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Archive for the category “Germany”

e-Genius Update

Video from 2018. The e-Genius team is working on a hybrid version that would dramatically increase the range of the aircraft, currently at 400 km all-electric.

Original e-Genus video from 2015

[] – Airbus-Chef will bald elektrisch fliegen
[] – Norwegen will elektrisch fliegen – Flugzeugbauer teilen die Vision
[] – Airbus plant das vollelektrische Fliegen

Bosch Announces Complete Autonomous Driving Sensor Package

Lidar does with light what radar does with radio waves. It sends out a beam of light and tracks the photons that bounce back to paint a digital picture of what lies ahead. In theory, it should be the ultimate tool for creating self-driving systems, but it has several drawbacks… Only the parallel deployment of three sensor principles — cameras, radar, and Lidar — can insure that automated driving will offer maximum safety, the company says. “By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility,” Bosch board member Harald Kroeger says.

[] – Safety to the power of three: Bosch completes sensor portfolio for automated driving
[] – Bosch Says It Has Lidar Sensors Ready To Go, But Offers Few Details
[] – Lidar
[] – Self-driving car

Siemens eHighway

In the follow-up project, ENUBA 2, Siemens entered into a partnership with Scania, a Swedish company. The focus is on optimizing the integration of the drive system and pantograph into the vehicle and on providing the necessary traffic control systems.
The picture shows a driving scene at the extended eHighway test track in Groß Dölln, Germany

In Germany there are now several test roads for the purposes of developing an overhead line system for trucks. Locations: Hessen, Schleswich-Holstein and Brandenburg.

[] – Sieht so der Laster der Zukunft aus?
[] – Trolleytruck

Schleswich-Holstein test highway

Hessen test highway

Read more…

Siemens-Gamesa Offshore Wind Tower Installation Cycle

Fraunhofer Institute Road Map Storage Renewable Energy

So how much storage does a country like Germany really need? Renowned academic clubs like the Fraunhofer Institute put themselves to the task to find out. Here are the major findings:

  • For a 100% renewable energy system, flexibility is the key word. Means to achieve that: grid expansion, a European electricity market, demand management, flexible biogas installations, cogeneration, power-to-Heat.
  • Until a renewable electricity share of 60%, no electricity storage is necessary, provided a limited form of demand management is in place.
  • Even with renewable electricity shares of 90% in Germany and 80% in Europe, storage can be avoided in return for flexibility in demand and supply.
  • Even with high shares of renewable energy (90% in Germany and over 80% in Europe), it is possible to do without electricity storage, in case of flexibel demand-supply patterns.
  • If demand-management will not be possible, a need for very short-term electricity storage will arise. At a very high share of renewable energy, storage at day-level will be required too.
    Yet, production-levels from storage will be low, as compared to alternative generation from biomass, geothermal or CSP-installations and do not constitute a serious cost-component.
  • The expansion of the grid will be necessary to achieve the goals of the energy transition. If not, serious botlenecks will occur within Germany.
  • Setting up electricity storage can be helpful in case of a delayed grid-expansion. Especially power-to-gas ficilities should be considered, although they come at a considerable cost. If however the grid expansion has been completed, power-to-gas storage for support of the grid will no longer be required.
  • Storage, other than tied to the grid, can play a considerable role in the energy supply system.
  • It is essential that storage cost comes down. Support for such a development could come from politics/government.
  • Storage will come at a relatively high cost, because of low efficiencies. It is always best to directly use supply when it is available.
  • The judicial situation and unfavorable government measures in Germany are insufficient to stimulate investments in electricity storage. Especially in the planning and approval, as well as in production phase. What is lacking in Germany is a consistent approach towards storage.
  • The approval (licensing) of electricity storage depends very much on a particular type of storage and is especially problematic in case of pumped hydrio-storage.
  • What is NOT required is subsidizing storage in line with the example of feed-in tariffs. It would merely cause a run on storing as much electricity as possible.

[] – Roadmap Speicher

REMod-D – Modelling the Energy System Germany 2050

In 2013, the German Fraunhofer institute developed a model for the renewable energy base of Germany for 2050, see link below. The report shows the modelling assumptions as well as the results of the modelling and optimization.

Energy profile Germany 2010


[] – National Energy System Model with Focus on Intersectoral System Development

[] – Optimierungsmodell REMod-D

More information about the REMod modelling:

Programming environment: Delphi/Python
Programming approach: Prozedural/objektorientiert
Preferred solver: Nichtlinear: PSO-Algorithmus (Particle Swarm Optimization)
Deterministic: simulation yes, optimization no
Target function: minimizing total system cost
Simulation time step: 1 hour


Terra X

High quality German language videos, filtered for renewable energy and climate related topics.

