Dutch trains now all powered by wind energy

January 10, 2017
Eneco and NS said on a joint website that some 600,000 passengers daily are "the first in the world" to travel thanks to wind energy

All Dutch trains are now 100 percent powered by electricity generated by wind energy, the national railway company NS said Tuesday, calling it a world first.

"Since the first of January, 100 percent of our are running on wind energy," NS spokesman Ton Boon told AFP.

Dutch electricity company Eneco won a tender launched by NS two years ago and the two firms signed a 10-year deal setting January 2018 as the date by which all NS trains should run on wind energy.

"So we in fact reached our goal a year earlier than planned," said Boon, adding that an increase in the number of across the country and off the coast of The Netherlands had helped NS achieve its aim.

Eneco and NS said on a joint website that some 600,000 passengers daily are "the first in the world" to travel thanks to . NS operates about 5,500 train trips a day.

One windmill running for an hour can power one train across some 200 kilometres (120 miles), the companies said. They now hope to reduce the energy used per passenger by 35 percent by 2020 compared with 2005.

Explore further: Shell-led consortium to build 700MW offshore Dutch wind farm

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Roderick
1.7 / 5 (11) Jan 10, 2017
There is no guarantee those trains are being fed by wind generated electricity. A lot of these feel good renewable energy stories are precisely that - feel good.
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2017
Just put the windmills right next to the train tracks and the trains could power themselves...
24volts
4.3 / 5 (12) Jan 10, 2017
Roderick,
If the contract to supply the power that runs those trains was done with a wind turbine company and the company is putting out enough power into the grid to supply the trains then technically the trains are running on solely wind generated electricity. It doesn't matte what other types of plants are also supplying the grid.
ddaye
3.8 / 5 (4) Jan 10, 2017
Thinking of the wind-wagons of the old American west, I have visions of a 700 masted land schooner. Yes I know how it's really done. Excellent news.
antigoracle
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2017
And commuters are and will, for the foreseeable future, be paying through their noses for this electricity that's at least 4 times the cost.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2017
And commuters are and will, for the foreseeable future, be paying through their noses for this electricity that's at least 4 times the cost.

Funnily enough prices for commuter tickets are cheaper in the Netherlands than they are e.g. in the UK.

And I'd be interested to know where you get the '4 times cost' (compared to what?). All the sources I find are saying that wind is already the cheapest power source out there (not counting hydro, because that is not scaleable...at least not until wave energy generators come into their own) with solar having slipped below the cost of fossil fuels last year.
humy
3.8 / 5 (10) Jan 11, 2017
There is no guarantee those trains are being fed by wind generated electricity..

So what? If they are powered by the wind for, lets say just for the sake of argument, 90% of the time but not for 10% of the time, that still means a huge reduction in fossil fuel burning and that alone makes it well worth having that wind power.
Your point is totally mute.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2017
If the contract to supply the power that runs those trains was done with a wind turbine company and the company is putting out enough power into the grid to supply the trains then technically the trains are running on solely wind generated electricity.


Technically not. They have a contract with a wind power company, and are paying said company, but all that contract means is that the wind power producer has to arrange them the supply of power by whatever means - not necessarily by wind power. That's the basis of all these contracts.

It doesn't matte what other types of plants are also supplying the grid.


It matters a lot, because the wind power producer has to substitute wind power with bought power when they aren't producing it. Usually they reserve quotas from hydroelectric plants and supply that instead, and when that's not enough they buy from the spot market.

They can't just sell energy and supply it whenever. When the trains run, the power must too.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2017
So what? If they are powered by the wind for, lets say just for the sake of argument, 90% of the time but not for 10% of the time, that still means a huge reduction in fossil fuel burning


Not really. First of all, half the wind energy is available in 15% of the running time due to the power scaling in the cube of wind speed - that causes the "spiky" nature of the supply, so wind power is fully available around 1/5th of the time.

Secondly, the need for quick adjustment to follow the waxing and waning of wind uses fast load following powerplants that are significantly less efficient - typically just 30-40% efficient compared to 60-80% efficient for combined cycle and combined heat output plants which can't follow fast enough. That means the overall efficiency of electricity production drops.

