The EU is looking for a way out of the energy crisis
The energy crisis in the EU will accelerate the pace of transformation of the energy sector in the EU countries, as their economies are unable to withstand a long period of abnormally high prices for the purchase of fossil fuels.Moreover, taking into account the experience of previous months, there remains a risk of sabotage on the way of fuel delivery to the EU countries, which will inevitably lead to further price increases.
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 is becoming not only a priority economic value today, but also becomes a necessary condition for independence from external influence and an important element of state policy for any country in the world.
The President of the scientific and technological company Neutrino Energy Group Holger, mathematician Thorsten Schubart, 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, without exaggeration, critical. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, large-scale economic sanctions against Russia, which was one of the most important sales markets for German industry, and now sabotage of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, the most optimal and reliable ways to supply inexpensive gas. This caused a rapid process of inflation, a multiple increase in prices for electricity, gas and heating and, along the chain, for food. I am sure that no one in Germany will freeze in winter and the electricity will not turn off, gas will be brought in as much as necessary, but, unfortunately, at very high prices. Rising energy prices have a negative impact on energy-intensive industries in Germany and deprive them of their competitiveness, 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 during the energy crisis, but how effective such solutions are 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 backdrop, the United States promises not only cheap gas, but also tax incentives for businesses relocating to the United States. 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. The accompanying processes cannot but cause serious concern.
How to avoid the scenario you describe?
Schubart. We continue to work on our project, as before the crisis. Our company has developed Neutrinovoltaic technology - a way to generate electricity under the influence of thermal Brownian motion of graphene atoms and the kinetic energy of particles of surrounding radiation fields, including neutrinos. We are looking for alternatives to power generation from burning fossil fuels, and I see nuclear energy only as a possible intermediate energy supply option. 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, coal-fired generation will have to be used to the maximum, although coal prices have also increased significantly, so the EU countries, having abandoned coal from Russia, are forced to buy it in South Africa and Colombia, and 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 there will be a critical excess of energy in windy and sunny weather. Thus, 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 count on no more than 30% of electricity generation from solar energy and wind 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 generation through Neutrino Power Cubes is stable day and night, summer and winter, that is, they operate in a 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.
Can you give a rough idea of the cost of the Neutrino Power Cube and overall dimensions, since these characteristics are extremely important for consumers?
Schubart. Neutrino Power Cube 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. To date, the planned price from the Swiss manufacturer Neutrino Power Cube with a net power output of 5-6 kW is 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. Within a few years, it is planned to organize the production of Neutrino Power Cubes with 100% localization 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 scientific and technological progress 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.