Holger Schubart: Germany is in an energy crisis
The development of new technologies for power generation, not related to the combustion of fossil fuels, is a priority task for the world community. The sabotage of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines showed that any infrastructure energy facility can be destroyed in order to achieve political and economic dominance in the world. Therefore, the creation of a distributed energy infrastructure for power generation today is becoming not only an economic task, but also a necessary condition for independence from external influence and an important element of state policy.
Holger Thorsten Schubart, President of the scientific and technological company Neutrino Energy Group, expressed his opinion about the current situation in the energy sector in Germany and the EU in an interview with L.K. Rumyantsev, an expert on energy systems and alternative energy.
Mr. Schubart, how would you characterize the current situation in the energy sector in Germany and the EU?
Schubart. The situation in the energy sector and, as a result, in the German economy is unprecedented. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, then the imposition of large-scale economic sanctions on Russia, which was one of the most significant sales markets for German industry, and now the sabotage of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which were optimal and reliable ways to supply inexpensive gas. This caused a multiple increase in prices for electricity, gas and heating. I am sure that in winter no one in Germany will freeze and the power will not turn off, gas will be brought as much as necessary, but at very high prices. Bills that have grown many times make Germany's energy-intensive industries uncompetitive, which threatens to ruin enterprises, possibly entire industries, or a significant reduction in production with a simultaneous increase in unemployment.
German Chancellor Scholz announced plans to spend up to 200 billion euros to help consumers and businesses through the energy crisis, but how effective this will be is an open question. In addition, information is being widely disseminated that, for example, Volkswagen is developing a large-scale plan to withdraw production from Germany. The threat of a shortage of cheap gas and electricity has already arisen in front of the main plants located in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Against this background, the United States promises not only cheap gas, but also tax breaks. Everyone is well aware that if this happens, then this is a direct path to the de-industrialization of Germany and the EU, since the withdrawal of energy-intensive enterprises may become an avalanche. Side prospects cannot but cause serious concern. But we should not forget about the people, most of them have limited financial resources at their disposal. Their standard of living will drop sharply and they will have to save literally on everything. Therefore, I believe that the undermining of gas pipelines is a sabotage directed primarily against Germany.
What can be done under these conditions to avoid the scenario you describe?
Schubart. Our company has developed Neutrinovoltaic technology - a way to generate electricity under the influence of the thermal Brownian motion of graphene atoms and the kinetic energy of particles of surrounding radiation fields, including neutrinos, so I am a priori opposed to power generation from burning fossil fuels and see nuclear energy only as a possible intermediate option for energy supply. But, as the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote in his book "Nicomachean Ethics", "The lesser of evils should be chosen." Therefore, this winter and the next few years, it will be necessary to make the most of coal generation, although coal prices have also increased significantly, and to extend the life of nuclear power plants. But at the same time, it is necessary to introduce alternative types of power generation as quickly as possible. Of course, I am an interested person, first of all, in the promotion of Neutrinovoltaic technology, as one of the types of alternative energy. The objective disadvantages of solar energy and wind generation, their dependence on weather conditions will not allow creating a reliable power supply system for industry and the residential sector on their basis. The entire power supply system will be unbalanced in the event of calm and cloudy weather, or a critical excess of energy will occur in windy and sunny weather, so it is impossible to predict the generation of electricity from these types of energy generation.
Of course, it is possible to build gigantic energy storage systems, but I am convinced that this is a dead-end path for the development of energy due to the absolute uneconomical nature of such measures.I believe that it is optimal to calculate no more than 30% of electricity generation in the total energy balance in the presence of gas or hydro maneuvering capacities.
Do you think that the technology developed by the scientists of your Neutrinovoltaic company and the current sources created on its basis by Neutrino Power Cubes are more efficient and progressive compared to solar panels and wind turbines? If yes, what are the benefits?
Schubart. I am convinced of this. The power generated by Neutrino Power Cubes is stable day and night, summer and winter, i.e. they operate in the basic mode, and do not require operational maintenance, they do not have rotating parts. At the end of 2023-beginning of 2024, it is planned to start industrial licensed production of Neutrino Power Cubes power sources with a minimum net power of 5-10 kW in Switzerland. Such a source will have 220 V and 380 V AC connectors, as well as a connector for connecting DC equipment. The source with a net power of 5-6 kW has 6 power generating modules, the source with a net power of 10-12 kW has 12 power generating modules. The design features of Neutrino Power Cubes make it possible to increase the required power by connecting additional power generating modules, each of which consists of a set of closely packed metal foil plates with a multilayer nanomaterial applied to one side. One 200x300 mm plate produces a voltage of 1.5 V and a current of 2 A. Applying a multi-layer coating to one side of the foil results in different poles: the coated side has a positive pole, and the uncoated side has a negative pole, which allows you to place them on top of each other and pressed to obtain a reliable serial connection of the plates.
An important factor is that there is no need to install a battery, provided that the power of the connected equipment and devices does not exceed the installed power of the Neutrino Power Cube.If the consumer during peak hours, for example, expects that he will need more power than 5 or 10 kW, then you need to connect a battery to compensate for peak loads or install a Neutrino Power Cube with a power greater than the power consumption during peak hours.
For the consumer, along with reliability, the cost of Neutrino Power Cube and dimensions are very important.
Schubart. To date, the price from the Swiss manufacturer Neutrino Power Cube with a net power output of 5-6 kW, according to our calculations, will be 11 thousand euros. Taking into account the current prices for electricity and heat supply in the EU, the installation of such a source of electricity will pay off within 2-3 years. The Neutrino Power Cube itself will be produced in the form of an electrical panel (cabinet), which will conditionally be divided into 2 sections: the power generating section, where the power generating modules are located, and the section for installing the control system. The generating section of the Neutrino Power Cube with a net power of 5-6 kW will have a size of 800x400x600 mm and a weight of about 50 kg. Let me note right away that within a few years it is planned to organize the production of Neutrino Power Cubes in Russia, and we expect that the price of Neutrino Power Cube will be lower than in Switzerland.
Judging by the concept you propose, electricity will not be supplied to the centralized energy system, which makes it impossible to account for the generated electricity in the energy balance?
Schubart. This is where we see the benefits of development. According to our concept, the dependence on centralized suppliers of electricity and heat supply should disappear in the future power supply system. Neutrino Power Cubes will render senseless terrorist sabotage and military attacks on power supply systems.
We are currently witnessing a new stage of the scientific and technological revolution in the world, especially in the energy sector. What yesterday was considered impossible and denied by the official scientific world, today is a proven reality.
Author: Rumyantsev L.K., Ph.D.