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Archive for the category “Netherlands”

Schiphol Airport to Run on 100% Renewable Energy in 2018

[source] Amsterdam Airport is the home of KLM

It all began with Dutch Rail, but now Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam wil also run entirely on renewable electricity as of 2018. For that purpose the energy producer Eneco for the next 15 years will deliver 200 GWh annually to Schiphol (64m), the third airport in Europe after London (76m) and Paris (66m) in terms of passengers and surpassed Frankfurt (61m) last year. The electricity will be entirely sourced from ‘Hollandse wind’.

The amount of electricity equals the consumption of a town like Delft (100,000) and will mostly be used for cooling and airconditioning. With 64 million passengers annually, each producing 120 Watt (or 150 Watt if the suitcase is very heavy) at a temperature level of 37 Celsius, there is very little need for space heating. Where Dutch Rail invested in 8 windparks all over Europe, Schiphol will be provided with electricity from new Dutch wind parks only.

Comment: this is exactly what you want to see happening, major top notch companies setting the tone in the energy debate. After Dutch Rail, Schiphol is yet another Dutch company that switches to 100% renewable energy for its (on-the-ground) operations. Expect other major companies not wanting to stay behind and provide themselves with a “green image” as well, creating a run on renewable energy.

This creates a new “problem”: there is not enough supply of renewable energy. However this “corporate green pull” will greatly stimulate offshore installation companies to expand their businesses, backed by fat, multi-year contracts with large companies, eager to show the world how green they are.

[schiphol.nl] – Royal Schiphol Group draait vanaf 2018 volledig op Hollandse wind
[parool.nl] – Schiphol stapt volledig over op Nederlandse windenergie
[wikipedia.org] – List of the busiest airports in Europe
[nos.nl] – Schiphol nu derde luchthaven van Europa
[deepresource] – Contracts Signed for 752 MW Offshore Wind of Dutch Coast
[deepresource] – Dutch Rail Runs 100% on Wind Power
[deepresource] – 100+ Companies Committed to Corporate Renewable Energy
[deepresource] – Electric Flying

First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands

[source] Magnum power station, 8 billion euro, 1.3 GW, high efficiency (58%) natural gas power station that was built from 2009 in Eemshaven in the north of The Netherlands.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie last month. The intention is to convert one of the existing three units of the Magnum power plant in Eemshaven into a facility where hydrogen rather than natural gas will be burned as of 2023. Statoil will produce the hydrogen from natural gas, but will store the resulting CO2 byproduct under ground. This will result in the first climate neutral hydrogen power station in the world (440 MW). Currently Norway is busy constructing a so-called CO2-vault of its west coast and likes to see the Dutch power station in Eemshaven as one of its first customers.

The production of hydrogen from natural gas is merely a temporary solution and must be seen as a preparation for a later stage, when the hydrogen must come from the new offshore wind power stations in the neighboring North Sea, where electricity will be used in an electrolysis process to split water in hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen will be converted into ammonia for easier storage and eventually be burned at Magnum. Hence the description of the power station as an “ammonia battery“.

[statoil.com] – Evaluating conversion of natural gas to hydrogen
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Magnum (energiecentrale)
[volkskrant.nl] – Eerste klimaatneutrale energiecentrale ter wereld komt in Eemshaven
[bellona.org] – First ever climate neutral power plant
[snn.eu] – Aandacht in Den Haag voor noordelijke energie ambities

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Prof. Ad van Wijk

“There is no energy crisis” is the adage of prof van Wijk. Lecture Masdar Institute of Technology in Abu Dhabi.

The concept of the “hydrogen economy” is still very much alive in The Netherlands and one of its main proponents is prof. Ad van Wijk, sustainable energy entrepreneur and part-time Professor Future Energy Systems at the Delft University of Technology.

Van Wijk is currently pushing for the North of the Netherlands to embrace the hydrogen economy as a substitute for the outgoing natural gas age, to be fueled by rise of the North Sea as the coming energy power house of the Netherlands and the EU.

[profadvanwijk.com] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands
[twitter.com] – Ad van Wijk twitter account

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Nuna 9 Revealed

The Delft University has revealed its new model to participate in the Australian Solar Challenge cross continental race in less than two months time.

