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Archive for the category “Germany”

Self-Heating Building with Algae

Renewable energy is generally associated with windturbines and solar panels. It is often ignored that electricity is only part of the entire energy story. In northern Europe for instance an average household needs to pay more for space heating than for electricity on a yearly basis. The BIQ building in Hamburg could provide the solution for an energy-neutral home that collects solar energy all year around and stores part of the solar energy in the form of algae. The algae biomass can be used for gas production and is easier and cheaper to store than warm water. Up-front capital costs are high though: $2500/m2. Reduction on fossil fuel cost to date is 33%. This number could increase if solar panels are placed on the roof, used to produce electricity to power heat pumps.

[fastcompany.com] – This Algae-Powered Building Actually Works (2014)
[doggerel.arup.com] – Tomorrow’s architecture, starring algae and hemp (2016)

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Hans-Josef Fell – Accelerating the Global Transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030

[source] Hans-Josef Fell

One of the main proponents behind the Energiewende in Germany is Hans-Josef Fell. Now he has written an article with a proposal how to speed up the global energy transition towards 100% renewable energy, enabled by the recent spectacular price declines. Fell says that 2030 should be possible. “80% energy from the region for the region” is the key to success in achieving 100% renewable energy.

Full story below:

[medium.com] – Accelerating the global transition to 100% renewable energy
[wikipedia.org] – Hans-Josef Fell

Evaluation 12 out of 36 Power-to-Gas Projects in Germany

Short German study regarding an inventory of power-to-gas projects, see map. Currently in Germany there are 36 PtG projects operational and 12 of those were highlighted, all demonstration projects. Start date projects 2010-2017. Power range 0.15 MW bis 6.3 MW. 9 projects are about hydrogen production, in 2 projects produced hydrogen is converted into methane. Reported efficiencies: 65-80% which includes heat utilization.

Potential PtG in transport, heat, electricity storage and system integration

Most potential in systems integration and transport. Efficiency increases hydrogen production until 2030 are estimated as between 5-10%. Potential cost decrease until 2030: 30-70%. The majority of respondents expect PtG to be competitive with natural gas between 2020-2040 and of those a majority between 2020-2030.

[zukunft-erdgas.info] – Praxis und Potenzial von Power-to-Gas (pdf)
[nymoen-strategieberatung.de]
[deepresource] – Power to Gas

Hey Taxi! – Volocopter Maiden Flight

Autonomous air taxi takes off in Dubai. German development.

[wikipedia.org] – Volocopter
[spiegel.de] – Lufttaxi meistert Jungfernflug über Dubai

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Blueprint 100% Renewable Energy Base for Germany

Scale the numbers up and you have the solution for Europe, with significant changes in numbers for individual nations. The cost of this renewable energy system would not be higher than our current fossil fuel based energy system.

Legenda:

Gud – “Gas und Dampf” (gas and steam).
KWK – “Kraftwärmekopplung” (co-generation. “power-heat-coupling”)
Solarthermie – thermal solar (solar collectors)
BHKW – “Blockheizkraftwerke” (co-generation. “block heat and power generation”)
Gas-Wärmepumpen – Gas-heatpumps
Pumpspeicher – Pumped hydro
Wärmespeicher – heat storage (water medium)
Wärmelast – heat load
WP – “Wärmepump” (heat pump)

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

[deepresource] – Norway Europe’s Green Battery
[deepresource] – Norway Wants to Become Europe’s Battery Pack
[deepresource] – The European Supergrid
[deepresource] – First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands
[deepresource] – Opel Ampera E (Chevrolet Bolt)
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea
[deepresource] – Power to Gas
[deepresource] – MERITS Seasonal Heat Storage Breakthrough
[deepresource] – Hamburg Considers Large Scale Storage of Heat

Can Society Run on Renewable Energy Alone?

Kris de Decker

The Flamish energy thinker Kris De Decker blogs at “Low Tech Magazine“, was guest author at “The Oil Drum” and writes for many prominent newspapers in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. De Decker presents a big picture view on the possibility of a 100% renewable energy society. De Decker preaches “low tech” if not “no tech”.

The article.

The author admits that there is potentially more than enough renewable energy available. In Europe 10 times, in the US even 100 times present day electricity consumption, that’s not the problem. The real issue is intermittency. How can we guarantee that our energy grids remain stable, like they have been over the past hundred year, when we switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy? They author describes the intermittency of wind and solar in more detail and we assume he has done his homework. A first positive observation is that throughout the year solar and wind intermittency somewhat compensate each other. There is more wind in the winter months and more solar in the summer.

