Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “energy transition”

The Energy Transition has a Copper Problem

Copper demand could outstrip supply by 2040.

With copper on the frontline of the energy transition and a mining super-cycle on the way, can the red metal meet the challenge of transformational demand? Julian Kettle, Senior Vice President, Vice Chair Metals and Mining asks whether a mismatch between the rhetoric and the reality of supply development could constrain copper market growth – and even slow the pace of the energy transition.

There is a reason why wind turbine developers are contemplating mounting electrolysers within the tower, so that hydrogen can be tapped by ships, rather than sending electricity through copper wires to the mainland or energy islands. In contrast to copper, there will be no lack of steel for wind towers and hydrogen pipe-lines.

The EU has even created the OYSTER project to investigate the possibilities of wind-electrolyser integration.

[] – Will a lack of supply growth come back to bite the copper industry?
[] – ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration
[] – Hydrogen made at the wind turbine
[] – Wind turbines with integrated electrolyzer demonstrate sustainable hydrogen production at sea
[] – Copper
[] – List of countries by copper production
[] – Peak copper

One Month Without Natural Gas Central Heating

Infrared thermal panel, 300 Watt, 60 x 50 x 1 cm, cost 80 euro, excl. delivery. Manufacturer: Koenighaus, Emmerich, Germany, but there are many other suppliers.

By the end of October I bought online a 300 Watt infrared panel, with the intent to see if the room thermostat position could be lowered with 1-3 C without loss of comfort, placed it on my desk, next to the two computer monitors in use and leaning against the third unused monitor and was amazed with the thermal comfort it provided.

Shortly after, the temptation arose to see if I could do without natural gas-fueled central heating at all and formulated the following challenge:

  • For the entire month of November, switch off the central heating completely.
  • Minimal gas consumption is allowed for tap water and ultra short shower.
  • I may buy anything to increase thermal comfort, provided it uses no fossil fuel and only modest amounts of electricity.
  • Investments may not cost a lot.
  • Consider the exercise as a preparation for times plagued by fuel shortages, for instance in case of a major conflict between the US and China over Taiwan.

The background of this challenge is that European gas reserves could run on empty, later this winter, especially if this winter is going to be cold, see Reuters link and graph at the bottom of this post [1].

Personal situation: non-vaccinated and hence since today (6-11-2021) completely excluded from Dutch society (minus the super-market). Reason personal refusal vaccins: I am pretty sure I contracted Covid in March 2020 after a holiday in Bulgaria and could fairly easily handle that and am weary to let vaccins interfere with my good health and ditto immune system, especially not with these “head over heels” mRNA garbage, that needs to be “refreshed” every few months or so, a boon maybe for Pfizer c.s., but a considerable risk for the population. I would prefer to not take any vaccine at all, but if that means permanent social exclusion, I’ll settle for the upcoming Novavax/Valneva, more conventional vaccines. The point to make is that this entire winter I’ll be stuck in my home, apart from the daily 1 hour jog in a nearby forest.

My living room of ca. 30 m2 is split in two by a thick curtain, that was installed years ago for energy saving purposes, but so far never used. The smaller part of 10 m2 is where my bureau is and a 4 m2 South-West-facing window, enjoying direct unhindered sunlight as of 11:00. Apart from the infrared panel I have this:

Stoov Big Hug XL“, Utrecht, the Netherlands, very effective and cheap electro-wired body warmer chair cover. Comes with battery and 3 position regulator. Powered by a small laptop-like charger, can’t be consuming much. Only electro-wired clothing would be more effective. It certainly is at least as effective as the infrared panel, due to direct contact with the body. The third position is very warm, which is only comfortable in the first half hour in the morning. Battery + power supply are sufficient to guarantee warmth during the entire day (ca. 8:00-19:00)

Prospects are good. Today, 6-11-2021 was the coldest night so far and until November 20, temperatures won’t be lower. If I can stomach this, I can stomach them all.

Personal daily, as well as cumulative gas and electricity consumption data from November 2020, while in lockdown and at home all day (like in November 2021). Average daily numbers: cost – 5.06 euro, electricity – 5.18 kWh, gas – 4.56 m3 (divide all numbers by 30).

The final number for November 2021, after a month of not using the gas-fueled central heating: 50% less cost than last year, with much higher per unit cost this year.

Same data for November 2021. Average daily numbers: cost – 1.74 euro, electricity – 7.00 kWh, gas – 0.13 m3.

