Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “video”

Water Shortages in the Western Hemisphere

[] – Europe is not going to be exempt

How Solar Panels are Made

Bosch video showing the production process of a solar cell.

We have had the Ice Age, Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Fossil Fuel Age and now we are entering the Sand Age (Silicon Age) aka Solar Age.

The size of a typical solar cell is 156 mm * 156 mm…


… and produces ca. 4 Watt peak or 3.7 kwh per year (Holland) or 100 kwh over a 30 year lifetime. If you realize that 1 kwh represents one man-day of hard physical labor, than this tiny piece of silicon is the equivalent of 6 months of hard physical labor, based on 200 working days/year. That’s the power of technology.

That little 250 cm2 piece of silicium with the weight of a few grams is able to lift a car (in 30 years time) to roughly the same altitude from wich Felix Baumgartner jumped.

This amount of sand, after proper transformations, can generate energy, enough to lift a car into the stratosphere.

In order to replace the world’s current energy consumption for 100% with solar, you need to cover an area the size of Spain entirely with solar panels. That’s a daunting task, but it can be done, as long as you still have fossil fuel to produce these panels. Once these panels are in place, they generate enough energy to replace themselves after 25-30 years, considering an EROEI of 30-60 for well-placed modern solar cells.

Production plant of Calyxo GmbH in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany. Production of CdTe Thin Film Solar Module.

Printing a House

Youtube text: published April 27, 2014. A Chinese company is using 3D-printed blocks to build cheap and quickly assembled houses as a possible solution to the urgent problem of modernizing housing conditions in Chinese villages. The blocks are made from a mixture of sand, concrete and glass fiber, materials processed from common construction waste, which is pumped layer after layer through the top of a 6.6-meter-tall, 32-meter-long industrial printer.

[] – 3D Printed 5-Storey House Shell — China

On March 29, 2014, ten 3D printed houses, each measuring 200 square meters, appeared in Shanghai, China. The buildings were created entirely out of concrete using a gigantic 3D printer, and each costs only 30,000 RMB ($4,800).


[] – WinSun China builds world’s first 3D printed villa

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SeaTwirl Offshore Wind Power

[] – SeaTwirl

Prototype Halmstad, Swedish west coast

Supply or Demand? Peak Oil with Richard Heinberg

Heinberg finally admits that he did not see the fracking boom coming, causing us to make all sorts of unfunded statements ten years ago like: ‘Jan Modaal won’t be driving a car in ten years time’ (Jan Modaal is the Dutch version of Joe Sixpack).
Youtube: Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at The Post Carbon Institute, tells Erin how this particular boom bust cycle – with a tremendous surge in US domestic oil pro. Our lead story: This week Stanford said that it would divest all of its investments in coal-mining companies, becoming the wealthiest US university to pledge. Recorded February 25th, 2014 in Vancouver, BC Richard Heinberg speaks on his newest book, covering the short-term nature of the recent North American oil boo.

Don’t get distracted at 1:49.

German Energy Giant E.ON Abandons Fossil & Nuclear

In a dramatic move, the German energy giant E.ON decided to split the company and concentrate in the future on renewable energy and grids. This is the first energy company in Europe to do so and shows the irreversibility of developments in the European energy sector.

Editor: the people running E.ON would not make this move if they wouldn’t expect profitability. The measure is a direct consequence of the strategic decisions made on the political level in Germany. This is a very encouraging sign.


Birthplace Fracking Says Enough is Enough

Youtube: published on 4 nov. 2014 – The city of Denton is considering a measure to become the first state in Texas to ban fracking. Although extracting natural gas by conducting hydraulic fracturing is a boon for many communities, there are suspected environmental and health consequences that many feel outweigh the positive economic effects.

[] – Fracking ban goes into effect in its birthplace

World Largest PV Plant Now in California (550 MW)

Formerly useless desert becoming useful after all. Topaz solar power plant, located in San Luis Obispo County, California, now operational. This solar panel field generates 550 MW peak watt, which boils down to 125 MW average, on a 24h basis. So, if you want to replace a standard 1 GW nuclear or fossil fuel based power plant, you need 8 of these Topaz fields. Quite a task, but once they are installed, you don’t have to worry about fuel bills and carbon tax for at least 25 years.

