The Anonymous Widower

Denmark To Build ‘First Energy Island’ In North Sea

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

This is the first three paragraphs

A project to build a giant island providing enough energy for three million households has been given the green light by Denmark’s politicians.

The world’s first energy island will be as big as 18 football pitches (120,000sq m), but there are hopes to make it three times that size.

It will serve as a hub for 200 giant offshore wind turbines.

It seems to follow the bigger-is-better offshore principle, I talked about in Crown Estate’s Auction Of Seabed For Wind Farms Attracts Sky-High Bids.

The BBC article says this about the energy generation of the island and its turbines.

The new island would supply an initial 3 gigawatts, rising to 10 over time.

For comparison the coal-fired Fiddlers Ferry power station on the banks of the Mersey near Widnes was a 2 gigawatt station and the nuclear Hinkley Point C will hopefully generate 3.2 GW.

These are my thoughts.

The Location Of The Island

According to the BBC, the Danes are being secretive about the location of the island, but the BBC does say this about the location of island.

While there is some secrecy over where the new island will be built, it is known that it will be 80km into the North Sea. Danish TV said that a Danish Energy Agency study last year had marked two areas west of the Jutland coast and that both had a relatively shallow sea depth of 26-27m.

According to Wikipedia, Denmark has a sizeable offshore gas industry and I did wonder, if the island would be built near to a large worked out field, so that the field could be used for one of the following.

  • Store hydrogen produced on the island from surplus electricity.
  • Store carbon dioxide produced on the mainland.

But the gas fields are further than 80 km. from the shore being closer to where Danish, German, Dutch and British waters meet.

Hydrogen And The Island

In ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration, I talked about a joint project between, electrolyser company; ITM Power of the UK and turbine manufacturer and developer; Ørsted of Denmark.

The post was based on this press release from ITM Power.

These were points from the press release.

  • Costs can be saved as hydrogen pipes are more affordable than underwater power cables.
  • It also stated that wind turbines produce DC electricity and that is ideal for driving electrolysers.

So will the island be connected to the mainline by a hydrogen gas line?

  • Cost will play a big part.
  • I don’t like the concept of electrical cables on the sea floor,
  • Gas pipes have been laid everywhere in the North Sea.
  • A hydrogen connection might better support different types of future turbines.
  • If there is a worked-out gas-field nearby, the hydrogen can be stored offshore until it is needed.

I think it is a distinct possibility.

Hydrogen could be generated in one of two ways.

  • Wind turbines based on the ITM Power/Ørsted design could generate the hydrogen directly and a gas network could deliver it to the island.
  • Conventional turbines could generate electricity and an electrical network could deliver it to the island, where a large electrolyser would convert water into hydrogen.

Both methods would be better suited to a hydrogen connection to the mainland.

Connection To Other Islands

The Dutch are already talking about a North Sea Wind Power Hub on their section of the Dogger Bank.

So could we see a network of islands in the Southern North Sea?

  • Some like the Danish island would support a network of wind turbines.
  • Some would store energy as hydrogen in worked-out gas fields.
  • Some would store captured carbon dioxide in worked out gas fields.
  • Some would supply hydrogen to onshore hydrogen and carbon dioxide networks like HumberZero.
  • Islands could be linked by electrical cables or gas pipelines.
  • Gas pipelines would allow both hydrogen or carbon dioxide to be stored or moved

The North Sea could become the largest power station in the continent of Europe, or even the world.

 

 

 

February 6, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crown Estate’s Auction Of Seabed For Wind Farms Attracts Sky-High Bids

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

This is the opening paragraph.

An auction of seabed rights to build offshore wind farms around England and Wales has attracted frenzied bidding that could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds a year to the Treasury and the Queen.

I don’t find this surprising.

Bigger Seems Better Offshore

Wind turbine technology is getting better and much larger. It also seems that the new larger floating turbines are much more efficient and generate power for a greater proportion of the day.

My project management software helped to harvest North Sea Oil and I have been told by many in the industry, that North Sea Oil really took off when platforms and the equipment like cranes used to build them got truly enormous.

I feel, we could be seeing the same size effect happening as we harvest the wind!

Hydrogen And Wind Power

The latest development is not to generate electricity, but to use it in the turbine to generate hydrogen, which is then piped to the shore.

  • The UK Government is funding this technology in part with a grant to ITM Power.
  • I wrote about the technology in ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration.
  • Existing gas networks can be reconfigured to bring the hydrogen to the shore.
  • Piping hydrogen costs less than cabling electricity.
  • Hydrogen networks are being built at several places in the UK, to fuel homes, power stations and industry like steel-making and petrochemicals.

Could all this explain Big Oil’s involvement?

Do they want to exchange fossil fuels for green hydrogen?

They certainly know how to distribute it.

Energy Storage

For my own investments, I’m looking at energy storage, where the UK has at least three promising new ideas, all of whom have had Government grants.

  • Gravitricity
  • Highview Power
  • ReEnergise

The Government has also indirectly-backed Cornish Lithium

 

February 6, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 5 Comments