Date T living room T outside Elec. kWh Gas m3
November 2020 average 5.18 4.56
——————— ———— ——— ——
01-11-2021 08:00 xx.x 6.5 6.00 0.33
02-11-2021 08:00 xx.x 2.7 7.00 0.14
03-11-2021 08:00 xx.x 0.1 7.00 0.13
04-11-2021 08:00 xx.x 1.5 8.00 0.31
05-11-2021 08:00 xx.x 1.0 6.00 0.24
06-11-2021 08:00 15.5 5.2 8.00 0.36
07-11-2021 08:00 15.5 10.2 9.00 0.24
08-11-2021 08:00 16.0 6.0 8.00 0.32
09-11-2021 08:00 15.5 3.0 8.00 0.34
10-11-2021 08:00 15.1 1.0 8.00 0.36
11-11-2021 00:00 15.3 4.2 9.00 0.19
12-11-2021 00:00 15.5 1.0 10.00 0.53
13-11-2021 00:00 16.0 8.0 10.00 0.13
14-11-2021 00:00 16.5 8.2 12.00 0.53
15-11-2021 00:00 16.5 7.3 12.00 0.19
16-11-2021 00:00 15.9 5.8 11.00 0.22
17-11-2021 00:00 15.5 5.7 12.00 0.36
18-11-2021 00:00 14.8 5.0 9.00 0.36
19-11-2021 00:00 16.0 10.2 11.00 0.47
20-11-2021 00:00 16.5 8.1 9.00 0.57
21-11-2021 00:00 16.3 8.4 11.00 0.22
22-11-2021 00:00 15.0 1.2 7.00 0.53
23-11-2021 00:00 14.3 3.3 11.00 0.12
24-11-2021 00:00 15.3 3.1 12.00 0.22
25-11-2021 00:00 14.2 3.2 10.00 0.61
26-11-2021 00:00 14.2 4.0 13.00 0.19
27-11-2021 00:00 13.2 0.1 10.00 0.82
28-11-2021 00:00 13.2 2.1 13.00 0.27
29-11-2021 00:00 13.2 0.3 10.00 0.56
30-11-2021 00:00 13.4 5.0 20.00 0.75

(Temperatures in Celsius at dawn = minimum)
Began this challenge and recording as of 6 November and will be completed by the end of that month. Swithing off the central heating completely already occured before November 1.


03-11-2021 – Eventually you will get your bed warm from your own body, nevertheless, without heating it doesn’t go fast enough. So I bought 3 old-fashioned bed jars, 2 rubber ones from the Action for 2.99 euro en one from the HEMA for 19.00. That really solved the problem, 8 hours per day entirely covered, thermally speaking. The cheap ones are better due to their flat shape and stay where they are, the aluminium cylinder gets kicked out of bed during the sleep.

Read more…

Vind0 Energy Island Taking Shape

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has found partners to realize the North Sea energy island VindØ:

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a leading global fund manager focused on renewable energy investments, and an industry leader in offshore wind, has signed a partnership agreement with four internationally renowned companies within marine and offshore construction services, to develop the energy island in the Danish North Sea. CIP acts as project developer on behalf of an investor consortium composed of PensionDanmark and PFA, two of Denmark’s largest pension funds, and Denmark’s largest utility company, Andel (collectively known as the “VindØ consortium”)… The four chosen contractors are ACCIONA, Boskalis, DEME and MT Højgaard International, each of which offer a unique set of capabilities and experience… The energy island in the North Sea will be located approximately 80-100 kilometres off the Danish west coast, where conditions for green energy production based on offshore wind are optimal. The island will be able to connect 10 GW of offshore wind to Denmark and other neighbouring markets, host an innovation zone with potential for large-scale energy storage and Power-to-X technologies, and provide accommodation and operation and maintenance services from onsite harbour facilities.

[] – CIP secures world-class global contractor group for the world’s first energy island project

Renewables Surpass Fossil Fuel in Europe’s Electricity

A significant milestone has been reached in Europe, where the share of renewables has overtaken that of fossil fuel in electricity generation. Fossil fuel fell to 37%, renewables rose from 34.6% in 2019 to 38.2% in 2020. Covid-19 no doubt was a great help.

[] – The European Power Sector in 2020

RES – Energy Transition in the Netherlands Until 2030

RES introductory video (English)

The energy transition is going to happen for real in the Netherlands. Targets for 2030:

49 TWh offshore wind
35 TWh onshore wind (ca. 2100 turbines)
220 km2 solar parks (0.5% total area country)

The tiny Netherlands and its landscape are going to change drastically. Popular resistance is expected to be considerable.

[] – RES, official government project site

The Netherlands is divided into 30 energy provinces. Indicated is the amount of allocated renewable energy

Read more…

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