[news.vattenfall.com] – Nuna9 – A lion in the shape of a solar car
[wikipedia.org] – World Solar Challenge
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Nuon Solar Team
[deepresource] – TU-Eindhoven Presents Stella Vie
[worldsolarchallenge.org]

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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.

[ensea.biz] – European North Sea Energy Alliance
[wikipedia.org] – OSPAR Convention
[ensea.biz] – ENSEA flyer
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea

Jutland/Denmark now also member of ENSEA:

[ensea.biz] – Associated Partner Denmark

[wikipedia.org] – 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.

The Speed of the Energy Transition

July 22, 1959. Natural gas discovered on the land of boer Boon, near Slochteren, the Netherlands.

The European Union is the major political force in the world with the most ambitious climate and renewable energy goals, for which they should be commended. Their goal is to get rid of most fossil fuel consumption by 2050. Is this realistic?

We say it is, even overly conservative. Let’s have a look at a radical energy transition in the relative recent past, the transition to natural gas in the Netherlands in the sixties.

On July 22, 1959, the NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij) discovered natural gas at a depth of 2500m on the land of boer Boon (“farmer Bean”). It took a while until scientists realized the enormous size of the gas stock, but eventually they did and in 1963 the Dutch government decided to build a nation-wide pipeline network and ten years later 75% of the Dutch households were connected.


Boer Boon received less than 1000 euro for a gas find to the tune of 267 billion euro.

The difference between the natural gas development of the sixites in the Netherlands and the European renewable energy ambitions is that in the latter case, the network already exists. For sure, adaptions will be necessary, new major power lines constructed, sub-sea cables to Norway laid for storage purposes, but not the most costly “last miles”.

In Europe the situation is somewhat comparable with that in the Netherlands of the early 60s. We “discovered” a “new” source of energy, wind and solar, that is present in abundance and meanwhile prices have come down to a level where they are competitive with fossil sources of energy. Additionally there is the climate and depletion aspect that makes these renewable sources of energy extra attractive, if not unavoidable if we want to meet out climate goals as laid down in the Paris Accords.

With the speed of the transition realized in the sixties in mind, we do not deem it impossible that a large part of the intended energy transition could be realized before 2030.

[nam.nl] – Historie van aardgas en aardolie
[deepresource] – Netherlands Sustainable by 2030
[deepresource] – The Netherlands Fossil Free in 2030

Generating Electricity From Fresh-Salt Water Interfaces

Dutch language video, English subs

Prof. Kitty Nijmeijer (University Twente, the Netherlands) explains how it is possible to generate electricity from membranes, separating fresh and salt water. This has great implications for the Dutch energy situation and the dike called the Afsluitdijk in particular:

Pictures of the closure of the Afsluitdijk in 1932.

[wikipedia.org] – Afsluitdijk
[deepresource] – Blue Energy
[deepresource] – Blue Energy Pilot Plant Operational in the Netherlands

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2-B Energy – Back To Two Blades

3-blade turbines have become the standard in present day wind energy development. The Dutch company 2-B Energy argues that for offshore, wind 2-blades could perhaps be a better design. First of all from a maintenance perspective: in case of a defect, nacelle and rotor can be lifted from the tower in one piece and brought to a maintenance location, onshore or nearby offshore. Furthermore the company claims to be able to realize lower production costs. A first 2-b wind turbine has meanwhile been installed in Eemshaven, in the North of the Netherlands, see video below. Installation rotor downwind and able to rotate freely around a vertical axis, ensuring automatic direction towards an orientation perpendicular to the wind flow. Dimension nacelle 17 m, large enough for a helicopter to be able to land on top of it. Gain: less material, easier maintenance. 2-B Energy is participating in the Methil offshore project off the coast of Scotland.

[2benergy.com] – Company site
[offshorewind.biz] – Forthwind Cleared to Install Two-Bladed Turbine Duo off Scotland
[wikipedia.org] – Methil Offshore Wind Farm

At [1:33] you can see the test-installation of the 2-B wind turbine in Eemshaven. Visually it is not a very attractive installation, but it is intended for offshore operation anyway.

