So what new solution will bring us a large step forward?
Firstly, the solution does not use large amounts of photovoltaics (PV) and neither does it contain PV with batteries. Photovoltaics are way too expensive and deliver way too little net energy.
If you attach a battery to a off-grid PV System you face the following problems:
Emptying and recharging the battery puts a severe strain on the chemical condition of the battery, which is why you can only use a maximum of about 90% of the battery content if you wish to recharge more than about 5000 times (15 years of use). No Battery manufacturer gives you a guaranteed power availability of more than 80% after more than 7 years (including Tesla).
Storage with 6.3 kWh Capacity
90% discharging depth = 5.67 kWh
5,000 charging cycles = 28,350 kWh
85% battery and converter efficiency = 24,097 kWh usable capacity
9,000 Euro for the battery system
9,000 Euro / 24,097 kWh = 37.3 Cent/kWh
This is a price that is acceptable for rich people that want to feel good about their electricity but not a basis to power an industrialised civilisation.
Even attaching a PV to the grid and dumping the harvest (without asking who maintains the grid stability) it will only provide very little net energy gain over time in most European regions. The thing that matters here is how many kWh can be produced in what time period. In Germany average annual PV production is 950 kWh per KW installed. That really is a poor number for the economy as a whole.
PV is a solution to deliver solid state materials based energy production to a rural area in an underdeveloped region of the world where there is no electricity grid. It might help to charge a mobile phone, have some hours of TV or radio on a day and some light in the evening hours for the children to do their homework. PV does not deliver enough net energy over time for a competitive price to run an industrialised civilisation.
PV might be a small possibility, with much lower prices than today, in the Sahara desert but PV energy goes to zero in the dark – whereas a thermal power plant in the desert can store significant amounts of heat energy collected during the day to continue operation for up to 5 hours in the evening after sunset. From the electricity demand side we can see that a significant amount of electrical energy is required until 11 o’clock in the evening. We will need some efficient energy storage to do that and batteries are not suitable for that large scale. We will use thermal storage for thermal power plants. This is a well known technology, it is cheap, reliable and it can store enough energy so that the supply does not need to be interrupted due to no sunshine. But in the end the number of thermal power plants we plan to build will be very small as they are quite expensive compared to wind power and are only suitable at a very limited number of locations.
The calculations show that using PV will be viable when the price goes down to about a sixth of today’s price (that is not in sight). Then a PV area can be combined with a thermal power plant to deliver electricity during daytime and the field for the thermal plant can be reduced in size but still fill the storage for the evening hours. The PV field can then step in during day time and the cost can be reduced while maximum electrical output is maintained.
PV has a high energetic cost and it can only deliver a small net energy during its life time. (It has an EROEI of 7 but to run our civilisation we already need an EROEI of at least 7 just to keep up with the energetic maintenance. Wind power has an EROEI of about 16). We must use the most efficient sources of WWS  energy in all ways possible. Current PV prices are simply not economical when looked at the overall delivery of energy to our society.
If we want to maintain an advanced civilization with WWS , we must use the tools with the maximum net energy gain and that is mainly wind. For optimum efficiency, you must use locations, that can deliver the maximum amount of full load hours in a year.
Recently a part of the Noor solar power plant was opened in Morocco. The entire facility combines PV, parabolic trough power plants and a concentrated solar tower plant. PV is only used in a small amount. Would you claim that the King of Morocco did not make a wise decision because he did not install PV only?
How do we know that the INTRENEX Supergrid is the best solution?
The transnational energy sytem INTRENEX proposes is based on a scientifc computational approach to find the optimum renewable energy supply for Europe and beyond
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. This study was conducted by Dr. Gregor Czisch and here you can find all the details. As early as 2005 with the WWS  technology and prices available at that time, a minimum price of 4,65 €ct/kWh could be achieved. It was also clear, as this path results in the optimum energy system for Europe, that it could have helped to guide the political decision making process concerning energy security and climate change as early as 2001, when the first academic paper about the findings was published by Dr. Gregor Czisch. For some unknown reason it was decided that a very expensive decentralised approach using subsidies should solve these problems instead. Unfortunately this decentralised approach is currently reaching it’s cost limits and we did not even switch off a single coal fired power plant in Europe in the last 15 years, but spent a lot of money on trying to do so.
