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Archive for the category “Germany”

New German Renewable Record

During past Sunday April 30, a breezy and sunny day, German coal-fired power stations produced an all-time capacity low; between 15-16 hour less than 8 GW (coal 1.8 GW, lignite 6.2 GW). Nuclear 5 GW. Solar and wind produced 55.2 GW at 12:00. Between 13:00-15:00 the renewable share was 85%.

This situation will be the new normal by 2030, 13 years from now. By 2022 nuclear will be completely phased out.

[agora-energiewende.de] – Ein Sonntag fast ohne Kohlestrom

Germany 41% Electricity Renewable in March 2017

New monthly record in renewable electricity production in Germany: 41% or 19.5 TWh, where the nuclear power share fell to its lowest level since 1970. Additionally a new peak power record was broken on March 18 of 38.5 GW, topping the old one of 38 GW (Feb 22).

[energytransition.org] – March was a record month for renewable power in Germany

Cheap Electricity Storage for Households Underway

[source] “MyReserve”, 93% efficiency. 4,4 kWh; 6,6 kWh; 8,8 kWh; 11 kWh units

Solar installation company Solarwatt from Dresden/Germany has announced that it will offer batteries for substantially lower prices in the Summer 2017.
Price 4.4 kWh unit: 5.499 Euro

German price context:

1 kWh from the grid: 30 cent
1 kWh grid feed-in compensation: 12 cent
1 kWh cost from panel: 10 cent

Under these (very German) price conditions does it pay to install this Solarwatt battery.

This btw is still a far cry from the promised $100-200/kWh.

[spiegel.de] – Warum sich Solaranlagen in Privathaushalten demnächst rechnen könnten
[solarwatt.de] – Stromspeicher
[de.wikipedia.org] – Solarwatt

The World Doesn’t Have a Long-Term Energy Problem

[source]

Terra-Watts solar is coming, replacing Giga-Watts. This is the conclusion prominent scientists from the German Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) arrive at. They predict that by 2030, the global cumulative installed solar capacity will be 10-30 fold of what it is today. Solar panel producer “First Solar” predicts that as early as 2020, the price of solar panels will decrease to as little as 25 cents/Watt. That would mean that a standard 100 cm x 164 cm, 300 Watt panel costing € 300,- will cost € 75 in 2020. Solar panels as block-board.

Currently Abu Dhabi is able to produce solar electricity for a staggering low 2.4 cent/kWh.

There is no long-term global energy problem.

[spiegel.de] – Forscher prognostizieren gigantischen Solarboom
[science.sciencemag.org] – Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Trajectories and challenges

E.ON to Invest Millions in Energy Kites

The general idea is: at 450 m altitude the winds are much stronger and persistent than near the ground. So have an air-born kite with propellers generate energy for you and send it to earth through the cable. Typical power gain: 30 households. Prototype installation to be build in Ireland by German energy giant E.ON and Dutch startup Ampyx Power. A power plane lifts off on its own and once at operational altitude starts to generate energy. Claim: 20 times as much energy per installed device mass unit as conventional wind turbines.

Obviously most suitable for not too densely inhabited areas.

[cleantechnica.com] – E.ON Invests In Innovative Drone-Based Airborne Wind Energy
[handelsblatt.com] – E.ON Invests Millions in Flying Wind Turbines
[wikipedia.org] – List of airborne wind energy organizations
[ampyxpower.com] – Dutch company Ampyx Power, that will cooperate with E.ON

[trouw.nl] – Zweefvliegtuig gaat groene stroom opwekken, niet hier maar in Ierland

Plane (drone) flies attached to a cable in 8-shapes. Power: 2 MW.

Read more…

Daimler & Bosch Will Bring Autonomous Car Within 5 Years

Daimler & Bosch have no choice as all the other major players are doing it. In the long term it means the beginning of the end of private car ownership for many. The car fleet will become an extension of public transport. Substantially fewer cars will deliver the same transport effort. Autonomous driving cars will have a much higher occupancy rate, both in terms of hours per day on the road as well as the ability of transporting more than one person at the same time. Especially younger people can defer the moment of private car ownership until they are really settled, if they can be persuaded to own an expensive car at all, now that a much cheaper alternative will be available. Retired people won’t need to own an expensive car at all.

It is good for everybody except the car industry itself, that will sell decreasing numbers. It is good for the cities with fewer cars parked for 95% of the time and it is good for the environment as the same transport effort can be accomplished with fewer cars with corresponding less embodied energy. Commuting can be done by occupying cars with five or more rather than one passenger, by applying intelligent algorithms to match transport supply and demand, allowing for small detours and/or changing cars en route. Traffic jams will disappear as a consequence. The taxi driver will vanish once and for all.