Prof. Sinke: 100% Renewable Energy Base Feasible in 2050

Dutch language, English subtitles

Prof. Sinke is in the Netherlands the #1 authority in the field of photo-voltaic energy. For his contribution to the development of solar energy he was nominated as “Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion”. Prof Sinke is optimistic regarding the prospects of solar energy world-wide and believes that the EU policy of phasing out fossil fuel by 2050 and replace it with renewable energy is feasible.

[ecn.nl] – ‘100 procent duurzame energie is haalbaar’ Geridderde professor Wim Sinke voorziet spectaculaire groei van PV-markt

[wikipedia.org] – Order of the Netherlands Lion

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Trucks on H2 Generated by Wind turbines in the Netherlands

In the Dutch province of North-Holland next year several trucks will drive on hydrogen generated by dedicated onshore and offshore wind turbines, equipped with electrolysis devices. Project name DUWAAL. Hydrogen will be piped to the shore for that purpose. Eventually at least 100 trucks should drive on hydrogen from this pipeline network.

One of the participants is E-Trucks Europe. The company reconfigures existing trucks to electric trucks based on a hydrogen fuel cel. E-Trucks Europe has begun to build two dedicated factories in Westerhoven and Lommel (Belgium).

[truckstar.nl] – Per 2018 vrachtwagens op waterstof uit windmolens
[thebluedeal.nl] – Diverse doorbraken: nu 4 projecten die er echt voor gaan
[wijnoordholland.nl] – Vrachttransport op H2 in 2018 mogelijk door inzet windmolens
[ecn.nl] – Vrachttransport op waterstof eind 2018 mogelijk door inzet windmolens
[e-truckseurope.com] – E-Trucks Europe site

Garbage Truck on Hydrogen in Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Garbage collector Cure in Eindhoven is successfully operating a hydrogen-powered garbage truck since November 2013 in the city of Eindhoven in the South of the Netherlands. The truck can drive around for a full day without having to be refueled. The e-truck is a DAF CF FA with a battery-only range of 200 km, but is now equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell range-extender, leading to total range of 360 km.

[waterstofnet.eu] – Waste collection vehicle using a hydrogen fuel cell
[waterstofnet.eu] – Vuilniswagen op waterstof rijdt een jaar succesvol rond voor papierophaling in Eindhoven


[brabantbreed.nl] – Eerste Braantse Waterstoftankstation Geopend in Helmond

SolaRoad Project Still Alive

Space is scarce in the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, hence the drive to push back water and acclaim new land. But still…

From this background it is understandable that a company by the name of “SolaRoad” came up with the idea to add a new function to bicycle paths: electricity generation via built-in solar cells. The Solaroad is a 73 m bicyclepath, inaugurated in 2014 by the Dutch minister of economic affairs, Henk Kamp. Since then the project has been expanded to include thin film solar cells. Additionally several stretches consist of coating only to study wear. Expected yield: 11700 kWh/year or 70 kWh/m2/year.

In a period of a year 150,000 bicycles passed the Solaroad, leading to considerable wear of the top layer that partially needed to be replaced with better materials.

A competing idea is to cover roads or rail tracks with a solar roof, like has happened in South-Korea and Belgium.

Meanwhile the Solaroad consortium has a solaroad-kit on offer, that is standard stretches of 10 m long bikepaths, aimed at municipalities keen on giving their communities a “green image”. In the province of Groningen a similar bike path has been installed.

The US state of California has signed a letter of intent to have a solaroad constructed there as well.

[cleantechnica.com] – Dutch Solar Bike Path SolaRoad Successful & Expanding
[wikipedia.org] – SolaRoad

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Transparant Solar Panels

Dutch language video

prof. dr. Dave Blank explains his work on transparant solar panels, where he made considerable progress. Means: nano-technology. Vision: windows and roof tiles as solar panels.

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Solar Panels and Heat Pump

Solar panels powering a heat pump for space heating.
17 panels in total, 7 for the heat pump.
The heat pump produces an input water temperature of 45 degrees Celcius, which suffices for most of the heating season.
Result: electricity neutral and more than 1000 m3 natural gas saved annually.

Dutch government 5 kW heat pump national subsidy: 1000 euro.

