Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “renewable”

Dutch Renewable Electricity Share 2015-2021

Dutch 12-month moving average share renewable electricity

[] – Martien Visser

Timeline Dutch Renewable Electricity Production

This graph includes the seasonal variability of solar- and wind-based renewable electricity. Note that solar and wind compensate each other fairly well over the year. But this graph says nothing about grand hourly variability.

In 7 years from 6 to 20% and in the last 4 years from 10 to 20%.

[] – Martien Visser

This cumulative graph includes biomass.

[] – Aandeel groene stroom stijgt: ruim een kwart is nu duurzaam. Maar de groei wordt bedreigd

EU 2019 Renewable Primary Energy Share

[] – Martien Visser

Scotland #1 EU Renewable Energy Country


OK. Scotland isn’t an EU-country anymore, but in heart it is, and the chances are good that it will manage to escape from the economic black hole that is the UK, like the Irish managed to do, 100 years ago, only to thrive within the EU.

And if it does return to the European family of nations, where it belongs, it will turn out that Scotland will be the first renewable energy country within the European Union. In 2020, the Highlands produced no less than 97% of its electricity from renewable sources and 35% renewable primary energy. Only Norway and Iceland do better in Europe.

[] – Scotland in top three renewable generators across Europe
[] – Renewables met 97% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2020

The Netherlands 42% Renewable Electricity during Week 30


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.

Eni Expanding in France and Spain

It’s not just Vestas and Siemens, you know… Italian oil major Eni is boosting its investments into renewable energy projects around the world. Like in France and Spain, where it recently acquired 4.2 GW of operational or in advanced stage of development projects.

Continental European countries are conquering global renewable energy markets by storm. In the 17th century, it was the Netherlands and its iconic windmills that enabled the Dutch Golden Age. In the 19th century, it was coal and steam that enabled the British Empire. In the 20th century, it was oil and gas that enabled the US Empire, that is now walking on its last legs. American hegemony will be replaced by a multi-polar world order: a European world (including Russia and parts of a Balkanized North-America), a Chinese world, a Muslim world, an African world, a Hindu world, etc. “World’s” defined by historic legacy and identity, rather than the untenable material progress of the past four centuries and its perpetual economic growth.

[source] 400 years of Modernity spearheaded by three white, protestant, capitalist, Anglo empires. The often overlooked aspect that enabled these empires was its new energy source. Historians are seldom engineers, to their own detriment.

We’ll leave it to you as an exercise to figure out how the 21st century will look like, energy-wise. But it is too early for the likes of Donald Rumsfeld to write off “old Europe”. Donald Rumsfeld b.t.w. recently died… of old age.

[] – Eni boosts Spanish and French renewable portfolio with ‘strategic’ gigascale buy-ups
[] – Eni to buy Italian wind portfolio from Glennmont in green drive
[] – Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (Eni)

Read more…

Top 15 Solar & Wind Countries in 2020

All European, plus Uruguay, Australia and Chile.
Absolute champ Denmark with 61%.
30 more years to complete the transition.

[] – The top 15 wind and solar power countries in 2020

50% Dutch Green Electricity Consumption in 2020

No less than 50% of all Dutch electricity in 2020 was green thanks to our own production (26% wind, solar and biomass) and also (net) import of GVOs from other countries. This #graphoftheday in honor of the 20th anniversary of @CertiQ, which facilitates the GVO system in NL..

GVO = Garantie van Oorsprong = Guarantee of Origin

The Netherlands may be a laggard in producing renewable electricity, it nevertheless shines in consuming green electricity, about half of which is imported from its neighbors.

[] – Martien Visser
[] – Certiq
[] – Guarantee of origin

A Guarantee of Origin (GO or GoO) is a tracking instrument defined in article 15 of the European Directive 2009/28/EC. A GO labels electricity from renewable sources to provide information to electricity customers on the source of their energy. Guarantees of origin are the only precisely defined instruments evidencing the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Read more…

China rolls out first renewable energy sky train

Youtube text:

A glass-bottom sky train of China’s first renewable energy-suspension railway demonstration line rolled off in southwest China’s Chengdu on June 26. The sky train has glass paneling on three sides, offering passengers on board a stunning 270-degree view. The maximum capacity of one carriage is 120 people. Driven by new energy resources, the sky train is greener and more economical. According to its developer, the train tops out at 80 kilometers per hour and costs only about one-sixth to one-eighth of a regular subway.

