Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “renewable”

The Netherlands Fossil Free in 2030

“A new world”. Dutch economist and politician Herman Wijffels about the necessity of a global sustainable transition.

There is pressure mounting in the Netherlands that the country should speed up the implementation of the Paris accords and EU energy policy of “Europe fossil free by 2050” and get the country largely fossil-free as early as 2030. The public financial position of the Netherlands is good (surplus) and there is broad popular support for the 2030 policy objective. And last but not least: there is a large commercial advantage if you are able to offer energy services to the rest of a world-in-transition. The idea is to influence the program of the new government, the formation of which is yet underway.

[] – Herman Wijffels
[] – Sign the petition for The Netherlands fossil free by 2030.
[] – Oproep aan nieuw kabinet: Nederland fossielvrij in 2030
[deepresource] – Netherlands Sustainable by 2030
[] – Manifest Jan Terlouw voor een duurzamer Nederland

[] – New Dutch national energy commissioner Ruud Koornstra.
[] – Ruud Koornstra eerste Energiecommissaris van Nederland

Dutch Island Ameland Energy Independent in 2020

Ferry to Ameland. Every Dutchman has positive associations with the island of Ameland. Ameland: that’s beaches, dunes, birds, holiday, cycling trips.

The ambitious mayor of Ameland wants to bring his island energy independence with solar panels, fuel cells, heat pumps, energy storage and bio gas. No wind turbines.

[] – Ameland


Read more…

German Voice Against Energy Wende

Youtube text:

Published 3 nov. 2014

Universitätsöffentlicher Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn, Präsident des ifo Instituts, 16. Dezember 2013

[] – Energiewende ins Nichts

Wir haben ein Klimaproblem: 85 Prozent des Endenergiebedarfs der OECD-Länder und auch der Bundesrepublik Deutschland werden aus fossilen Brennstoffen gewonnen. Davon müssen wir weg. Bislang schien die Atomkraft den Weg in eine klimaneutrale Energieversorgung zu ermöglichen. Mit der Energiewende und ihrem Ausstieg aus der Atomkraft und den fossilen Energien steht man nun mit ziemlich leeren Händen da. Die Vorstellung, die Energieversorgung Deutschlands mit Wind- und Sonnenstrom aus heimischen Quellen zu sichern, ist eine Illusion. Die unsichere Versorgungssituation ist Gift für die Investitionsplanung der deutschen Industriefirmen. Die deutsche Politik sollte umsteuern und ihren nationalen Alleingang aufgeben. Professor Hans-Werner Sinn erläutert in einem universitätsöffentlichen Vortrag in der Großen Aula der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität die Konsequenzen der aktuellen Energiepolitik.

[] – Hans-Werner_Sinn

Power to Gas

Storage of intermittent renewable energy is one of the core challenges that needs to be addressed to make the energy transition away from fossil fuel work. Pumped hydro is a reliable method, but this requires the presence of mountains and valleys and these are in overpopulated Europe in short supply. Another approach is the conversion of renewable electricity into gas, like H2, CH4, CO, etc. “Power-to-gas”.

Read more…

Blueprint for 100% Renewable Energy Base in Germany

d-erneuerbar[Source]Share renewable energy Germany timeline

The renowned German Fraunhofer research institute presented in 2012 a blueprint of how a 100% renewable energy base could be realized in Germany. From the summary (p31):

It is possible for Germany to have a 100% renewable energy base (electricity and space heating) with a cost comparable with today and equal electricity consumption. Assumed though is a reduction of 50% of energy required for space heating through insulation measures. Wind power opportunities need to be completely exhausted. Long term energy buffering can be done with methane gas produced from renewable electricity. Warm water production from solar collectors and industrial waste heat, combined with seasonal storage. Installed PV: 200 GW (1250 million m2), solar-thermal: 130 GW (190 million m2). 75% can be installed on existing building roof tops. Additional required surface area: 400 km2 (20 x 20 km) or 0.011% of Germany.

[] – 100 % Erneuerbare Energien fuer Strom und Waerme in Deutschland (German)

Scotland Gearing Up For 50% Renewable Energy by 2030


The government of Scotland aims to increase the speed with which it wants to implement new renewable energy capcity to the tune of 50% by 2030. This involves overall energy consumption, including heat and transport, so not just electricity.

[] – The future of energy in Scotland
[] – Scotland Aims For 50% Renewable Energy By 2030

790 GW Renewable Energy Potential SE-Europe


The report underscores that SEE possesses vast technical renewable energy potential – equal to some 740 GW.” This renewable energy potential is dominated by wind and solar. “The region’s wind energy (532 GW) and solar PV (120 GW) potential is largely untapped, and 127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.”

