The Anonymous Widower

‘A Gift For Putin’: Czech E-shop Sells Tanks And Grenades To Support Ukrainian Army

The title of this post, is the same as that of this story on expats_cz.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Czech Republic has been among the most active countries in supporting the Ukrainian military with donations and sales of weapons and ammunition, including shipments of Soviet-era tanks, multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, infantry fighting vehicles, and anti-aircraft weapons.

I hope the gift, will calm Vlad the Mad.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are These Two Stories Related?

These are two stories recently published in Railway Gazette.

Deutsche Bahn Sells Arriva Businesses To Private Equity Holding Company, which starts with this paragraph.

Deutsche Bahn has reached agreement to sell its Arriva local transport activities in Denmark, Poland and Serbia to München-based private equity holding company Mutares SE & Co KGaA.

That is fairly clear and is probably related with the German government’s desire for DB to concentrate on its core business.

RENFE Looks At Entering UK Rail Market Through Open Access Partnership, which starts with this paragraph.

Open access passenger service developer Grand Union Trains is working with Spain’s national operator RENFE and private equity firm Serena Industrial Partners on a proposed service between London and Wales.

That also is fairly clear and would bring competition to services to South Wales.

The article also says the following.

  • RENFE seem to be expanding into partnerships to run services outside Spain.
  • A parkway station at Felindre will be build to avoid the reverse at Swansea, that would save 20 mins.
  • It will be a high quality service with new electro-diesel trains.
  • Four trains will be needed.
  • A 2025 start is envisaged.

Will this partnership with Grand Union Trains proceed with the development of Grand Union Trains’ London and Stirling service?

I have some thoughts and questions.

Will Deutsche Bahn Sell Other Arriva Businesses?

I think this is a reasonable question to ask, especially, as Deutsche Bahn owns two Open Access Operators in the UK; Chiltern Railways and Grand Central Trains.

  • Both operators have a good reputation.
  • Both operators need to decarbonise, either by updating their current stock or buying new trains.
  • Both operators have solid niche markets, where they are often responsible for the stations.
  • Both operators have expansion plans.

Would RENFE and Serena Industrial Partners be interested in taking over Arriva UK and developing the business?

The Talgo Factory At Longannet

I believe that there is reason to believe that one of Talgo’s reasons for a factory in Scotland, is that it could have been used to build Russian and dual-gauge trains for Eastern Europe. The trains would have been delivered by ferry from Rosyth.

There is also the not-small matter of the fleet for Rail Baltica, for which Talgo will surely be a bidder.

But Russia’s attack on Ukraine has scuppered that plan, or at least delayed it for a few years. But now, there could be a much larger market for trains in Eastern Europe and especially Ukraine.

If RENFE Acquire Open Access Operators In The UK, They Will Need New Trains

They will certainly need new trains for the South Wales operations, if they go ahead, but if they were to decarbonise Chiltern and Grand Central, the order could be substantial.

With one Spanish train factory in the UK and another a possibility, I would suspect any train order would go to a Spanish train-builder.

If the orders fell right, could we see Talgo’s factory at Longannet built after all?

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wabtec Signs $600M MoU With Kazakhstan Railway Company

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Seeking Alpha.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Wabtec announced Tuesday signing of a $600M memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy for 150 FLXdriveTM battery-electric shunters and modernization work to transform the mainline fleet into NextFuelTM liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) locomotives.

Note.

  1. It is for 150 shunting locomotives, which is not a small number.
  2. A lot of the work will be done in Kazakhstan.
  3. Wabtec certainly seem to be getting their FLXdrive technology about.
  4. Obviously LNG locomotives must be a good route to reduce carbon emissions for diesel locomotives.
  5. The Kazahks seem pleased with the deal for economic and decarbonisation reasons.

But what surprises me about this deal, is that it has not gone to Russia. Does this say something about Putin’s lack of friends.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Putin Burns $10m Of Gas A Day In Energy War With The West

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Russia is burning off an estimated $10 million of natural gas a day from a single plant, leading to accusations that President Putin is deploying his country’s vast energy reserves as a weapon against Europe.

It just showed the sort of idiot we’re dealing with!

  • He doesn’t care about the planet.
  • He’s effectively burning his country’s cash reserves.
  • He’s spurring Western engineers on, to on the one hand find ways to beat him and on the other to find ways to make our gas go further, so we don’t need to buy his bloodstained gas.
  • If he thinks, that he might provoke a war with Finland, I suspect the Finns are too bright for that.

They’ll be waiting and if the Russian Army should invade, they’ll get the kicking of a lifetime, just like Stalin’s thugs did in the Winter War of 1939-1940.