Less Green Electricity in Germany in H1-2021


In H1-2021 the yield of renewable electricity in Germany (43%) was less than in H1-2020 (50%), a direct consequence of the variability of the weather. This was a rather cold spring and the installation of new capacity is stalling.

[] – Ökostrom-Versorgung geht deutlich zurück

The Winning Renewables – Solar/Wind or Fusion?

Currently, renewable energy generation, like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and hydrogen and batteries as storage, have a cutting edge globally. In the long term, however, huge technological surprises are still possible. Fusion power in a way is proven technology. In fact, the entire universe is based on it. Without fusion energy, there would be no wind, solar and the rest.

The only real difference between stellar fusion and human fusion attempts is that in the first case, the fusion reactor is kept together by the forces of gravity, something that on earth is unthinkable.

The Californian private company TAE Technologies claims to have achieved a significant breakthrough:

Foothill Ranch, CA — April 8, 2021 — TAE Technologies, the world’s largest private fusion energy company, has announced a landmark fusion technology milestone by producing stable plasma at 50M+ degrees Celsius in a proprietary compact reactor design that can scale to competitive fusion-generated power.

The fuel consists of hydrogen and boron-11. The company, that has no shortage of cash, expects to bring a commercially competitive fusion reactor to market by 2030.

The company was founded in 1998, has 150 employees and by 2021 has accumulated $880 million. It has the backing of investors like Goldman Sachs, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., Rockefeller’s Venrock, New Enterprise Associates and the Russian government.

The company said it can now sustain a plasma for an indefinite amount of time. TAE’s reactor needs to be able to heat plasma to 100 million degrees Celsius, but it recently demonstrated it can get to 50 million degrees C, which gives it confidence it can reach its goal before the end of the decade.

Not sure to look forward to a future with cheap, infinite energy, even if clean. It would be a hyper-mobile world.

TAE is not the only one making real progress:

[] – China’s Artificial Sun Sets New World Record Getting Closer to Nuclear Fusion

The artificial sun, also called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), achieved plasma temperature at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds and 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius) for 20 seconds, reported the Chinese state-affiliated newspaper Global Times

The Chinese achieved higher temperatures than the Americans, but admit that they still haven’t achieved “stability”.

The Wikipedia page for TAE says…

In 2021, TAE Technologies stated Norman was regularly producing a stable plasma at temperatures over 50 million degrees

…which begs the question of what their stability duration record now really is. And if it is stable, can they acieve 100 million Celsius and still keep it stable?

The TAE-fusion reactor

[] – Fusion Energy Milestone from TAE Technologies
[] – TAE Technologies
[] – Carbon-free Energy by Fusion Technology
[] – Fusion timeline
[] – Alle Energieprobleme auf einen Schlag gelöst? Großer Durchbruch bei der Kernfusion in den USA
[] – Look inside this lab where scientists are recreating the energy of the sun to produce nearly unlimited clean energy
[] – This Nuclear Reactor Just Made Fusion Viable by 2030. Seriously.
[] – TAE reaches ‘hot enough’ plasma milestone
[] – Claiming a landmark in fusion energy, TAE Technologies sees commercialization by 2030

Read more…

Mercedes Star Becomes Wind Rotor

It’s difficult to find more convincing evidence for the victory of the ecological world view than this.

German Government Increases Renewable Energy Ambitions


Germany’s CDU-CSU-SPD government coalition has upgraded its 2030 renewable energy targets in the context of its “Climate Emergency Programme 2022”.

Rather than aiming for 71 GW onshore wind, the new target is 95 GW. Likewise, PV solar new target is 150 GW, rather than 100 GW. Additionally, an extra €8 billion is allocated for building energy efficiency, e-car subsidies and other climate-friendly industrial projects.

These figures originate from a draft proposal only.

[] – German govt to propose higher renewables targets in climate emergency programme

Het Paradijs op Aarde begint in Nederland

Dutch language video

Film about the renewable energy transition in the Netherlands, titled: “Paradise on Earth begins in the Netherlands”.

