I wanted to warn you all that many countries in the EU currently enforce renewable resource quotas. This is what you want, however the incentives are incorrect, and the quotas are met by importing the wood/diesel from somewhere else. The EU does not oversee the reforestation/replanting of the combustible matter that is burned. So there's no guarantee that the wood/biodiesel consumed is actually carbon neutral. For all I know we're burning forests down but not planting them back. Not to mention that the biodiesel is competing with human food...
If they just had proper checks and balances and worked out the reward correctly it could have worked.
That said, SCHiM's statements makes it sound like the EU is currently burning the world for the sake of their own green conscience. That's not the full picture. Admittedly when it comes to import of biofuels it appears to be hard to verify and enforce that the source is renewable and sustainable. And the EU probably isn't doing much better than anyone else in that area.
On the other hand: EU:s primary source of biofuel is internal production and not imports and there is little deforestation going on in the EU, many European countries even have a slight net positive reforestation, despite a huge internal production of biofuels.
There is also a great interest in increasing the capacity for local sourcing of biofuels to reduce dependency of imports and creating jobs locally. So while there is reason to be mindful of how biofuels are sourced, and that there still are bad actors in the EU (as well as and elsewhere), my impression is that the general trend in the EU is one of increased awareness and positive development.
Basically, AFAICT calls for large-scale biomass energy usage tend to be greenwashing scams where the real motivation is rural politicians who want short-term $$$ for their constituents, damn the long-term consequences.
Despite all of this energy prices don't drop as they are bound to one of the few legal monopolies in Europe: the grid operation cartel (REN in the article, there is only one allowed for each EU country).
Also this feels as fake news since we have a few very old (and historically insecure, like sines power plant and carregado power plant) fossil fuel power plants that are still operating with no signs of slowing down while making profits through several scams in chemical engineering their way into the 0 emissions lot.
However if energy prices rise too much it can hurt quality of life: e.g. home heating/cooling in Portugal is, at most, spartan.
Hemp bast fiber is normally waste. Hemp anodes for supercapacitors are made from the bast fiber that is normally waste.
Graphene is very useful; but industrial production of graphene is dangerous because lungs and blood-brain barrier.
Hemp is an alternative to graphene for modern supercapacitors (which now have much greater power density in wH/kg)
"Hemp Carbon Makes Supercapacitors Superfast”
> “Our device’s electrochemical performance is on par with or better than graphene-based devices,” Mitlin says. “The key advantage is that our electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, and therefore, are much cheaper than graphene.”
> Graphene is, however, expensive to manufacture, costing as much as $2,000 per gram. [...] developed a process for converting fibrous hemp waste into a unique graphene-like nanomaterial that outperforms graphene. What’s more, it can be manufactured for less than $500 per ton.
> Hemp fiber waste was pressure-cooked (hydrothermal synthesis) at 180 °C for 24 hours. The resulting carbonized material was treated with potassium hydroxide and then heated to temperatures as high as 800 °C, resulting in the formation of uniquely structured nanosheets. Testing of this material revealed that it discharged 49 kW of power per kg of material—nearly triple what standard commercial electrodes supply, 17 kW/kg.
I feel like a broken record mentioning this again and again.
I'd update the units; good call. You may have that confused? Traditional supercapacitors have had lower power density and faster charging/discharging. Graphene and hemp somewhat change the game, AFAIU.
It makes sense to put supercapacitors in front of the battery banks because they last so many cycles and because they charge and discharge so quickly (a very helpful capability for handling spiky wind and solar loads).
You're right that it makes sense to put supercapacitors in front of the battery banks for the reasons you said.
My understanding is that there's usually a curve over time t that represents the charging rate from empty through full.
> Charge and discharge rates are often denoted as C or C-rate, which is a measure of the rate at which a battery is charged or discharged relative to its capacity. As such the C-rate is defined as the charge or discharge current divided by the battery's capacity to store an electrical charge. While rarely stated explicitly, the unit of the C-rate is [h^−1], equivalent to stating the battery's capacity to store an electrical charge in unit hour times current in the same unit as the charge or discharge current.