I

August 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | 5 Comments

The EuroAsia Interconnector

The Wikipedia entry for the EuroAsia Interconnector, introduces the project like this.

The EuroAsia Interconnector is a proposed HVDC interconnector between the Greek, Cypriot, and Israeli power grids via the world’s longest submarine power cable (310 kilometres (190 mi) from Israel to Cyprus and 898 kilometres (558 mi) from Cyprus to Greece, for a total of 1,208 kilometres (751 mi)). Connecting Kofinou, Cyprus to Hadera, Israel and Korakias, Crete, Greece and stated to finish construction in 2023.

When completed it will have a capacity of 2 GW.

From Wikipedia, it appears that at least initially, Israel will export electricity produced in gas-fired power stations from their own more than adequate supplies of natural gas.

In Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries Inks Deal With Kingdom of Jordan For Green Hydrogen Study, I published this Google Map of Jordan.

Surely, in the future, the EuroAsia interconnector could be carrying solar generated green electricity from Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to Cyprus and Greece.

As, according to Reuters, Greece covers about 40% of its annual energy needs with Russian gas, this can’t be good for Vlad the Mad and his bloodstained gas.

 

 

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?

Someone asked me if we will run out of power, if Vlad the Mad cuts all the gas to Western Europe.

This was my reply.

It appears that this year, 3.2 GW of new offshore wind farms could start producing electricity, followed by similar amounts in both 2023 and 2024.

One of those to come on stream about now is the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 wind farm!

The follow-up 2.9 GW Hornsea 3, signed a contract last week for delivery in 2026/27.

Moray East in Scotland and Triton Knoll off Lincolnshire, are also scheduled to come on stream this year and they’re around 900 MW each.

As someone, who used to write project management software, I hope the companies building these fields have enough resources, in terms of people, boats, cranes and money. But as the companies are all the Shells of the wind industry, I would hope they have got their sums right.

What About The Contracts for Difference Awarded In Allocation Round 4?

We are currently fighting two wars at the moment.

  • The main war in Ukraine, where we are giving that unfortunate country all the help we can.
  • The secondary war in the UK against energy prices.

Would it help our cause in both wars, if we produced more energy?

  • More renewable energy would reduce our dependence on imported gas.
  • The gas saved could go to Europe.
  • Europe would not be buying Vlad the Mad’s bloodstained gas.
  • Replacing gas with solar and wind power might reduce energy prices.

If I put myself in the position of a struggling farmer with a contract for difference to build a solar farm on a poor field, I would want that farm to be earning money as soon as possible.

  • Now that I have the contract can I start assembling that solar farm?
  • Similar arguments can probably be used for onshore wind, which must be easier to assemble, than offshore wind.
  • I don’t think that the hard-pressed energy suppliers would bother, if they received some quality cheap electricity earlier than they expected.
  • Obviously, all the cables and the substations would need to be in place.

So I think that it is reasonable to assume, that energy might ramp up quicker than expected.

It could even be more front-loaded, if all the installers got a shift on.

Every little helps!

New Renewable Energy In 2023?

These wind farms are scheduled for commissioning in 2023.

  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW
  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm – 1400 MW
  • Seagreen Phase 1 – 1075 MW

We could see 2925 MW of offshore wind power commissioned in 2023.

New Renewable Energy In 2024?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2024.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW
  • Round 4 Solar – 125.7 MW
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW

Note, where a windfarm is given a commissioning date of 2023/24  in Wikipedia , I will put it in 2024.

We could see  3726 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2024.

New Renewable Energy In 2025?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2025.

  • Moray West – 1200 MW
  • Round 4 Solar – 1958 MW
  • Round 4 Onshore Wind – 888 MW
  • Round 4 Energy from Waste – 30 MW
  • Vanguard Boreas Phase 1 – 1400 GW

We could see  6476 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2025.

New Renewable Energy In 2026?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2026.

  • East Anglia 1 North – 800 MW
  • East Anglia 2 – 900 MW
  • Round 4 Tidal Stream – 5.62 MW

We could see  1705 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2026.

New Renewable Energy In 2027?

These renewable energy sources are scheduled for commissioning in 2027.

  • Round 4 Tidal Stream – 35.2 MW
  • Round 4 Floating Offshore Wind – 32 MW
  • Round 4 Offshore Wind – 5594 MW
  • Hornsea 3 Offshore Wind – 2852 MW
  • Hinckley Point C Nuclear – 3,260 MW

We could see  13173 MW of renewable energy commissioned in 2027.

Too Much Electricity!

Summarising the figures for new capacity gives.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 11773 MW

This totals to 28554 MW.

One problem we may have is too much electricity and as we are not blessed with much storage in the UK, where will be able to put it?

In a strange way, Vlad the Mad may solve the problem, by cutting off Europe’s gas.