Here is a simple image of a possible grid:
Leveling out energy production over a large region:
Read the entire study here (german)
Many people will not like an approach that uses large installations because they claim that decentralised energy gives the power into the hands of the people and is technically easy.
All decentralised energy systems need some form of “smart” grid management and the more decentralised the system gets, the more effort has to be made to balance out intermittencies. The grid they rely on to balance out these problems is a centralised structure and the decentralised power suppliers are only shifting these balancing efforts to other entities (the public).
Think for yourself: If you had 5 Million Euros and bought a windmill – would you put it in a location where it produces energy for 2,000 full load hours, or where it produces energy for 4,000 full load hours in a year?
INTRENEX proposes a “transnational energy cooperative” where every investor in the new system will receive clean electrical energy for his investment. This solution in some way is a solution, where every single investor owns their part of the whole. It is technically centralised but decentralised in ownership.
Why is that not being done ?
For a wind turbine investor it is not as important how much net energy is being delivered as how much money he gets back
. It works like this:
In the beginning, the investor “windmillinvestment.com” has zero money. The investor can negotiate with a bank to give him a cheap credit of, for example, 500 Million Euros. If the investor also owns the “windmill.com” company that produces windmills, the investor can sell the credit to himself by buying the wind turbines from himself. Windmill.com immediately has a net profit of 500 Million Euros. The investor part of Windmill.com has a small credit running but that is of little concern, because when the wind turbines produce energy there is a guaranteed state subsidy to whom the electricity is sold. He simply has to wait and after a while the credit is paid down but the investor windmillinvestment.com and windmill.com has made a gain of 500 Million Euros. The Investor is not interested in selling low cost electricity because that threatens his profitability (and the time to pay down the windmill). He simply calls upon the state and the public to pay for his investment in a decent time and waits until it is paid down. No one is interested in selling cheap energy or in the resulting energy price for the consumers because the state guarantees the income and the net profit for the investor is all that counts here.
The decentralised method of using subsidies on a national level was a good strategy in the beginning to harvest the best locations within the EU. But currently the subsidy system is reaching its limits because the most efficient locations are already “sold” and the vast majority of new locations for the larger remainder (way more than 60%) will be very inefficient locations.
INTRENEX will build a mathematically optimised energy system that has shown that already in 2005 a minimum price of 4,65 €ct/kWh for WWS  was possible with energy harvested in the most efficient locations around Europe and northern Africa.
A little more detail:
Large industrial appliances are written off over a set period of time. That means the producer of the factory provides an estimate for how long a factory can work until it needs to be replaced. For coal fired power plants that period is about 40 years and for standard WWS  appliances that INTRENEX will use this period is usually 20 years (new technology, limited experience in longevity).
For example if you buy a 5 MW wind turbine (5000 kW) which costs for example 10 Million Euros, the turbine must make 10.000.000 Euros/20 years = 500.000 Euros in a year. If we sold the energy for 5ct/kWh and can generate 5000 kWh in one hour, we can make 250 Euros in one hour. So the wind turbine has to run for at least 2000 hours a year. If the wind turbine is in a location where it can generate electricity for 4000 hours it will take us 10 years to pay down the entire facility. (We will leave some additional costs out at the moment for spare parts and the credit interest.). So every 10 years we can buy a new windmill and have two mills after 10 years that will enable us to buy two more after another 10 years, giving us 4 after 20 years and so on. Of course after 20 years the first turbines installed may subsequently need to be replaced, so in the end only a lower growth rate is possible.
That is the concept of the doubling time.
Let’s see: In Europe we will have to replace something like 1000 GW of electricity.
