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.
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