De Decker lists five strategies to combat the negative consequences of intermittency:

  • 1. Backup Power Plants. Don’t opt for 100% renewable energy supply but keep fossil fuel backup capacity alive. And since it regularly happens that no renewable energy is available at all, this would imply that all fossil fuel power generating capacity must remain in place. The only difference is with the present is that they will be (partially) idle for a long time. Essentially a hybrid system.
  • 2. Oversizing Renewable Power Production. “Solution”: build so much capacity that supply always matches demand. The author admits that this would lower the energy efficiency (EROI) because the energy system would over supply which necessitates switching power generation off.
  • 3. Supergrids. Another more practical way to combat intermittency is connecting large geographical areas into a single supergrid and use “statistics” to even out irregular supply. This would require a continental grid with much higher voltages and in Europe a renewed grid with twelve times more transport capacity.
  • 4. Energy Storage. The author claims that in the case of Europe, 400 TWh net storage capacity is needed or 1.5 months worth of consumption. Pumped hydro can supply 80 TWh and car batteries 7.5 TWh. The rest should be batteries.
  • 5. Adjusting Demand to Supply. The author (correctly) questions the necessity of “supply should always meet demand”. Why not consume energy if it is available. The Dutch of the 17th century for instance reclaimed new land by pumping it dry and sawed planks for their commercial fleet with wind power, despite its intermittency.

There is not much wrong with the article and De Decker basically supports the idea of a 100% renewable society even if he is skeptical that we can have a plug-and-play solution and instead advocates that we should learn to live with a less comfortable situation where demand will follow supply instead of the other way around.

Is he right? Eh no. He is ignoring the impact of other promising storage technologies. Take the blueprint of the 100%-renewable energy model as promoted by the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute. Note this is the overall energy picture, not just electricity. The model and numbers are for Germany, but can be scaled up for Europe, with adaptions in the numbers for the respective local situations:

[source] 100% renewable energy blueprint for Germany according to the Fraunhofer Institute

Summary in numbers:

Input: 542 GW intermittent renewable energy, mostly wind (200 GW) and solar (252 GW).

Storage: batteries 52 GWh, pumped hydro 60 GWh, power-to-gas (methane) 88 GW and other, see legenda:

Legenda:
Gud – “Gas und Dampf” (gas and steam).
KWK – “Kraftwärmekopplung” (co-generation. “power-heat-coupling”)
Solarthermie – thermal solar (solar collectors)
BHKW – “Blockheizkraftwerke” (co-generation. “block heat and power generation”)
Gas-Wärmepumpen – Gas-heatpumps
Pumpspeicher – Pumped storage (hydro)
Wärmespeicher – heat storage (water medium)
Wärmelast – heat load
WP – “Wärmepump” (heat pump)
Überschuss Wärme – Excess heat

Essential is the Energiesanierung (energy renovation) of buildings, which should result in a reduction of space heating energy requirement of 64.9% as compared to 2010 level.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute would the cost of this renewable energy system not be higher than our current fossil fuel based energy system.

[lowtechmagazine.com] – How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Solar and Wind Power Alone
[krisdedecker.org] – Kris de Decker
[fraunhofer.de] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland
[sueddeutsche.de] – Wie Deutschland auf 100 Prozent Ökostrom umsteigen kann
[acatech.de] – Stabilität im Zeitalter der erneuerbaren Energien

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi Aicon offering level 5 autonomous driving

[telegraph.co.uk] – Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 – your guide to this year’s event
[dezeen.com] – Five of the most innovative self-driving and electric car designs
[engadget.com] – Audi’s Aicon concept car is all about autonomous luxury
[elektroauto-news.net] – Audi Aicon – Concept Car der Audi AG auf der IAA 2017
[nos.nl] – Ontwikkeling zelfrijdende auto’s

VW I.D. Buzz Self-Driving Electric Minibus for 2022

[wikipedia.org] – Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
[cnet.com] – Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Preview
[techcrunch.com] – VW’s I.D Buzz concept is a microbus for the self-driving era
[autoexpress.co.uk] – VW I.D. Buzz Microbus confirmed for 2022 release

Gasunie Joining North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium

Earlier today the Dutch company Gasunie has joined the North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium. The aim is to build an artificial “energy island” in the middle of the North Sea, where wind power to the tune of 100 GW will come together eventually and distributed to countries neighboring the North Sea. Furthermore the participating partners (Netherlands, Germany and Denmark) are serious about producing hydrogen and store it in empty gas fields under the North Sea.

dogger island map north sea

[nos.nl] – Nederlandse energiereuzen gaan wind- en zonne-energie opslaan
[infrasite.nl] – Gasunie treedt toe tot North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium
[wikipedia.org] – Gasunie
[tennet.eu] – Gasunie treedt toe tot North Sea Wind Power Hub
[renews.biz] – Gasunie backs island vision
[renewablesnow.com] – Gas grid operator joins North Sea wind hub concept
[arstechnica.com] – North Sea Wind Power Hub: A giant wind farm to power all of north Europe
[deepresource] – Important Step Taken Towards Energy Hub North Sea
[deepresource] – Power to gas

Volkswagen to Introduce 50 New E-Vehicle Models by 2025

It’s official, Volkswagen is putting its cards on e-mobility by announcing a massive program that should lead to a e-vehicle product palette of no less then 50 full electric models and 30 hybrids by 2025. Investment volume: 20 billion euro in cars and 50 billion euro in better batteries. After the diesel scandal, VW has abandoned its former diesel strategy and wants to be a leader, not a follower in matters of e-mobility. Obvious target: Tesla. VW is following in the footsteps of Mercedes that announced it wants to offer 50 e-models by 2022 and Volvo that announced that by 2019 all new models will be full or partial e-cars.