With wind power being available perhaps 20% of the time, and the inefficiency causing fuel consumption to go up by a significant margin, the actual savings are nil or negative.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2017
In the worst times, when the wind power producer has promised to supply the power, but the wind isn't blowing enough, and the hydroelectric plants are near their full capacity or don't have enough water to spare, the next thing that goes online is large stationary diesel engines.

Of course with the hydroelectric dams too - since they're not making any more of them - the wind power producer buying hydroelectricity for their own customers means someone else can't have it, which means they are then forced to produce electricity from gas/oil/coal. It all goes around.

humy
4 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2017
Eikka



Not really. First of all, half the wind energy is available in 15% of the running time due to the power scaling in the cube of wind speed - that causes the "spiky" nature of the supply, so wind power is fully available around 1/5th of the time.

No, you are talking gibberish. A "the cube of wind speed" factor doesn't mean wind power is only available 1/5th of the time. A typical wind farm produces power for more than 70%, NOT merely 1/5th of the time.

http://www.wind-p...file.htm

"...the graph shows that the turbine will not produce any power for about 30% of the time when the mean wind speed is 5 metres/second. However, at, say, 8 metres/second, this time is reduced to about 15% of the time..."

-and 15% of the time not producing clearly implies 85% of the time it produces.
You are talking bullocks .
humy
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2017


With wind power being available perhaps 20% of the time, .

It is typically available for over 70% of the time on most wind farms. See previous post.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 11, 2017
No, you are talking gibberish. A "the cube of wind speed" factor doesn't mean wind power is only available 1/5th of the time. A typical wind farm produces power for more than 70%, NOT merely 1/5th of the time.


That is a half-truth.

It's well and easy to say they're running 70% of the time if you count whenever the output is only above a small fraction of their nameplate capacity, and your reference is not for a "typical wind farm" because it depends on the local mean wind speed. The 70% figure is for 5 m/s average.

After all, the trains either run or they don't - they don't half-run unless the conductor is given real-time data about wind power output so he can adjust the speed accordingly.
humy
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2017
No, you are talking gibberish. A "the cube of wind speed" factor doesn't mean wind power is only available 1/5th of the time. A typical wind farm produces power for more than 70%, NOT merely 1/5th of the time.


That is a half-truth.

It's well and easy to say they're running 70% of the time if you count whenever the output is only above a small fraction of their nameplate capacity,

Have you got evidence of this generally being the case? -answer, no. What you imply is bollocks and also irrelevant since most of the time those trains (mentioned in this link) will still be powered by wind power, no problem.

What have you got against wind power? What is wrong with using wind power to power trains for most of the time to cut down on CO2 emissions? Why is that wrong?
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2017
Have you got evidence of this generally being the case? -answer, no


Yes.

Even your own source confirms it:
It is interesting to note that for 50% of the time, this large turbine would be producing less than 600 kilowatts at a mean wind speed of 7 m/s

That's 600 kW out of 2500 kW which is 24% so half the time the turbine is producing less than a quarter of its nominal output. Mind you, 7 m/s mean wind speed is quite a lot. The mean wind speed in say Amsterdam is 5.1 m/s or down to 3.4 m/s in Utrecht.

Statistically, the wind speeds follow a Weibull distribution:
http://www.wind-p...tics.htm
The probability of low wind speeds is much greater than high wind speeds, and because the power of a turbine increases in the cube (v^3) of the wind speed, the probability for low output is very much greater than high output - hence why the turbines produce power in short surges and then quiet down for long stretches of time in between.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
What you imply is bollocks and also irrelevant


What I'm implying is this:

https://upload.wi...ency.png

That is a graph of a wind farm with mean wind speed around 5 m/s.

The red curve/bars represent the number of hours over a year at each wind speed. The blue bars represents the amount of energy generated at that same wind speed.

When you split the blue curve in half, you see that more than half the energy generated by the farm occurs above 12.5 m/s which corresponds to only a small fraction of the actual running hours. Those hours are approximately 15% of the time - around 55 days a year or one day per the average week spread evenly.

The turbines saturate above 12 m/s so that energy is coming at 100% power. So 1 day a week the turbines are on full, and that means the average output can not exceed 17% for the rest of the week: the power output drops to a fraction.