The autonomous driving car, essentially a cheap taxi, could be a good compromise to continue to bring door-to-door transport for everyone, yet at the same time diminish the role the car is playing in day to day life.

Win-win situation.

[techcrunch.com] – Daimler and Bosch: fully autonomous cars within 5 years

Artificial Sun For Climate Friendly Fuel

The vision of cars driven by hydrogen has not materialized. Instead the battery and electricity seem to have won the competition. With airplanes it is different. Although electric planes could be reality in a decade or so, for longer distances this is not an option. Hydrogen could very well be.

The German Aerospace Centre DLR in Jülich has recently opened a research facility consisting of an artificial sun, with an intensity of 10,000 times the original. The idea is is to study how sun light can be used to generate “solar fuels”, like hydrogen.

[time.com] – German Scientists Just Tested the ‘World’s Largest Artificial Sun’
[dlr.de] – Sun at the push of a button
[trouw.nl] – Duitse kunstzon wijst de weg naar waterstof-vliegtuig

Important Step Taken Towards Energy Hub North Sea

TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) today signed a trilateral agreement for the development of a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. This so-called ‘North Sea Wind Power Hub’ has the potential to supply 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050.

This important step towards a broad consortium was taken in the presence of the European Commissioner for an Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič. Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, and Torben Glar Nielsen, CTO of Energinet, signed an agreement aimed at investigating the feasibility of one or more ‘Power Link Islands’.

dogger island map north sea

[tennet.eu] – Three TSOs sign agreement on North Sea Wind Power Hub
[tennet.eu] – Cooperation European Transmission System Operators to develop North Sea Wind Power Hub
[offshorewind.biz] – TSOs Sign North Sea Wind Power Hub Deal

TenneT and Energinet, as well as any other parties that want to join, will spend a few years on investigating the details and potential of one or more Power Link Islands. If the TSOs decide to go ahead with the project, a Power Link Island could be developed by approximately 2035

Estimated size: 6.5 km2
Estimated cost: 1.25 billion euro

[cphpost.dk] – Denmark looking into building North Sea wind energy island

[greentechmedia.com] – Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands Want to Build an Island Hub to Support 100GW of Offshore Wind

The island might feature power-to-gas as a storage technique to utilize high volumes of wind generation, said Rasmussen. The North Sea is home to a sophisticated network of gas pipelines, which could help bring wind-generated gas to countries around Europe.

“A part of this work will be to include power-to-gas technology and other storage technologies,” he said. “What, when [and] how much is what we will look into further. It is too early to go into details.”

Tennet Installs ‘Sockets’ at Sea

[source] Dutch grid provider Tennet wants to install 5 of these able to convert 3.5 GW wind AC into DC in order to connect planned offshore wind parks to the Dutch grid.

[source] Dolwin “socket” already installed at German part of the Northsea by Tennet.

[nltimes.nl] – Dutch Grid Operator to Invest €25 Billion in North Sea Wind Energy
[trouw.nl] – Tennet gaat het ‘stopcontact op zee’ beheren

Read more…

German Voice Against Energy Wende

Youtube text:

Published 3 nov. 2014

Universitätsöffentlicher Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn, Präsident des ifo Instituts, 16. Dezember 2013

[ifo.de] – Energiewende ins Nichts

Wir haben ein Klimaproblem: 85 Prozent des Endenergiebedarfs der OECD-Länder und auch der Bundesrepublik Deutschland werden aus fossilen Brennstoffen gewonnen. Davon müssen wir weg. Bislang schien die Atomkraft den Weg in eine klimaneutrale Energieversorgung zu ermöglichen. Mit der Energiewende und ihrem Ausstieg aus der Atomkraft und den fossilen Energien steht man nun mit ziemlich leeren Händen da. Die Vorstellung, die Energieversorgung Deutschlands mit Wind- und Sonnenstrom aus heimischen Quellen zu sichern, ist eine Illusion. Die unsichere Versorgungssituation ist Gift für die Investitionsplanung der deutschen Industriefirmen. Die deutsche Politik sollte umsteuern und ihren nationalen Alleingang aufgeben. Professor Hans-Werner Sinn erläutert in einem universitätsöffentlichen Vortrag in der Großen Aula der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität die Konsequenzen der aktuellen Energiepolitik.