It may be that most people dismiss supercapacitors based on the stats for legacy (pre-graphene/pre-hemp) supercapacitors: large but quick and long-lasting.
It may be that hemp is taxed at up to 90% because it's a controlled substance in the US (but not in Europe, Canada, or China; where we must import shelled hemp seeds from). A historical accident?
Given the over provisioning required to be able to ensure a battery will be able to provide a guaranteed amount of energy, such as last say overnight in 5 years, and that batteries are good for a fixed number of cycles after which they have to be replaced, batteries were not competitive with pumped storage and all the civil works that entails on a project currently under construction.
Dams have many problems. They can only be built on certain topographies, they have an ecological impact (destroy an ecosystem, albeit creating a different one), and have a social impact. However, in the context of energy production, they are amazing. They can start and stop as fast as loaded thermal plants (without the readiness fuel consumption cost), they are 100% renewable, provide aquifers for collecting urban water and provide the best energy storage/temporal load balancing technology today.
Portuguese with highest standardized energy bills in the EU
That can’t be right....
If Portugal reaches 27% of energy consumption from renewable sources that's not nearly as significant in terms of absolute energy consumption than when say France or Germany reaches that goal.
Both of these countries don't have a lot of naturally occurring phenomena or places that lend themselves to hydroelectric or geothermal energy production. So, they have to resort to ways that work everywhere but are comparatively more expensive or difficult to implement.
So, while countries like Portugal or Iceland reaching such goals certainly is commendable the 'battle' will be won elsewhere.
Now last two months we had an abnormal rain season with lots of snow and rain, so dams and water reservoirs are getting more water, and rivers Tagus and Duero-Douro could carry more water to Portugal as the dams upstream are getting full, like it should for this time of the year.
The complete history is that in the Iberian Peninsula there are three months with almost no rain: June-July and August because of the Azores high and you can not depend on hydro generation there.
It's in the Top 6, yet only slightly more then Euro-area average. 
Though it might be higher if you take average income into account.
Those taxes are so eggregious that even the IMF demanded that the portuguese government should lower them as they harmed the economic recovery.
Most of the price is taxes of various kinds and monopolistic behaviour by EDP. After the privatization, but increasingly so after being sold to the Chinese state.
The market is only nominally free, and since REN who owns the network is ALSO owned by the Chinese state (who the hell thought that was a good idea? Oh, he is the Chairman of EDP now), that won't change.
Minor nitpick: Most of it predates the EU. It came from national effort first, and the Marshall Plan next, from the 1930s to the late 60s. That's when most dams were built.
Global economic crisis.
Not everything is poor management, though. The current infrastructure, which allows these records, is the result of a huge hydro-dam program in the 1950s and a very strong incentive for wind power in the noughties.
Citation needed, or stop spreading disinformation
Here's a map, though nothing on Portugal, the Spanish map is quite impressive
- Dams impact every aspect of healthy rivers.
- Dams lead to loss of river habitat as the river is transferred into impoundments, (impoundments or reservoirs are not lakes).
- Dams lead to loss of river habitat as the hydro and sediments dynamics in the river are severely modified.
This impact can reach hundreds of kilometres down the river and affect deltas.
- Dams seriously impede the migrations of fish and this leads directly to the decline and even local extinction of many species. If we want to keep certain fish species in Europe, like eel, sturgeon, salmon, it is of great importance to restore connectivity from sea to source.
However, we tend to focus on fish in relation to dam impacts; but many other species living in the water and on land depend on natural rivers and would benefit from free- flowing rivers.
- Modification of water dynamics do also alter habitats and thereby favouring different, often invasive species
Go read Cadillac Desert, it's been written a few decades ago, but it's a real eye opener on the history of water management in the (west) US.
If you consider wear and tear on the infrastructure, then nothing is renewable. Wind turbines don't last forever, solar panels slowly produce less power, etc.
