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Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “Germany”

Germany Signs Hydrogen Deals with Namibia and Egypt

Namibian ambassador Martin Andjaba and federal minister for research Anja Karliczek and the representative for green hydrogen in the BMBF, Stefan Kaufmann © BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

[bmbf.de] – Deutschland und Namibia schließen Wasserstoff-Partnerschaft
[kooperation-international.de] – Deutschland und Namibia schließen Wasserstoff-Partnerschaft

Germany has signed a deal with Namibia about the production of green hydrogen in former German colony and solar and wind-rich Namibia. Name capital of Namibia: Windhoek, which is Dutch for “windy corner”, what’s in a name. Envisioned start date of green hydrogen production: 2025. Initial German funding: up to 40 million euro. Expected price per kg: 1.50-2.00 euro. Namibia has 3500 solar hours, twice the amount of Germany. Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement will come with tangential activities, like seawater desalination and student exchange programs and scholarships.

Renewable energy is clearly a win-win situation for both Europe and Africa, where formerly useless deserts have an unexpected economic value, namely as energy producers, enabling countries like Namibia to follow the example of Arabian oil countries and finally touch serious money.

[press.siemens-energy.com] – Siemens Energy supports Egypt to develop Green Hydrogen Industry

Siemens Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to jointly develop hydrogen-based industry in Egypt with export capability…. Siemens Energy and EEHC will jointly promote investment, technology transfer, and implementation of projects related to hydrogen production, based on renewable energy in Egypt… As part of initial steps, Siemens Energy and EEHC will pursue the development of a pilot project, comprising 100 to 200 MW of electrolyzer capacity, which will help to drive early technology deployment, establish a partner landscape, establish and test regulatory environment and certification, setup off-take relations, and define logistic concepts.

[arabnews.com] – Egypt planning $4bn green hydrogen gas project

Benban solar park, Egypt, 4th largest in the world, 1.65 GW/3.8 TWh/year.

[deepresource] – Germany Embraces the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – Germany Kicks-off Hydrogen Grid
[deepresource] – Germany Allocates €8 Billion for 62 Hydrogen Projects
[deepresource] – World’s First Hydrogen Train Operational in Germany

Read more…

Electric Motor Teardown

If you are as old as me, you will have lived through an era where mobility was characterized by the smell of petrol, by mechanical concepts like gear box, clutch, starter, oil pump, carburetor. The mechanical design of a car has become a lot simpler, promising much more reliability, durability, longevity, requiring much less maintenance and tinkering. The regular oil change has gone. Expect batteries to provide service for more than 1 million km.

Here is a video where somebody takes a VW-ID4 e-motor apart. Happy learning.

Turning a Windturbine into a Hydrogen Tap – H2Mare

[source]

The German government has awarded Siemens-Energy with 100 million euro to develop an integrated offshore wind-turbine with onboard electrolyser. This makes the location of the wind turbine independent of cabling considerations. The interior of the wind turbine offers more than enough space for large quantities of hydrogen, reducing the number of visits from tanker ships. The R&D activities are taking place within the framework of the H2MARE project.

[renews.biz] – Siemens wins €100m for offshore wind hydrogen project
[energynorthern.com] – Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy to unlock a new era of offshore green hydrogen production
[wasserstoff-leitprojekte.de] – Wie Partner im Leitprojekt H2Mare Wasserstoff direkt auf hoher See produzieren wollen
[iwes.fraunhofer.de] – Wind turbines with integrated electrolyzer demonstrate sustainable hydrogen production at sea
[carboncommentary.com] – Hydrogen made at the wind turbine
[rechargenews.com] – Germany ploughs $117m into Siemens Energy-led bid to develop game-changer hydrogen offshore wind

Nord-Stream 2 Could be Used for Hydrogen

[source]

NW-Europe is too densely populated to be self-sufficient in generating renewable energy. It doesn’t need to be, as many potential suppliers are standing by to deliver hydrogen in return for Europe’s rich palette of products. Two potential suppliers are Russia and the Ukraine, who both have unused land in abundance. Germany has already signaled it is interested in hydrogen deals with both countries. The beauty is that transport can be done via existing pipeline infrastructure. An additional benefit is that hydrogen supply can be mixed with natural gas, while gradually increasing the share of hydrogen, achieving a smooth transition.

[rt.com] – Germany wants to talk to Russia about using Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for hydrogen deliveries

New Lithium-Metal Battery from Germany

Yet another promising development at the battery front:

Researchers have used a promising combination of cathode and electrolyte to increase the energy density and stability of lithium metal batteries. The resulting battery achieves record-breaking values.

Key data:

Energy density: 0.56 kWh/kg
Capacity: still 88% after 1000 cycles
Storage efficiency (out/in): 99.94 %
Cathode: NCM88
Electrolyte: ILE
Safety battery: high
Research Institutions: KIT, Karlsruhe & Helmholtz-Institut, Ulm

To compare:

In August (2016) Tesla announced the P100D with the Ludicrous mode option, a 100 kWh battery with 315 miles (507 km) of range, weighing 625 kg in a 0.40 m³ volume; a density of 160 Wh/kg.

[wikipedia.org] – Tesla Model S

This implies that with the new battery from KIT/Helmholtz Institute, car batteries could become lighter with a factor of 3.5.

[cell.com/joule] – Dual-anion ionic liquid electrolyte enables stable Ni-rich cathodes in lithium-metal batteries
[laborpraxis.vogel.de] – Neuartige Lithium-Metall-Batterie: extrem hohe Energiedichte bei bemerkenswert guter Stabilität
[engineersonline.nl] – Recordbrekende lithium-metaalbatterij

Aloys Wobben of Enercon Passed Away

In 1984 he founded the wind turbine manufacturer Enercon in Aurich. He began developing and producing wind turbines with three employees. In the following years, Enercon developed into one of the most successful companies in the German wind energy industry. In 1993, Wobben switched production to the gearless wind turbine with full converter that he had developed. The Enercon E-40 turbine met expectations and ensured the company’s worldwide success.

For health reasons, Wobben withdrew from the operational business in 2012 and transferred his company shares to the Aloys-Wobben Foundation with effect from 1 October 2012. The foundation thus became the sole shareholder of the Enercon Group.

According to Forbes, Wobben had a net worth of $7.1 billion as of August 2021.

[windpowermonthly.com] – Enercon founder Aloys Wobben has died
[wikipedia.org] – Aloys Wobben

New RWE Hydrogen Manager is Thinking Big

New RWE-Manager Sopna Sury plans gigantic hydrogenfactories in West-Germany. RWE, together with partners, is running more than 30 hydrogen projects in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

[nachrichten-online.eu] – RWE: Diese Frau will das Ruhrgebiet zur Wasserstofffabrik Deutschlands machen
[handelsblatt.com] – Dr. Sopna Sury
[linkedin.com] – Dr. Sopna Sury
[spiegel.de] – Wie Frau Sury das Ruhrgebiet zum Wasserstoff-Wunderland machen will

Read more…

DHL Express Buys 12 Electric Eviation Alice Planes

The German parcel delivery company DHL Express, owned by Deutsche Post, has ordered 12 “Alice” electric planes from the Israeli manufacturer Eviation and will operate them in the US.

Range 815 km, payload 1200 kg. First flight are to be commenced by the end of 2021. By 2024, all 12 planes will be operational.

[businessam.be] – DHL krijgt 100% elektrische vliegtuigen
[wikipedia.org] – Deutsche Post
[wikipedia.org] – Eviation Alice

UAE First Green Hydrogen Production Site

Siemens/DEWA project in Dubai, pretty impressive pictures. Formerly useless deserts becoming all of a sudden very interesting, from an energy perspective.

Sheikh Rashid is quoted to have said:

“My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I ride a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to ride a Land Rover, but my great-grandson is going to have to ride a camel again.”

Could be too pessimistic.

[power-technology.com] – Dubai inaugurates green hydrogen plant
[siemens-energy.com] – Green Hydrogen Project: clean fuel from solar power in Dubai

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.

Participants:

[offshorewindfoundations.eu] – OWFA consortium site

Charging a Car Battery in 5 Minutes

German language video

German battery giant Varta plans to enter the lucrative market for e-vehicles and claims to have a battery, with which a car battery can be charged within 6 minutes. If that were the case, the victory of the battery over alternative power forms, like hydrogen, would almost be certain.