[] – Cost-competitive renewable power generation: Potential across South East Europe (pdf 124p)
[] – 790 Gigawatts of Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Potential in South East Europe

IKEA 100% Renewable Energy by 2020

Swedish furniture giant with global reach IKEA has announced that it strives to become 100% sustainable. For starters 100% of the energy IKEA consumes will be produced “renewable” by 2020.

[] – IKEA 2015 Sustainability Report


Which Countries Run On 100% Renewable Energy?

Spoiler: Costa Rica, Iceland, Albania and Paraguay. All small nations with up to 6.7 million people and advantageous (hydro & geothermal) conditions.

Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution

Youtube text: Published 11 March 2015
Germany Trade & Invest presents its short film about Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution, the so called Energiewende (energy transition).
Voices from science, industry, and politics outline the achievements made so far, next steps, and the opportunities the energy transition offers.

How Denmark Aims to Run on Clean Energy

Youtube text: Published on 12 dec. 2015
In Denmark, officials have taken strides to minimize the effects of climate change by converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Over the next 35 years, the country aspires to become the first nation on earth to run completely, including transportation, on clean energy. NewsHour Special Correspondent Lisa Desai reports.

Netherlands Sustainable by 2030


The Netherlands committed itself to the EU agenda of becoming fossil-free by 2050. Urgenda is a club that says that it can (and should) be done by 2030. The linked pdf contains a plan of action of how to get there: financing, dwelling, food, wind, solar, “bio-based industry”. The program is based on the energy transition model of Quintel Intelligence.

[] – Nederland 100% duurzaam in 2030 [pdf]
[] – Stichting Urgenda
[] – Energie kan volledig duurzaam zijn in 2030

Dutch Railway Powered for 100% by Wind in 2017

Windpark Westermeerwind – largest power contributor Dutch Rail

By 2017, all of our trains will run on sustainable energy. This will provide passengers with access to climate-neutral travel over longer distances… The electricity will be generated by newly constructed wind farms belonging to our energy supplier Eneco. This will also stimulate the energy market and help the growth of sustainable energy providers. By 2017, all electric trains in the Netherlands will run on sustainable energy.

European wind parks contributing to Dutch Rail

[] – Sustainable Energy
[] – Windpark Westermeerwind
[] – Official site (English)

Read more…

German Energy Giant E-ON Suffers Massive Losses


Energy giant E-ON has suffered a loss of 5 billion euro over the first nine months of 2015. Main reason: depreciation of their gas and coal power stations.

Editor: der Spiegel doesn’t say so, but it is obvious that now that Germany is able to generate 33% of its electricity from renewable sources, installed over the past decade or two, fossil fuel based electricity production is simply cornered by wind and solar. This is good news.

[] – E.on soll milliardenschwere Verluste eingefahren haben

Germany Electricity 2015 – 33% Renewable

lower-saxony-wind[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.

[] – Germany Will Reach 33% Renewable Electricity This Year

Too Much German Renewable Electricity?

Soon renewable energy will be the largest slice of the overall electricity cake. And it is only 2015.

Article reports about mismatch between German renewable energy supply and the transportation/storage infrastructure for that electricity. ‘Free’ German renewable energy is pushed into the grid, forcing other countries to adapt their fossil-based supply accordingly.

High electricity prices doesn’t stop Germany and Denmark to be among the most prosperous countries in Europe.

[] – Germany Struggles With Too Much Renewable Energy?

Very Strong Support in Europe for Renewable Energy



[] – Europeans Keep Saying Yes To Renewables

Buying Renewable Energy Straight From The Source

Dutch TV add offering electricity directly from renewable producers.

[] – van de bron (from the source)

Cassandra Ugo Bardi and the Philosophy of Less


Ugo Bardi is a member of ASPO Italy and has written books about resource depletion. And on top of that since March 2011 he maintains a blog named Cassandra Legacy. Browsing through his earlier entries it is obvious that Bardi is not afraid to use the word ‘collapse’.

Yet two days ago he posted an article on his blog that seems to contradict his earlier concern:

With the ongoing collapse of the oil prices, we can say that it is game over for the oil and gas industry, in particular for the production of “tight” (or “shale”) oil and gas. Prices may still go back to reasonably high levels, in the future, but the industry will never be able to regain the momentum that had made its US supporters claim “energy independence” and “centuries of abundance.” The bubble may not burst all of a sudden, but it surely will deflate… I think we can identify at least three different strategies for the future: 1) more of the same (oil and gas) 2) a push to nuclear, and 3) a push for renewables. Let’s see to examine what the future may have in store for us…

3. A big push for renewables. Surprisingly, the renewable industry may have serious chances to take over from a senescent oil industry, leaving the nuclear industry standing still and gasping at the sight. The progress in renewable technology, especially in photovoltaic cells, has been simply fantastic during the past decade (see, e.g., the recent MIT report). We have now a set of methods for producing electric power that can compete with traditional sources, watt for watt, dollar for dollar. Consider that the most efficient of these technologies do not need critically rare materials and that none brings the strategic and security problem of nuclear. Finally, consider that it has been shown (Sgouridis, Bardi, and Csala) that the present renewable technology could take over from the current sources fast enough to prevent major damage from climate change.