That is how wind turbines behave.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
The reason why the above is a problem for the trains is this. Suppose the full output of a small wind farm is 10 MW. Given the above distribution of wind speeds, you can have the wind power output on successive days to be something like:

1,1,2,6,9,3,1,1,1,2,1,1,2,4... MW

and so-on. The average of that is 2.5 which is a fairly typical capacity factor of 25%. Now, you can imagine the train demands a constant 2.5 MW of power to run its route, so you may claim that it's running on wind power - since that's your average output.

But when you look at the distribution, the train is running fully on wind power on only four days of fourteen. On the other days, it's actually getting only 52% of its power from wind.

In reality it's worse than that, because I didn't give it any zero days when the wind is below the cut-in speed of the turbines, because on those days the wind turbines actually draw power from the grid to keep their systems, oil pumps etc. running.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
So then you may claim, "Just build more wind turbines", and there's sure to be enough power available at any given time to at least run that train. Well, not really, since the net output does often go to zero even in a country the size of Germany so you'll never get there.

But more importantly - you can't make electrons from the turbines go to that train specifically. When you sum up all the different customers to your power, they sum up to a more or less constant demand and we're back to the case where you're selling "averaged power" out of a randomly varying supply and have to source half or more elsewhere to satisfy all your customers.

And so the train too does not get wind power all the time, not even most of the time, and it's plain bullshit and greenwashing to claim that it does.

Then you dump the other half that your customers couldn't spend, onto the spot market and crash the electricity prices for the other producers, for which you get paid a state subsidy.
humy
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
What you imply is bollocks and also irrelevant


What I'm implying is this:

https://upload.wi...ency.png

That is a graph of a wind farm with mean wind speed around 5 m/s.

.

So what? How does that mean you cannot have wind farms generating electricity for trains for at least, say, 70% of the time? Or that it is wrong to do so? Or that it is harmful to do so? You make no relevant point.
24volts
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2017
Eikka, you must have a really boring life. All you ever do is argue with people and post gibberish most of the time... You just posted 4 messages in a row that had absolutely no useful or meaningful information in them at all. My statement stands. If they are paying the wind companies to supply the power then they are supplying the power. It doesn't matter in the least if a little comes from other companies the wind company had under contract and your nit-picking statements are just that, nit picking statements and a complete waste of peoples time. You remind me of an old lady that lives down the block that argues with anything anyone ever says to her. You can say the clear sky is blue to her and she will argue that it isn't.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
How does that mean you cannot have wind farms generating electricity for trains for at least, say, 70% of the time? Or that it is wrong to do so? Or that it is harmful to do so? You make no relevant point.


It is possible in individual cases, some of the time, but doing so causes problems in the power grid in general.

The main point is that these claims of "powering" a train, or a number of homes etc. are bullshit. They're half-truths and propaganda - misinformation to mislead people into thinking these systems are working as advertised and worth their asking price and the votes given to politicians that promised them.

You just posted 4 messages in a row that had absolutely no useful or meaningful information in them at all.


You say that merely because you disagree with the conclusions.

It doesn't matter in the least if a little comes from other companies


Of course it does: it's more expensive to do it that way, and it's false advertising.
Eikka
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2017
My statement stands. If they are paying the wind companies to supply the power then they are supplying the power.


That's just you being a smart-ass.

They say the trains are all powered by wind power, so one would expect them to be powered by wind power - not by wind power sometimes. It's not nit-picking - it's holding people accountable to tell the truth about the matter.

After all, what's the point of renewable power if it only half-works? Can you half-stop the climate change with it? The articles, the people involved, are making belief that it does 100% the job, while reality says it's not anywhere near that.

Imagine what a row it would be if I claimed to sell 100% biodiesel, and it turns out I was blending 50/50 regular diesel into it to make up the supply.
gkam
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 11, 2017
I'd like to have Eikka in one of my seminars.

We would teach him how the systems work.

Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2017
I'd like to have Eikka in one of my seminars.

We would teach him how the systems work.


There's no reason you can't teach me now if you're that confident. It would be a service to all visitors to see correct and up-to-date information, properly sourced and referenced.