[de.wikipedia.org] – Hans-Werner_Sinn

Blueprint for 100% Renewable Energy Base in Germany

d-erneuerbar[Source]Share renewable energy Germany timeline

The renowned German Fraunhofer research institute presented in 2012 a blueprint of how a 100% renewable energy base could be realized in Germany. From the summary (p31):

It is possible for Germany to have a 100% renewable energy base (electricity and space heating) with a cost comparable with today and equal electricity consumption. Assumed though is a reduction of 50% of energy required for space heating through insulation measures. Wind power opportunities need to be completely exhausted. Long term energy buffering can be done with methane gas produced from renewable electricity. Warm water production from solar collectors and industrial waste heat, combined with seasonal storage. Installed PV: 200 GW (1250 million m2), solar-thermal: 130 GW (190 million m2). 75% can be installed on existing building roof tops. Additional required surface area: 400 km2 (20 x 20 km) or 0.011% of Germany.

[ise.fraunhofer.de] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland (German)

New Renewable Power Storage Method

storage-concrete-balls

Tests have been completed in the German Bodensee with a 20 ton, 3 meter concrete hollow sphere, sunk to the bottom of the lake. When water flows into the sphere, electricity can be generated. Alternatively, wind power can be used to empty the sphere again and as such (virtually) load the battery again. Future dimensions are thought to be 20 meter or lager (4,200 m3 volume). Assuming 100 meter of water above the sphere, that’s an amount of storage energy 1167 kWh or 86 Tesla Powerwall 2.

[spiegel.de] – Riesige Betonkugel speichert Energie

storage-concrete-balls2

Hamburg Considers Large Scale Storage of Heat

hamburgsoilheatexchanger

The key challenge with setting up a 100% renewable energy base is providing storage facilities. This applies to intermittent supply of electricity via wind and PV-solar, that needs to be matched with equally intermittent demand. The same consideration applies to space heating, the demand of which currently is mostly covered via fossil fuel. If you want to phase out fossil fuel for space heating, you will need to get serious about seasonal storage of heat: trapping solar heat in the summer, use it to heat large bodies of soil and withdraw these Joules in the Winter.

The city of Hamburg is considering a large scale heat storage that should cover 25% of Hamburgs needs. For the moment the buffer would be charged with industrial waste heat from fossil sources. But once realized the storage bugger could be fed with thermal solar as well.

Estimated cost: 4 cent/kwh, half of the price customers currently pay for district heating.

[energypost.eu] – Hamburg considers innovative heat storage scheme

New Perovskite Solar Cell

polarons[source]

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has laid the foundations for an entirely new type of photovoltaic cell. In this new method, infrared radiation is converted into electrical energy using a different mechanism from that found in conventional solar cells. The mechanism behind the new solid-state solar cell made of the mineral perovskite relies on so-called polaron excitations, which combine the excitation of electrons and vibrations of the crystal lattice.

[phys.org] – Scientists lay foundations for new type of solar cell
[onlinelibrary.wiley.com] – Evolution of Hot Polaron States with a Nanosecond Lifetime in a Manganite Perovskite
[cleantechnica.com] – Holy Hot Polarons, Batman! New Perovskite Solar Cell Shows Promise

Forget everything you know about solar cells and check this out. A research team based at the University of Göttingen in Germany has come up with something they call an “entirely new” way to harvest energy from sunlight. In effect, the new solar cell puts the brakes on excited electrons, extending their lifetime. The result is a more efficient solar cell, with less energy lost in the form of heat and more energy converted to electricity.

[wikipedia.org] – Polarons

A polaron is a quasiparticle used in condensed matter physics to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material. The polaron concept was first proposed by Lev Landau in 1933 to describe an electron moving in a dielectric crystal where the atoms move from their equilibrium positions to effectively screen the charge of an electron, known as a phonon cloud. This lowers the electron mobility and increases the electron’s effective mass.

Read more…

Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution

Youtube text: Published 11 March 2015
Germany Trade & Invest presents its short film about Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution, the so called Energiewende (energy transition).
Voices from science, industry, and politics outline the achievements made so far, next steps, and the opportunities the energy transition offers.

Hausbay-Bickenbach Germany Wind Turbine Height Record

Nordex hat die mit 230 Metern Gesamthöhe weltweit größte Windturbine errichtet. Außerdem hat der Hersteller 16 alte Windkraftanlagen des Typs N60 gegen neun Turbinen des Typs N117 mit je drei Megawatt ausgetauscht.

Tallest wind turbine installed to date world-wide (230 m between ground and vertical rotor blade tip).

