[source] The near future, “People’s Liberation Army” storming the beaches of the Philippines?
China’s president warned the Philippines that it would go to war if Manila insisted on enforcing an international arbitration decision rejecting China’s claims over disputed areas of the South China Sea, the Philippine president said in a televised speech on Friday, May 19.
Xi’s threat was unmistakable. This was Xi’s message: “We’re friends as long as you accept the fact that the South China Sea is ours, all of it including the portion you call the West Philippine Sea. As long as you accept this, we will provide you with generous loans to fund your infrastructure projects. But if you drill for oil there, we will declare war on you.”
Philippines president Duterte going public and spilling the beans about Chinese threats, possibly in an attempt to seek international (read: American) help, after the UN has declared Chinese claims null and void?
The reason for this sudden aggressive tone could be the successful Chinese effort to begin to continuously mine methane hydrates, 9 days earlier in the South China Sea. Estimates of 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent, that is 50 years Chinese oil consumption equivalent. An additional advantage would be that China could shift from dirty coal to natural gas, alleviating Chinese cities pollution.
Chinese authorities claim to have achieved a major breakthrough in mining methane hydrates in the form of ice from the floor of the South China Sea (SCS), that could lead to a global energy revolution. The fuel was discovered in 2007 but for the first time China is able to mine it in a continuous process from a floating rig in the SCS. Depth: 1,200 m. Since production began on May 10, 2017, 120,000 m3 pure gas-hydrate has been extracted. Japan reported similar successes.
The US-DOE estimates that global methane hydrates reserves could be bigger than all other sources of fossil fuel combined. However, mining of methane hydrates is potentially environmentally dangerous, because methane is one of the worst green house gasses.
[source] Chinese crew celebrating success
Gemini, that’s the two tiny trapezoids at the top of the map, measuring together merely 68 km2. In the Dutch part of the North Sea there is enough space for many, many Gemini’s more, in theory 57,000/68=838 more or 503 GW nameplate power, that could not only easily provide the Dutch electricity needs for 100% (Dutch average electricity consumption is 12.7 GW), but additionally could turn the Netherlands in a significant electricity exporter to the rest of the EU. Average EU electricity consumption 342 GW. Note that the Dutch part is only 25% of the 200,000 km2 North Sea that cold be utilized for fixed (monopile-based) wind turbines, amounting to, in theory, 2,000 GW nameplate wind power. If you divide that number by two to account for variability and maintenance, you arrive at 1,000 GW, which is still three times the EU current electricity consumption. Note that there is also the Irish Sea and Baltic with plenty of opportunity.
Live data from the with 600 MW (currently) 2nd largest offshore wind farm in the world: Gemini in the Dutch part of the North Sea.
Ten companies realize ca. 75% of the global wind turbine market. The link below gives a company profile of these ten companies.
[windpowermonthly.com] – Ten of the biggest and the best manufacturers
Mitsubishi-Vestas has launched its massive V164-9.5 MW offshore wind turbine, built on the V164 platform and capable of powering 8,300 U.K. homes. Motivation: lowering cost offshore wind. The design changes within the V164 turbine platform are minimal. One such turbine is already being tested at Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm, United Kingdom.
Dimensions: 35-metric-ton, 80-meter blades. Hub height of 105 meters and a tip height of 187 meters. Nacelle 390-metric-ton nacelle, 20 meters long, 8 meters wide and 8 meters high.
Last December, the machine broke a world record for production by a single wind turbine when it produced 216 MWh of power in a 24-hour period. With a Danish kWh electricity price of 9 euro cent and 31 euro cent for private consumers, this is the equivalent of €19,440 c.q. €66,960. With current offshore price of 2 million euro per MW, implying 20 million euro for the V164-9.5 MW, this would mean that 300 days of consumer end price turnover would match the purchase price (not to be confused with payback period of course).