Geothermal Energy in The Netherlands

49 companies in the vegetable, plant and flower-growing industry in the Westland area in The Netherlands are drilling for geothermal energy to a depth of four kilometres. The actual first drilling is to be started during Q4-2017 and will last 100 days, just like the second drilling. Activities are mainly carried out by VB Geo Projects, KCA Deutag and Schlumberger. Production of warm water is expected to begin in the Summer of 2018. Record drilling depth so far in The Netherlands was 2.5 km. The 49 participating companies have committed themselves to be the customers of the produced warm water.

[iftechnology.nl] – Rapid development of geothermal energy in The Netherlands
[triaswestland.nl] – Project site
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Westland (Nederlandse streek)
[groentennieuws.nl] – Trias Westland kan van start
[rabobank.com] – Officiële start geothermieproject Trias Westland

The remarkable growth of geothermal energy in The Netherlands has everything to do with the presence of large-scale greenhouse agriculture, an ideal application for geothermal energy.

[source] “Glazen Stad” (Glass Town). the endless green houses behind the dikes and between Rotterdam and The Hague.

Formic Acid as Car Fuel

Formic acid. Or hydrozine. Chemical formulae HCOOH or HCO2H. Mere mortals know this unpleasant organic fluid from nettles along the road side.

Formic acid (Dutch: “mierenzuur” = ant acid) and nettles

It could however function as a carbon-neutral fuel in the e-vehicles of tomorrow. Emissions: CO2 and water, after formic acid is produced from CO2 first, closing the cycle. The additional advantage is that formic acid can function as a storage medium for intermittent renewable energy. This is perhaps even the largest potential of formic acid.

Formic acid would make heavy batteries with relatively low energy density, high embodied energy and long charging times superfluous. Compared to the best batteries (0.57 kWh/liter) formic acid has a three times higher energy density per weight/volume, namely 2.11 kWh/liter. In comparisson, gasoline has 8.7 kWh/liter. Current formic acid cost is €0.50/liter. Team FAST claims the price could go down to €0.30/liter as a result of economies of scale. Current gasoline price in the Netherlands is €1.50/liter, so formic acid is 30% more expensive than gasoline per kWh. But that doesn’t mean much as global annual production volumes of formic acid is still low (0.7 MT, half in Germany, other half in China). Furthermore conversion efficiencies need to be considered first to make a judgment. Fueling a car would be done in the traditional way, in a matter of minutes at the gas station… umm make that formic acid station.

Students of the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, organized in “Team FAST”, are working on this new mode of sustainable transport. So far they have a small model working, but the ambition is that by the end of 2017 a bus will be driving on this fuel. The bus will be provided by Eindhoven-based bus manufacturer VDL. The e-bus will be equiped with a trailer, carrying a formic acid “range-extender” to the tune of 400 km.

Work on preparing a bus for running on formic acid

Formic acid is essentially a continuation of the hydrogen fuel cell concept, but with an additional liquid step, with higher energy density.

Where to get formic acid? A chemical reaction, discovered last year by TU/e researchers, enables hydrogen and CO2 to be converted at high speed into formic acid, to be used as fuel and vice versa, for burning hydrogen in the fuel cell, turning it into electricity. Due to the liquid nature of formic acid, hydrogen can be transported easily and cheaply.

[teamfast.nl] – Official site FAST, students EU-Eindhoven
[tue.nl] – Team FAST presents scale model of car powered by formic acid
[vdlbuscoach.com] – VDL Bus & Coach and Team FAST build world’s first formic acid-powered city bus
[instagram.com] – Pictures Team FAST
[wikipedia.org] – Formic acid fuel cell
[wikipedia.org] – Formic acid
[stanford.edu] – Formic Acid as a Viable Hydrogen Storage Material
[trouw.nl] – De klimaatneutrale mierenzuurbus komt eraan

Hydrogen content in terms of volume and weight. Formic acid is looking pretty good.

Read more…

Contracts Signed for 752 MW Offshore Wind of Dutch Coast

Ding-dong! The contracts to build the largest offshore windfarm in the world (surpassing London Array of 630 MW) are signed and the winners are DONG Energy of Denmark and its subcontractor Siemens-Gamesa. Together they will build the Borssele 1&2 wind offshore farms, 22 km off the coast of the Netherlands, together 752 MW. New is that 8 MW turbines will be installed, 94 of them. The windpark should be operational by 2020.

