Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “Spain”

Towards the End of Open Air Farming?

The current drought in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, followed by drastic measures to reduce water consumption, underline that open air farming could slowly become a thing of the past. The production of 1 kg tomatoes in open air farming requires 200 liter water. In a closed-system hydroponics greenhouse, that consumption is reduced to 12 liters. At this low level, even desalinated seawater can be considered as a source, as this project in Australia has proven. An additional advantage is that production can take place all year around.

[] – Drought emergency declared in northern Italy
[deepresource] – Growing Crops in the Australian Desert with Seawater

Spain is Greening the Desert

YouTube text:

How Spain is Turning it’s Deserts into a Farmland Oasis

Spain is home to The Tabernas Desert, known as mainland Europe’s only desert. Shockingly scientific research suggests that Spain is set to become completely desertified in the next 80 years, right now 31.5% of Spain is already affected by desertification and 18% is at high risk of becoming irreversibly desert. This is due to the increase in temperatures, droughts, and less precipitation has made southern Europe vulnerable to problems such as “lower food production, soil infertility, decreases in the land’s natural resilience, and reduced water quality” as the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has pointed out in its report “Combating desertification in the EU.”

The Iberian peninsular was once covered in ancient oak forests, and over the last centuries was completely deforested for timber use and overgrazing livestock. Currently 16 million hectares of land is used for Intensive industrial agriculture which is rapidly eroding the soil further.

However Spain has been making some remarkable restoration developments turning large areas suffering from desertification into fertile land. This transformation is a major accomplishment considering Spain’s semi arid regions only receive 11 inches of rainfall per year.

We are going to tell you how and why Spain is turning its deserts into bio-diverse ecosystems and fertile farmlands

In this episode of our Greening the Desert Series we will be exploring one of Spain’s many remarkable restoration projects to re-green the desert and turn it back into fertile land.

We will start of by visiting one of the most drastically effected areas in the north eastern coastal region of Spain called Catalonia. Where Coastal forests and farmlands are affected by saltwater intrusion and soil salinization due to sea levels rising, storms, tides, droughts, and water resources management. Salinization of soil negatively impacts plant development and induces land degradation, turning these already semi arid regions into deserts. The increased amount of soil salination is exasperated by the loss of the dune habitat which acts as a natural barrier between the land and the sea.

The sand dunes of coastal Spain having been declining since the 1970s and accelerated in recent decades due to over tourism. Local wildlife has suffered, sea turtles and birds have declined with many species of plants endangered or have disappeared all together.

In 2003 the government started a restoration of the dunes project near Barcelona airport and by 2019 it has expanded its initiative countrywide by using a very simple and cost effective technique.

A report on the Assessment of the Restoration of the Dunes was published by Antoni Calafatlast last year, which have shown a considerable improved in recent years and I have seen first hand how it has helped to restore coastal forests and farmlands since.

[] – Desert greening

Siemens-Gamesa B115 Recyclable Blade

[] – Siemens Gamesa is now producing 115-meter-long offshore wind turbine blades

Spanish-German wind giant Siemens Gamesa has started production of its first B115 blades at its facility in Aalborg, Denmark. The blades will be used on its SG 14-236 DD offshore wind turbine, which will have an output of 14 MW and a rotor diameter of 236 meters (774 feet).

[source] Siemens-Gamesa facility in Aalborg, Denmark

Installing an Onshore Windturbine

[] – Los Ausines

Siemens-Gamesa Studies Thermoplast Hydrogen Pipes

Electrolysers mounted at the foot of the wind tower. The future?

Siemens Gamesa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Strohm, a manufacturer of fully bonded, Thermoplastic Composite Pipes (TCPs), to jointly develop transfer solutions for the hydrogen produced at offshore wind turbines.

These ‘plastic’ pipes can be rolled from a spool:

As reported earlier, copper could be in short supply after 2040, hence the drive to (partially) generate hydrogen at the wind source.

[] – Siemens Gamesa Looks Into Replacing Offshore Power Cables with Pipes
[deepresource] – The Energy Transition has a Copper Problem
[] – Strohm company site

Iberdrola in €2.3B, 1 GW Green Hydrogen Deal for Steel

Iberdrola takes another step towards decarbonisation. Iberdrola and H2 Green Steel have signed an agreement to build a green hydrogen plant with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW and an estimated investment of 2.3 billion euros. The new plant will power with clean fuel a direct steel reduction furnace with a capacity to produce around 2 million tonnes per year of pure green steel, with a 95% reduction in CO2 emissions.

The site will be located on the Iberian Peninsula, where several possible locations are currently being considered, with the intention of production starting in 2025 or 2026. All locations that H2 Green Steel and Iberdrola are evaluating will have access to renewable energy, as well as all the infrastructure necessary to operate a successful hydrogen, green steel business.