[nordex-online.com] – Nordex installing the world’s tallest wind turbine
[nordex-online.com] – Weltweit höchste Windturbine

Germany – Four Wind Turbines Down in Four Weeks

In Germany there are 26,500 wind installations (42 GW onshore and 4 GW offshore), with merely 7 accidents per year. Mostly rotor blades broken off or fire after a thunderbolt. Over the last four weeks however no less than four towers fell over. Two towers were 16 and 18 years old. In Saxony a broken rotor blade initiated a chain reaction. The machines are designed to last 20 years.

[spiegel.de] – Experten suchen nach Ursachen für Windrad-Crashs
[n-tv.de] – Windrad knickt um

*** UPDATE *** March 10 2017 – probable cause: failing electronic pitch control. These were all older installations from 1999-2002. The rotor blades were turned out of the wind too late. In another case the sensor was defect. An estimated 1800 turbines of these types are still operational in Germany. Producer: DeWind (D4) and Tacke 1,5 (GE 1,5).

[spiegel.de] – Das Geheimnis der umgeknickten Windräder

Hard Row Italy-Germany Over Sanctions & Pipelines

Hard and emotional row

Dr. Merkel is the #1 driving force behind keeping the anti-Russian sanctions in place, the good US lapdog that she is. Yet at the same time, Germany and Russia merrily work on planning the expansion of the North-Stream pipeline, where at the same time Brussels ordered Bulgaria to stop implementing South-Stream. Italian PM Renzi, one of the EU politicians with the relatively most positive attitude towards Putin-Russia, got irritated by this and a row escalated during the last summit in Brussels. According to Tusk, the discussion had been “hard” and “emotional”.

After all, the South-Stream pipeline was torpedoed as part of the sanctions policies and now Germany does go ahead with North-Stream, making Germany the main distributor of Russian gas in Europe. No wonder the other Europeans are mad about this German hypocrisy.

For the record: we want maximum European dependency on Russian gas & oil and as such want to see both South-Stream and North-Stream expansion implemented without delay or “third energy package” baloney (and all sanctions lifted).

[spiegel.de] – Pipeline-Projekt Nordstream 2: Heftiger Streit zwischen Merkel und Renzi auf EU-Gipfel

[politico.eu] – Matteo Renzi picks fight with Angela Merkel

You cannot say that you are giving your blood to Europe,’ the Italian premier told the German chancellor at the EU summit. “It was very impressive how tough he was” in confronting Merkel on several key EU issues, said a minister who was in the room. The clash with Merkel highlights Renzi’s increasingly confrontational posture towards EU officials… Renzi is under political pressure at home, facing local elections next year in which he is expected to lose ground to populist, Euroskeptic parties. During the course of the two-day meeting in Brussels, Renzi went on the attack against Berlin several times, according to sources. And with Italians increasingly disillusioned with German-led Europe, his more aggressive strategy could be popular with voters… Renzi also accused Merkel of a political double-standard over the involvement of German companies in the construction of a gas pipeline with Russia, Nord Stream, at a time when the EU is about to approve the extension of sanctions against Moscow, according to a diplomat. Renzi said he was opposed to automatically renewing the sanctions without opening a discussion on the pipeline project.

Wendelstein Fusion Initial Success

wendelstein3

The German engineers of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald succeeded in producing the first plasma, no surprises here.

The first plasma in the machine had a duration of one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees. “We’re very satisfied”, concludes Dr. Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X, at the end of the first day of experimentation. “Everything went according to plan.” The next task will be to extend the duration of the plasma discharges and to investigate the best method of producing and heating helium plasmas using microwaves. After a break for New Year, confinement studies will continue in January, which will prepare the way for producing the first plasma from hydrogen.

[news.sciencemag.org] – Germany fires up bizarre new fusion reactor
[ipp.mpg.de] – The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation

 

Here Comes The Sun – Wendelstein Operational Today

wendelstein2

Leave it to the Germans to get a high-tech engineering project done. The global scientific community has the Iter-fusion project in France, that perhaps will begin testing in a decade or so. The Germans have their own little fusion project called Wendelstein 7-X stellerator and they will start testing today, so if the world blows up, you know why. The goal is to show that continuous fusion operation can work, not just seconds. Goal for today: to keep a 30 m3 plasma at 100 million degrees Kelvin for minutes, what no one has done before.

Good luck.

[en.wikipedia.org] – Wendelstein 7-X
[spiegel.de] – Kernfusionsanlage Wendelstein 7-X: Diese künstliche Sonne soll alle Energieprobleme lösen

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