Investment volume: $2.5B
Panels: 9 million thin-film technology based CdTe PV panels
Manufacturer: First Solar
Power: 550 MW peak (equiv. to army of 4.3 million men on a home trainer, 8h/day, 250 days/year generating 100 Watt continuously, which is very hard work)
Annual production: 1,096 GWh
Employment: 400 construction jobs

[] – Topaz Solar Farm
[google maps]

Postcards From Pripyat, Chernobyl

Drone pictures of the abandoned city of Pripjat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.


The Second American Revolution

‘First salute’ by the Dutch-Caribbean port of St. Eustatius on November 16, 1776 in response to a salute given by the American vessel Andrew Doria. It was the first formal recognition of the United States as an independent nation, in casu by the Dutch Republic.

[] – The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution

Although we greatly admire Mel Gibson as an actor, historian and wine connoisseur, he clearly was pushing it a little when Hollywood myth factory attempted to portray the events of the ‘American Revolution’ in a most favorable heroic light, for the Americans that is. Here an implausible scene where ‘Patriot‘ Mel Gibson and his two toddlers are taking on a gang of twenty or so British professional killers and finish them off in less than three minutes. Note how the English soldiers patiently wait until it is their turn to be slaughtered:

Well, well, well. The Jewish-American historian Barbara Tuchman has shown that in reality European colonialists aka ‘Americans’, merely played a supporting role in the ‘American revolution’ (rebellion is a better word) and the otherwise brilliant actions of George Washington were hardly more than a side-show in a drama that essentially was a continuation of a European power struggle on North-American soil, in casu between the French and the Dutch versus the British and their German-Hessian mercenaries.

Barbara Tuchman.

Let’s first collect a few statistics to put everything in perspective:

Population 1776 (million):

France 23
Britain 11
Netherlands 2
Anti-British Colonialists 2
Pro-British Colonialists 0.5

Conclusion: the Europeans had a vastly larger population base than the European colonialists in North America, not to mention taxation, professional armies, world wide empires, navies and commercial fleets. On top of that, not all colonialists supported the drive for independence, particularly not those of British descent.

Killed in action:

French 13,894
Colonialists 4,435-6,824
British 1,240
Germans mercenaries 1,200

That’s quite a revealing statistic: up to three times more French died during the ‘American revolution’ than Americans! We guess it is yet another example of foreigners doing work Americans refuse to do.

So why were the Europeans heavily involved in the American revolution in the first place? Not because the Dutch and most certainly not the French couldn’t wait to get their first Hamburger served. No, it was because the British were getting a little too powerful in the world to the taste of the French and the Dutch. Depriving Britain of a large colony was a rational strategy, to give the British a ‘haircut’, so to speak, after the British had won huge territorial gains in North-America a few years earlier, during the Seven Years War (1756-1763), although first world war would have been a more suitable name (as proposed by Winston Churchill), considering the extent of the globally dispersed battle arenas:

7yearsWarWorldWide[source]Seven Years War Arena: a true world war with Britain and France as two major opponents.

Results of the Seven Years War (before & after):

Before Seven Years War

After Seven Years War

The upshot of the Seven Years War was that Britain was the winner and France the loser, with the French losing huge North-American territories to the British. The British now controlled all of North America east of the Mississippi up to the Arctic. The French were not amused and did not forget.

European support for the colonialist’ uprising in the early seventies began with the Dutch though, who were instrumental in delivering weapons to the colonialists via the Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius, to get the uprising started.

No guns, no revolution. Dutch guns used during the American Revolution.