If the destruction affects endangered species, I may land on the no-dam side. Otherwise, it's a preference question. Do you prefer changing an healthy ecosystem into another healthy ecosystem or do you prefer building a thermal/nuclear power plant? I prefer the renewable one.
And that's a problem. You don't want "temporarily". If it is temporarily then it is if it doesn't exist at all - there has to be a prepared reserve (read power plants operating) for the cases when renewable doesn't reach 100%.
AFAIK, energy distributors have to have the equal amount of production capacity in regular power plants as there is renewable energy (well, not renewable but wind+solar - the ones that variate the most).
Until battery packs become widely available, I would say that solar+wind is quite a poor choice to reduce CO2 (assuming that it is the reason why we do renewable at all).
Though obviously it's spring so this isn't a year-round possibility.
With much teeth grinding from companies that sold all its production to the network, and then bought the energy they needed at lower price. The subsidies did their job, the installed capacity is now large enough.
Source (Portuguese): https://dre.pt/web/guest/home/-/dre/114949214/details/maximi...
Portugal produced enough renewable energy in a month to cover their electrical demand for that month if the demand had been at convenient times. They also produced energy in non-renewable ways to meet short-term electrical demand within that month.
"On one day in particular, 15 May, output from turbines generated enough electricity to power 190% of homes or 99% of Scotland's total electricity demand."
That's what people say about Germany too, but they keep breaking surprising solar records. Looking at the maps at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany#/media/... and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Poland#/media/F... it looks like the potential is not that different, though Southern Germany does have some areas with more peak sun. But those are not the only areas where they have solar installations in Germany.
EDIT: Let me qualify this a bit, the colors are somewhat misleading in direct comparison. Looking at the numbers, most of Poland seems to be roughly comparable to the northern half of Germany in terms of solar potential. And that potential is used in Germany, even in the north.
> we don't have enough strong winds
I'm really just guessing here, but my impression was that having access to the sea basically guarantees offshore wind power potential. Also, all of Eastern Europe is basically a single flat pancake, you should get strong wind straight from Russia, I think. That was the case when I was living in Eastern Austria, at least (where there is a bunch of wind power).
The facts are as follows:
- We have an adequate amount of sunny days as shown by this system: http://www.tinyurl.com/Chotomow-dom (annual yield above 1MWh per peak kW).
- The conditions for wind power are favorable https://www.gmina-izbica.pl/images/articles/wiatr-predkosci.... (shown on the map: 10-minute average wind speed at 10 meters above ground level).
Only after the north of the Danube.
The steppe, it’s called. But don’t forget the Urals.
But really, why would you only invest in renewable energy at home.
We should be building a solid grid and just hook up sun farms and wind turbines where we get the best return on investment.
Relying my hydro from Norway to cover days with little wind should work fine.
Note: you won't want to have wind turbines close by regardless, put them at sea :)
You begin to take some refugees without complaining and sunny southern european countries give you some of their solar power - deal? /s
Hopefully other countries will end fossil fuel subsidies much sooner than that.
Still, the subsidies are just to ensure that the plants are kept ready to assist if there's a need.
Still, it should be corrected for clarity. But it seems a remarkable achievement.
On the fact that it's temporary, I'm curious to see how long any country or even region takes to reach 100% permanent renewable generation. That could be similarly sci-fi-ish, even if there's some recent hope in battery-related news stories.
Looking back at Portugal, their main source is a hydroelectric dam and their second is wind.
The netherlands have basically no elevation, so they literally can't make an (efficient) dam.
The Netherlands also have extremely bad ratio between landmass/population, so there's quite literally little space for mass Wind turbines.
Portugal also has the luxury of not sharing their coast, while the netherlands have to share the (small) northern sea with multiple countries (England for one) so they literally can't build wind turbines randomly in the sea without breaking a treaty.
Netherlands and England as well are not exactly sunny countries thus solar is also inherently more inefficient than countries closer to the equator.
Then there's general climate arguments (annual wind amounts and speeds)
I think these are very important factors because the variable for a coal plant is the same, so a direct comparison between Portugal and The Netherlands and potentially other eu countries is somewhat apples and oranges.