Shell btw is to build Borssele 3&4, another 680 MW.

By 2023 4.5 GW is planned to be installed in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

Longer term Dutch offshore wind plans: 17 GW

[cleantechnica.com] – DONG Energy Signs 752 MW Wind Turbine Supply Agreement With Siemens Gamesa For Borssele 1 & 2
[wikipedia.org] – List of offshore wind farms
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Windpark Borssele
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea

LightYear Solar Car

Youtube text: Introducing the electric car that charges itself with sunlight. Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear announces our mission. Dutch company Lightyear launches four-wheel drive solar-powered car able to drive for months without charging. Currently, all cars of the world combined drive one light year, every year. That is 9.500.000.000.000 km. Every year. Powered by fossil fuels. Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of electric cars so that by 2030, one light year will have been driven electric. To that, we are providing a scalable solution.

[tue.nl] – TU/e startup Lightyear launches solar powered car
[nltimes.nl] – Dutch Startup Puts First Solar Powered Family Car On Market
[digitaltrends.com] – Dutch Startup Promises a Solar Car For Around $130,000
[treehugger.com] – Lightyear One solar car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range
[electrek.co] – Creators of record-breaking solar car launch startup to sell street-legal version

Solar Fuel

The great advantage of fossil fuels is its storage aspect. It will wait patiently in a tank until somebody needs the energy and decides to burn it. With wind and solar no such luck. For this reason some researchers try to combine the advantages of solar and fossil fuel. Enter solar fuel. The most obvious source of solar fuel is biomass, created from water, oxygen and sunlight, producing sugars with enzymes as catalysts. The essence of solar fuel research consists in circumventing natural processes occurring in plants and create fuel in a more direct way. Solar light is converted into chemicals, using water, oxygen and CO2 as “base materials” and adding some catalyst(s) to speed things up, c.q. enable the process.

Solar fuels are carbon neutral in the sense that they recycle CO2 from the atmosphere before they are released again into the atmosphere.

Solar fuel production methods can be either direct (H2) or indirect (biomass).

Direct solar fuel production. TiO2 photocatalyst for water splitting. H2 bubbles are generated from the catalyst surface only by sunlight irradiation.

[wikipedia.org] – Solar fuel
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Solar Fuels: How Close, How Real?
[greentechmedia.com] – The Wild and (Potentially) Wonderful World of Solar Fuels
[sciencedaily.com] – How solar energy can be transformed into fuel
[iflscience.com] – Solar Fuels: How Planes And Cars Could Be Powered By The Sun
[technologyreview.com] – The Road to Solar Fuels Hits a Speed Bump
[solarh2.tu-darmstadt.de] – SOLARH2 (EU)
[scientificamerican.com] – Scientists May Be a Step Closer to Creating Solar-Fueled Vehicles
[power-technology.com] – Solar fuels: materials breakthrough could open new chapter

[tue.nl] – Inorganic Materials Chemistry, Solar Fuels
[umcutrecht.nl] – UMC Utrecht – Solar Fuels

Read more…

The Dutch Windwheel

A 2014 plan was revived yesterday. The idea is to create a new sustainable landmark icon for the Dutch port city of Rotterdam: a wheel-shaped building with a giant hole at its center, for generating power, not with a rotor but with wires (“electrostatic wind-energy converter”). Height: 174 meter. Diameter hole in the middle: 108 meter. What started as a ‘wild plan in a pub’ has meanwhile grown out to something serious, with many parties involved.

Technical university Delft works at ‘Ewicon’, perhaps applied in the ‘Dutch Windwheel’ building.

[forbes.com] – Introducing The Dutch Windwheel
[sciencealert.com] – This Dutch Windwheel Holds 72 Apartments And Could Power an Entire Town
[trouw.nl] – ‘Megalomane’ Dutch Windwheel moet Rotterdams duurzame icoon worden
[wired.com] – Bladeless wind turbine produces energy with no moving parts
[theconstructionindex.co.uk] – Dutch Windwheel project moves forward

[source] Ewicon test setup in front of the Delft Technical University

[wonderfulengineering.com] – Ewicon – The World’s First Blade-less Wind Turbine

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