December 23, 2013

Solar power per square kilometer

please note: this is just a 'quick & dirty' reply to an interesting question on Twitter, the usual more in-depth stories about renewables can be found here :

@went 55 shared, @RF_HFC was skeptical and so I found the source of this map and shared the pdf document and its main underlying thesis : (on page 25, map on page 26)

Robin Fransman (@RF_HFC) replied in Dutch: "250 GWh per square kilometer is way to high"

So I looked it up, and indeed this value is at best a theoretical value, but I couldn't really understand the assumptions made by the author Nadine May.
Although she referred to thermal solar energy potential, the solar yield for photovoltaics in the Sahara desert is between 1800 kWh/per 1kW installed capacity based on silicon panels, and 2100 kWh/ per 1 kW thin film panels. (according to PVGIS optimized slope and several locations probed) . Concerning 'land use' of solar plants it's not possible to just make calculations of efficiency per m2, but it is important to leave some space between rows of racks where the panels are attached to, because otherwise the shade will affect the solar yield. So per ha (=10000 square meter) the power production capacity is +-300 kWpeak for thin film panels and +-500 kWpeak for silicon based panels.

A practical problem which obviously is somehow ignored by the scientific community:
>>2.  At home: 1 kWp ≈ 1000 Wp ≈ 5 m2 (at 20%)
At large:: 1 GWp (Giga Watt peak) ≈ 5 km2<<
At 'home level' it's correct (but no obligation to purchase panels with highest efficiency = often with highest price per kW) , but for utility scale it isn't.

So in reality it's
1 ha= 500 kW,
10 ha = 5 MW,
100 ha =1 sq km = 50 MW
5 sq km = 250 MW
(Also taking into account frames & space between 2  panels)  
practical exception: If you install panels on a mountain slope of +-30°

but on the other hand it isn't really important how much land is used to produce solar power, since there  is lots of wasteland available. Especially when the use of the vast spaces of the Sahara desert is intended. In the end not the efficiency per square meter, kilometer or mile is important , but the price per installed kW, MW and GW is ! So no need to impress the public by small numbers of land needed.

Although the use of thermal solar energy by CSP is perhaps better to store the energy for the time after the sunset, it's by now cheaper (and less complicated) to use PV panels.  

Concerning 'land use' of CSP I found this

October 13, 2013

How to quote others on Twitter properly (avoid sending a direct message)

Often people who are not that familiar with Twitter or those who just forget 'Twitter rules' (happened to me , too!) are not aware of the fact, that when they intend to quote another Twitterati, they in fact send just a 'public' direct message to the person.

So when starting a tweet with '@persons_Twitter_handle' (followed by quoted text) only the addressed account & all people following BOTH (the one sending the tweet & recipient) can read this tweet, intended for a wider public (all followers)

This 'public direct messaging' can be avoid once a tweet starts with any other character than '@'. Often a '.' (full stop) is used. 

Since a couple of month however, Twitter provides us with a superb other method of displaying the content of other tweets: embedding !

Once you use this method the entire 'original' tweet will be made available to your audience.

You just have to 'open' the tweet you intend to 're-publish', then right-click on 'Details' (to the right of Date/Time of tweet) and copy the link of this tweet.(method of 'copy&paste' might be different when using MAC OSX or other Operating System)


Then you write your introduction text and you add ('paste') the link to your tweet. By using this method is also possible to 'circumvent' the 140 character limitation of Twitter, which is even less when you try to put all quoted text between quotation marks & provide the author's name.

April 24, 2013

Cyprus aid package approval German parliament

234. Sitzung, 17. Wahlperiode, 18. April 2013 (,pdf,3.6MB)(German)
Zypern Debatte & Abstimmung
Cyprus debate & vote
(pdf pages 29154 - 29192 only <= transcript includes all debates of that day)

note: There will be a translation of some parts of the debate of German MPs later

April 20, 2013

Translation of bail-in template remarks by FinMin Schaeuble

>>After the chairman of the Eurogroup, the Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, now also Wolfgang Schäuble called the rescue of Cyprus a role model for similar crisis cases. Also in future the owners, creditors and depositors of banks must contribute a share to rescue banks, Schäuble said. "The involvement of owners, junior bond holders and unsecured investors must be the norm, if a financial institution gets in trouble", Schäuble reiterated. "Otherwise we can't get a grip on the moral hazard problem, which enables banks to make vast profits with risky businesses, but in case of failure then puts the losses on the community", declares the finance minister. "That must not be" <<

Schäuble: Nicht mehr als zehn Milliarden Euro für Zypern (, Apr 20th 2013)

March 16, 2013

Approval of aid program for Cyprus

Goedkeuring steunprogramma voor Cyprus ( <=Dutch government website)

Approval of aid program for Cyprus

The finance ministers of the euro countries have reached a political agreement in the night of 15th & 16th of March about an aid program for Cyprus of maximal 10 bn euros. The loan will be provided by the European emergency fund ESM. The troika-parties will during next week further work out the side(?)conditions of the program with the Cypriot government.

Finance minister and Eurogroup chief Dijsselbloem on the program: "By involving the depositors the bill will not entirely be presented to the tax payers. Cyprus will now get a chance for economic recovery and renewed growth again."

Parts of this program are:

- a one time stability charge on savings of 6,75% up to 100.000 euro and 9,9 % above 100.000 euro.

- an increase of the tax deducted at source on interests from 10 to 12,5 percent.

- a restructuring of the banking sector

- privatizations and the sell-off of a part of the Cypriot gold reserves

Cyprus has applied for emergency support of the euro countries in June 2012. The economy and the banks of Cyprus are closely entangled with those of Greece. That makes them vulnerable. The financial  support is intended for governmental finances as well as to fix up the banks.

For the support the same strict conditions apply as for Greece, Ireland and Portugal

Disclaimer: The author isn't a professional translator and is not responsible for any misunderstanding, slightly inaccurate translation of the original text issued by Dutch finance ministry. So please regard translated text as an indication of what is communicated by the ministry. Please ask for confirmation  by Mr Dijsselbloem or his staff.