[] – Iberdrola and H2 Green Steel sign €2.3B green hydrogen deal
[] – Accelerating the decarbonization of steel production

This kind of news repeats itself on a near daily basis. This is the result of Europe having a coherent, invasive, all-encompassing renewable energy strategy, that has the potential to catapult Europe back to the top of the geopolitical pecking order, where it belongs, based on its enormous cultural, scientific and technological heritage, not to mention its more than 4 centuries planetary dominance 1492-1939, as a set of 5-6 competing mid-sized nations, an experience that is still buried deep in its DNA. The European Right (Lega, AfD, National Rally) needs to bury its petty, backward nationalism and understand the potential for a European renaissance, centered around the energy, decarbonization and ecology cluster, as well as the Samuel Huntington model for a multi-polar world, that is going to replace George Soros his One World Open Society program, that is killing the US and implies its immanent Balkanization.

The new German government is ready to transform the EU into the United States of Europe (USE):

[] – Die Ampelkoalitionäre träumen von den «Vereinigten Staaten von Europa»

No need to resist this, it is coming anyway, as somebody needs to prevent a Chinese-owned planet, after China will have replaced the US as the next #1 country, probably later this decade, possibly after hostile exchanges in the South China Sea over Taiwan.

Both France and Germany need to jump over their own shadow and strike a grand deal: the Europeanisation of the Force de Frappe against collectivization of debt.

[parisberlinmoscow] – What Comes After the Three Anglo Empires?
[parisberlinmoscow] – The United Statelets of Europe
[parisberlinmoscow] – Alfred McCoy Predicts the U.S. Empire will Collapse
[parisberlinmoscow] – AUKUS is the Countdown towards the End of Anglo-Australia
[parisberlinmoscow] – Brexiteers Announce the End of the American Century
[parisberlinmoscow] – The EU needs to help France and take over Submarine Deal from Australia

A New Largest (14 MW) Wind Turbine in the World is Standing

The third and final 108-metre blade has been installed on Siemens Gamesa’s SG 14-222 DD prototype offshore wind turbine at the test centre in Østerild, Denmark.

[] – World’s Largest, Most Powerful Wind Turbine Stands Complete

Navarra Irrigation Canal to host 160 MW Solar Panels

Similar projects have already been implemented in India.

[] – Canal in Spain may host 160 MW solar plant

Photocatalysis – Solar Hydrogen Without Panels & Electrolyzer

Oil companies know that their days are numbered… well, as oil companies. So they are facing the choice of either go extinct or reinvent themselves. That’s actually not too difficult a choice to make.

Take Spanish oil and energy giant Repsol. Where northern Europeans are concentrating on their wind resource, Repsol, situated in one of the sunniest countries in Europe, wants to try its luck with our nearest star. Their strategy: try to avoid using solar panels and electrolyzers and use photons for splitting water directly.

In chemistry, photocatalysis is the acceleration of a photoreaction in the presence of a catalyst. In catalysed photolysis, light is absorbed by an adsorbed substrate. In photogenerated catalysis, the photocatalytic activity (PCA) depends on the ability of the catalyst to create electron–hole pairs, which generate free radicals (e.g. hydroxyl radicals: •OH) able to undergo secondary reactions. Its practical application was made possible by the discovery of water electrolysis by means of titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The principle has been known since 1911, discovered by a German scientist Alexander Eibner, when he studied pigments.

However, a breakthrough in photocatalysis research occurred in 1972, when Akira Fujishima and Kenichi Honda discovered electrochemical photolysis of water occurring between connected TiO2 and platinum electrodes, in which ultraviolet light was absorbed by the former electrode, and electrons would flow from the TiO2 electrode (anode; site of oxidation reaction) to the platinum electrode (cathode; site of reduction reaction); with hydrogen production occurring at the cathode. This was one of the first instances in which hydrogen production could come from a clean and cost-effective source.

Repsol is planning to build a 100 kilo/day H2 photocatalytic demo-reactor in Puertollano, Spain and hopes to own a commercially attractive method of producing hydrogen this way by 2030, together with gas grid operator Enagas. Envisioned start date: 2024. By 2028, production should be scaled-up towards 10 tonnes/day. Both companies have secured EU funding for the project.

[] – Repsol and Enagás will develop technology to produce renewable hydrogen
[] – Repsol-Enagas Renewable H2 Project Gets EC’s Financial Backing
[] – Repsol, Enagas secure EU funds for photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen production
[] – ‘Very disruptive’ direct solar-to-hydrogen commercially viable by 2030, says oil group Repsol
[] – Photocatalysis
[] – Photocatalytic water splitting
[] – Repsol
[] – Enagás

Read more…

Repsol Embraces Renewable Energy Transition

Another major European fossil fuel energy company changes course. This was from 26 November 2020:

Repsol today unveiled its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan which will transform the company in the following years, accelerating the energy transition… The new strategy outlines a challenging roadmap with more ambitious intermediate emissions cuts targets to successfully achieve zero net emissions by 2050. Repsol will decarbonize its asset portfolio and establish a new operating model. The new strategic plan contemplates investment of €18.3 billion between 2021 and 2025, of which €5.5 billion – 30% – will be spent on low-carbon businesses

[] – Repsol’s new Strategic Plan accelerates the energy transition
[] – Repsol

Repsol S.A. is a Spanish energy and petrochemical company based in Madrid. It is engaged in worldwide upstream and downstream activities. In the 2020 Forbes Global 2000, Repsol was ranked as the 645th-largest public company in the world. It has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. It is vertically integrated and operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

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