The e-revolution is clearly beginning in earnest.

[bloomberg.com] – VW to Build Electric Versions of All 300 Models by 2030
[welt.de] – Volkswagen startet die große E-Auto-Offensive
[nos.nl] – Volkswagen doet miljardeninvestering om auto’s elektrisch te maken
[autofans.be] – Volkswagen: “50 Elektrische Modellen Tegen 2025”

Read more…

BMW Plans to Offer 12 Full-Electric Cars by 2025

BMW Group will offer 25 electrified vehicles, including 12 EVs, by 2025 as it prepares to unveil a new four-door zero-emissions model at the Frankfurt auto show, the automaker said in a statement. “By 2025, we will offer 25 electrified vehicles — 12 will be fully-electric,” CEO Harald Krueger told journalists at an event in Munich, adding that electric cars will have a range of up to 435 miles.

There can be no doubt, the BMW marketing strategists are convinced that the e-vehicle revolution is for real and they don’t want to miss the boat, for lack of better words. And… no hybrids, full electric.

[autonews.com] – BMW plans to offer 12 full-electric cars by 2025

European & German Electricity Production Data

Net electricity generation, EU-28, 1990-2015 (TWh)

A annual electricity generation of 3000 TWh is equivalent of 342 GW continuous average power.

Breakdown of electricity production by source and European country, 2016 (in %)

[ec.europa.eu] – Electricity production, consumption and market overview
[entsoe.eu] – Electricity in Europe 2015

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Solar Challenge 2017 – Sonnenwagen Aachen

Presentation of the Sonnenwagen (solar car), created by the students of the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, who will participate in te Solar Challenge 2017 (8-15 October) in Australia.

[sonnenwagen.org] – Sonnenwagen official site
[rwth-aachen.de] – Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
[worldsolarchallenge.org] – Solar Challenge official site

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The Future of Mobility | Smart Vision EQ ForTwo

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Daimler Invests €25M in Volocopter Air Taxi

Speed: over 100 kmh
Altitude: 2000 m
Flyweight: 450 kg
Airtime: ca. 1 hour

[reuters.com] – Daimler invests in flying taxi firm Volocopter
[engadget.com] – Daimler funds Volocopter’s autonomous flying taxi dreams
[de.wikipedia.org] – Volocopter
[volocopter.com] – Official site

Eurobike 2017 Friedrichshafen, Germany

According to Wikipedia:

Eurobike is an international bicycle trade fair held annually since 1991 in the first week of September, on the grounds of Messe Friedrichshafen, one of the largest and most modern exhibition centres in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. The bike show is open to trade visitors from Wednesday to Friday, and to trade and the general public on Saturday. According to organizers, 43,700 industry visitors from 97 countries and an additional 20,500 bike fans on public day, attended the show in 2012. This also included 1,889 journalists from 42 countries

Professionals: August 30-September 1
General public: September 2

[eurobike-show] – Official site
[wikipedia.org] – Eurobike
[spiegel.de] – Start der Eurobike 2017: Jetzt drehen alle am Rad
[Google Maps] – Location Eurobike exhibition

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TenneT Doetinchem-Wesel 380kV

European supergrid latest. Construction of a 380kV electricity line between the Netherlands and Germany, which should replace the existing 1926 110kV line. Note the futuristic design of the pylons. EU “project of common interest” status.
Length: 57 km

[doetinchem-wesel380kv.nl] – Official project site
[de.wikipedia.org] – 380-kV-Leitung Wesel–Doetinchem

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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.de] – Energiepark Mainz, official site
[fch.europa.eu] – Energy Park Mainz A Project for the Industry
[electricvehiclesresearch.com] – Mainz claim to have the world’s largest green hydrogen plant
[industry.siemens.com] – SILYZER 200 (PEM electrolysis system)
[h2-international.com] – 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.de] – e4ships – fuel cells in marine applications
[ideenwerkbw.de] – 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

[wikipedia.org] – HY4
[hy4.org] – Official site
[golem.de] – Das Brennstoffzellenflugzeug wird viersitzig

[wikipedia.org] – Hydrogen-powered aircraft

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