Let’s assume we double our efforts every 10 years,
When will we have reached the goal?
We will be finished after 100 years, or in 2120 when we start in 2020 due to preparations. To be finished in 2120 is not early enough when we want to limit climate change in a significant manner and the largest reduction has to come at the end!
To significantly reduce our troubles with climate change and energy availability we must be finished in 2050, that is 30 years! If we need 10 doubling times to do that, it requires a doubling period of only 3 years!
In this table you also see another aspect of the project: after the regular operative time for the installations is asumed to be (at least) 20 years, we will in the end have to replace the full park every 20 years (well, the technology will improve here a lot). So when we have a doubling period of 10 years we will need to replace half of the park in 10 years. That is depicted in the green numbers that show the “maintenanve level”.
Ok, let’s keep it here for a moment. We want a doubling time of 3 years but we also want to build 512 GW of WWS  energy in the last period which is an awful lot of machinery to be built in a very short time! And this is in Europe only. If we want to upgrade the whole world, we will have to replace 6000 GW of fossil fuel power plants, meaning we will have to do the same in 6 different locations of the world at the same size at the same time! Sounds impossible? Well we will have to do that. It would be easier if we consumed less but that is improbable if everyone wants an electric car….
To replace all fossil fuelled power stations in the European region we may need to spend more than 1 trillion Euros.
Now we have to talk a bit about the grid that connects all the remote places with very efficient locations to the centres of the European populations. This grid will be made with a technology called High Voltage Direct Current or HVDC Transmission for short. These lines have a maximum loss of about 3% per 1.000km and that only when the line is working at maximum load
. The lines will certainly not operate at maximum load at all times, so the losses will be considerably smaller. This technology is well known and available on the market at large sizes and for large distances. (Wikipedia) So we will have to spend an additional amount for these HVDC lines.
The question is, how much will the new system really cost in Euros. This really is a tough question because not so many plants have been errected yet in the regions we plan to do it. In Europa, Asia and America more data is available. The prices per site developed so far have such a high variation that it is from today’s standpoint impossible to predict what the price will be for the INTRENEX installations, but we will use the units with the lowest price per unit at the optimum size per unit approriate to the location.
1. Most wind parks built so far are usually quite small from 20 to a few 100 MW and each single project has certain minimum costs that we can leverage down due to the very large sites we plan to develop (at least 1 GW each)
2. The prices listed in industry data usually have a large percntage of grid connectivity costs. We have in our prototype made an extra investment for this, so the site price reduces further.
3. On the one hand, we will have to ship the units for a longer distance and it is open, how large the public works costs will be for streets and the like but on the other hand the working hour price in some countries having good locations might be much lower than in Europe.
We have designed a so-called UNIT ONE that consists of the following components:
80% for WWS  energy together with 20% for some edges of the grid per unit for a total sum that is yet to be discovered.
So how do we complete the task in 30 years? Well we could start with higher amounts of GW for the first installation for example build 4 GW to start with, so we save 2 doubling periods. Second we can ask for a higher price to be paid so that the doubling period might go down to 3 years.
We see that when we start with a larger UNIT ONE and reduce the doubling times we can be finished with the task a lot earlier. We actually want to start in 2022 at the latest and finish by 2050, meaning we will have some 30 years time, or 10 doubling periods of 3 years. In the end, we will have a maintenance effort of reinstalling about 150 GW of power plants every 3 years. That still is a lot but we think in 2050 machinery might be available, that lasts a bit longer than 20 years.
Please have a look at the [energy fundamentals] where in the last section a model is presented for future energy consumption patterns. When we are really able to reduce our energy needs maybe to a half, the final installation size will be much smaller and cost much less in terms of money and resources.
How will this be paid for?
Intrenex will be your full spectrum renewable energy provider. We will finance the build-up of a fast energy transition. We will generate the electicity for a large number of customers in and around Europe at a very competitive price. We will be your electrical utility company and sell 100% renewable energy to you.