It looks like we have a winner, right? Indeed, the atmosphere around renewables is one of palpable optimism. If renewable energy picks up enough momentum, there will be nothing able to stop it until it has catapulted all of us, willing or not, into a new (and cleaner) world.

There is a problem, though. The renewable industry is still tiny in comparison to the nuclear industry and especially in comparison to the oil and gas industry. And we know that might usually wins against right. The sheer financial power of the traditional energy industry may well be enough to abort the change before it becomes unstoppable. Something wicked may still come……. (*)

Editor: we started our blog nine months later than Bardi started his and we have arrived at the same conclusion as he does: in principle there is no long term energy problem. Renewables can for 100% replace fossil fuel as an energy source. And in all likelihood there is enough fossil fuel left to set up this new renewable energy infrastructure. Creating 10-15 solar panels per household is less of an effort than producing a car for said household and far less costly and lasts 30 years, so what’s the problem? Our focus of concern has moved away from energy problems towards geopolitical transition and risk of war, financial instability and multicultural destabilization.

EXTRACTED says that we are reaching the limits of economically feasible extraction of a number of mineral commodities, including metals and fossil fuels, as while the world will never run out of its minerals, extracting them will prove far more expensive, making their everyday use unfeasible. Instead, we must meticulously manage what is left and use renewables to generate energy. We need to close the industrial cycle, recover the minerals used and transform our approach to resources.

Ugi Bardi’s speech during the hearing “EU Energy Security Strategy under the conditions of the Internal Energy Market” organized by ITRE Committee (Industry, research, energy) at the European Parliament, Brussels 2014-11-5. Bardi is professor of Chemistry at the University of Florence and he is past chair and cofounder of Aspo Italia, the Italian association for the study of peak oil.

[] – Ugo Bardi
[] – Ugo Bardi
[] – Wir versuchen die Leute zu warnen

Iceland as a Potentional Renewable Energy Exporter


Iceland has a lot of vulcanic activity as a consequence of its location on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge:


Iceland has a population of merely 326,000 people, living in a mostly uninhabited mountainous area of 103,000 km2. The mountain and vulcanic activity are interesting from an energy point of view: potential for hydro power and storage (larger than mountainous Italy or Spain), as well as geothermal energy (hot water), providing for 85% of the domestic energy needs. The rest comes from imported oil for transport. Iceland has quite a large hydrogen production capacity used in cars. Since 2012 Iceland is in talks with the UK about constructing a cable for transmission of electricity between the two countries. Electricity prices in Iceland and UK are 9 and 20 dollar cent/kwh resp., which offers potential for export from Iceland to the UK and the rest of Europe. Most potential for hydro power and geothermal energy has not been developed; the Icelanders are already by far the biggest energy consumers on the planet:

Translating over-all energy use (oil, gas, coal, nuclear, renewable) into kg oil equivalent/capita you get, according to the Worldbank:

Iceland 16,905
Canada 7,474
US 7,056
Russia 4,559
Germany 3,825
Ukraine 2,485
China 1,717
Senegal 260

So, how much potential does Iceland have to offer?

[Deutsche Welle] – Icelandic power export plans still a pipe dream
[] – Iceland Looks to Export Power Bubbling From Below
[] – Power under the sea
[] – Energy in Iceland
[] – In Iceland, Geothermal Energy is “Use or Lose It”
[] – Iceland’s volcanoes may power UK
[] – Icelandic hydroelectric power stations
[] – Hydro Power
Iceland’s precipitation combined with extensive highlands, has an enormous energy potential or up to 220 TWh/yr. Of the primary energy consumption in Iceland, in 2008, 20% was generated from hydropower. The total electricity production was in 2008, 12,5 TWh from hydro.

[] – Development of a methodology for estimation of Technical Hydropower potential in Iceland using high resolution Hydrological Modeling

Calculations were performed with this new method and results presented at an industry conference in 1981 (Tómasson, 1981). The calculations showed that total hydropower potential from precipitation was 252 TWh/yr, where the greatest potential was in the south-east, part of Iceland which has extensive glacial coverage and the least potential in the northern- and western part with less precipitation and lower elevation.


Post Navigation