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Archive for the category “Netherlands”

Netherlands – Family Will Test Solar Family Car

Rain and wind are big in the Netherlands and few foreigners will visit the country for a beach holiday. Nevertheless, a family from the city of Eindhoven, home of the Technical University TUE, was invited to test a car, designed and produced at the TUE, entirely driven by solar energy.

A predecessor model of this solar car won the Solar Challenge Race in Australia:

[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)

Bye bye petrol station!

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)

Essence: convert a vertical ocean temperature gradient in electricity

[] – Ocean thermal energy conversion
[] – Blue Rise company home page
[] – TU Delft Ocean Energy department
[] – Blue Rise picture carousel
[Luis Vega OTEC Summary] – OTEC: Electricity and Desalinated Water Production – Luis A. Vega, Ph.D. (pdf, 29p)

Operation: ocean vertical temperature gradient of 25 degrees Celsius. Continuous production of electricity has been demonstrated in pilot projects, like Hawaii 210 kW plant between 1993-1998. Minimum capital cost: 6$/Watt for a 50 MW plant. If only 10 km offshore, $4.2/Watt and $0.07/kWh is achievable. Hawaii could generate 100% of its electricity needs from OTEC.

Global potential

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Desalinization With Elementary Water Makers

[] – Desalinization using renewable energy for affordable fresh water

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Land Life Company – Desert Reforestation With a Cocoon

[] – Land Life Company, restoring ecosystems
[] – Land Life Company

[] – Land Life Company krijgt 2,4 miljoen om nóg meer bomen te planten

The company has collected 2.4 million euro internationally to expand its tree planting business. The biodegradable donut contains 25 liter of water, of which half a cup per day is fed via (capillary) “fuses” to the plant. For a few months the box is a “lifeline” for the plant, after that the plant is on its own. The trick is to plant a few thousand trees that form a “community” that offers shelter to each other. In 2016 50,000 trees were planted, this year it should be several hundreds of thousand. The aim is for hundreds of millions. Expansion in Mexico and China is planned, where currently all boxes are manufactured in Germany. Local production is desired though.

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Dutch Sustainability Promo

Projects/companies referred to in the video:

[] – Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)

[] – Finch Buildings

[] – Protix protein

[] – Desalinization

[] – Land Life Company, restoring ecosystems

Dutch Offshore Wind Energy

Rotterdam Harbor Flirts With Building 250m High Wind Turbines of 50 MW Each

In a not too distant past (until ca. 2003 after which Asia took over), Rotterdam was the largest harbor in the world, thanks to its very advantageous location in the Rhine and Maas river delta, potentially servicing a European Hinterland of 500 million people. These folks from Rotterdam are no strangers to prestige projects.

In order to cope with the ever growing flow of goods, Rotterdam acquired a new piece of reclaimed land in the North Sea, called “Tweede Maasvlakte” (“Second Maas River Plain”).

Construction Tweede Maasvlakte since 2009

Last year the Rotterdam Greens party proposed to use the Tweede Maasvlakte to realize an extremely ambitious renewable energy project: building 250m high mega-wind turbines of 50 MW each. Note that the largest wind turbines on earth and currently in test phase can generate 8 MW max.:

[] – Mogelijk ‘reuzewindturbines’ in Rotterdam

The Rotterdam municipality accepted the plan. The point is: where to get 50MW windturbines? Enter the University of Virginia and wind-turbine giants General Electric and Siemens. These parties are working on a wind-turbine concept called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR), see video above. It will take quite a few years though for this concept to mature, no doubt to the relief of the treasurer of the city of Rotterdam.

[] – University of Virginia (UVA) – 50 MW Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotors for Wind Energy
[] – Gigantic Wind Turbine With 650 Foot Blades Will Channel the Power of Hurricanes
[] – Mammoth 50 MW Wind Turbine Blades Could Revolutionize Offshore Wind In US
[Google Maps] – Location “Tweede Maasvlakte”

Nuon Dismantles Offshore Wind Farm in the Netherlands

No this is not the beginning of the end of offshore wind energy, it is merely a sign of the wind energy sector achieving maturity. After 22 years of service these four wind turbines of 0.5 MW each with sub-optimal 2-blades, located in Medemblik in the North-West of the Netherlands had reached economic end of life and had become an embarrassement and were standing in the way. Youtube text:

Nuon has dismantled four offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 2 MW at the Lely wind farm in Ijsselmeer, some 600 metres off the port of Medemblik. The wind farm has been in service for 22 years and is the first offshore wind farm operated by Nuon to be decommissioned and dismantled. Nuon decided to decommission the wind farm as it was approaching the end of its operating life and was becoming less profitable. Watch the time lapse video of the dismantling which was completed in three weeks.

