Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “uncategorized”

“The Population Bomb Has Been Defused”

Some of the most spectacularly wrong predictions in history have been made by those who claim that overpopulation is going to swamp the planet.

[] -The Population Bomb Has Been Defused


Lithium Mining

[] – Lithium

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EasyJet Believes in Electric Flying

EasyJet says that electric flying could be with us in a decade and for that purpose has begun a partnership with US firm Wright Electric to build a battery-powered plane for two hours flight duration.

[] – EasyJet says it could be flying electric planes within a decade
[] – Your airliner may be flying electric within a decade
[] – EasyJet could be flying battery-powered electric planes within the next 10 years

Industry 4.0

[] – Industry 4.0
[] – Smart manufacturing
[] – Industry 4.0: the fourth industrial revolution
[] – Why Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution
[] – Industrie 4.0 – Das Internet der Dinge

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CO2 per Capita [Tonnes/Year]

Qatar 40
USA 18
Saudi-Arabia 17
Australia 17
Canada 15
Russia 12
Norway 12
Netherlands 11
Japan 9
Germany 9
Denmark 8
UK 8
Italy 7
China 6
France 6
Sweden 6
Switzerland 5
Argentina 4
Turkey 4
Mexico 4
Egypt 3
Brasil 2
India 2
Armenia 1
Pakistan 1
Philippines 1
Nigeria 0


Samsung Doubles Battery Capacity


More substantial progress from the storage front. Samsung has achieved a whopping 1 kWh/kg. This is extremely good news for e-vehicle proponents (cars, bikes), who can double vehicle range without any added weight. We care more about 24 hour home storage cycles in combination with solar panels.

Innovation: new technology that enables Samsung to coat silicon battery cathodes with high crystal graphene. The bad news: no substantial cost reduction yet.

[] – Samsung Almost Doubles Li-Ion Battery Capacity

Solar Set for Global Dominance


Tuesday, June 23 2015

More solar will be added over the next quarter-century than any other form of power-generation, spurred by huge and sustained booms in the utility-scale and distributed PV sectors across both the rich and developing worlds, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

[] – Solar set for global dominance after $3.7tr investment boom – BNEF


Energy Generation and Birds


Professional environmental justice warriors like to accuse wind turbines of being bird meat choppers. Yesterday night on German television our favorite Krimi (detective) Tatort, showing a battle between a wind turbine manufacturer and bird protectors. Der Spiegel evaluates the program and refers to a Danish study with the following result:

Number of birds killed per GWh generated electric energy:

Wind – 0.27
Fossil – 5.18

Case closed.

P.S. why is it so difficult to mount a few low energy led lights in/on the rotor blades, so the birds are warned, especially in offshore operation?

[] – The avian benefits of wind energy: A 2009 update
[] – “Tatort”-Faktencheck: Kungeln Naturschützer wirklich mit der Industrie?

Michel Bauwens: Four Scenarios for the Collaborative Economy

Published May 21, 2013 – Closing keynote of the OuiShare Fest by Michel Bauwens, founder of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives, who introduces four prospective scenarios for the collaborative Economy.

[] – The Transition Will Not Be Smooth Sailing
[] – Michel Bauwens
[] – Michel Bauwens: The Transition Will Not Be Smooth Sailing


Dutch language intro video

Business idea: privately owned cars aren’t used most of the time. Average annual distance traveled by car in Holland: ca. 13,000 km. Assuming an average speed of 60 kmh, implies ca. 200 driving hours per year of 8760 hours, or 2% of the time. Compare that with commercially operated buses, trains and planes, that are on the move as often as they can. Why not apply this economic principle to privately owned cars as well? SnappCar is an organisation that wants to match supply and demand for passenger cars and provide an insurance scheme. This potentially could eliminate the need for expensive personal car ownership for many and at the same time lower the cost of car ownership for those who still prefer to have one. Transaction mediation works via mobile devices. Renting a ‘Snappcar’ is much cheaper than renting a car traditionally via the likes of Sixt, Hertz, Avis, etc. The end goal is realizing the same cumulative mileage with less cars and hence less embedded energy required to build your car fleet. This business model could become very big once Western society will crash and large number of people no longer can afford car ownership, but nevertheless want to stay mobile to some extent.

