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Showing posts from 2020
Hydrogen: What colour? 19,4 KWh in Li-ion, H2 and NH3 In June, I had the chance to bike with my son Léopold from San Francisco (California) to Denver (Colorado). I planned several meetings with companies dedicated to developing solutions to overcome climate change. That's how I came to meet with Joe Beach, the president of Starfire Energy. From there, I started to learn about hydrogen and ammonia.    First, I realize that hydrogen is so colourful.  You have many different types of hydrogen: the "black," the "green," the "blue," even the "turquoise."   The black : Today, 95% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels and is responsible for 800 million tons of CO2 (1.9% of the 43.1 billion tons of CO2 produced in 2019). In 2019, 75 million tons of hydrogen were produced worldwide (one ton of H2 creates 10 tons of CO2).  The technique used is called methane reforming. We take water (2*H2O) and methane (CH4) that we heat, and we obtain after cooki

It must be Atomic !

  After long weeks of absence, I take up the pen again.  The vacations of this summer 2020 were an opportunity to discuss and meet brilliant people with whom I had the chance to exchange on what tomorrow could be like.  I have to write "could" because here, there are no exact sciences anymore, but relatively strong hypotheses. Remember the book  "The limit to growth" in 1972. The book was based on The World3 model, a system dynamics model for computer simulation of interactions between population, industrial growth, food production, and limits in the earth's ecosystems. These hypotheses tell us that the energy mix road will be 35% renewable energy and 65% nuclear energy. However, in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany), we turn away from nuclear power due to a lack of political courage or even the capacity to simply decide.  And yet we have developed all the technology.  What has become of it? The only EPR reactors (European Pressurized Water Reactor) operating are

According to BP's CEO, the fossil fuel consumption peak is now!

  As presented earlier this week by Bernard Looney (B.P. CEO) , we may have reached the liquid oil consumption peak this year. This can be explained by soaring energy demand amid COVID-19 scars, subsequent fossil fuel frozen investments and by increasing renewable energy production capacity at a higher rate than total world energy demand increase. This is the first time a Major oil company integrate officially this trend in it's long term strategic plan, and shift radically from the "business as usual" model.  Full article can be read here   Good news on energy side! Unfortunately, COVID-19 pandemic has disastrous effect on hundred millions inhabitants, especially the poorest ones. 

Les aventuriers solaires au JT de France 3 Bretagne

[Source 19:20 FR3 Bretagne, 23-07-20] Un "tour de France" équipé de panneaux solaires. Ils fournissent deux à cinq fois plus d'énergie que les mollets, selon l’ensoleillement. Intéressant pour monter jusqu'au Mont Saint-Michel... ( Eric Pinault ) [00:09:05 Gery's interview]

Is "power to H2 to power" really a solution ?

Last June 4th,  German minister of Economy (Peter Altmaier) has announced a massive 9B€ investment in the "Renewable Hydrogen (RH2)" value chain. He wants Germany to become the world leader in the green H2 business.  How to explain this move? is it realistic? and if yes for what use cases? Let's try to understand the driving forces, benefits and costs. Di-Hydrogen (H2) is a gaz and does rarely exist in its pure form. It is therefore obtained from its compound through carbonized method (70% of today produced hydrogen ), biochemical conversion and through electrolysis of H2O (source Hydrogen Europe platform ):   It is mostly used in industry (50 % in Refineries, 45 %for Ammonia-based fertilizers production, and 5% for other needs such as electricity generation) - Source IEA -  Di-Hydrogen carry the highest energy content in weight (compare to common fuels) but the lowest in volume. To concentrate the energy stored per volume unit, several methods

Plasticity – Flexibility – Resiliency

Well, this all started well.  (french version below) Géry and I had to leave in 20 days to cross the USA with our bike, to meet those who are working to find solutions, alternatives, new ways to live in harmony on this planet. COVID 19 has caused us to revise our plans.  No possible plane for Géry, no solar-bike for me, no hotels or campground available, and no possibility for meeting with all those problem solvers.  So, it was a bit "should I stay, or should I go now"? We both decided to go together but separately.  We are going to travel two continents at the same time: America and Europe.  Some would see it as greed, we see resiliency. Having lost my co-driver and the "superbike", I turned to what was "close to me" (short circuit ;-): my son Léopold (21 years old) and my everyday bike. We will be leaving next week, with a sum of compromises that gives, in the end, a rather cheerful cocktail.  My wife Corine will accompany us to pro

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” MLK

  On Monday hundreds of Facebook employees, in rare public criticism of their own company, protested executives’ decision not to do anything about inflammatory posts that President Trump had placed on the giant social media platform over the past week... This news shows that nowadays employees want more and more to take part in the decision of their company. Isabelle Ferreras (see the last post of Gery) has recently proposed with her colleagues around the world a manifesto called  " Work: Democratize, Decomodify, Remediate ". She states that working humans are so much more than "resources" and that firms must be democratized. How? By involving employees in a decision relating to their lives and futures in the workplace. Why? Simply because without employee no chances of success for the employer as they are the core constituency of the firm. But today, employees are mostly excluded from participating in the government of their workplaces - a right monopolized

Are we on track for Paris Agreement ?