To make the previous analogy complete:

Imagine I am running a bus company. I'm buying biodiesel from a supplier who is having troubles sourcing it, so half the time he's supplying me with regular diesel instead. He knows it, I know it, but I am telling everyone that my bus is running 100% all the time on biofuel - why? Becuse it gives me an excuse to keep higher ticket prices, or avoid some tax, or just to attract more "environmentally conscious" customers to my bus instead of my competitors'

Is this the right thing to do? Is this how renewable energy is supposed to work?
gkam
2.5 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2017
You know full well what they mean. You are just looking for ways to discredit our move toward 21st Century fuels.

They committed to buying the wind power to finance its installation, knowing the amount of power they will buy can be generated by the wind turbines. It is not always at the same time, but the same amount of energy. The wind turbines will produce even when the trains do not need it, and someone else in the society will buy it.

Overall, the society is better off.
barakn
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2017
Here we see the usual Eikka slight of hand. Eikka very carefully only refers to the output from single turbines or at most a single wind farm, which will behave very much like a single turbine because they experience the same wind environment, until casually mentioning "the net output does often go to zero even in a country the size of Germany." But are we really talking about just a single country? No. The Netherlands ihas a comfortable 17% interconnectivity to most of the rest of the continent of Europe and 3 countries in northern Africa by the largest synchronous grid on the planet. Plans are to increase the interconnectivity and to add additional grids to the network. Wind energy can be effectively sent across borders. I'm also not buying the "go to zero" either. In 2014, "minimum power output of Germany's wind farms was 0.128 GW at 2 pm on the 4th of September." https://www.wefor...nd-power
antigoracle
Jan 11, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2017
Eikka really, really, really doesn't want this to be true.

Maybe you should dump your stocks and consider re-investing, Eikka.

Just sayin'.
antigoracle
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2017
Eikka really, really, really doesn't want this to be true.

Maybe you should dump your stocks and consider re-investing, Eikka.

Just sayin'.

Another "brilliant" re-butt-al from Da Tard.
Not just sayin'.
Roderick
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2017
24volts,

It is misleading. Wind power is intermittent. If these trains were really relying solely on wind power, then they were stop and starting constantly. These articles give the illusion that wind power is more valuable than it is.
Roderick
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2017
Humy,

It is plain misleading to claim that wind farms produce electricity 70% of the time. The load factors are well known and for a terrestrial European wind turbine farm, the load factor is 25%. Hence most of the time the wind farms are producing very little.
Roderick
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2017
24Volts,

Eikka is spot on and you are wrong. Those trains would not be operating without dispatchable power in the grid. Both wind and solar power are at best useful to help meet peak demand. But they are no substitute for base power. No civilization can rely on randomly generated power that is poorly synchronized to market demand. These trains are running mostly on base power.
Roderick
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2017
Gkam,

Society is worse since the load factors on wind power are much lower than other forms of energy. It is clearly inefficient.
Roderick
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2017
Antialias,

You can't compare the cost of intermittent power to dispatchable power. The latter is far more valuable.

It is an apples-to-oranges comparison. A country can run its entire grid on nuclear and simply export the excess. NO country can come to running its grid solely on wind
antigoracle
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2017
Wind farms — are 96% useless, and cost 150 times more than necessary for what they do

http://joannenova...they-do/
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2017
Wind farms — are 96% useless, and cost 150 times more than necessary for what they do

http://joannenova...they-do/
Hilarious: Eco-nuts' green car, with a back-up fossil fuel car behind it when there's no sun no wind.
http://jonova.s3....-web.jpg
But with only sunshine and breeze it maybe doesn't even move a little bit.

antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2017
You can't compare the cost of intermittent power to dispatchable power. The latter is far more valuable.

How so? (And aren't you contradicting yourself here in the space of these two sentences?)
Note that fossil fuel/nuclear (with the exception of gas power plants) are NOT dispatchable power. They have quite some run-up time.

A country can run its entire grid on nuclear and simply export the excess.