[] – Terra X
[] – Harald Lesch

Read more…

Germany Taps Its Geothermal Potential

Ventilators side-view

In 2015, the citizens of Holzkirchen, Bavaria-Germany, decided 17-8 to build a geothermal heat & power station.

  • Investment: 40 million euro.
  • Operational: early 2019.
  • Hot water production rate at 150C: 50 liter/s, from 2 wells at a depth of 5000 m.
  • Power generation: 3.4 MW, organic Rankin cycle.
  • Electricity guaranteed for 20 years at 25 cent/kWh.
  • Yearly income: 6 million euro.
  • Payback time investment: 20 years, after that “free clean energy”.
  • Balance heat-electricity generation is not fixed but adjustable.
  • Many say: better this than ever more wind turbines.

The operation now works successful and ambition is growing to expand to other municipalities. It looks like Holzkirchen just created yet another renewable energy option, apart from solar, wind, biomass and hydro. Holzkirchen is already thinking of drilling a third borehole. Expect this example to have many followers.

[] – Geothermie, project stite
[] – Aiming for Climate Targets, Germany Taps Its Geothermal Potential
[] – Geothermie Holzkirchen: Neue Bohrung mit neuen Partnern?
[] – Geothermie ab sofort in Betrieb
[] – Geothermie Holzkirchen: Neue Bohrung mit neuen Partnern?
[] – Organic Rankine cycle

1. Heat generation, heat exchangers. Oil & gas backup present
2. Cooling
3. Well and pump, 550m below the surface
4. Turbine generating electricity, pumped in the grid for 25 cent/kWh
5. Control center

Read more…

“Renewable Hydrogen Already Cost Competitive”

Calculated “break-even price” of renewable hydrogen for Germany (left) and Texas (right) compared to benchmark prices for hydrogen supply from fossil fuels not using CCS. For Germany, this assumes a waiving of the requirement for subsidies that renewable electricity be fed into the grid. The peak in 2020 for Texas is due to a phasing out of the production tax credit (PTC), a fixed credit per kWh of produced electricity. [Source: Glenk & Reichelstein (2019)].

Conclusion of a study, published in “Nature”, about the cost of hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis, powered by renewable electricity:

renewable hydrogen is already cost competitive in niche applications (€3.23 kg−1), although not yet for industrial-scale supply. This conclusion, however, is projected to change within a decade (€2.50 kg−1) provided recent market trends continue in the coming years.

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen (source)
[] – Renewable hydrogen “already cost competitive”, says new research

Hydrogen Economy Taking Off in Europe

There are several large players in Europe positioning themselves for competition on the market of large-scale electrolysers/fuel cells, think 20-100 MW. Key-players are Siemens and Thyssen-Krupp in Germany, ITM in Britain, Nel-hydrogen in Norway, Gasunie and Akzo-Nobel in the Netherlands, just to name a few.

The yearly Hannover Messe is a good place to get informed about the state of the art of hydrogen engineering.

[] – Hannover Messe 2020, hydrogen
[] – Youtube channel with hundreds of videos for hydrogen professionals

Read more…

Thyssen-Krupp – Coal Out, Hydrogen In

The struggling German steel giant Thyssen-Krupp, that is losing the competition against cheap Chinese steel, is trying to reinvent itself, away from coal towards hydrogen. This month it has started steel production in the Duisburg plant on a hydrogen basis, away from coal dust. By 2022 all four blast furnaces will need to operate with hydrogen.

Thyssen-Krupp 20 MW electrolysis module, based on “zero-gap” technology with 82% efficiency and large electrode plates (2,7 m2). Zero-gap electrolysis: distance between electrode plates less than 0.5 mm, rather than larger than 2 mm. The key to improve activity/throughput is nano-structuring of electrodes.

Thyssen-Krupp is putting its money where its mouth is and since 2018 brings large-scale electrolysis modules on the market (20 MW).

[] – Thyssenkrupp bringt großindustrielle Wasserelektrolyse auf den Markt
[] – Water electrolysis: Power to gas
[] – Thyssenkrupp: A steel giant fights for its future
[] – Thyssen-Krupp testet erstmals Stahlproduktion mit Wasserstoff
[] – Zero-gap water electrolysers

Zero-gap electrolysis.

Read more…

10 MW REFHYNE Electrolyzer Project for Shell Germany

[] – 10MW Electrolyser at the Rhineland Refinery

Denmark Approves Nord Stream II Trajectory over its Territory

Major geopolitical event!