Dutch society is incredibly upbeat about the possibilities that the energy transition will bring for the Netherlands and Europe. Possibilities in science, technology, engineering, employment, business, climate, international standing. As if a new Dutch Golden Age is around the corner.

These expectations are correct.

[] – Dutch Golden Age

Today’s Renewable Energy Headlines

[twitter] Amsterdam 1953. No.Ugly.Cars.

[] – Finland Sheds More Light on Major Offshore Wind Project

Finnish state-owned enterprise Metsähallitus plans to have the Korsnäs offshore wind farm up and running as early as 2028. Metsähallitus, which is currently in the process of selecting a partner to jointly develop the project, said that the wind farm, located some 15 kilometres off the coast of the municipality of Korsnäs, will have a minimum capacity of 1,400 MW.

Read more…

Citizen Renewable Energy

It’s possible to have energy without big government or big corporations.

A film about the citizen-led community-energy movement in Europe and the visionaries lighting the way.

Imagine upending the traditional energy system and giving the power of clean electricity production back to your neighbors. We the Power follows friends, families and visionaries as they break down legislative barriers and take power back from big energy companies to put it in the hands of locals and strengthen their towns. The film chronicles local cooperatives from deep in Germany’s Black Forest to the streets of ancient Girona in Spain and the urban rooftops of London, England, as they pave the way for a renewable energy revolution and build healthier, financially stable communities.

Dutch Energy Island IJver

IJVER is the working name of a proposed energy island in the North Sea. The name is a contraction of “IJmuiden Ver”, the name of the largest planned offshore wind park, to be realized before 2030 (6.1 GW). The purpose of this island to function as a hub for the combined wind turbine output, to produce hydrogen and pump it onshore through an existing pipeline network.

The star indicates the location of the island, near the NSE_1_3 pipelines.

[] – Groene Waterstof op Zee?
[] – IJverGas (pdf, 148p)

Today’s Renewable Energy Headlines

[] – Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry Signs Offshore Wind MoU with IFC

[] – US Oil Major Chevron Enters Offshore Wind Market

[] – ‘It’s an achievable number, 30GW’: US Wind readies for the big Atlantic offshore build

The Biden-US has formulated the (rather modest) goal of 30 GW offshore wind by 2030.

[] – ‘Catalytic’ billion-euro hydrogen fund led by former Air Liquide VP launched

[] – Uniper plans green hydrogen hub instead of LNG terminal at German North Sea port

Fortum unit Uniper plans to turn the North Sea port town of Wilhelmshaven into a national hub for climate-friendly hydrogen, including an import terminal for green ammonia and a 410MW electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen

[] – Solar shines as European corporate renewable energy deals hit new heights

New buyers, new countries, new records as EU companies ink some 4GW of green power production agreements in 2020, according to WindEurope figures

[] – IKEA retailer invests $272m in 160MW of Russian solar projects

[] – 63% Of Europeans Living In Cities Support EU Ban On Petrol & Diesel Car Sales After 2030

Norwegian Oil Fund Invests in Dutch Offshore Wind Park

[source] Fill er up! Well, well, well… 5.4 million people owning 1.1 trillion euro, that’s 200k per capita, build-up over merely 20 years. The Norwegians have a luxury problem: what to do with all that money? And then they saw the European Renewable Energy Policy and they knew their problem was solved.

The Norwegian Statens pensjonsfond Utland just acquired 50% of the newly built Borssele I & II offshore wind parks from Danish wind developer Ørsted. Until now this state-owned pension fund was focussed on oil investments. Investment sum: 1.4 billion euro. The Norwegian fund sits on a staggering 1.1 trillion euro and is the largest public fund in the world. Ironically, the fund got its mammoth size thanks to Norwegian oil revenue.

The take-away point is that the financial resources to fund the renewable energy transition are virtually limitless, now that the transition is backed by:

1) Paris Accords
2) EU Green Deal
3) Global and especially European public opinion.

A large share of the funds will come from Scandinavia. Owning the parks yourself would be best, but geopolitically this is still preferable over US, UK, Chinese or Arabian ownership of the parks. Norway is de facto member of the EU Common Market.

[] – Norwegischer Pensionsfonds investiert erstmals in Meereswindpark

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