[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.
[trouw.nl] – 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
Norway is ahead of everybody else in its ambition to get rid of the stinking petrol clunker once and for all. In 2017 the majority of new vehicles sold in Norway are e-vehicles. By 2025 all vehicles sold should be electric by law.
Why Norway? Because of government regulations and the convenient fact that Norway has a lot of hydro-power, the easiest form of renewable energy around, which ensures that e-driving is really clean and not a zero-sum game of moving emissions from a car exhaust to the fossil power station smoke stack.
And as the Dutch proverb goes: “if one (Norwegian) sheep has crossed the dam, more will follow.”
Like the Netherlands for instance. The flatlanders have no hydro-power worth mentioning, but ambitious offshore wind park plans, to be realized before 2023, providing enough electricity from wind to power an entire Dutch e-vehicle fleet. Like Norway, the Netherlands wants to phase out petrol cars after 2025.
[deepresource] – Suitable Offshore Wind Locations
The Dutch part of the North Sea could (in theory) power all European cars.
[deepresource] – Gemini Wind Farm Live Data
[bloomberg.com] – The Country Adopting Electric Vehicles Faster Than Anywhere Else
CO2 emissions from power generation will peak in 2026, and be 4% lower in 2040 than they were last year, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Much of this will be due to “unstoppable” renewable energy sources undercutting the majority of existing fossil fuel power stations, with the cost of solar dropping 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%.
[source] Overview border-crossing power exchanges.
In 2007, the EU was importing 82% of its oil and 57% of its gas, which then made it the world’s leading importer of these fuels. Russia, Canada, Australia, Niger and Kazakhstan were the five largest suppliers of nuclear materials to the EU, supplying more than 75% of the total needs in 2009. In 2015, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes.
The European Union has a decarbonisation policy that aims at phasing out most fossil fuels by 2050 (original goal: 95% cut from 1990 levels). Purpose: minimization climate change and help keeping global warming under 2 °C.
[wikipedia.org] – Energy policy of the European Union
Renewable energy sources, that are supposed to replace fossil fuel, are notoriously intermittent. This requires a continental grid where large amounts of energy can be transported from one country to another. In 2002 the EU decided that by 2020 every member state should be able to acquire at least 10% of its electricity needs from neighboring states. Currently 22 out of 28 EU member states are on track, c.q. have already achieved that aim.
[energypost.eu] – The Great Grid Special: where is Europe going with its grids?
In the 2014 the EU proposed to extend the 2020-10% target to 2030-15%:
Long distance electricity transport over thousands of kilometers is extremely cheap and efficient, with costs of US$ 0.005–0.02 / kWh. As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for direct-current transmission was determined to be 7,000 kilometres (4,300 miles). The consequence is that it is possible to contemplate the design of intercontinental grids, where offshore wind energy from Northern Europe (North Sea, Irish Sea and Baltic) can be combined with abundant solar energy from Northern Africa, the Sahara and even Saudi-Arabia (ignoring political aspects).
[wikipedia.org] – Electric power transmission
It is these kind of considerations that have led to the idea of the “European Super Grid”
[wikipedia.org] – European super grid
Speed record for an electric aircraft. Motor 50 kg and 260 kW, plane weight 1 ton. Top speed 340 kmh, flying a distance of 3 km on March 24, earlier this year.
Electric flying can be done more energy efficient than with flying on fuel.
Siemens believes that hybrid-technology offers the most promise: fuel for climbing and electricity for cruising. Siemens is cooperating with Airbus to get a proof of concept for a hybrid aircraft by 2020 for the short range: 100 passengers 1,000 km.
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.
Studying this graph could give cause to a somewhat relaxed attitude regarding doom stories related to a so-called “energy crisis”. The kicker: in 1945 there was hardly any electricity production in the Netherlands worth mentioning. If you project the current level of “decentral” generated electricity (wind, solar, bio, hydro, etc. and fossil based electricity and heat production by private parties other than power stations) onto the past, you arrive at 1970. Life was already pretty good in those days. There is no reason to assume that society would break down if for some reason electricity production would be reduced substantially.
Not to give the impression that “decentral” is the same as “renewable” (dark blue). It isn’t and there is no reason to be complacent. But once these offshore wind GWs are installed after 2030 there is no reason to despair with the Dutch energy situation as far as electricity is concerned. Space heating is a different story. Solution approach: seasonal storage of solar heat and most of all geothermal.
COBRAcable (COpenhagen-BRussels-Amsterdam cable) is a planned 320 kV, 700 MW HVDC submarine power cable between Eemshaven, the Netherlands, and Endrup near Esbjerg, Denmark.
The cable will have a length of 325–350 km, and will be jointly owned by Energinet.dk and TenneT. Its purpose is to improve the European transmission grid and thus to increase the amount of variable wind power in the energy mix while improving the supply security. Its 700 MW capacity corresponds to an annual transmission capacity of 6.1 TWh
[wikipedia.org] – COBRAcable
The capacity of the cable, to be completed in 2019, would be sufficient to power a city like Amsterdam. The construction of the cable is a natural part of the strategy to move towards more renewable energy and the necessity to even out intermittent supply.
