Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
dailyrecord | Dozens of giant turbines at Scots windfarms powered by diesel generators, 5 Feb
after a fault developed on the grid.

The firm said it was forced to act in order to keep the turbines warm during very cold weather in December. But a whistleblower has told the Sunday Mail the incident is among a number of environmental and health and safety failings.

The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "The Scottish Government wants to make our country attractive to foreign investors as 40 per cent of the wind that blows across Europe blows across Scotland. However, that should not mean we put up with our waterways and nature being polluted with carbon from diesel generators and hydraulic oil.
Labour[!]s South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: "The SNP and Greens have proven time and time again they cannot be trusted on environmental issues. They laud Scotland's potential for renewables, yet don't appear to ensure those already in existence are properly run. This isn't the first problem raised about this site and there is concern at a lack of openness when problems arise.

"Whatever the reasons, having to use diesel generators to de-ice faulty turbines is environmental madness. This level of dishonesty cuts to the very core of the SNP and Green Government where their rhetoric on net zero is very different from the reality."
Sixty turbines at Arecleoch Wind farm and 11 at Glenn App near Cairnrayn in South Ayrshire were affacted and connected to six huge diesel generators. The windfarms are operated by Scottish Power Renewables, a subsidiary of Spanish-based Iberdrola, which operates 1183 onshore turbines which can produce enough electricity to power two million homes.

Spanish PM urges end to EU reliance on imported food, energy, 6 Feb
...He pointed to microchips and personal protective equipment from Asia during the pandemic and Russian natural gas and grains during the war in Ukraine. Sánchez was giving a speech in Madrid to outline policy priorities before Spain assumes the rotating presidency of the EU council in the second half of 2023.

The solution, he added, was to "reindustrialize Europe" and "recover jobs and strategic capabilities that we should never have lost." The focus would not be on traditional heavy manufacturing but "digitalization or ecological transition," said Sánchez, noting that just 1% of solar panels were made in the EU or [sic] 20% of internet storage used by the bloc....

ecb.europa.eu | Monetary policy decisions, 2 Feb
...the Governing Council today decided to raise the three key ECB interest rates by 50 basis points and it expects to raise them further. In view of the underlying inflation pressures, the Governing Council intends to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points at its next monetary policy meeting in March and it will then evaluate the subsequent path of its monetary policy. Keeping interest rates at restrictive levels will over time reduce inflation by dampening demand and will also guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations. In any event, the Governing Council's future policy rate decisions will continue to be data-dependent and follow a meeting-by-meeting approach.
Accordingly, the interest rate on the main refinancing operations[,] the interest rates on the marginal lending facility[,] and the deposit facility will be increased to 3.00%, 3.25% and 2.50% respectively, with effect from 8 February 2023....
komersant | Borrowed euro ordered to rise in price or go green, 2 Feb
by Cat on Mon Feb 6th, 2023 at 07:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Desertec is back. New management. Same proposition.

euractiv | Timmermans: Africa likely to be EU's most important renewable [fuel supplier], 6 Feb

To help fill the gap, many in the EU are looking to Africa, where there is a high potential for renewable energy production - in particular solar power.

"You start with your proximity," said Timmermans, pointing to potential partnerships with the wider Mediterranean and North Africa.

This includes plans to import renewable electricity from Egypt to Greece via an undersea cable already under construction. The submarine cable, which has a budget of €3.5 billion, will be able to carry 3,000 megawatts of power from Egypt to Greece, replacing 4.5 billion cubic metres of fossil gas each year, according to the Copelouzos Group developing the project.
For countries further away, he pointed to the role hydrogen can play in bringing renewable energy to Europe. Hydrogen can be produced using green electricity and then transported wherever the energy is needed.

"The European Union will need more green hydrogen than we can produce ourselves, so we're looking for countries where green hydrogen can be produced," Timmermans told EURACTIV.

"Tackling energy poverty in Africa"
["]Cooperation["] is not just about ensuring supplies for Europe, it is also about developing infrastructure and improving Africa's access to energy, said Philippe Henry, the climate and energy minister of Belgium's Wallonia region.
"We have to rewrite the way that international cooperation works because it does not work effectively if you want to stay in line with the Paris Agreement goal," [IRENA director general Francesco] La Camera said.