We downloaded the SnappCar app and browsed a little and found offers as low as 20 euro per day, 100 km free.

[] – Hoe SnappCar autodelen groot maakt

Some figures:
– 20% of the private car owners can imagine to rent his car to others.
– monthly growth rate: 15%
– current monthly transactions: 1500
– available cars: 7000
– platform members: 33,000
– SnappCar fee: 10 euro + 2,50 transaction cost
– Participating insurance company: Centraal Beheer Achmea
– Apple mobile device app: SnappCar
– Registration: upload copy ID and drivers license
– Innovation: introduction of SnappKit, eliminating the need to personally hand-over car keys and instead work with email sent pin code.
– SnappCar crowd funding effort result: € 558.625 (in 8 weeks)


Iran Connected to All-Eurasian Oil Distribution Network


Russia may start importing crude from Iran next week as part of an oil-for-goods agreement, Iranian Energy Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said… “Much of this will be for cash and we will be using this money to buy commodities from the Russians.”… Iranian oil exports have dropped 50 percent since international sanctions against the country were tightened in 2011 amid a dispute over its nuclear program… Zanganeh said he discussed the deal with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the Austrian capital on June 3. The country plans to buy “much lower than 500,000 barrels day” in exchange for cash, which Iran will then spend on Russian goods including steel, wheat and oil byproducts, he said.

Editor: the lifting of anti-Iranian sanctions after successful completion of the nuclear deal, will mean that the sky is the limit for Iran. Iranian oil can be pumped via the Russian pipeline network to virtually every location in Eurasia, notably Europe and China, avoiding US navy controlled sea lanes.

[] – Russia Set to Start Iran Crude Imports Under Oil-for-Goods Deal

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Leon de Winter Product Placement Door Afshin Ellian

Wij zijn dikke vrienden

Leon de Winter en Afshin Ellian zijn dikke maatjes en we kunnen het vermoeden niet onderdrukken dat daar een ethnisch componentje aan ten grondslag zou kunnen liggen, maar dat kunnen we niet bewijzen. Leon de Winter heeft een roman geschreven over bin Laden en die gelegenheid wordt door Ellian aangegrepen door bespiegelingen te lanceren over het fenomeen van empathie met de vijand door de geschiedenis heen, de persoon van bin Laden in het bijzonder, met natuurlijk rijkelijk gelegenheid om het boek van de Winter te pluggen. Hier een paar quotes uit het artikeltje met, toegegeven ietwat skeptisch getint commentaar:

Ellian bewierookt het fenomeen van empathie met de vijand. Maar in de geschiedenis is er een uitzondering:

Empathie bij het begrijpen van de verslagen vijand was geen taboe. Niet alleen literair, maar ook juridisch en militair werd geprobeerd een en ander te leren van de verslagen vijand. Met de opkomst van het nationaal-socialisme kwam een einde aan deze traditie.

De nationaal-socialistische wreedheden konden slechts – terecht – in een demonisch perspectief worden geplaatst. Ze werden niet gedemoniseerd; ze waren een moderne verschijning van het kwaad. Dit werd niet gezien als een interruptie in een lange traditie van oorlogen en conflicten.

Sindsdien is de verleiding groot om het nationaal-socialistische kwaad ook op andere conflicten toe te passen. Het nazisme was in alle opzichten uniek.