Surprise visit Vladimir Putin to Simferopol, the capital of the Crimea, to announce that the Crimea will be connected to the grid again via an undersea cable, coming from main-land Russia as per December 15. The Crimea is currently cut-off from previous electricity-provider Ukraine.
[source] Lower-Saxony, Germany
Some good news from Germany for a change: in 2015 the country will generate 33% of its electricity from renewable sources. This is up from 27% last year, a massive increase. At this growth rate, Germany could generate electricity 100% renewable by 2027.
Total amount of renewable generated electricity: 193 billion kwh or 55 billion euro against end consumer prices (28.8 cent/kwh).
On Saturday July 25, 2015, 78% of Germany’s electricity needs were covered by renewable sources, a new record.
[cleantechnica.com] – Germany Will Reach 33% Renewable Electricity This Year
Japanese scientists have made a breakthrough step towards developing new energy source for humans in the future by for the first time transmitting electric power wirelessly to a pinpoint target using microwaves.
Japanese scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have succeeded using microwaves to deliver 1.8 kilowatts of power through the air to a pinpoint target 55 meters away, a spokesman for the agency said.
“This was the first time anyone has managed to send a high output of nearly two kilowatts of electric power via microwaves to a small target, using a delicate directivity control device,” he said as quoted by AFP on Thursday.
[rt.com] – Wireless electricity: Scientists send energy 55 meters away through air
[phys.org] – Japan space scientists make wireless energy breakthrough
[wikipedia.org] – Space-based solar power
[spectrum.ieee.org] – Feature Green TechSolar How Japan Plans to Build an Orbital Solar Farm
For the first time, renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass & hydro combined) is the largest contributor to the electricity generation mix with 25.8% or 157,4 billion kwh. Lignite comes second, nuclear and coal are declining.
[spiegel.de] – Öko-Energie erstmals wichtigste Stromquelle
Airbus E-FAN is a small experimental aircraft powered entirely by electricity.
‘Fuel’ cost cuts for a one-hour flight: $55 –> $16
120 lithium-ion polymer battery cells, stored in the wings
Two 30 kilowatt engines –> 80 hp –> 136 mph top speed.
Current range: 30 minutes. Airbus is working to extend that to over an hour.
Electricity use 520 TWh. Renewable 149 TWh next year. Germany is on track for the target of 35% in 2020.
No, this did not happen on a Sunday but on a Thursday, around noon, during the middle of the working week of this industrial giant, admittedly under the best of circumstances. Day average was 36.4% renewable. Who knows when we are going to see that renewable electricity production will hit the 100% mark for the first time. 2020?
An essential part of the solution to Europe’s energy problems is the European Supergrid. It means that all European countries will be interconnected to even out demand and supply patterns. Most countries in continental Europe are already strongly interconnected. A missing link though are connections to the country that could serve as ‘Europe’s battery pack‘: Norway.
Siemens has won a 1.1 billion euro contract to connect England and Scotland (420 km, 2200 megawatts bi-directional, late 2015).
SSE’S Norway Interconnector Project. Meanwhile, SSE has withdrawn from the project. NorthConnect‘s other partners, Sweden’s Vattenfall and Norwegian companies E-CO Energi, Agder Energi and Lyse, said it would not affect their plans. NorthConnect has the support of Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, the man pushing for Scottish independence.
[bloomberg.com] – NorthConnect Won’t Cancel Plan for U.K.-Norway Electricity Cable.
“Iceland is considering building the world’s longest subsea power cable by around 2020 to take advantage of its abundant geothermal energy to supply Britain with green power, the head of the state-run electricity producer said. “We can serve as a green battery for the U.K.,” Hordur Arnarson, the chief executive of Landsvirkjun said in an interview… Landsvirkjun expects to make a final investment decision on the 1,000 kilometre subsea cable by 2015-2016… McKinsey & Co. estimates it (Iceland) is harnessing only 20 to 25 per cent of its hydro and geothermal energy potential… Mr. Arnarson declined to cite a figure for the costs of construction, which would take five years and would entail laying cable 3,000 metres underwater in some areas. The longest subsea cable currently in operation is the 580-kilometre NorNed link from Norway to the Netherlands, which was completed in 2008 and cost €600-million ($784-million U.S.).”
[theglobeandmail.com] – Iceland revives plans for world’s longest subsea power cable, Jan 9, 2013.
Now even Israel wants to get connected to Europe (Greece), to start with Cyprus.
“The cable’s total length measures 870km (540 miles) and its depth is over 2,000 meters (656 feet). Between Israel and Cyprus, the cable will be 270km long. Electricity will flow in both directions at a capacity of up to 2,000MW. Another cable will connect Cyprus and Crete which forms part of the Greek electricity grid. As a result, Israel will be connected to the European electricity grid.”