The question of all questions is of course: What will be your price for that ?
This is a bit difficult to say. Our calculations show that for a price that leads to the high growth rate of doubling everey three years, we need a theretical maximum price of 14 €ct/kWh. This is by the way the current average price for households in the EU
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. This price can only be lower depending on how much institutional investment we can attract and how much the interest rate for that will be, but the minimum achievable price in the end for 100% renewable electricity for 1,1 Billion people in and around Europe can be as low as
The lower the price, the lower the income (equity) and the lower will be the growth rate. So the price must be as high as possible for the growth of the INTRENEX system but as low as possible for the customers and that depends on the overall financing reality that will emerge. One thing is for sure: the resulting energy price, when there has been a significant buildup of the INTRENEX system can be as low as 4,65 €ct/kWh
We must take into account that we are looking at a really large timespan of several decades and the efficiency for the installed machinery can only go up and the cost for their usage down.
One thing is certainly clear: Energy installations have a certain fixed price (maintenance costs) and a variable price that is €ct/kW of rated power. The more kWh we produce with a certain installation, the lower the variable price will be. When we asume that in Europe onshore wind installations barely deliver 2000 full load hours whereas in the optimum locations that INTRENEX will use, the installations might deliver even more than 4000 full load hours, it becomes clear that INTRENEX can produce electricity at a much lower variable price, thus being competitive with the price level of other installations that do not operate at their maximum efficiency and annual output per kW installed.
Of course there exists a small additional cost for the new grid structure but this will be very low due to the very long life of these components of 100 years or more.
The exact figures will only become clearer, the closer we come to the realisation of the project and that alone has a huge uncertainty.
Now we want to present
The investment strategy:
The use of the terms „investment“ or „funds“ in this document is not to be mistaken for an appeal for funds into a finically regulated vehicle. The information presented does not comprise a prospectus of securities. All our investment opportunities will be regulated by the relevant financial authorities and have a prospectus approved by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA).The explanations offered here are conceptual in nature and can by no means replace due diligence checking of a proper prospectus. All figures and costings mentioned here are purely illustrative and require significantly more elaboration than presented. Figures used throughout this document are purely to provide perspective on the size and conditions of the possible investment required.
Countries with significant WWS energy capacity are not necessarily in a position to raise the sums needed to capitalise on such potential. Doing so requires significant and co-ordinated international effort. Currently, the largest investments in these countries is earmarked as „aid for industrial development“. This term implies that the sums involved are seen first and foremost as donations to provide „local aid“. This attitude has to change. It is important to make clear that we are talking about an industrial system that will provide millions of people in highly developed countries currently dependent on electrical energy large quantities of a secure supply of reliable electricity.To ensure a scalable system, we have to apply the highest standards to all components of the project – even when generating power from wind, which does not appear to be a high tech system. In order that local markets of the generating countries are improved and that power can later be sold the European Union, we will need to begin with a giant leap. Economies of scale will not later come into play if we do not start with sufficient size.
Additional positive side effects will include:
New electrical transmission systems
Improvements to and adaptations of nearby harbours
The possible construction of a facility for wind turbine construction
Developing this infrastructure makes no sense if we simply install 50 wind turbines „to prove that it works“. It also makes no sense to install these turbines as part of a limited-lifespan demonstration facility. To make this investment meaningful requires starting from scratch with a considerable capacity. The investment for this reasonably sized „starter unit“ will be around €5,000bn. This will generate around 5 GW of electrical power, enough to supply around 4000 full-load-hours if built in the right location. To turn off 6000 GW of coal-fired global power generation, this has to be replicated around 1200 times. At a building rate of 1 unit every 6 months, it would take us 600 years to install the required capacity. The task is phenomenal, not just financially!
How can we find the investors for such a project?
