Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Solar Project Completed in the Netherlands

delfzijl-zonneparkLargest solar park in the Netherlands, ironically covered in snow

Location: Delfzijl [Google Maps]
Capacity: 7500 households
Panels: 120,000
Owner: German energy company Wirsol
Size: 65 soccer fields

Coming Spring the title “largest solar park in the Netherlands” will move from Delfzijl to Vlissingen [Sloehaven], with 140,000 panels.

In general, investment in solar energy is booming in the Netherlands. In 2016 500 MW new capacity was installed, 100 MW more than in 2015.

[] – Delfzijl heeft grootste zonnepark van Nederland
[] – Grootste zonnepark van Nederland geopend in Delfzijl

zonnepark-delfzijl[source] Same park

Plundering Appalachia

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

Track Side Solar Panels in UK?

Belgium giving the good example: railway tracks covered with solar panels.

Great-Britain is a mid-sized country with high population density. Not strange then that a study has been started to see if space near railway tracks can be used to place solar panels.

[] – UK Studying Track Side Solar Panels To Power Electric Trains

Read more…

Israel Building Giant CSP Facility In Negev Desert

Tower height: 240 m
Power: 121 MW
Cost: $700 million

[] – Israel Building Concentrated Solar Power Facility In Negev Desert
[] – Ashalim Power Station

Ten Largest Wind Turbines To Date

Name Diam. Power Firm Country of Origin
V164 164 m 8 MW+ Vestas Denmark
AD-180 180 m 8 MW Adwen France
SWT-8.0-154 154 m 8 MW Siemens Denmark
E-126 127 m 7.5 MW Enercon Germany
SCD 140 m 6 MW Ming Yang China
152 126/152 m 6.2 MW Senvion Germany
Haliade 151 m 6 MW Alstom Spain
SL6000 128/155 m 6 MW Sinovel China
AMSC 140 m 5.5 MW Dongfang/Hyundai China
AD5-135 135 m 5 MW Adwen France

[] – 10 of the biggest turbines
[] – Liste von Windkraftanlagenherstellern

How Powerful Is Big Oil?

[] – How Powerful Is Big Oil?

Dutch Rail Runs 100% on Wind Power

Roger van Boxtel, the CEO of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail, DR) could be persuaded to pull a stunt and let himself be tied to a wick of classic Dutch wind mill to promote the point that as of January 1, DR is for 100% powered by wind energy.

The international dispersed wind parks obviously don’t really power the locomotives of DR, but what DR did was subsidize the construction of sufficiently wind power, matching their own electricity demand. In end effect it doesn’t really matter, since Europe has an interconnected grid. What DR did was giving the good example to other corporations to do the same and as such give themselves a well deserved green image and help realizing the renewable energy transition.

[] – All Dutch Trains Now Run 100% On Wind Power
[deepresource] – Dutch Railway Powered for 100% by Wind in 2017

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


Offshore Wind 40% Cheaper By 2023


The Dutch national energy bureau ECN says that by 2023, the cost of offshore wind energy could be reduced with 40%. Way to achieve this:

  1. Technological innovation, like larger rotors and larger distance between turbines (15%)
  2. Design improvement, wind-park layout, logistics (6%)
  3. Efficiency project developer (10%)
  4. Cooperation between wind parks (10%)
  5. Optimization organisation & (capital) cost (3%)

This would mean that the price of our virtual barrel of oil equivalent, calculated here, would be reduced to $6/barrel (if that wind energy is applied for mobility purposes).

[] – FLOW, Competitive Through Cooperation (pdf 88p, Eng.)
[] – FLOW, Concurrerend Door Samenwerking (pdf 88p, Ned.)
[] – ECN: 40 procent goedkoper offshore wind haalbaar

What Countries Are The Most Energy Efficient?


1. Germany
2. Italy
3. EU
4. China

13. USA

[] – List of countries by energy intensity (2003)

Country Ton of oil/million $ GDP
Italy 123
UK 141
Japan 154
Germany 164
France 170
Netherlands 172
USA 222
China 231
Russia 519

Countries like Russia and to a lesser extent the US with lots of resources don’t need to invest too much time and effort in reducing energy waste as other (European) countries and Japan, that have few natural energy resources.

The video and Wikipedia differ about China, probably due to 12 years time difference.

[] – Energy intensity of GDP at constant purchasing power parities

It is encouraging that the world needs ever less energy to produce the same: -1.5% per year.

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.

Windpark Krammer

Halleluja video (turn down the volume)

Yet another wind park? This one is different as it is being realized thanks to the efforts of (4000) private persons in the Dutch province of Zeeland.
34 turbines will be producing at least 100 MW for 100,000 households.
Start project 2016. Operational: 2019.
Multinationals buying electricity: Akzo, DSM, Google and Philips.