Even in perspectief: Ellian was in zijn jongere jaren lid van de Iraanse communistische partij. Hij heeft zelfs tijdens de Sovjet-bezetting van Afghanistan medicijnen gestudeerd in Kabul. Bij Ellian zul je dus nooit een onvertogen woord horen over het communisme. Als je de track-record vergelijkt van het nationaal-socialisme en communisme gedurende vredestijd, dwz tot aan September 1939, dan waren de Duiters heiligen vergeleken met de Sovjets. Zo uit het blote hoofd: in Duitsland kwamen hooguit pakweg een paar honderd mensen om, nota bene vnmlk Nazis zelf (!) tijdens interne machtsstrijd (Nacht van de Lange Messen, 90-200) en de Kristallnacht, een spontane volksopstand nav de moord op een Duitse diplomaat door een Joodse meneer in Parijs, waarbij ca. 94 Joden te betreuren waren, zeg maar de schaal van een goedgeplaatste autobom in het midden van Baghdad, waarvan er vele honderden afgingen na de illegale invasie van de VS in 2003. Verder zaten er ca. 28,000 vnmlk (veelal Joodse) communistische leiders in de kampen. Wat zou je anders moeten doen met die lui, als je eenmaal weet wat ze hebben aangericht in Rusland, China and Cambodja?

En nu de USSR. Daar was letterlijk niemand zijn leven veilig. Miljoenen zijn daar opgepakt, kregen een schijnproces en werden mbv een nekschot in kelders afgemaakt als er ook maar de geringste twijfel bestond aan de ideologische zuiverheid van het slachtoffer. Verder zaten er miljoenen regime-tegenstanders in de Gulag-kampen. En toch waagt (voormalige?) communist Ellian te beweren dat het Nazisme, een puur reaktie- en verdedigings-verschijnsel tegen het communisme, uniek was in het schenden van de mensenrechten. Zijn club was honderden malen erger. En wat er tijdens de oorlog gebeurde, daar zijn we voor een groot deel afhankelijk van wat de geallieerden als waarheid hebben opgedist tijdens hun Nuremberg showprocessen en moeten we maar hopen dat ze niet (te veel) gelogen hebben (we weten wel beter).

Leon de Winter heeft in zijn nieuwe roman Geronimo de aansluiting gezocht met de traditie van Aischylos. De Winters boek gaat over Osama bin Laden. De wrede terroristenleider is ook in Geronimo de leider van een moorddadige bende – daaraan heeft De Winter in zijn laatste roman niets veranderd. Maar hij ontzegt Osama de menselijkheid niet.

Uiteraard bij Ellian geen spoortje twijfel aan het door de VS geconstrueerde verhaal omtrent 9/11, in werkelijkheid een operatie uitgevoerd door Israëliërs en Amerikanen, de twee mensensoorten die Ellian het meest bewondert (in genoemde volgorde). De inzittenden en piloten werden kort na opstijgen vergast met capsules, verscholen in de luchtschachten, waarna de vliegtuigen op de automatische piloot zich op weg naar hun doel begaven en 2 uit 4 dat doel (WTC1/2) ook daadwerkelijk bereikten, F93 (target WTC7) werd neergeschoten (de jet piloot zag de dode lichamen van passagiers en piloten in hun stoelen hangen) en F77 stortte in the Atlantische oceaan, al dan niet na te zijn neergeschoten. Pentagon werd geraakt door drone of kruisraket oid, na een haastig uitgevoerde improvisatie.

Except for Netanyahu as a pilot, Haaretz inadvertently got 9/11 right [source]

Ik heb gehuild om Apana en om vele andere Afghaanse meisjes.

Het lijkt ons een fraai gezicht, die Ellian huilend in een hoekje met een boekje, terwijl tranen van gevoel over zijn wangen biggelen. Maar de miljoenen Russen die werden afgemaakt door de Cheka zullen Ellian met zijn selectieve morele verontwaardiging aan zijn communistische multiculturele r**t roesten. Immers, je kunt geen omelet maken zonder een ei te breken. Of niet soms?!

[] – Ook in de gruwelijkste oorlogen kan empathie voor de vijand bestaan

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EU To US: Give Us Your Gas

Potentially catastrophic European fuel supply situation. Ellipse shows where 74% of the world’s oil and 70% of the gas is. China acquired Pakistan as a client state recently and virtually borders the Middle East now. The Middle East is sinking into chaos, thanks to US interventions and Europe chooses to pick a fight with Russia on orders of Washington. It won’t be long until the European population will be forced to intervene against the leftist establishment on the very moment when Europe will be cut off from all fossil fuel supply. This could hurt a little.