The Sars-COV-2 virus world crisis has deeply affected millions of people's lives, unfortunately, the most vulnerable ones. Following the sanitary crisis, we are entering an unprecedented economic and social crisis. The way we'll get out of this crisis will probably determine the Earth's health for the decades to come. Despite thousands of lost lives and millions of people sent back in poverty, this crisis is an opportunity for humanity to do an introspection: what societal model it aim for? what are the limits of the current model? what role as part of the whole earth ecosystem it wants to play?  Air pollution has reduced dramatically in India due to lockdown,  residents in northern India say they can see snow-capped Himalaya 200 km away for the first time in 30 years - source SBS Hind Several Earth indicators (see "the donut" concept in "the facts" page) have significantly evolved during the last three months.      As an example, it

We never really understood the transition before : Watch it

Our project was born with our irrepressible desire to move from being a "spectator" of change to an "actor" of transition. A great actor of this transition is the polytechnicien Jean-Marc Jancovici (Partner, President,, Professor, , Blog, LinkedIn: The latter gave a magnificent lecture during the inaugural lesson at Sciences-Po Paris 2019.  It lasts about 90', but today, these are minutes that had a return on investment far beyond any financial calculation.   Gery and I have become "shifters" in his project and thanks to the generosity of our friend Eric Hautemont, we can present here the lecture in its English subtitled version. Watch it, you won't be disappointed. Far from it.

Stanford University: a national leader in energy efficiency and carbon reduction

Gery was ending his last post proposing to share our discoveries and exploring the existing energy and food production alternatives. So, as a neighbour of Stanford University, I heard that the University had just completed a transformational campus-wide energy system.   Guess what?  They used to have a 100% fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant (co-generation) and today University has replaced it with grid-sourced electricity and a first-of-its-kind heat recovery system. The results are amazing : Greenhouse gas emissions slashed by 68% Fossil fuel use reduced by 65% Water use on campus reduced by 15%  This comprehensive Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) eliminates 150.000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually (the equivalent of removing 32.000 cars from the road every year.)  SESI combines an offsite, dedicated solar farm producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150.000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of th

Renewable energy new installed capacity ...the good and the bad news

The good and the bad news Two weeks ago, IRENA organization ( International Renewable ENergy Agency ) published it's 2020 report . Several positive highlights can be found : The world has today a total renewable energy electricity production of 2.500 Giga Watts (GW) - installed capacity-. This is a + 7,4 % increase over the last year, and a fantastic +100 % increase over the last decade!  Interesting to note that about 50% of this increase is located in Asia, and close to 75% consist of solar and wind sources.  More interesting to note is the following: the new electricity production plants are more and more fueled by renewable energies rather than fossil sources (almost 3/4 in 2019): (sources : IRENA press release ) This is consistent years after years. The recent COVID-19 crisis will probably accelerate this as, due to current low oil prices, new investments in fossil fuel installations are slowed down drastically. Is it good news? YES sure.  Is it enough to limit ele
A solution Now. I would like to share what really "made my weekend" last week.  The confinement in which we live has led me to Netflix😔.   I was a little bit less reluctant to go since it complied with the European Commission's injunctions by reducing its bandwidth by 25%!  It’s insane to imagine that Netflix accounts for 15% of the global downlink traffic according to the data of the American network specialist, Sandvine…   But on Netflix, I discovered a magnificent triptych: Inside Bill's Brain 🙌.  The third part is more specifically about the search for climate change solutions.   I discover something really exciting: a solution design exists today and is ready for prototype construction program.  It's nuclear, and it's called "Travelling Wave Reactor ® " , engineered by  TerraPower. For decades, there hasn't been any innovation in this field, and in 2006, Bill Gates got the guts to disrupt that field. Nuclear power is a kind of mo

Visit Florian & Sabrina

Visit of Florian & Sabrina Before all the travellers were blacklisted, we had the joy of welcoming Florian and Sabrina for the weekend at home.  The word "home" seems strange to us who change it every 3 years ... 3 years is also the length of time it takes Florian, who left Brittany first on his round-the-world trip. His project: to raise awareness of the problem of waste.  He gets informed, he meets people, he collects.  His symbolic goal is to collect a ton of waste but after a year and a half, he has already collected 836kg, he explains. In short, he goes too fast! Like many other things, but here we'll salute the feat instead. Florian arrived with Sabrina, his girlfriend (and his nurse) who joined him for a long drive. They arrived home on a rainy day.  At home, it's a day of celebration (considering the amount of water we receive per year) but that was not very important for us... We went for a walk in Muir Woods in the cathedrals of sequoia gigantea.

Départ prévu

Départ prévu le 1er Juillet 2020 : Pour l'instant, on construit le site...