Not really, because nuclear needs water. You can't run nuclear power if the streams they feed off and into get too warm (well, you can, but you're killing all life in the river in the process). It's a pretty regular occurence that nuclear powerplants have to be regulated back (or in extreme cases shut down) in the summer.
http://www.nytime...480.html
You can't just keep building more along rivers because that will only aggravate the problem. For 1GW of power from nuclear/fossil you're creating roughly 2GW of waste heat.

antigoracle
Jan 13, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antigoracle
Jan 13, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antigoracle
Jan 13, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antigoracle
Jan 13, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
savvys84
not rated yet Jan 16, 2017
hard to believe this as an engineer. but is fantastic if true
Roderick
2 / 5 (4) Jan 16, 2017
Antilias,

You are quibbling. Coal and nuclear are dispatchable and they provide base power admirably well.

Furthermore, none of your green power countries such as Denmark and Germany have been able to catch up to the lower per capita CO2 emissions of nuclear-intensive like Sweden, France and Sweden. The reason is pretty obvious. Because Germany and Denmark are nuclear-allergic, they have to rely on coal. And that is absurd situation given that global warming is one of the major 21st century challenges.

http://data.world....CO2E.PC

No, your concerns about water are not important.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 16, 2017
Coal and nuclear are dispatchable and they provide base power admirably well.

Not really. They provide too much when it isn't needed and too little when it is - because they aren't flexible.
The "renewables can't supply base load" is just a myth that will not die.
E.g. Fraunhofer did a study for germany in which they conclude that 100% renewables is feasible by 2050 - even without any kind of energy trade with neighboring countries (with such energy trade it becomes even easier)...and that at cost no higher than for current energy investments.

https://www.ise.f...land.pdf

Because Germany and Denmark are nuclear-allergic

Germany opted out of nuclear and the CO2 per capita has remained constant (i.e. renewables took up the slack.) When the last nuke goes offline the reduction will become visible
antigoracle
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2017
Coal and nuclear are dispatchable and they provide base power admirably well.

Not really. They provide too much when it isn't needed and too little when it is - because they aren't flexible.
The "renewables can't supply base load" is just a myth that will not die.
E.g. Fraunhofer did a study for germany in which they conclude that 100% renewables is feasible by 2050 - even without any kind of energy trade with neighboring countries (with such energy trade it becomes even easier)...and that at cost no higher than for current energy investments.

https://www.ise.f...land.pdf

Germany opted out of nuclear and the CO2 per capita has remained constant (i.e. renewables took up the slack.)

That link to a german pdf was absolutely "brilliant" but it was TRUMPED by your other lies.
barakn
3 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2017

No, your concerns about water are not important. -Roderick

Roderick is a liar. From July 29, 2006: "The European heatwave has forced nuclear power plants to reduce or halt production. The weather, blamed for deaths and disruption across much of the continent, has caused dramatic rises in the temperature of rivers used to cool the reactors, raising fears of mass deaths for fish and other wildlife.

Spain shut down the Santa Maria de Garona reactor on the River Ebro, one of the country's eight nuclear plants which generate a fifth of its national electricity. Reactors in Germany are reported to have cut output, and others in Germany and France have been given special permits to dump hot water into rivers to avoid power failures."
https://www.thegu....weather
WillieWard
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2017
A Gigawatt of intermittent(unreliable) energy is not equal to 1 GW of reliable energy.
"It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle."
https://static01....r768.jpg
"With more than 7,000 turbines arranged in rows that stretch along the sandy horizon, it is one of the world's largest wind farms, capable of generating enough electricity to power a small country."
"But these days, the windmills loom like scarecrows, idle and inert. The wind howls outside, but many turbines in Jiuquan, a city of vast deserts and farms in the northwest province of Gansu, have been shut off because of weak demand. Workers while away the hours calculating how much power the turbines could have generated if there were more buyers, and wondering if and when they will ever make a profit."
https://www.nytim...arm.html
WillieWard
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2017
A Gigawatt of intermittent(unreliable) energy is not equal to 1 GW of reliable energy.
"Russia's Gazprom says exports to Germany hit record high in 2016"
http://in.reuters...BN15027P
"Russian Gas" + "German Intermittent Renewables" = Perfect Partners.
HarryAudus
not rated yet Jan 17, 2017
No-one has mentioned massive battery storage yet, nor (what Germany, for example, does) storing excess energy as potential energy behind dams. These methods, especially with the recent tremendous improvements in commercial battery technology, are perfectly capable of buffering the spikes and troughs in supply.
Stacy0011
1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2017
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