You really have to despair at the quality of what in Europe passes as energy consultant these days. Where 5 minutes of browsing at this site suffices to know that the US simply doesn’t have enough local gas production to supply itself for years to come…


…Europe nevertheless insists that the US should deliver. The US of course refuses, because they don’t have the gas, but instead proposes to frack the European soil instead. The Euro snobs, who apparently couldn’t care less about US soil, insist that Europe basically is too good to be fracked (a notion with which we agree), so the EU-US natural gas dispute is in a stalemate.

One could of course suggest that there is enough Russian gas and oil for Europe to be supplied in the traditional way, but leftist Europeans in charge always do what Uncle Sam orders. After all, the very fact that the Russians agreed to let East-Germans return to Germany after 1989, is not good enough a reason for Russian Crimeans to return to Russia. Because, you see, the Americans are exceptional and need to give permission first and European lefties agree with that notion. The consequence of this all could be that the fuel-starved European economy is going to crash, if these pro-American and anti-Russian attitudes will remain in place.

They won’t.

[] – EU Wants Rapid Access to US Gas Fracking

Stoepranden and Peak Oil

‘Stoepranden’ contest in the Dutch town of Dordrecht, 2013

First Dutch national stoepranden championship 2012 Dordrecht

When we were young in the sixties, one of the most favorite pasttimes in the Netherlands was ‘stoepranden‘ or ‘stoeprandje butsen‘ (curbstone bouncing) as it was called in our town. The idea was that two contestants with a ball were standing on the opposite sides of the street, equipped with two stoops and that they would aim the ball precisely at the edge of the stoop, to make it bounce back. Making the ball return at least over the middle of the road was enough for one point, catching the ball before it would touch the ground were two points. We must have scored tens of thousands of stoepranden points in our lives.

Den Helder, sixties

Den Helder, sixties.

Rooswijk, sixties.

Rosmalen, 1962.

Tilburg. Average Dutch street in 2015 with parking spaces, replacing traditional curbstones. No game of stoepranden possible.

From the pictures above it is clear what happened to the game of stoepranden: died a slow death due to the rise of mass car ownership, beginning in the sixties. In the sixties there were lots of children in streets and few cars, the ideal conditions for stoepranden to thrive. Today it is the other way around: streets inhabited by DINKYs (dual income, no kids) and two cars, meaning: goodbye to stoepranden.

However, if ASPO president Kjell Aleklett is right, peak oil is immanent. The prices of diesel and petrol are rising again and Peak Car and Peak Traffic Jam are already behind us. And although we are reasonable confident that there is still enough alternative fossil fuel around to set up a renewable energy base, the assault against the conventional five-passenger car could be intense the coming years, due to financial collapse and rapidly increasing fuel prices. When additionally the 1968-value system of easy divorce & feminism could be smashed questioned, who knows, the Golden Age of stoepranden could return.

Hope for the future: Dutch towns, majority inhabited by Dutch people with no cars… and stoepranden in fine shape… and enough Dutch children around to play the game.

[] – stoepranden


First Dutch stoepranden champion 2012: Iseline Visser

Artificial Photosynthesis Breakthrough?


Plants are able to store solar energy by converting CO2 and H2O into biomass. Scientists have been trying to mimic this process in an attempt to speed the natural photosynthesis up and create fuel, literally from the air and now scientists from Berkeley claim they have made considerable progress.

Key ingredients: mixture of nanotechnology (silicon and titanium oxide nano-wires) and biology (Sporomusa ovata bacteria). The wires absorb the sunlight and the energy is used by the bacteria to convert the CO2 in the air into acetate, which can be used for more complex chemicals, fuel and plastics.