America at the time was never seen as a competitor by the Europeans, America at the time was a European play-thingy. It would take one and a half century before the Europeans started to realize that America could not longer be ignored, but instead had become the home of the largest number of Europeans within the confinement of a single tax farm and hence as the largest economy on earth by the end of the 19th century:

Extremely rich source of information: 2000 years of history expressed in terms of GDP. From this picture it can be easily distilled that at the time of the American Revolution, the weight of the US dwarfed in comparison to the Europeans. As a little aside, this graph also reveals that the GDP of Germany in 1939 in its turn was dwarfed by the combined GDP of USA, USSR, UK and France, making short shrift with the self-serving allied Nuremberg lie that ‘Germany wanted to conquer the world’, where in reality the US and USSR wanted to conquer the world, conspired together since 1933 and finally did conquer the world, but we digress.

American Revolution Timeline

1758-xx-xx – George Washington elected to Virginia House of Burgesses
1763-02-10 – End Seven Years’ War
1767-07-02 – Townshends Acts
1769-05-11 – Thomas Jefferson elected to Virginia House of Burgesses
1770-03-05 – Boston Massacre
1773-12-16 – Boston Tea Party
1774-09-05 – First Continental Congress meets
1775-04-19 – Battles of Lexington and Concord
1775-06-14 – Creation of the Continental Army
1775-06-22 – Congress issues continental currency
1776-07-04 – Declaration of Independence
1776-11-16 – First Salute St. Eustatius: Dutch recognition of the US
1777-10-17 – Battle of Saratoga, first American victory and turning point of the war
1778-02-06 – The United States and France sign the Treaty of Alliance
1779-04-12 – Anti-British Treaty of Aranjuez between Spain and France
1779-06-21 – Spain declares war on Britain
1780-12-xx – Beginning 4th Anglo-Dutch War
1781-02-03 – British capture St. Eustatius
1781-10-19 – Surrender of Yorktown
1783-09-03 – Treaty of Paris
1784-xx-xx – End 4th Anglo-Dutch War. Holland abdicates as a great power

A selection from comments/review section, probably mostly written by American readers:

1. Despite what Disney would have us believe, the Americans didn’t rally to fighting or winning this war. Congress was as slow, and often made as little sense then as it seems to do from time to time now – Washington was a miracle worker for somehow keeping an army on the field at all. The American Revolution was won by French and Dutch money, and mainly the French military (yes it was fought by many brave Americans too, but there was too much apathy, too much self-interest, and there were too few in number to ever WIN it). Through the story of Rodney, the reader is given a unique perspective from which to witness the incredible mismanagement of the war by the British, insight into those self-destructive practices and entrenched egos that characterized monarchy, and just how close this war was to being lost and how easily it could have turned out differently… All in all, another treasure from Barbara Tuchman.

2. There are five outstanding strengths to this work:

  1. Tuchman documents the incredible fragility of the American troops and leadership,held together by the personality and determination and true cunning of George Washington. Many times the revolution was almost lost except for Washington’s efforts to retreat and frustrate the British armies until he was able to strike on his own terms.
  2. the role of the Dutch in assisting the American colonies is fully documented and appreciated. The Dutch supplied the colonies with weapons, traded through the Carribean. Tuchman makes the case that the revolution would have been lost without Dutch efforts on our behalf.
  3. the tremendous role of the French in the success of the American revolution is further documented.
  4. Tuchman carefully and strategically places the story of the American revolution within the context of world affairs at the time, giving more meaning to the actions of the British and the colonist as well as their allies.

A wonderful product, great scholarship, very readable, this is a total historic winner.

3. I’ve read all of Ms. Tuchman’s books, and this might be her best. Certainly as good as “The Proud Tower.” Many Americans don’t care much about the history of the Revolutionary War, and I had never thought before reading this book about aid to the Rebellion from Holland, of all places. We tend not to remember that Holland was one of the foremost mercantile nations, with an enormous empire. We tend not to think about questions like, “Where did Americans get the weapons and ammunition they needed for the Revolution?”

4. Tuchman explains French intervention in the war rather prosaically. Rather than suffering a monarchical affinity to liberty, equality, and democracy, France intervened because of a centuries old, deep seated hostility to Britain, to disrupt the sugar trade and, more immediately, to redress losses suffered in the Seven Years’ War.
As an American it was at first disorienting, and then refreshing, to view the American Revolution from a European perspective.

5. So was the American a true Revolution? Probably not. Better to be described as the American Rebellion, its successful outcome was decisive in spreading the great hopes of change nurtured by the European Enlightenment, but in the end – like the Dutch – it contented with the reaffirmation of offended rights never proposing officially a brave new man like the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.
Very interesting is also the glance cast on the parallel history of the two rebellions: the likeness of William the Silent with Washington, the nature of defensive war, the uneven weight of the forces (both Dutch and Colonies were forced to fight against the strongest superpower of their age), the intestine war (Flanders vs. Holland, American Tories vs. Rebels), the resemblance of the Dutch Act of Rejection and the Declaration of Independence, the actual outcome in the model of federal government.

6. The key to understanding the American Revolution is that of an early national liberation struggle that like all such struggles was desperately in need of arms. And like all such struggles the rebels were not particular about where they got them. This, in the final analysis, is the importance of the first salute- that is the recognition of the colonials to belligerent status by the Dutch in the West Indies where the American rebels could get arms and ammunition.

So why are we bringing up this piece of history?

Answer: because what happened during the American Revolution could very well serve as a template for events in a not too distant future, namely the return of continental Europeans to North-American soil, to once again liberate Americans from an oppressive regime.

American troops have been active on European soil twice in the 20th century. There is absolutely no reason why European troops could not be active on north-American soil in the beginning of the 21st century. Once the Paris-Berlin-Moscow confederation/military alliance of 700 million or so is in place, Europe gets unprecedented options for these kind of operations.

And we Europeans should not forget about our own interest in this. If we do nothing, this is going to be the world of the future:

Orwell’s 1984: Judaic Anglosphere = totalitarian Oceania (pink), Christian Euro-Siberia (purple), Islamic Caliphate (yellow), Confucianism (green).

The mortal danger exists of a potential Anglo-Chinese alliance, which would leave Euro-Siberia surrounded and we would have more or less the situation of 1941 back, with continental Europe surrounded by an Anglo-Soviet alliance, with known disastrous consequences (for Europe).

From a European perpective it is much better to draw at least a constitutionalist part of the US to our side and as such ‘neutralize America’. Here is a recent map of potential secessionist movements within the US:

American states with secession movements, with a staggering 25% support, with considerable upward potential when the situation in the US deteriorates. Texas could be the first to secede and provide a convenient landing place for European logistical support and eventually troops.

American states with the highest public desire to secede from Washington. Again Texas scores highest. It is obvious that Europe should concentrate on Middle-America aka ‘fly-over country’ and stay clear from the coastal cities.

The map shows that potential for a ‘liberated constitutionalist strip’ exists between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, effectively splitting the US in the middle. With the Latino majority states, like California, New Mexico and Arizona returning to Mexico…

Mexico 1821. Could reemerge when the buck from Washington will stop after the end of the dollar era and the subsequent USSR/Yugoslav/Iraq/Syria-style ethnic Great Divorce.

…leaving only NYC and DC to the neocons to play ‘benevolent empire’ with, good luck with that. Game, set and match European civilization. A European Commonwealth of ca. 800 million (Paris-Berlin-Moscow, Canada and US constitutionalists) is more than enough to balance a rising China of 1300 million and provide for a very stable security architecture for the rest of the 21st century.

In this scenario, Euro-Americans will get a choice: 1) do you want to live in a totalitarian third world USA, threatening the rest of the world or 2) do you define yourself as Europeans after all and as such soldier on as a secessionist sovereign state within a ‘European commonwealth’, together with Canada and protected/guaranteed by Europe (now including Russia).

So when could this scenario being played out? Answer: when the world dumps the dollar at the latest and the US government will be broke.

The US is a financial house of cards about to implode

That’s when the massive social unrest and looting will begin on a continental scale. Large parts of the US one big Ferguson.

Ferguson during the past 24 hours.

That’s when the Euro’s decide to have enough, grab for their guns and attempt to secede, which DC and its third world proletariat will try to prevent. That will be the moment for Europe to side with the secessionists and begin to support them, exactly like how Russia supported the Donbass insurgency with material support and freelance fighters and perhaps eventually with regular troops.

The John Adams of the future second American Revolution (Alex Jones?) should establish diplomatic relations with European nationalist parties now, as well as Putin-Russia. He should ask for talks with Marine le Pen first and make sure he gets a handshake captured on camera. Next he should try to do the same with a high-ranking Russian officials of Putin’s United Russia party.

[] – The Second American Revolution. Very serious topic hidden in a humorist message.


Europe’s natural allies: Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Pat Buchanan, Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, Edward Snowden, Lew Rockwell and many others.

Pictures from the 1984 winter olympics in Sarajewo, Yugoslavia. On the stand lots of Yugoslavs, proudly and harmoniously celebrating the opening ceremony of their Olympics. Seven years later Yugoslavs no longer existed, just Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Bosnians, etc. nota bene all ethnic Slavs, inhabiting the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Won’t be different with America after the fall. By 2030 at the latest, Americans will have cease to exist and what will remain after the Great Divorce will be just Europeans, Africans, Latino’s, Asians and native Americans in a balkanized territory known as the Former Republic of America (FRA).

Drone Pictures World’s Largest Operational Wind Turbine E-126

The Enercon E-126 is the largest operational wind turbine in the world (7.5 MW). Here drone pictures of such a turbine installed near the 700 years old small town of Medemblik in the Netherlands [map].

[] – E-126
[] – 10 biggest wind turbines in the world

Note that Medemblik is several meters below sea level, which can be seen in the video [1:16]:


Installation E-70 Wind Turbine Ireland

Very detailed video documentation of the installation of an Enercon E-70 windturbine in Caherdowney, near Cork in Ireland (beautiful music from [9:37]).

[] – Caher Downey windfarm (Ireland)
[] – E-70
[] – Enercon

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The Big Reset


Self-made man Willem Middelkoop is a well known personality in the Netherlands. He has been a peak oil and financial Cassandra for several years and is often invited in the media. He ran a successful online gold business before he sold it. He is very active on twitter and as such one of the most interesting news sources in all things finance, politics and many other areas, mostly in English. His latest book, The Big Reset, is an international bestseller and translated in many languages. It is about the inevitability of the collapse of the international financial fiat money system and the dollar in particular. Unsurprisingly, he is a gold bug and expects that metal to play an important role again in the world of finance after the crash.

In principle fiat money can work, but only if strict discipline is being maintained and the amount of fiat money in circulation is correlated to the size of the economy. If a central bank is truly independent and has the task of keeping inflation low, than it could work. The German Bundesbank or the Dutch Nederlandse Bank can be seen as a positive examples. But the problem is, the central banks are rarely independent. There is always the politician who can’t resist putting pressure on the central bank to ‘help him out’ or the public demanding ‘an end to austerity’.

After a general introduction about the history of money, Middelkoop changes to a Q&A format, until the end of the book and poses and answers some 86 questions, of 1-2 pages each. Questions like: ‘what is fiat money?’, ‘what is quantitative easing?’, ‘how much gold does China really have?’, ‘will Special Drawing Rights become the new world currency?’, ‘what will be the role of gold?’, ‘how the gold price is manipulated?’, ‘possible debt cancellation scenarios?’, ‘can we grow out of debt?’, ‘could the renminbi replace the dollar?’, ‘is the Fed really independent?’, etc., etc. A few of the questions from the book will be discussed here.

[] – The Big Reset

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An Australian Visits Seville

Gemasolar is a concentrated solar power plant with a molten salt heat storage system. Gemasolar is the first commercial solar plant with central tower receiver and molten salt heat storage technology. It consists of a 30.5 hectares (75 acres) solar heliostat aperture area with a power island and 2,650 heliostats, each with a 120 square metres (1,300 sq ft) aperture area and distributed in concentric rings around the 140 metres (460 ft) high tower receiver. The total land use of the Heliostats is 195 hectares (480 acres).

One mirror is enough to power 10 households.

[] – Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant

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Solar Panels in any Color

Thanks to a new technology from Switzerland, solar cells can be made ‘invisible’ to blend in the environment. White panels on white walls, red panels on red buses, grey panels on grey laptops, etc. Currently most solar cells are blue-black to maximize sun light absorption.

CSEM has developed a new technology to make white solar modules, with no visible cells and connections, a reality. It combines a solar cell technology able to convert infrared solar light into electricity and a selective scattering filter, which scatters the whole visible spectrum while transmitting infrared light. Any solar technology based on crystalline silicon can now be used to manufacture white — and colored —modules.


[] – White solar modules: a revolution for building integration
[] – Coloured Solar Panels Are Now A Reality

Paul Craig Roberts on Russian-Ukraine Gas Deal

PCR sees Russia as a loser of the deal, because Russia is not guaranteed to be paid, so it can be forced to cut gas deliveries to Ukraine in the middle of the winter, making it vulnerable to anti-Russian western propaganda and demonization.

Hyper-efficient Volkswagens

This is the worlds most fuel efficient car in 2013 (133 km/liter; 313 MPG), the Volkswagen 313 MPG XL1.
Weight: 771 kg.
Top speed: 160 km/h, 100 mph

Obviously this car is the horror for oil companies and many suspect that that is the real reason why these kind of cars are not allowed in the US, the cartel and 1% Nirvana.

[] – Volkswagen’s New 300 MPG Car Not Allowed In America Because It Is Too Efficient
[] – article debunks claims that XL1 is not allowed on US roads because of Big Oil conspiracy.
[] – We Drove The 261 MPG Volkswagen XL1 In Manhattan Because You Can’t


Hybrid diesel/electricity
Efficiency: 110 km/l, 256.8 mpg
Price: 22200 euro, 28000 $
E-Range: 50 km, 31 mile

[] – VW twin up!
[] – Volkswagen Up Twin Drive concept review

Editor: the standard car is based on an outdated concept. Just position yourself next to a busy road and watch the cars passing by, to verify that the average occupation rate of the standard 5-seater car is ca. 1.25, meaning that 3.75 chairs are superfluous. So why not design a 1 or 2-person car, like the XL1 above?

Peak Gold Now?

Youtube text: On behalf of Matterhorn Asset Management, financial journalist Lars Schall talked with exploration geologist and mining entrepreneur Keith Barron. They’ve discussed, inter alia: the challenges for gold mining companies; the effects of a downward rigged gold price on Third World countries; the “inevitability” of a gold price at 5000 USD per ounce in the future; and Barron’s support for the Swiss gold initiative.

*Peak Gold = a moment in time that gold mining peaks

[] – “I believe we’ve seen Peak Gold”, Keith Barron PhD

Country ranking by gold production 2013

Until 1985 the equation was: “gold = South-Africa”. Now China is the largest producer.
China and Russia are still able to increase production, the others are in decline, so the idea of ‘peak gold’ is not far fetched.

[] – List of countries by gold production (2013)

Editor: Keith Barron is an exploration geologist with over 27 years experience in the mining sector. He thinks that the world has reached the maximum gold production level (“peak gold”). Additionally he believes that the US in particular is not honest about its real gold stockpile and that most has been leased or sold.

The Next Generation 7.5MW Windturbines

The next generation 7.5 MW wind turbines in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. 140-Megawatt-Windpark located near Grapzow (Kreis Mecklenburgische Seenplatte). Part of the electricity production is used for hydrogen production.

[] – 7.5 Megawatt Wind Turbines(!) & Power-to-Gas Pilot Project In Germany
[] – Windpark mit größter Wasserstoffspeicheranlage am Netz
Google Maps – Grapzow
[] – Windpark Werder/Kessin

The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline – BBC, The Curse of Oil


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