Denmark has given the green light for the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its waters. Copenhagen’s delay in granting permission has been the main hurdle to completing the project on time.

Pipeline expected to be operational before the end of this year.

[] – Full stream ahead! Denmark removes final hurdle for Russian gas pipeline to Europe
[] – Dänemark erteilt Genehmigung für Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 Update

Two more months and the Nord Stream II pipeline project will be completed, despite a lot of geopolitical pressure to abandon the project. The last remaining hurdle is related to Denmark, that unfortunately is too afraid for US sanctions and so far has refused to grant permission to lay a part of the pipeline in its waters. Putting that part of the pipeline in international waters, is an alternative, but will come at hundreds of millions extra cost. Gazprom has announced it will opt for that solution if the Danes refuse to cooperate. Once that pipeline will be a fait accompli it will remain there, even if unused for a couple of years, until geopolitical conditions will have changed, like a growing rift between the EU and US+UK in the wake of Brexit or a war in the Gulf.

[] – Pipeline to bring Russian gas to Europe is 3/4 complete
[] – Denmark Under Pressure to Acquiesce to Nordstream 2
[] – Nord Stream

Volksswagen Launches ID.3

ID.3 = Idea #3, after #1-Beetle and #2-Golf.
Available 2020, Europe only.
Price below 30,000 euro.
45 kWh: “Up to” 330 km (205 mi)
58 kWh: “Up to” 420 km (260 mi)
77 kWh: “Up to” 550 km (340 mi)

The car is to be expected to sell in the millions.

[] – Volkswagen ID.3
[] – Volkswagen unveils the ID.3, its first ‘electric car for the masses’

It’s Still Around, the 260 MPG Volkswagen XL1

Ignore the nasty, juvenile reviewer, equipped with a sense of entitlement, who loves to think that he can blast through the landscape in his 20 mpg SUV till kingdom comes. Idiots like him, who stopped developing at 12 year old, are outdated like a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix 421 ‘Super Duty’ rust bucket. By [10:00] he regresses towards down syndrome levels. Like with all prototypes this 2009 car was pricey, like $144k. All 250 exemplars were sold regardless.

The point to make is that it is very well possible to produce extremely fuel efficient cars, if you drop requirements like “looking sexy” or “fast acceleration” or having “the size of a living room”.

[] – Volkswagen 1-litre car

E-Vehicles 2025 – and the Winner is… Volkswagen!

E-vehicles are mechanically simpler than gasoline/diesel cars.

[] – The great electric car race is just beginning

Wind Turbine With Battery Included

Concept: let a wind turbine pump up water from a lower situated basin in times of over-supply of wind energy for storage purposes.
Storage capacity: 70 MWh from 160,000 m3 total water capacity (4 turbines).

[] – Max Bögl Wind puts turbine on THE tallest tower, 178m. Blade tip to 246.5m
[] – Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf (Germany)
[Google Maps] – Gaildorf

Read more…

Large Power-to-Gas Project in Northern-Germany

Produces hydrogen for the national natural gas grid. The location is near the planned LNG terminal opening Brunsbüttel, enabling mixing at the source.

[] – Project site
[] – World’s “first large-scale industrial power-to-gas facility” planned in northern Germany
[Google Maps] – Wind to Gas Südermarsch

German Renewable Energy Transition in Trouble


Der Spiegel sounds the alarm bells: the German Energiewende is stalling. Few new wind turbines are currently being installed, only 35 in H1-2019, the lowest rate since 2000! This year new installations to the tune of 1.5 GW can be expected at best, down from 5.3 GW in record year 2017. The minister of economic affairs and transition proponent Altmaier is forced to call for an emergency meeting with all parties involved. 26,000 jobs were lost in the wind branche since 2017. Several companies went bust.

Who are the main culprits?

1. German government (Altmaier’s ministry)
2. German public (“not in my backyard” attitude)

Ad 1) Since 2017, the German government introduced a new dubious tender system for new wind parks. Additionally: bureaucracy. A lot of wind projects are in the pipeline, waiting for approval… and stay there (10 GW or more). Furthermore, regulations are too restrictive, killing off projects for no good reason, like excessive distance from urban areas, radio masts, etc. Currently renewable electricity in Germany is at 40% and should be 65% in 2030. That’s going to be difficult to achieve, according to der Spiegel.

Hopefully the upcoming emergency meeting after the Summer will address the issues raised above.

[] – Die große Windkraftkrise

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