New massive wind-parks are planned/realized for the neighboring Wieringermeer:

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Gemini 600 MW Wind Park Operational


One of the largest offshore wind parks in the world has become operational today in the North Sea, 85 kilometers from Eemshaven, in the Groningen province, the Netherlands.

Core data:

  • Siemens Turbines of 4 MW each: 150
  • CO2 reduction 1.25 million ton
  • Price 2.8 billion euro
  • New operational jobs: 75-100
  • Man year to build: 1250
  • Area 68 km2
  • Share contribution Dutch electricity production 2.5%
  • Electricity price: €170/MWh

The wind park is expensive but helped bringing down the price of new wind farms considerably. Meanwhile a consortium around Shell will build the 700 MW wind farm Borssele III/IV for €54,40/MWh or 1/3 of Gemini, after Dong won the bid for Borssele I/II 700 MW for €72,70/MWh. Both wind parks are expected to be operational by 2020. Three more tenders for 700 MW wind parks are planned and expected to begin producing electricity by 2023. After that installation of further new wind parks will really pick up pace with the ultimate potential of delivering electricity to 100 million people all over Europe.

[] – Gemini official site
[] – Gemini live data
[] – Gemini free app for iOS
[] – Gemini free app for Android
[] – Gemini offshore windpark officieel geopend
[] – Gemini-Windpark in Gebruik Genomen
[] – Large number of hires photos
[] – De windreus van Nederland ligt boven de Wadden

Laying cables from the Dutch coast to Gemini

1400 MW Gemini follow-up projects Borssele I/II/III/IV, 22 km out of the coast of the Zeeland province in the SW
Planned windparks in North Sea

Hermes Eindhoven Realizes 1,000,000 KM All-Electric

Nice and quiet and clean. After 2025 sales of new cars driving on fossil fuel will be prohibited and the old ones phased out largely by 2032. The Netherlands will be a silent place, much more than today.

On 18 April 2017, Dutch passenger transport company Hermes reached the milestone of 1,000,000 kilometres travelled with the 43 electric buses that have been in service since last December. The fully electric VDL Citeas, with their futuristic design, are now a common sight in Eindhoven. The drivers operate the buses on eight different zero emission routes with due pride. The electric operation is now operating at full capacity, with the buses clocking up over 9,000 km every weekday. Several buses even cover more than 340 km per day on their own.

[] – 1,000,000 electric kilometres in Eindhoven. VDL congratulates Hermes on electric milestone
[] – 100 electric VDL Citeas and 18 VDL Futura double-deckers for Connexxion

Dutch Natural Gas Reserves

Reserves left: 891 billion m3
Annual consumption: 40 billion m3
Years remaining at current consumption levels: 22

It is not possible though to keep consuming at the current rate as the northern part of the country is literally sinking through the floor.
Or to put it differently: the country is “cracking up”:

[source] “Kraakpand”

[] – Hoeveel gas heeft Nederland eigenlijk en waar ligt het allemaal?

Ampyx Kite Power

[source] Wind energy kite “airstrip”. After the kite is airborne it will continuously fly an 8-shaped trajectory and generate electricity. The foundation needs to be far less robust than with conventional wind turbines that can weigh 1000 ton or more.

So you thought that wind power technology has matured and that the three blade rotor is the alpha and omega in harnessing the energy contained in air flows? Think again. There is a promising alternative for these conventional giant machines and their massive towers: fast moving kites. The promoters of this new technology believe that kites with a span-width of 28 m could be a much cheaper alternative for the thousands of planned North Sea offshore mega machines of 8 MW and more. Alternatively these gliders can be operated from floating platforms as well, making the technology suitable irrespective of sea depth.