[offshorewind.biz] – MHI Vestas Launches 9.5 MW Offshore Wind Turbine
[nawindpower.com] – MHI Vestas Launches V164-9.5 MW Offshore Wind Turbine
[bloomberg.com] – Gigantic Wind Turbines Signal Era of Subsidy-Free Green Power
[Google Maps] – Test location V164-9.5 MW at Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm
|Wind farm name||Power in MW||Location||Turbines||Commission Date|
|London Array||630||United Kingdom||175 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120||2012|
|Gemini Wind Farm||600||Netherlands||150 × Siemens SWT-4.0||2017|
|Gwynt y Môr||576||United Kingdom||160 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107||2015|
|Greater Gabbard||504||United Kingdom||140 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107||2012|
|Anholt||400||Denmark||111 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120||2013|
|BARD Offshore 1||400||Germany||80 × BARD 5.0MW||2013|
|Global Tech I||400||Germany||80 × Areva Multibrid M5000 5.0MW||2015|
|West of Duddon Sands||389||United Kingdom||108 × Siemens SWT-3.6-120||2014|
|Walney (phases 1&2)||367||United Kingdom||102 × Siemens SWT-3.6-107||2011 (phase 1) 2012 (phase 2)|
|Thorntonbank (phases 1–3)||325||Belgium||6 × Senvion 5MW, 48 × Senvion||6.15MW 2009 (phase 1) 2012 (phase 2) 2013 (phase 3)|
For an up-to-date top-25 list with additional data, like location and detailed Wikipedia wind farm description as well as a list of sites under construction, c.q. planned, go to:
[wikipedia.org] – List of offshore wind farms
Transport and logistics company situated in Esbjerg, Denmark. Blue Water Shipping (BWS) began in 1972 as a two-man company, today it has 1500 employees and 60 offices world-wide. BWS does transportation of wind turbine parts onshore and offshore, but not the final installation.
Offshore wind has numerous advantages over onshore wind: higher wind speeds, easy and rapid installation once you have the proper seajack equipment, no problems with ‘not-in-my-backyard’ activists, no sacrifice of valuable land, no ‘horizon pollution’, spectacular price decay, sheer limitless potential. Below an overview of projects at an advanced planning stage.
[source] Dutch offshore tenders
Dutch parliamentarians call for more ambitious 2023 target (up to 11 GW)
[offshorewind.biz] – Dutch MPs Call For Extension of 2023 Offshore Wind Capacity Target
[source] Forget about North Sea oil platforms. Offshore Wind Installation Vessels Market to Hit $2.93B by 2020
The global market for offshore wind installation vessels will rise from $0.56 billion in 2014 to approximately $2.93 billion by 2020, resulting in a growth rate of 30%/year, illustrating the potential for offshore wind. The growth in installation vessels will go hand in hand with the growth of annual installed offshore wind capacity from 1.78 GW in 2014 to approximately 7.85 GW by 2020. Europe is the largest offshore wind market by far with 90% in 2013. Vessel growth from two in 2005 to more than 40 by the end of 2014.
An essential condition for this growth to continue is that the EU keeps loyal to its renewable energy policy and does not let itself deter by president Trump’s recent decision to trash the Paris Climate Accords. Instead, this act should be seen by Europe and its industry as a great opportunity to get the global upper-hand in this crucial form of energy generation, comparable to Anglo dominance in the oil industry of the 20th century (#SevenSisters).
[analysis.windenergyupdate.com] – Offshore projects face vessel shortage for large turbines until 2018
September 2015 – The European offshore wind industry has a fleet of more than 75 vessels to support it, but almost half of the jack-up vessels in use are not capable of installing the 8-MW turbines now planned for some projects… Around half the fleet is not equipped to handle deep-water monopile installations, limited to a maximium depth limit of 30 metres for 3.3-MW turbines. Developers continue to convert existing vessels not originally designed to handle the new higher-capacity structures… Currently only around a dozen vessels are fully adapted for work in the offshore wind industry, the report said, and only seven in the world are capable of handling monopiles weighing more than 1,000 tons… Of 22 wind industry support vessels known to be under construction or in planning, only half a dozen have firm delivery dates.
[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age
Damen Shiprepair yard at Schiedam in the Netherlands has been awarded to carry out the upgrading of the Van Oord Aeolus offshore wind installation vessel. The existing 900 tonnes crane will be replaced by a 1,600 tonnes LEC (Leg Encircling Crane) in order for the Aeolus to be able to install larger wind turbines. Work is to begin in September 2017 and the upgraded vessel will be operational in Spring 2018.
The Aeolus was previously active in offshore wind projects Gemini, Luchterduinen and in the Irish Sea and will take on new projects after her upgrade like offshore windfarm Borssele 3 & 4 in the Netherlands and Norther in Belgium.
