gas infrastructure companies present European Hydrogen Backbone

European Hydrogen Backbone (Gasunie)

Optimizing Monopile Dimensions

Hammering monopiles into the seabed comes with forces so big that the risk exists that the monopile buckles. With monopiles getting bigger and bigger, the answer is to increase wall thickness. The German government is now majority funding a 3 million euro program to determine once and for all the optimal dimension of the monopile. The program is joined by European stakeholder companies: EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, Total and Vattenfall. The program is led by BAM, German’s Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the Technical University of Berlin and JBO with support from the Carbon Trust.

[] – Verification of Buckling Assessment and Behaviour in Large Monopiles
[] – Joint industry project set-up to increase understanding of monopile buckling to extend lifetime of offshore wind assets
[] – Offshore Wind Majors Tackle Monopile Buckle
[] – Joint industry project investigates monopile buckling

Peak Oil 2026

The shape of the global oil production curve was never subject of debate, only the moment when it would peak, a point in time known as “peak oil”. The peak oil movement claimed it would happen in the first decade of this century and perhaps they were right, but only if you replace “oil” with “conventional oil”. Then came fracking.

This blog started in January 2012, 2542 posts ago, anticipating a global catastrophe in the wake of peak oil, after an imprudent intellectual diet of books like these:

Didn’t happen.

By December 2012, the insight grew that due to fracking, the world and industrial society would enjoy a delay of execution with at least a decade. Since 2012, the sense of foreboding of catastrophe disappeared entirely here and was replaced with a mild sort of optimism regarding the energy situation, as renewable technology made enormous progress. And more important, Europe began to embrace the new energy generation methods, in all segments of society: population, industry, government, media.

Where America sank back into complacency, bought SUVs only and decided to never look further ahead than three months, the European Union as of 2005 and targeted at 2050, began to develop a comprehensive renewable energy policy, that is beginning to take the world by storm, culminating in the Paris Accords of 2016, signed by the entire world, minus the US and Syria.

According to the Norwegian energy consultancy Rystad, the world needs to brace for peak oil 2026, at 101.6 mbd, five years from now, to remain on a plateau until 2030. Perhaps, this time it’s for real. Rystad refers to “peak oil demand”, suggesting that at no time demand will outstrip supply In other words, the world will leave oil before oil will leave the world.

In contrast to 2007, peak oil is no longer a frightful perspective, at least not for Europe, that is perfectly positioned to deal with it. Peak oil will even blast the last opposition against the transition out of the way, mostly barricaded in populist parties, because it will make discussions about the reality of man-made climate change superfluous. Peak oil will make the transition irreversible, with positive consequences for the geopolitical stature of Europe, that has an energy model on offer for the entire world.

Peak oil 2026: welcome.

[] – Slowing down as electric vehicles accelerate, oil demand set to peak at 101.6 million bpd in 2026
[] – Global oil demand to peak in 2026 -Rystad Energy
[] – Rystad
[] – Peak oil
[] – Energy policy of the European Union
[] – Paris Agreement

213 GW Hydrogen Electrolyser Project Pipeline, 85% in the EU

  • Aurora’s global electrolyser database indicates 213.5 GW of projects planned for delivery by 2040, a one-thousand-fold increase from the 0.2 GW operating currently
  • The vast majority of electrolyser projects are located in Europe (85%); with Germany the clear front-runner with 23% of planned electrolyser capacity globally
  • Germany remains the most attractive market for low carbon hydrogen investment in Europe, despite promising policies and strategies recently being released by Italy, Poland and the UK
  • Key success factors for ‘green’ hydrogen from electrolysers are the cost and carbon footprint of electricity. France currently offers the lowest wholesale power prices, and its grid carbon intensity is one of the lowest in Europe. However, hydrogen made directly from renewable energy rather than the power grid can achieve the lowest carbon footprint. This may be the only type of hydrogen that can meet the carbon intensity thresholds set by the EU

[] – Companies are developing over 200 GW of hydrogen electrolyser projects globally, 85% of which are in Europe

Citizen Renewable Energy

It’s possible to have energy without big government or big corporations.

A film about the citizen-led community-energy movement in Europe and the visionaries lighting the way.

Imagine upending the traditional energy system and giving the power of clean electricity production back to your neighbors. We the Power follows friends, families and visionaries as they break down legislative barriers and take power back from big energy companies to put it in the hands of locals and strengthen their towns. The film chronicles local cooperatives from deep in Germany’s Black Forest to the streets of ancient Girona in Spain and the urban rooftops of London, England, as they pave the way for a renewable energy revolution and build healthier, financially stable communities.