Richard Ruiterkamp of the Dutch company Ampyx Power says that the first test phase has been successfully completed with two 5.5 m prototypes. Now a last test phase is planned with a AP3 prototype of 12 m span-width and 250 kW power. The Dutch authorities refused to give permission for a test site located in the Dutch North Sea dunes, so Ireland has been chosen as an alternative for test scheduled for next year. The project began in 2004 and meanwhile 22 million euro have been burned. The AP4 will be the first commercial energy kite with a span-width of 28 m and 2 MW power.

The source of energy is not a propeller but the winch that alternatively rolls out and in. When the kite rises more energy is generated than required to roll up the winch cable during descent.

[] – More detailed explanation here

[] – Nederlandse stroomvlieger neemt het op tegen Google

Barsha Pump

Youtube text:

The empowering people. Award recognizes creative technological solutions for sustainable improvment of basic services. In 2016, the third prize was awarded to aQysta for the Barsha Pump – Hydro-powered Irrigation. Developed to help farmers, this waterwheel utilizes the energy from the flow of rivers and canals to pump water, regardless of the flow velocity. The device, which can pump long distances, is not only affordable but uses indigenous materials. It needs little maintenance and does not require any fuel or electricity to work. This ensures that the pump has no operating expenses.

Context: Nepal, high mountains and farmers breaking their backs while carrying buckets of water from the brook to their fields.
Solution: pump the water from the brook to the field, using hydro-power for the pumping, eliminating expensive fossil fuel. Pump and generator combined in a single device.
Inventors: Pratap Thapa (Nepal) and Fred Henny, working together in Aqysta, Delft, the Netherlands. Mr Thapa meanwhile operates in Nepal and mr Henny runs the business in Holland.
Installed base: 50 pumps world-wide and 40 in Nepal.
Required flow: 0.5-2 m/s, generating 1.6 bar air pressure
Max. elevation: 20 meters
Flow rate: 0.5 liter/second
Application potential word-wide: 250 million hectare agricultural soil
Price: 2,000 euro (diesel pump cost few hundred euro, but with the Barsha pump you have 10 years no fuel cost, resulting in 70% overall pumping reduction cost)
Potential new markets: Colombia, Indonesia, Ghana, Guatemala and Zambia
Innovative aspect: oval rather than circular hose diameter, allowing for higher pressure buildup

Product comes as a kit from parts produced in Europe.
Nepalese government wants to subsidize 200 pumps.
Larger prototype under development for Spain and Turkey.
Winners Siemens Empowering People Award.

[] – Company site
[] – Spiral Pump
[] – Waterpomp bedruipt zichzelf

Smurfit Kappa – Radical Recycling in the Paper Industry

Paper-mill Smurfit-Kappa in Roermond, the Netherlands, wants to replace the role of natural gas with “green heat”. The paper industry is doing fine, not because of digitization of society (“paperless office”), but because retail is going online and now everything needs to be packaged, in carton, which is good news for Smurfit Kappa.

Every day no less than 110 trucks arrive at the mill to dump their load of used paper for recycling into “mother roles” of 18,000 kilo each, a process that takes 8 days. Usually paper that lands in the trash can is converted into new paper in a matter of 6 weeks.

For the production process you need a lot of warm water to produce “paper soup”. The company is thinking of pumping up hot water from a depth of no less than 7 km. Alternatively, the company is investigating the possibilities of producing paper without so much hot water. Paper recycling still requires 10% new wood, for quality reasons, acquired from Scandinavia and France.

[] – Smurfit Kappa Group
[] – Papierfabriek zoekt groene warmte

90 Professoren Willen Groene Draai Geven aan Kabinets-formatie


90 hoogleraren van 16 nederlandse universiteiten hebben een brief geschreven naar de formateur met het verzoek om in het aanstaande regeringsakkoord opgenomen te krijgen dat Nederland koploper moet moet worden in de worsteling voor een groene economie, ipv Europese hekkesluiter te blijven.