1. Digging out iron ore from the ground
2. Transportation iron ore to sea port
3. Loading iron ore onto ship
4. From ore to steel plate in blast furnace
5. From steel plate for monopile and tower
6. Seajack installation vessel picks up monopiles, tower pieces and (sometimes) nacelle and installs the complete machine at sea at a pace of at least one wind tower per day
Power: 648 MW (2nd largest in the world)
Commission date: 13 June 2016
Panels: 2.5 million
Annual generation: 1.3 TWh
Project: 8,500 workers completed the project in 8 months
Contractor: Adani Power
Grid connectivity: ABB Group
Russia is not exactly a front runner in renewable energy, which is not surprising, given Russia’s vast fossil fuel reserves. If local initiatives do occur it is almost always without federal subsidies. On December 15, 2015, the Abakan solar power plant of 5.2 MW was commissioned.
[russia-insider.com] – Solar Power in Russia Emerges From the Shade
[bashny.net] – Abakanskaya solar power plant
[wikipedia.org] – Abakan
[news.trust.org] – Solar power surges – slowly – in regulation-heavy Russia
[Google Maps] – Abakan
Largest electric bus fleet in Europe, made in Eindhoven, driving in Eindhoven. The buses are so quiet that they are equipped with a tram bell.
Dutch 18:00 News: by 2025, all 5000 buses in the Netherlands will be electric. Today 43 electric buses are operational in the Southern city of Eindhoven, and 41 elsewhere in the Netherlands. Later this year 100 electric buses will be driving in the Haarlem-Schiphol Airport region. World-wide the Netherlands is second, behind China, in promoting electric bus transport. The comfort level is higher as with petrol driven buses and much more quiet.
[nos.nl] – Nederland loopt voorop in elektrisch busvervoer
[vdlbuscoach.com] – VDL Bus & Coach introduces the Citea LLE Electric
[vdlbuscoach.com] – Citea Low Floor Electric (SLF Electric)
[wikipedia.org] – VDL Bus Chassis
[source] Overview border-crossing power exchanges.
In 2007, the EU was importing 82% of its oil and 57% of its gas, which then made it the world’s leading importer of these fuels. Russia, Canada, Australia, Niger and Kazakhstan were the five largest suppliers of nuclear materials to the EU, supplying more than 75% of the total needs in 2009. In 2015, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes.
The European Union has a decarbonisation policy that aims at phasing out most fossil fuels by 2050 (original goal: 95% cut from 1990 levels). Purpose: minimization climate change and help keeping global warming under 2 °C.
[wikipedia.org] – Energy policy of the European Union
Renewable energy sources, that are supposed to replace fossil fuel, are notoriously intermittent. This requires a continental grid where large amounts of energy can be transported from one country to another. In 2002 the EU decided that by 2020 every member state should be able to acquire at least 10% of its electricity needs from neighboring states. Currently 22 out of 28 EU member states are on track, c.q. have already achieved that aim.
[energypost.eu] – The Great Grid Special: where is Europe going with its grids?
In the 2014 the EU proposed to extend the 2020-10% target to 2030-15%:
Long distance electricity transport over thousands of kilometers is extremely cheap and efficient, with costs of US$ 0.005–0.02 / kWh. As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for direct-current transmission was determined to be 7,000 kilometres (4,300 miles). The consequence is that it is possible to contemplate the design of intercontinental grids, where offshore wind energy from Northern Europe (North Sea, Irish Sea and Baltic) can be combined with abundant solar energy from Northern Africa, the Sahara and even Saudi-Arabia (ignoring political aspects).
[wikipedia.org] – Electric power transmission
It is these kind of considerations that have led to the idea of the “European Super Grid”
[wikipedia.org] – European super grid
E-bikes are a serious alternative for the car to bridge commuting distances. The “problem” is: some of these e-bikes are simply too fast to be treated as a bike in normal traffic. In the Netherlands the average ‘back and forth’ commuting distance is 32 km. With the advent of 45 kmh e-bikes you can easily bridge this distance, even without sweating and get your necessary daily exercise in the process.
New legislation in the Netherlands has now categorized “speed pedelecs” as moped’s and as a consequence banned them from the Dutch bicycle lanes, you need a moped drivers licence and helmets are now obligatory.
[trouw.nl] – Ruim baan voor de supersnelle fiets helpt ook de trage trapper