We have a few interconnectors, where we can export the electricity to allow the Belgians, Dutch, French and the Germans to have a shower.

It looks like construction may be starting soon for another interconnector. NeuConnect will have a capacity of 1.4 GW between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven.

Conclusion

If I was the German Chancellor, I’d do everything in my power to accelerate the construction of NeuConnect!

July 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Green Hydrogen Magnate Forrest Sanctioned By Russia After Calling Putin A ‘Murderer’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Recharge.

Andrew Forest’s reply or the part that can be printed included.

You’re not worth talking to unless you’ve been sanctioned

I think that to many experts, Forrest’s plans for green hydrogen are one of the biggest threats to Russia’s oil industry.

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Namibia Proposes Green Hydrogen Supply To EU To Replace Russian Oil And Gas

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 Fuel News.

These paragraphs explain the plan.

The African country has considerable wind and sunshine resources available, providing the opportunity to use renewable energy for the production of H2. Namibia is located along the African South Atlantic coastline and is among the world’s driest countries. Its 3,500 hours of sunshine per year mean that solar panels will be able to absorb a tremendous amount of energy, without much unexpected downtime.

That energy will be used for producing yellow H2, a form of green (renewable) H2 made using electrolysers powered by solar electricity. The electrolyser will split seawater, another abundant resource for the country due to its position on the map. As a result, it has the potential to offer the European Union a clean fuel source that can help it to simultaneously combat the energy crisis and the climate crisis.

Note.

  1. Liquid hydrogen will be shipped to Europe by tanker.
  2. I don’t think Vlad the Mad will like the plan!
  3. How many other countries have the resources like Namibia to become hydrogen exporters?

This plan was proposed at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

June 4, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine’s New Stealth Weapon

This article on Electrek is entitled Ukraine Is Now Using These 200-Mile-Range Electric Bikes With NLAW Rockets To Take Out Russian Tanks.

This is the first paragraph.

Ukrainian electric motorbike company Delfast has seen its electric bikes used for some vastly diverse tasks, such as breaking Guinness World Records and outfitting Mexican police. But their latest use is perhaps the bikes’ most important mission yet: helping Ukrainian soldiers strike a David vs. Goliath blow against Russia’s barbaric invasion of their country.

How do you protect your tank against a silent by deadly soldier coming to get you with a Belfast-made NLAW on a Ukrainian Delfast at 50 mph?

I suspect a fit well-trained soldier can outride a Russian T72 tank, hide in the forest and setup his NLAW. Now that’s humiliation!

It also appears from these two paragraphs, that Ukrainian snipers are also enjoying the advantages of electric bikes.

Another local Ukrainian company, ELEEK, has also supplied its country’s armed forces with silent, powerful electric motorbikes for use on the battlefield.

In that case, the electric motorbikes were requested for use by sniper teams.

The Ukranians seem to be a very inventive nation.

 

 

 

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call For Rail Sector To Mobilise To Get Ukrainian Agricultural Exports Moving

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rail has a central role in the European Commission’s plan to establish ‘Solidarity Lanes’ for the transport of Ukrainian agricultural exports which would normally use the Black Sea ports that are being blockaded by Russia.

Announcing its plan, the commission said the Russian blockade is threatening global food security, creating an urgent need for alternative transport routes. Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower oil (50% of world exports), the third largest of rapeseed (20%) and barley (18%), the fourth of maize (16%) and the fifth of wheat (12%).

It certainly is a big problem and not just for Ukraine, but for any country that habitually buys these agricultural products from Ukraine.

But it will probably require a lot of investment to solve.

These are points from the article.

  • Trains handling 1,400 tonnes are possible.
  • The average waiting time for wagons at the Ukrainian border is sixteen days.
  • The capacity of existing freight corridors must be expanded and new ones must be created.

After reading the whole article, it does seem that an EU plan is being created.

I have my thoughts.

Gauge Change

Consider.

  • There will be a gauge change between standard and Russian gauge.
  • Spanish company; Talgo has developed the technology, so that trains can run on both gauges and even change between gauges at a slow speed.
  • The technology is used on the Strizh train, which runs passenger services between Berlin and Moscow via Warsaw.

I feel it is likely, that Talgo could develop freight wagons to move the agricultural products between Ukraine and ports in Poland or Germany.

Talgo’s Plans

In A Spaniard In The Works!, I outlined Talgo’s plans, which included building a factory at Longannet in Scotland.

But their plans must have been disrupted, as the company did not secure the High Speed Two Classic-Compatible rolling stock contract.

On the other hand Longannet could be an ideal place to build trains for Eastern Europe. They could go on a ferry to Gdansk, Helsinki or other ports.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment