Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “Germany”

Water Electrolysis in Mainz

The German city of Mainz is situated in the Bundesland (province) Rhineland-Palatinate, which has the ambition of eliminating fossil fuel from electricity production completely by 2030. For that purpose a storage solution for regenerative energy needs to be found. Mainz has built a facility based on electrolysis of water, producing hydrogen and oxygen. Their Siemens Silyzer 200 PEM electrolysis system operates with a conversion efficiency of 65-70%.

Siemens Silyzer 200 PEM electrolysis system

[] – Energiepark Mainz, official site
[] – Energy Park Mainz A Project for the Industry
[] – Mainz claim to have the world’s largest green hydrogen plant
[] – SILYZER 200 (PEM electrolysis system)
[] – Electrolyzer Manufacturers Stake Their Claims

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Fuel Cells in Shipping

German language video

Global shipping is a major polluter. Efforts are underway to eliminate the use of oil fuel. A replacement candidate is hydrogen-based fuel cells. Hydrogen produced with renewable electricity is converted into electricity, that drives and elektro-motor and propeller.

[] – e4ships – fuel cells in marine applications
[] – Brennstoffzelle und Schiffe: Sauber auf See

HY4 – World’s First Fuel Cell Hydrogen Plane

On September 29, 2016, the first plane with a fuel cell propulsion took off from Stuttgart airport in Germany.

Empty mass: 630 kg (battery 130 kg, fuel cell 100 kg)
Max. total weight: 1500 kg
Max. speed: 200 kmh
Cruise speed: 145 kmh
Range: 750-1500 km (depending on battery)
Capacity: 4 passengers

[] – HY4
[] – Official site
[] – Das Brennstoffzellenflugzeug wird viersitzig

[] – Hydrogen-powered aircraft

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The World of Autonomous E-Vehicles According to Daimler and Bosch

[source] Click to enlarge

Future vision of autonomous e-vehicle driving presented to you by Daimler-Benz and Bosch. A world where vehicles no longer have steering wheels. The person in “car4you” (probably driverless taxi) is absorbed in working, you can have an automated taxi for 19 euro/day, the bus driver has gone fishing, e-bicycles are fast and or parked in elevator structures. Traffic lights still exist although not strictly necessary. Privately owned parked cars no longer exist, they discretely park themselves, only rental cars are parked in designated areas.

[] – Driverless cars could be on road by early 2020s after Bosch and Daimler launch joint venture
[deepresource] – “By 2030 You Won’t Own a Car”

Stuttgart main street as it should become: urban farming, driverless, quiet, odorless e-vehicles. Transport of goods along cables. Real large volume traffic under ground.

According to Der Spiegel the car may have been invented in Stuttgart, but meanwhile the city is suffocating in diesel fumes. In the eighties, Sindelfingen near Stuttgart was the richest community in Europe. It also was the home of Mercedes-Benz and both these facts were likely strongly correlated. The Zebra crossings for instance were made of marble. But meanwhile the view is rising that the car economy is in a cul de sac.

Stuttgart, the car hellhole it is now, situated between steep hills, keeping the smog trapped.

[] – Autostadt Stuttgart – Kill your darlings! (paywall)

Diesel ban for Stuttgart, which will only accelerate the energy transition.

European North Sea Energy Alliance

The old and near obsolete North Sea oil & gas infrastructure can be reused for the coming reneweable energy base, where the North Sea will play a central role. Core themes ENSEA:

Energy system: The infrastructure and processes that deliver power to end users and includes the electricity and gas supply networks, power generators (both large and centralised land small and decentralised) and other assets.

Balancing: Regulation of energy production, storage and consumption in order to equalise the production and consumption at any time (e.g. by quick regulating gas power plants) to keep the electrical energy system secure.

Back up: Energy production capacity which is in standby to react quickly when there is a difference in energy production and consumption e.g. because of fluctuating production of renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy.

Storage: Small capacity storage and high power pumps (e.g. flywheels or batteries) capable for operating for minutes or hours, or larger capacity storage necessary for extended periods without production from renewable sources.

Infrastructure (electricity grid): Smart grid infrastructures designed for both supply to customers as well as production of power within these grids.

[] – European North Sea Energy Alliance
[] – OSPAR Convention
[] – ENSEA flyer
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea

Jutland/Denmark now also member of ENSEA:

[] – Associated Partner Denmark

[] – Sabatier reaction

CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O   ∆H = −165.0 kJ/mol

Hydrogen can be won from water and electrolysis, using renewable electricity. Hydrogen is explosive and needs to be stored at very low temperatures. By mixing it with the superfluous greenhouse gas CO2 (an exothermic reaction, meaning you get extra heat), you get methane, which is far easier to handle. And you solve the storage problem.

Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm Cabling

After the wind tower monopiles are installed, they need to be connected with cables. In the video it is done by offshore wind cabling market leader VBMS.

[] – VBMS (VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions), Papendrecht, the Netherlands
[] – Offshore Wind Farm Sandbank
[] – Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm

Energy Storage Developments in Germany

Pressured air as a storage medium.

Although this is an English language blog, there are so many developments in Germany regarding all aspects related to renewable energy, that it would be a shame to ignore these. In this post you will find a number of German language videos related to energy storage.

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Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm Inaugurated

Map with all German offshore wind farms, planned, under construction or realized. Click to enlarge.

Swedish company Vattenfall completed the installation of the Sandbank offshore wind farm in the German part of the North Sea. The plant went operational on July 23. 288 MW worth of wind power was installed with 72 Siemens turbines. A Munich-based utility company Stadtwerke München also participated (49%). Investment volume 1.2 billion euro.

[] – Offshore wind farm Sandbank now officially inaugurated
[] – Sandbank Offshore Wind Farm

Opel Ampera E (Chevrolet Bolt)

The journalists of German magazine der Spiegel have tested the e-vehicle Opel Ampera E (in the US known as Chevrolet Bolt) and were enthusiastic about the results. They picked up the car in Brussels and drove to the Opel HQ in Rüsselsheim, a journey of ca. 400 km. At the finish they still had 97 km left in their battery, with a total capacity of 60 kWh. The realized range was a result though of a restrained driving style, deliberate slow acceleration and avoiding top speeds at the Autobahn.

The car, produced in Orion, Michigan, is able to recuperate kinetic energy during braking. The price is relatively low: €40,000, if you can get one, because Germans and other Europeans will have to wait until at least the end of 2018, because most available cars will go to e-vehicle Mecca Norway first, where 20% of the new cars are e-vehicles, thanks to government subsidies [*]. The German website through which interested customers could pre-order their Ampera had to close down after two weeks: sold out.

There have been proposals to sell the Bolt on European markets, since Americans aren’t really interested in e-vehicles and certainly not in the Chevy Bolt, but that’s problematic for several reasons. An additional complication is that Opel was recently sold to French PSA. Der Spiegel predicts that customers will prefer the Renault Zoe and BMW i3.

Der Spiegel concludes that the Opel Ampera E is a very “useful” e-vehicle (“alltagstauglich“), but that the marketing strategy is a “tragedy”.

[*] Over the las fews months that figure accelerated to 50%.

A 6 MW offshore windturbine generates on average 144,000 kWh/day or 1.6 kWh/sec. Assume that the turbine rotor completes a 360 degree turn in 6 seconds and generates 10 kWh. The Opel Ampera E needs 60 kWh for 500 km or 8 km/kwh. The average distance a car drives par day in a country like Holland is 34 km, requiring 4 kWh. So an Ampera on average needs to be recharged once in every 14 days. In order to keep the Ampera going for 34 km, the car merely needs less energy than half the turning of the turbine’s rotor. One 6 MW offshore wind turbine can power 36,000 Opel Ampera’s for 34 km each, day in, day out. If the 8 million Dutch car fleet would consist of Opel Ampera’s, 222 wind turbines would suffice. Throughout history about 19,000 churches were built in the Netherlands, almost all “by hand”. Surely the Netherlands is able to build a few thousand 6 MW turbines in a few deacdes, mostly in automated processes, to carry out the energy transition.


Power: 150 kW (204 PS)
Speed: 150 kmh
Mass: 1619 kg

[] – Opel Ampera E, Zu früh gefreut
[] – Autogramm Opel Ampera E, Jetzt reicht’s
[] – Chevrolet Bolt
[] – Opel

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“Brine4Power” – World’s Largest Battery to be Built in Germany

Redox flow battery

A battery large enough to power a city like Berlin for one hour, in a cavity the size of the Cologne Cathedral. That’s the intention of the planned project by utility company EWE, based in Oldenburg, Germany. The idea is to use space in salt caverns to store a large redox flow battery, resulting in electricity stored in a liquid. The project will be carried out in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and probably completed by the end of 2023.

Vanadium-based flow battery.

The redox flow battery consists of two different electrolyte fluids. Renewable electricity from solar panels or wind turbines can be used to charge these types of batteries.

The innovation from Jena University is that it is no longer necessary to use a polluting combination of heavy metals like Vanadium dissolved in sulphuric acid. Instead it uses uses recyclable polymers (plastics) dissolved in salt water (brine) as an electrolyte.

[] – EWE plans to build the world´s largest battery
[] – Flow Battery

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Germany 35% Electricity Renewable in Q1 + Q2

Although this is good news, in other area’s like space heating (“Waerme”) and transport (“Verkehr”), progress was minimal.

[] – Minischritte beim Ausbau Erneuerbarer Energien

Windrail – Solar and Wind from a Roof in Berlin

Swiss innovation: Windrail, combining solar and wind power in a single module, to be placed on buildings with a flat roof. The module weighs 250 kg, is 3 m high and 2 m wide and exploits the increased pressure along the roof (Venturi effect). The building functioning like a dam for air. Module name plate power: 2.5 kW. The higher the building, the higher the yield; 7 m minimum. Densely build environments are best. An estimated 1 in 100 buildings are suitable for this installation. The more modules are installed next to each other, the higher the yield per module. The C30-module can produce between 1500-3000 kWh year, depending on location. Current price module ca. 5000 euro.

10 so-called “windrails” and additional solar panels generate a 95,000 kWh/year.

[] – Windrail home site
[] – WindRail technology
[] – So gewinnt man Energie aus Sonne und Luftströmungen
[] – Volle Kante Energie
[] – Zürcher Windturbine WindRail
[] – Windrail nutzt Wind und Sonne am Hausfirst
[] – WindRail kombiniert Wind und Sonne für private Energieerzeugung
[] – Windkraft ohne Windrad, kombinierte Wind-Sonnenkraftwerke für Hausdächer

[source] C30 module

Baltic Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

Spanish developer Iberdrola, 350 MW, 70 turbines, area 34 km2, water depth 37-43 m, distance to German shore 39 km.

[] – Wikinger Offshore Wind Farm

Ubitricity Has a Cheaper Method of Charging E-Vehicles

[source] The new way to charge e-vehicles?

The large-scale introduction of e-vehicles could very well imply the need for large-scale electricity charging stations along the way-side, like this situation in Berlin:


This could become quite costly, not to mention endless amounts of ugly car-chargers littering the streets of the near future.

The German company Ubitricity has come up with an idea to reuse old lampposts to achieve the same charging performance, but much cheaper and no impact for the way streets look like.

[] – Maak van een oude lantaarnpaal een goedkope laadpaal

But nothing has decided yet as there are other methods in the works to recharge you e-vehicle… instantaneous at the pump, as usual!

[deepresource] – IFBattery – Instantaneous Recharging Batteries

German Gode Wind 1 and 2 Offshore Wind Farms Go Live

DONG Energy has officially inaugurated the German Gode Wind 1 and 2 offshore wind farms, together 582 MW.