EU & US Climate Targets “Gold” for Renewable Energy Industry


The Danish Sydbank has given the green light to the renewable energy industry as one of the key areas where huge profits (“gold”) can be made:

Vestas is flying on the stock exchange in Copenhagen in Thursday’s trading, where the presentation of new climate targets from the US government helps to pull up sharply.

And it is worth its weight in gold for a company like Vestas that there is firm political support for the development of renewable energy, says Sydbank.

– It may not do anything for Vestas ‘2021 forecast, but political support for green transition is the foundation for Vestas’ growth journey in the coming years, writes Jacob Pedersen, head of equity analysis at Sydbank, on Thursday in an analysis.

According to announcements from President Joe Biden on Thursday, the United States will halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The comparison year is 2005.

This follows right after the EU countries on Wednesday agreed to reduce CO2 emissions by 55 per cent. by 2030. Previously, the target was 40 per cent.

The two ambitious policy goals are extremely important signals in the environmental agenda that is currently emerging around the world. There is a long way to go to meet the ambitious goals, and not all the goals have been approved yet, but the direction is clear, writes Jacob Pedersen.

And the direction is worth gold for Vestas. The company is in an enviable position as the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer and thus a supplier of solutions that are central to promoting the sustainability agenda and ultimately also fulfilling the politicians’ ambitious goals, he continues.

What applies to Vestas, applies to most other companies in the renewable energy realm. Never before in history has a branch of energy production been so heavily promoted, nay, tied to the survival of mankind itself, than renewable energy. There will be zero problems in finding funds to finance the transition. Expect pension funds to go at each other’s throat for the privilege of throwing billions at new offshore wind parks.

[] – Vestas / Sydbank: US climate targets lift the share
[] – Sydbank

EU 2020 Offshore Wind Record Investment

Europe confirmed a record amount of EUR 26.3 billion of investments in 2020 that will finance 7.1 GW of new offshore wind farms to be built in the coming years, WindEurope said.

For comparison, EUR 6.1 billion was invested in four offshore wind projects in 2019. This represents an increase of over 330 per cent year-on-year.

[] – European Offshore Wind Draws Record Investment in 2020
[] – Wind energy in Europe 2020 Statistics and the outlook for 2021-2025

Norwegian Oil Fund Invests in Dutch Offshore Wind Park

[source] Fill er up! Well, well, well… 5.4 million people owning 1.1 trillion euro, that’s 200k per capita, build-up over merely 20 years. The Norwegians have a luxury problem: what to do with all that money? And then they saw the European Renewable Energy Policy and they knew their problem was solved.

The Norwegian Statens pensjonsfond Utland just acquired 50% of the newly built Borssele I & II offshore wind parks from Danish wind developer Ørsted. Until now this state-owned pension fund was focussed on oil investments. Investment sum: 1.4 billion euro. The Norwegian fund sits on a staggering 1.1 trillion euro and is the largest public fund in the world. Ironically, the fund got its mammoth size thanks to Norwegian oil revenue.

The take-away point is that the financial resources to fund the renewable energy transition are virtually limitless, now that the transition is backed by:

1) Paris Accords
2) EU Green Deal
3) Global and especially European public opinion.

A large share of the funds will come from Scandinavia. Owning the parks yourself would be best, but geopolitically this is still preferable over US, UK, Chinese or Arabian ownership of the parks. Norway is de facto member of the EU Common Market.

[] – Norwegischer Pensionsfonds investiert erstmals in Meereswindpark

EU to Become #1 in Car Battery Production by 2030

Most car batteries are currently produced in China, South-Korea, Japan and the US. The EU is lagging behind with 7% market share. The signs are that this could change drastically and that by 2030, Europe will be market leader with 31% (Bloomberg). Reason: the huge investment sums, European car companies are willing to commit. This could lead to 90% battery self-sufficiency for cars produced in Europe in 2030.

Within Europe, Germany is expected to lead, before France and the UK. This market share will be realized in no less than 27 car battery factories that are being planned, c.q. build today.

Especially Volkswagen stands out as the likely winner in the e-revolution.

[] – Warum Deutschland Batterie-Champion für Elektroautos werden könnte
[deepresource] – E-Vehicles 2025 – and the Winner is… Volkswagen!

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