Current energy conversion efficiency is a meager 0.38%. The team is working on a ‘second generation’ system which should bring 3%. They hope to achieve 10% in the future, in order to make the process ‘commercial viable’.

[Berkeley Lab] – Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment
[] – Artificial photosynthesis

Editor: as long as ever cheaper solar panels can achieve efficiencies of 10-15%, it remains unclear why this biochemical process would represent an advantage, except for niche applications, for instance in areas where there is no grid plus mass pumped hydro storage.

Bloomberg Bullish About Renewable Energy

Projection of newly installed capacity of energy sources. Renewables surpassed fossil in 2013.

Solar, the newest major source of energy in the mix, makes up less than 1 percent of the electricity market today but could be the world’s biggest single source by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.

The question is no longer if the world will transition to cleaner energy, but how long it will take.

[] – Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

Iran-China Pipelines

To be constructed: Gwadar-Kashgar road, railroad and pipeline infrastructure.

The AIIB infrastructure investment bank is in place, now let the fun begin! The Chinese president has arrived in Pakistan on Monday, to sign energy ($34B) and infrastructure ($12B) contracts. Focal point is the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), between Gwadar, Pakistan and Kashgar, West-China, see map above, part of the massive Chinese New Silk Road strategy.

The creation of road, rail and pipeline links that will cut several thousand kilometers off the transport route for oil from the Middle East to China, bypassing rival India is also one of the aspects of the investment project.

On top of that, China will finance the so-called Peace Pipeline between Iran and Pakistan:

Peace Pipeline Iran-Pakistan, an an essential leg connecting Iran with China.

Furthermore, China and Pakistan will ‘cooperate’ (read: China will invest) in 16.4 GW new power (gas, coal, solar), an amount equal to what is already installed in Pakistan and every now and then works.

[] – China to invest $46bn in economic corridor with Pakistan – media
[] – China president arrives in Pakistan to sign £30bn ‘land corridor’ agreement

Editor: get this, after completion, China will not only be able to import oil from the Middle-East via pipelines, rather than via the vulnerable sea route, at the mercy of India and the US, but will also be able to bring troops over land directly to SCO-ally Iran, obviously in consent with the government of Pakistan (and consent will probably not even be necessary in the worst case, just like Germany didn’t need the consent from the Belgian government in 1914 to meet the French army in France). In comparison: the US invested a meager $5B recently in ‘ally’ Pakistan. Conclusion: China will gradually replace the US in Pakistan, giving China indirect access to the Indian Ocean.

The geopolitical consequences are breathtaking. Everything what Brzezinsky feared, as expressed in his 1998 book The Grand Chessboard (core message: it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger should emerge capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America’s global pre-eminence) is happening before his eyes, because thanks to US policy in Ukraine, Heartland giants Russia and China were pushed into each others arms and began to act as one “Eurasian Challenger”. It doesn’t even matter that much if the US will be able to keep Europe isolated from Eurasia or not. China plus Russia combined have more than enough gravitas to withstand the assaults of the US-led West.

There is something gigantic brewing in Eurasia.


Karakoram Highway (4700 m), connecting China and Pakistan through the Himalayas.

Heinberg – The Great Burning

Published 16 apr. 2015
In this short video, Richard Heinberg explores why The Great Burning — the combustion of oil, coal, and natural gas — must come to an end during the next few decades. If the twentieth century was all about increasing our burn rate year after blazing year, the dominant trend of twenty-first century will be a gradual flame-out.

This video is the second in a four-part series by Richard Heinberg and Post Carbon Institute. The themes covered in these videos are much more thoroughly explored in Heinberg’s latest book, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.

Offshore Wind Turbine Installation

During the Autumn of 2014, 43 foundation piles were installed on behalf of the new Eneco Luchterduinen wind park, 23 km from the coast at Noordwijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. Project: 43 Vestas wind turbines of 3 MW, 129 MW in total (135,000 homes).

What’s Left of the Forests


More people means less forest.

[] – Humans Cross Another Danger Line for the Planet

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