Monthly Archives: November 2018

A website actually powered by solar power

Low-tech magazine renewed the design of its website. At such not a world shocking event, but this design reflects the vision of the low-tech magazine and that is where it gets really interesting.

They understood that the internet became a rapidly growing power consumer, power that for a large part is created by using conventional power sources. Therefor they build a low-energy, self-hosted website actually powered solely by … solar power. Not in the way Google is doing (offsetting their power consumption, meaning buying their average power consumption from renewable power providers), but actually powering it by a solar panel.

This is the 50 Wp solar panel that is placed on the balcony of the founder of low-tech magazine, Dirk Dedecker, in Barcelona:

and this is the web server:

Continue reading

“Energy” or “Electricity”, that is the question

When I was watching the NOS news flash in which the news anchor confused “electricity” with “energy needs” (see previous post), I initially assumed that this probably just was an unfortunate mistake, but when I went back to the tweet and scrolled down, I found this comment (translated from Dutch):

I have a strong suspicion that energy needs and electricity consumption are mixed up once again. Happens all the time.

Happens all the time? That sounds interesting! It could shed a new light on that news flash if the news crew not only produced the mixed up statement, but also are repeating it on a regular basis.

So I fired up a search engine and searched for instances of statements confusing energy needs and electricity consumption. I was very surprised how incredibly easy it was to find examples of such instances where both are mixed up…

Continue reading

Electricity is (only part of) energy demand

A couple days ago, I came across this tweet documenting a statement from a news anchorman of the Dutch state television (NOS). He made the claim that “Solar panels provide about 2% of our energy needs” [of the Netherlands] (translated from Dutch):

No, @NOS, solar panels do not provide “about 2% of our energy needs”. It was 0.42% in 2017. This year it will surely be more, but not five times as much. #electricityandenergyarenotthesame

That is what I was thinking too. Two percent of the energy needs of the Netherlands seems to be a lot. Last time I looked at those numbers, it was closer to 0.5% than to 1%. It would be rather unlikely that this number rose to “about” two percent in roughly one year.

The clip in the tweet came from the NOS news of October 21, 2018 (Dutch). The subject of that news flash was how good the solar generation already was this year. The actual claim was made in the closing words of the news flash (see the screenshot in the tweet).

If that was the only thing in this tweet, then I wouldn’t even bother about it. But when I scrolled down, I stumbled on this response from a Flemish energy expert (translated from Dutch):

Continue reading