Varta is not alone, competitors in the rapid-charging segment are Tesla and the Israeli company StoreDot. StoreDot expects market introduction of their “5 minutes product” by 2024; the company can point to cooperation with BP, Samsung and Daimler, as well as the large Chinese battery company EVE Energy. The architecture of the new battery is relatively simple and based on nanotechnology. Existing production lines for lithium-ion-batteries can be retrofitted.

It looks as if the battery technology will be a few years ahead of the required charging infrastructure, able to deliver 150 kW or more. Perhaps it would be a good idea to bury new power lines next to highways, to cope with the to be expected strong increase in demand for electricity for transport purposes. Build charging stations along the highway, replacing gasoline fuel stations. This would eliminate the need to have hundreds of thousands of charging points, littered all over the country. In this way, the conventional grid could be kept separate from the “highway grid”.

[t3n.de] – Vartas Batteriezelle für E-autos soll in 6 Minuten geladen sein
[t3n.de] – Varta steigt in die E-Mobilität ein
[tesla.com] – Introducing V3 Supercharging
[e-drivers.com] – StoreDot belooft een oplaadtijd van 5 minuten

UK Considering Highway Overhead Powerlines

Overhead power lines for trucks on the A5, south of Frankfurt.

Lorries powered by overhead electric cables could run on Britain’s motorways as part of a push to ‘decarbonise’ road freight. A trial scheme has been proposed for a 12-mile stretch of the M180 near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, which would receive £2million of government funding and could be operational by 2024.

Highway overhead power lines make perfect sense, not in the least because there will be no NIMBYs around, to protest against these stealth power lines, a major problem, especially in Germany. Also, from an energy efficiency point of view, this is excellent. Sending electricity from wind turbines or solar panels directly towards e-engines, can happen almost without losses. Trucks merely need small batteries to bridge the distance between warehouse and highway; no need for massive amount of charging stations either. All it takes is the electrification of the existing national highway system

[dailymail.co.uk] – The truck that thinks it’s a tram! Lorries could run on overhead power lines motorways in latest green bid to ‘decarbonise’ road freight
[wikipedia.org] – Electric road
[wikipedia.org] – Trolleytruck
[electrive.net] – Im Oberleitungs-Lkw über die A1: Erstaunlich unspektakulär
[faz.net] – Elektro-Highway im Vollbetrieb

Another example in Germany: the A1, north of Hamburg.

Example in Sweden. In all cases mentioned, Siemens plays a major part.

Recycling and Old EV-Battery

Deutsche Welle documentary:

Lithium-ion batteries have enabled us to build electric cars that let us drive around without burning fossil fuels. But how green are these batteries actually? And where do they end up once they’re spent?

Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm Installation

[4coffshore.com] – Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

Elektrolyse: Sauberer Wasserstoff für die Zukunft

Popularized German language video about electrolyser technology.

Germany, US Strike Nord Stream 2 Compromise Deal

This is more of a victory for Germany (and Russia) than a compromise deal, but Deutsche Welle no doubt wants to be diplomatic. This enhances the energy security of Germany and Europe, avoids a very expensive write-off of nearly finished pipe-line infrastructure, improves European-Russian relations, and hopefully prevents Russia being pushed into Chinese arms completely. It is also a clear sign of diminishing US influence in European affairs. As neo-Gaullists, promoting the geopolitical Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, as well as the intended “Euro-Anglo seniority swap” in the near future, where the European Mother Civilization will have “1945” rolled-back and get the upper-hand over Anglosphere, this pipeline is exactly what is desired.

[spiegel.de] – Merkels Triumph
[spiegel.de] – Dieser Deal ist ein Triumph für Putin
[economist.com] – Macron warns Europe: NATO is becoming brain-dead
[telegraph.co.uk] – Lord Heseltine suggests Brexit vote allows Germany to win WW2
[reuters.com] – China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade
[radio-nederland.nl] – Gerhard Schroeder podcast: China – Deutschlands starker Partner

Electrolyser Price Breakthrough

A 2017 Italian startup Enapter says it can manufacter an electrolyser much cheaper, by combining the advantages of alkaline and PEM-electrolysers, with higher efficiency, thanks to lower-cost materials.