…de vijf overgebleven kolencentrales in Nederland uiterlijk in 2020 sluiten. Verder vragen ze om snelle invoering van een kilometerheffing in het verkeer. Ze bepleiten een CO2-belasting voor de Nederlandse industrie, los van het gebrekkig werkende Europese systeem van CO2-beprijzing. Ze willen hoge fiscale heffingen op milieubelastende en energie-intensieve productie en consumptie. En ze vragen om een investeringsfonds voor duurzame innovaties.

[] – Hoogleraren: zet alles op alles voor een groene economie

Asparagus Robot

The video claims this is the world’s first automatic asparagus harvesting robot, developed in Heeze, the Netherlands. It takes 60-75 pair of hands to harvest a field of 40 Hectare. In the Netherlands the work is often done by Poles or Romanians. This practice could soon be history. Perhaps the future unemployed from Eastern-Europe use their knowledge to begin asparagus farming at home.

[] – Aspergerobot stuurt steker straks naar huis

Asparagus harvesting the old way:

Hydraulic Windpark North Sea?


In conventional wind turbines heavy generators are located at the top of a wind turbine, requiring heavy towers. As a rule of thumb: 1000 kilo less generator weight implies 1900 kg less tower weight. The Mexican researcher Antonio Jarquin Laguna wrote a simulation-based Phd thesis at the Delft university in the Netherlands to investigate if it was possible to substantially reduce nacelle weight. He explored the idea to skip the generator-at-the-top completely and replace it with a much lighter pump (ca. 50% less weight). Several wind turbines could contribute to hydraulic pressure, to be converted at a central location with a few large Pelton turbines. The gain would be lighter wind turbines.

[] – Onderzoek naar ‘hydraulisch’ windpark op zee door TU Delft
[] – Noordzeemolens als waterkrachtcentrale
[] – Centralized electricity generation in offshore wind farms using hydraulic networks
[] – Goodbye gearbox, hello hydraulics (US design 2012)
[] – Hydraulic Wind Turbines?
[] – Hydraulic drive system
[] – Hydraulic machinery
[] – Hydraulic motor
[] – Mass, Bernoulli and Energy Equations (pdf)

Vertical Farming Taking Off


Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers, such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or shipping container. The modern ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology, where all environmental factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (humidity, temperature, gases…) and fertigation. Some vertical farms use techniques similar to greenhouses, where natural sunlight can be augmented with artificial lighting and metal reflectors

The concepts was pioneered first in 2014, with Vertical Fresh Farms operating in Buffalo, NY/USA, specializing in a wide variety of salad greens, herbs, and sprouts.

Vertical Fresh Farms has been farming commercially on a small scale in Buffalo, New York for a few years, but a larger scale commercial facility is currently under construction in the Netherlands. Fruit and vegetables supplier Staay Food Group is erecting a 900 square meter vertical farm, which will have a total cultivation area of 30,000 square meters.

[] – Vertical Farming Is Taking Off: Europe’s First Commercial Vertical Farm Under Construction In The Netherlands
[] – Vertical farming
[] – Grootste commerciële stadskwekerij van Europa in Dronten

Utility Scale Dutch Community Wind


The 20 year old Zeewolde onshore windfarm located in Flevoland, the Netherlands is approaching end-of-life and will be “repowered”: 200 old smaller, technically outdated 850 kW wind turbines, replaced by 93 larger modern ones of 3.5 MW, increasing electricity production 2.5-fold. Price tag: 400 million euro. Required are 80 million euro to leverage the remaining 320 million in bank loans. The old wind park is owned by ca. 200 private citizens, many of them boeren (farmers).

What is unique about the new project is that a new financial participation model will be applied as well as the huge scale (93 turbines, producing 350 MW). A new wind cooperation called De Nieuwe Molenaars (the New Windmillers) was established earlier this year and 50 citizens joined from the start; the organization aims for at least further 1000 private participants. Scheduled delivery date windfarm 2019, production in 2020. Locals will be allowed to participate first. Estimates are that wind parks up to 1000 MW can be financed this way.

[] – Biggest Dutch onshore wind farm to be community owned
[] – REScoop paves the way for Europe’s largest community energy wind farm
[] – De Nieuwe Molenaars
[Google Maps] – Location, Gruttoweg, Zeewolde

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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.

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

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

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

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