For this, we need to find some risk takers…
First point of call: The public (financially weak, but powerful)
Financing a project with a higher risk usually results in higher a higher return for investors. As the Intrenex proposal is high risk, everyday, non-institutional investors will expect a high rate of interest. The return on this investment will have to paid for by the customers which purchase our energy – including you, dear reader. To reduce the unit price of the electricity produced will require assets to lower the sums needed from institutional investors and/or decrease interest payments. We propose to bring in these assets from some kind of a „mega crowdfunding event“. We may issue electronic certificates which bear no interest but have the right to obtain a fixed amount of electrical energy at a future date. This certificate will likely be based on blockchain technology and can be seen as an „energy future“.
Our second point of call: Institutional investors (strong but scarce)
The capital inflow for this project is gigantic. We will issue a form of packet funds for each „installation unit“. Each „installation unit“ will result in around 90% power generating facilities and 10% network infrastructure. We have a rough estimate how much the interest payments on this money must be, but it needs to be somewhere between 0% and really low. Interest payments will be linear in nature with an option for continuous reinvestment of gains into new fund certificates. We are in contact with international banks such as the EIB and they are willing to cooperate with the project, but as the size is larger than their usual project it is not sure if we can bundle a working investment packet in due time as these organisations have a considerable processing limit. This adds to investors risk. We also have to add the following caveat: Investing in such facilities will create very low energy prices for the foreseeable future which will only decrease, as will the costs for building the facilities. Prices for fossil fuels can only rise due to their innate resource constraints. High energy prices are a sever business risk across all economic sectors. Climate change is a severe business risk. Investing in Intrenex is an investment in stabilising the entire global economy for a long-term favourable investment climate. Shaky global business is a huge risk (offering therefore higher returns), but is it a long-term wise strategy?
Our third point of call: Existing electricity companies and network operators.
We cannot progress here without their approval and cooperation. Of course, their approval will never be granted as we will become a competitor in their market. If you are a utility company or network operator, please think for a moment: Where are you located, and where is you customer base? Have you ever thought about the global energy market and how you could participate in it? If you produce Hydroelectric power from a river in Austria, how could you increase your customer base further afield? This question can be easily answered. INTRENEX offers equity in both the generating units and network being built and operated by Intrenex, located in Northern Africa and the Middle East. This equity can be integrated into your plants network like a virtual power plant and you can trade it at your wish. All the energy you own made by the installations in the INTRENEX network can be offered on any and all of the suitably connected global energy markets. It is time to think of a global grid. Can you envisage it? This is a good plan!
Guessing the size
The world is currently running a fossil fuelled engine across all sectors at 24 TW 24/7. If we roughly guess replacing 1 KW of this machine will cost about 1000 US$, the entire global refurbishment comes at a rough price of 24 Trillion US$. That is a pretty large sum! Global GDP is roughly 80 Trillion 2018. If we invested 1% of global GDP annually the goal will be reached in 30 years. So if you are an investor you can not pull out of the investment after some 10 years. We will have to stick to the plan for a very long time period. This is an intergenerational project that does not fit well with quarterly earnings. Of course Intrenex will publish quarterly figures but a committment means a commitment. The fracking industry and Tesla Corp also is a committment. Amazon was a committment. They reported losses for about 20 years. Intrenex will be profitable from the first day of operation due to the incremental design. Downsizing the global economy is an option but it is not common in economics…
What will happen next?
Everyone who wants the INTRENEX venture to succeed is encouraged to sign up to the newsletter to know when the funding campaign starts. The process is designed in such a way that if during the 5 years funding period we do not manage to collect a significant sum, we will cancel the funding and it is guaranteed that everybody will gets their money back. You do not lose everything if you give it a try and invest. All the investments will be returned to the investors minus the expenses thus far.
So we really encourage all our visitors to sign up to our newsletter and to help raise awareness to ensure that we have the capital required to start building real projects. Give your income a meaning and invest some of it to the rapid global energy transition.
This is no advertisment for an investment in an unregulated financial instrument. Before the investments can start we will have to get an approval by the financial market and you will have to read the investor’s fact sheet before you put any money in.