[Google Maps] – Location
[] – Windpark Krammer
[] – Infographic (pdf)

Read more…

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.

Dutch Post-War Electricity Production


Studying this graph could give cause to a somewhat relaxed attitude regarding doom stories related to a so-called “energy crisis”. The kicker: in 1945 there was hardly any electricity production in the Netherlands worth mentioning. If you project the current level of “decentral” generated electricity (wind, solar, bio, hydro, etc. and fossil based electricity and heat production by private parties other than power stations) onto the past, you arrive at 1970. Life was already pretty good in those days. There is no reason to assume that society would break down if for some reason electricity production would be reduced substantially.


Not to give the impression that “decentral” is the same as “renewable” (dark blue). It isn’t and there is no reason to be complacent. But once these offshore wind GWs are installed after 2030 there is no reason to despair with the Dutch energy situation as far as electricity is concerned. Space heating is a different story. Solution approach: seasonal storage of solar heat and most of all geothermal.


Gold Mine North Sea

continentaal_plat[source] Partitioning North Sea

A considerable part of Dutch wealth since 1960 was based on the natural gas field in Slochteren, once the #9 gas field in the world. That gas field is now running on empty. So what’s going to happen to the Cloggies and their wealth? Dire poverty? Not so fast.

Post-stamp country Holland measures 42k km2, think Kentucky. Its share of the North Sea however is larger: 57k km2… and has the potential to become the Dutch new energy province, replacing Slochteren and the coal mines of the Limburg province, closed down in the seventies.

Let’s make some simple back-of-the-envelope type of calculations to get an idea of the potential of this new energy province.

Read more…

Hausbay-Bickenbach Germany Wind Turbine Height Record

Nordex hat die mit 230 Metern Gesamthöhe weltweit größte Windturbine errichtet. Außerdem hat der Hersteller 16 alte Windkraftanlagen des Typs N60 gegen neun Turbinen des Typs N117 mit je drei Megawatt ausgetauscht.

Tallest wind turbine installed to date world-wide (230 m between ground and vertical rotor blade tip).

[] – Nordex installing the world’s tallest wind turbine
[] – Weltweit höchste Windturbine

Offshore Wind Life Expectancy

Offshore wind farms are designed for a life expectancy of 20 years. The truth is that nobody really knows how long they can really last as there are no decommissioned offshore projects yet. Chances are that this 20 years is an over-conservative estimate and that the real economic life of at least the monopiles and tower could be much longer than designed for. If you realize that nacelle and blades constitute merely 15-20% of the total cost of a wind-turbine and monopile and tower the remaining 80-85%, it is easy to see that a dramatic lifespan increase of the latter beyond 20 years will equally dramatically reduce overall wind-turbine (and kWh) cost. Let’s assume that monopile and tower can exist for 60 years… that would mean that the cost of the turbine per year would decrease from 100 units in 20 years to (3 x 20 + 80) / 3 = 47 units, assuming tower + monopile cost of 80 of the total wind turbine price. That’s 47% of the per year cost.

[] – Offshore wind farm lifetime extensions: why the ‘beyond 2020’ energy policy dialogue must start now

The agreed 20-year design lifetime means engineers can design to meet one consistent requirement, ensuring that new components can be guaranteed to work reliably and be insured for that period… For wind farms onshore, it may be cost-effective to simply replace nacelles and blades at the end of a 20-year design life, for about 15 to 20 percent of the cost of a new turbine. Because of space constraints and permitting expense, reusing the same wind farm area and layout makes sense, and turbine size cannot scale up much more for future land based turbines, for social reasons… Offshore wind is trickier, and complicating factors limit the potential for repowering.

Anecdotal “evidence” of wind energy longevity: the oldest windmill in the Netherlands, build long before America was ever heard off (1441 or older), still working fine (maintenance is everything). Open and working every Wednesday in Zeddam.

[source] Parisian icon Eiffel tower, a steel structure of meanwhile 128 years old. No reason to assume why it can’t last for another 2-3 centuries or more. The maritime environment is admittedly harsher than Paris, but still… 20 years?

LED-Lights in Greenhouses

Passengers approaching Amsterdam Airport from the SSW at night will observe an orange glow over a large area, originating from greenhouses in the Westland area, SW of The Hague. This is going to change though as growers replace conventional lighting with pink-colored LEDs. The energy bill can be halved with this measure.

[] – Tuinder Westland gaat over op knalroze led-lampen
[] – Met LED-verlichting energieverbruik glastuinbouw halveren

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