Chrometzka explains that Enapter expects its 1MW AEM electrolyser to cost $500/kW when produced at scale in 2025 — compared to $800/kW for a same-sized PEM unit.

By using a less corrosive electrolyte, 1% KOH in 99% water, the expensive titanium-coating can be replaced by cheap steel.

The cost reduction is realized on three fronts:

– Bipolar plates costing $20/kW in a 1MW electrolyser in 2025 ($190/kW PEM)
– Power supply units $80/kW ($220/kW in a PEM)
– Offering small 2.4 kW units

Enapter claims to be able to produce 1 kg hydrogen from 54.8 kWh, compared to 56.7 kWh (PEM) or 55.3 kWh (alkaline).

The company plans a subsidiary in Saerbeck, Germany, to produce 300 MW electrolyser capacity annual. Note that these small units can provide for very local storage opportunities, independent of the grid.

To be continued.

[rechargenews.com] – ‘Our unique AEM electrolysers will produce cheaper green hydrogen than any rival tech’
[youtube.com] – Enapter video channel
[enapter.com] – Enapter operations arrive in Saerbeck, NRW
[renewablesnow.com] – €9.4m for Enapter from NRW for electrolyser mass production
[deepresource] – Germany Embraces the Hydrogen Economy

German economic affairs minister Altmaier announced that billions will be made available for hydrogen electrolyser development. If Enapter can make good on their claims, they should have no problem attracting sufficient funds to make their plans happen. They would have the full EU might behind them.

Artist impression Enapter campus Saerbeck, Germany, 2023.
Read more…

Zinc–Air Battery Could Replace Li-Ion Soon

German language video

Zinc-air batteries have been around for quite some time, but they were pushed to the background, to be forgotten. They do have a great advantage though: their high energy density: 0.47 kWh/kg practical or 1.37 kWh/kg theoretically. Zinc is the fuel that is to be oxidized. In the old days, they couldn’t be recharged. That however is changing. New technological developments could enable zinc-air to overtake lithium-ion on many counts: price (factor 4), safety, environmentally friendly, energy density (factor 2), constant voltage, zinc is less scarce than lithium, recycling (EU zinc 31%).

The big drawback, so far, was recharging, greatly obstructed by the formation of dendrites. Currently, disposable zinc-air batteries are used in applications like hearing aids.

The University of Münster and other academic institutions, came up with a breakthrough on the recharge issue (January 2021):

To solve those problems, Sun and colleagues built a zinc-air battery using a new electrolyte that contains water-repellant ions. Those ions stick to the cathode, preventing H2O from the electrolyte from reacting with incoming oxygen at the cathode surface. As a result, zinc ions from the anode can travel to the cathode and react directly with oxygen from the air. This relatively simple reaction is easy to run backward to recharge the battery.

First results: 320 charging cycles, 1600 hours stable operation.

This is very promising indeed! Cheaper and lighter e-vehicle batteries could kill the gasoline and diesel car much earlier than anticipated. Bring it on!

[wikipedia.org] – Zinc–air battery
[sciencemag.org] – A rechargeable zinc-air battery based on zinc peroxide chemistry
[sciencenews.org] – Zinc-air batteries are typically single-use. That could change.
[arstechnica.com] – New battery chemistry results in first rechargeable zinc-air battery
[sciencedaily.com] – Innovative battery chemistry revolutionizes zinc-air battery

Read more…

Nord Stream II Completed by the End of August

Nord Stream announced that the 2nd and last stretch of the North Stream II sub sea pipeline will be completed by the end of August and used for fuel transport later this year.

[rt.com] – Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to be completed in August – project coordinator

Vestas 15 MW Preselected for German Offshore Windfarm

The Vestas 15 MW offshore wind turbine is merely 5 months onto the market, and already it has a good chance of being deployed in the upcoming 900 MW German offshore wind park “He dreiht”.

[offshorewind.biz] – EnBW First to Select Vestas 15 MW Offshore Wind Turbine
[de.wikipedia.org] – Offshore-Windpark He dreiht
[4coffshore.com] – EnBW He Dreiht Offshore Wind Farm

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