That includes multilateral finance [ie. IMF, WB, MFIs] institutions working on building up infrastructure using capital [read: loans] from their members and finding a way to work with utilities and the private sector, he said.

ec.europa.eu | COP27: European Union concludes a strategic partnership with Namibia on [continuous] raw materials and renewable hydrogen [export]
ec.europa.eu | Joint Statement on the EU-Egypt Renewable Hydrogen Partnership
Globe&Mail | South Africa moving to declare state of disaster over energy crisis, 31 Jan
Some commentators have voiced concerns that a national state of disaster would allow Mr. Ramaphosa's government to take steps that threaten basic rights and freedoms. Advocates of the plan, however, argue that it would permit the fast-tracking of energy reforms that have been blocked by political and bureaucratic gridlock.

Environmental groups and Western governments, meanwhile, are pressing South Africa to capitalize on the crisis by moving away from coal, which has dominated its economy for decades. They have offered billions of dollars to support a transition away from fossil fuels.

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
brettonwoodsproject | World Bank and IMF influence casts shadow over South Africa's Just Energy Transition Partnership, 8 Dec
Significantly, the policy reforms undertaken as a part of the JETP [Just Energy Transition Partnership] - which seek to unbundle Eskom, South Africa's much-criticised, state-owned energy utility (see Update 70), and create a more privatised, market-based electricity sector - bear the clear imprint of the World Bank and IMF's controversial approach to structural adjustment in the power sector across the Global South in recent decades, raising fears about the JETP leading to increased inequality.

The World Bank has been heavily involved in South Africa's energy sector over the past decade, providing a $3.75 billion loan [!] to Eskom in 2010 that went primarily towards the construction of the 4800 megawatt (MW) Medupi coal-fired power plant [!] (see Observer Spring 2019), a problem-riddled project that South African civil society organisations (CSOs) have repudiated as "odious debt" and demanded be written off by the Bank.

In order to pay for Medupi and two other [coal] plants, Eskom has raised the real price of electricity by more than 620% since 2007. Eskom is also in the process of privatising, and...its leadership aims to end cross-subsidisation that assists low-income users

The JETP IP emerged after yearlong negotiations with an international partnership group (IPG) - including the UK, US, France, Germany, and the EU - which offered South Africa $8.5 billion in financing for the initiative at the UNFCCC's 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021 (see Observer Winter 2021). However, the IP revealed that just 4 per cent of this finance ($330 million) will be provided by the IPG in grants, with much of the other financing provided as loans or guarantees.

by Cat on Tue Feb 7th, 2023 at 12:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
non-precious critical material has entered the room.

oilprice | Scientists Successfully Split Seawater To Produce Green Hydrogen, 12 Feb

University of Adelaide's Professor Shizhang Qiao and Associate Professor Yao Zheng from the School of Chemical Engineering led an international team that successfully split seawater without pre-treatment to produce green hydrogen.
A typical non-precious catalyst is cobalt oxide with chromium oxide on its surface.
not that "pre-treatment", the other one
Should this work get replication with similar success it will be a [value chain] breakthrough. No expensive precious metals [?] involved. But cobalt, while not so rare, isn't abundant by any means and is often sourced from ore gathering by small children. That makes the future of cobalt very much up in the air for assessment. Should this research prove up, the cobalt demands would sky rocket and get way more expensive. There is cobalt to be had, it's just buried under 'not in my backyard' and the environmental green groups' lawyer barriers, which plug up the politics quite severely.

The second matter is that the [producer] power source isn't discussed. While the energy input is definitely electric and the claim is near 100% efficiency, the input vs product calculation isn't shown or discussed.

Yet the prospect of a greatly reduced water source cost, plus not using precious metals is cause for a lot of anticipation. Congratulations to the team is in order. Lets hope the next steps are solvable by low costs and not requiring decades of [Global Gateway] political maneuvering to get the jobs done.

Jiaxin Guo et al, "Direct seawater electrolysis by adjusting the local reaction environment of a catalyst", Nature energy, 30 Jan
$32 pay-to-view
by Cat on Mon Feb 13th, 2023 at 04:49:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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