Enyway is a new market for locally produced electricity and spin-off of a large renewable energy producer Lichtblick (“glimmer of hope”), a sort of AirBnB for electricity. Enyway is not a producer but a market place, a mediator. If you have a spare roof or unused piece of land, you can install solar panels and directly sell you electricity to others via the Enyway portal. This development could encourage private investment in renewable energy. The key-success factor could be the feed-in tariff system, that could be abolished soon, now that the energy transition is in full swing. Local producers could use this to sell their renewable energy to buyers, who prefer renewable energy over fossil-generated kWh’s. The real upshot is that new investment opportunities open up for private persons. increasing the speed of the energy transition.
Dutch electricity supply. Currently almost all electricity consumed is produced in the Netherlands. The plan in accordance with the EU is to replace almost all fossil generated electricity by renewable power by 2050 at the latest.
Electricity consumption: 120 billion kWh/year
Electricity per capita: 7085 kWh/year
Total installed capacity: 31.5 GW
Average consumption: 13.7 GW
Total connections: 8 million
Capacity factor latest North Sea wind farms: 50%
Assuming no storage losses then you would need 27.4 GW offshore nameplate wind power to meet current Dutch electricity demand levels. By 2023 4.5 GW are expected to be installed in the North Sea. Already allocated but not all covered with tenders yet are:
Borssele: 2064 MW
Hollandse Kust: 7350 MW
IJmuiden Ver: 7020 MW
Waddeneilanden: 1200 MW
Total: 17.5 GW
No fixed time table for these 17.5 GW exist, but if the first 4.5 GW are realized in 2023, you can expect that new capacity will be built with existing offshore production capacity in at least the same pace or higher. Since we already have 1 GW installed, the remaining 4.5-1=3.5 GW would take 5-6 years or 640 MW/year. The remaining 17.5-4.5=13 GW would require an additional 13/0.64=20 years or 2043 with existing installation capacity. In reality the offshore wind industry is rapidly growing and the targeted 17.5 GW will be achieved earlier, probably much earlier. Expect that by 2050 the Netherlands will enjoy the renewable energy consumption enabling them to continue the current affluence levels and will have created new large wealth creating industries in the energy and storage sector. Note that these figures do not include existing or future wind and solar capacity onshore.
After that the sky is the limit because the offshore industry could sell a lot of electricity or its hydrogen derivative abroad. Expect NW-European offshore wind industry like Vestas, Orsted (Dong), Siemens, SiF, Van Oord and many others to take over from big oil names like Gazprom, Exxon, Texaco, BP, Shell and many others. Or as president Gorbachev uses to say: He who comes too late is punished by life.
The good news is that in 2018 corporations are competing to develop offshore wind parks without a dime of subsidy, neither for the infrastructure nor for the kWh’s brought onshore. Paying market prices for kWh’s brought onshore is enough for them to be profitable. All the government has to do is allocate offshore locations and pay for the cables.
The only remaining challenge is storage, a considerable one, but manageable. It is likely that hydrogen from electrolysis is going to play a big role here.
17.5 GW nameplate power would mean 8.8 GW continuously or 64% or 2017 electricity demand. That would be enough to uphold a reasonable affluent society. It would be like living in 1980, albeit with electricity consuming devices (lights, television, fridges) that are far more energy efficient. But it is far more likely that by 2050 more than the current 13.7 GW average consumption will be brought onshore, providing electricity for trains and e-vehicles as well. The Dutch train system is already fully covered by wind. And here a calculation that you need merely 222 wind turbines of 6 MW each to power the entire Dutch personal car fleet.
According to new legislation, every home in the Netherlands needs to be energy neutral by 2030. No natural gas connection will be guaranteed for new homes. This requires solar panels, thermal collectors, heat pumps and thorough thermal insulation measures. It is ambitious but feasible.
[cbs.nl] – 2015-elektriciteit-in-nederland
[energynumbers.info] – Capacity factors Danish offshore wind farms
[noordzeeloket.nl] – Dutch plans North Sea Wind (map)
[rijksoverheid.nl] – Bedrijfsleven bereid zonder subsidie windpark op zee te bouwen
P.S. the goal of the Dutch government is to have 6 GW wind power installed onshore by 2020.
Sites with lower capacity factors may be deemed feasible for wind farms, for example the onshore 1 GW Fosen Vind which as of 2017 is under construction in Norway has a projected capacity factor of 39%. Certain onshore wind farms can reach capacity factors of over 60%, for example the 44 MW Eolo plant in Nicaragua had a net generation of 232.132 GWh in 2015, equivalent to a capacity factor of 60.2%, while U.S. annual capacity factors from 2013 through 2016 range from 32.2% to 34.7%.
Let’s assume a capacity factor of 50%, that would mean that another 3 GW continuously (including not yet installed storage) are added to the mix as early as 2020.
And then there is solar:
Summary: by the end of 2016 there was 2.0 GW peak Watt PV-solar installed, which translates in 800 MW power continuously. By the end of 2017 the installed power had increased with 40%. So we can assume 1.1 GW of PV-solar power. The government wants solar panels on every suitable roof and the public is picking up the signal. In every street there are at l east a few houses that have panels on the roof, which will impose the question on the laggards: “when us?”, just like with owning a car or having an internet connection. Nobody wants to stay behind and everybody wants to be “green”. One of the largest energy providers in the Netherlands Eneco believes that as early as 2030, 70% of renewable electricity can be covered by renewables.
Despite a growing share of renewable energy in Germany, the grid remains as stable as ever: the average German has on average to endure a 11.5 minute/year blackout. Although grid stability will become an increasing challenge, for the moment everything is still fine.
[wattisduurzaam.nl] – Duitse stroomnet ondanks pieken windenergie superbetrouwbaar
A annual electricity generation of 3000 TWh is equivalent of 342 GW continuous average power.
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
French oil giant Total follows in the footsteps of that other European oil major Shell, in betting on the success of renewable energy. This is no doubt influenced by the radical choice for renewable energy by the European Union, that wants to get rid of fossil fuel in Europe by 2050.
[investopedia.com] – Oil Giant Total Sees Bright Future in Electricity
[erpecnewslive.com] – Total commits to electric vehicle charging stations in France
[thebiojournal.com] – French oil giant Total expands into solar energy in Japan
[reuters.com] – France’s Total buys stakes in solar power start-ups
[theguardian.com] – Total invests £800m in US solar power firm
[eenews.net] – Could France’s Total reinvent the grid?
[aiche.org] – French Oil Major Total Is Gung-Ho for Solar, Batteries and Grid 2.0
[telegraph.co.uk] – French oil firm Total bets on renewable energy with near €1bn bid for battery maker Saft
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
[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.