Next DONG projects in the North Sea: 240 MW OWP West, 240 MW Borkum Riffgrund West 2 and the 110 MW Gode Wind 3, total 590 MW.

[] – Gode Wind Farm
[] – Gode Wind construction starts
[] – Gode Wind 1 and 2 Offshore Wind Farm

[] – OWP West
[] – Borkum Riffgrund West 2
[] – Gode Wind 3

Kretschmann Caught Ranting Against “Unrealistic” E-Vehicle Transition Timeline

Winfried Kretschmann is a member of the German Greens party and happens to be the first ever Green Minister-President of any German state, in casu of Baden-Württemberg, home of Mercedes-Benz. Within his party he is a right-winger and relatively business-friendly. Kretschmann was caught on camera while ranting against the left-wing of his party, that insists that selling new petrol-driven cars should be forbidden as of 2030. Kretschmann deems this to be unrealistic.

We don’t.

[] – Winfried Kretschmann

[] – Netherlands wants to ban non-electric car sales by 2025
[] – Norway Doubles Down on Plans to Make Gas Cars Obsolete by 2025

Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[source] Dieselgate – cartoon with US pickup-truck driver telling a German motorist: “You should be ashamed of yourselves”

The manipulated CO2-emissions by Volkswagen-engineers was a fraud and should be prosecuted. It is just… well… are Americans really the ones to cast the first stone? Annual carbon dioxide emissions [tonnes] per capita:

USA 18
Saudi-Arabia 17
Russia 12
Japan 9
Germany 9
UK 8
Italy 7
China 6
France 6
Nigeria 0

[] – List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita

Bloomberg reports that now the US economy is picking up steam again, the Americans are returning to their SUVs, pickup-trucks and vans. The US abandoning the Paris accords also sends the wrong signal. The US remains the only great power not to have an official renewable energy policy/vision, although a lot of state level initiatives do occur. If for instance Texas were a country, it would be the fourth wind power in the world. Many leftists like to blame president Trump for this, ignoring that a Clinton administration and deep state darling would not have made a jota difference, but instead would have ensured the US would be at war with Russia by now. In this respect the Trump administration is the lesser evil.

Volkswagen was forced to settle with US justice at the astronomical amount of $14.7 billion for a fleet of 500,000 cars involved. This amounts to the insane sum of $30,000 per car. This has nothing to do with justice but everything with US industrial cannibalism. A criminal act exercised by a predator country that itself couldn’t care less about the environment.

Despite the settlement, the US justice department has announced that it has issued arrest warrants against VW managers. They don’t know when to stop, now do they?

[] – Americans Are Back in Love With SUVs and Pickups

[] – eport: US issues arrest warrants for former VW executives
[] – Interpol Seeks Five Ex-VW Managers Over Emissions Fraud
[] – Warum die USA fünf VW-Manager fassen wollen
[] – USA schreiben VW-Manager weltweit zur Fahndung aus
[] – USA fahnden weltweit nach VW-Mitarbeitern

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany

Not directly related to energy saving or renewable energy, but German innovative power never ceases to amaze. Elevators of the future will no longer use cables but tracks and linear motors. ThyssenKrupp has build a 246 meter high elevator test tower, where the new elevator concept “Multi” will be tested.

[] – World’s tallest elevator tower rises in Rottweil, Germany
[] – The bizarre tower built to test the elevator of the future
[] – Company site
[] – Aufzugstestturm (Rottweil)
[Google Maps] – ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany

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eGO Life Elektroauto

[] – Company site

Deutsche Post DHL Uses StreetScooter

StreetScooter GmbH is an electric vehicle manufacturer located in Aachen, Germany. In December 2014 Deutsche Post DHL Group announced that it was purchasing the company. Deutsche Post DHL Group explained that electric vehicles were part of GoGreen initiative to reduce CO2 emmissions. In addition to replacing diesel powered vans with the electric vehicles in their own fleet, Deutsche Post DHL/StreetScooter plans to market the products to other potential customers starting in 2017.

[] – StreetScooter

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