The Anonymous Widower

Future Offshore Wind Power Capacity In The UK

I am building this table, so that I can get a feel for the electricity needs of the UK.

According to Wikipedia, on February 2020, there were thirty six offshore wind farms consisting of 2180 turbines with a combined capacity of 8113 megawatts or 8.113 gigawatts.

Currently, these offshore wind farms are under construction, proposed or are in an exploratory phase.

  • Triton Knoll – 857 MW – 2021 – Under Construction
  • Hornsea Two – 1386 MW – 2022 – Under Construction
  • Moray East – 960 MW – 2022 – Under Construction
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW – 2023 – Under Construction
  • Seagreen Phase 1 – 1075 MW – 2023 – Under Construction
  • Doggerbank A – 1200 MW – 2023/24 – Proposed
  • Doggerbank B – 1200 MW – 2024/25 – Proposed
  • Doggerbank C – 1200 MW – 2024/25 – Proposed
  • Moray West – 1200 MW – 2024/25  – Exploratory
  • Hornsea Three – 2400 MW – 2025 – Proposed
  • East Anglia One North 800 MW – 2026 – Exploratory
  • East Anglia Two – 900 MW – 2026 – Exploratory
  • East Anglia Three – 1400 MW – 2026 – Exploratory
  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm Phase 1 – 1400 MW – 2023/2026 – Under Construction
  • Hornsea Four – 1000 MW (?) – 2027 – Exploratory
  • Rampion Two Extension – 1200 MW – Exploratory
  • Norfolk Vanguard – 1800 MW – Exploratory
  • Norfolk Boreas – 1800 MW – Exploratory

Note.

  1. The date is the possible final commissioning date.
  2. I have no commissioning dates for the last three wind farms.
  3. Wikipedia says that the Hornsea Four capacity is unknown by Ørsted due to the ever increasing size of available wind turbines for the project.

I can total up these wind farms by commissioning date.

  • 2021 – 857 MW
  • 2022 – 2346 MW
  • 2023 – 1525 MW
  • 2024 – 1200 MW
  • 2025 – 6000 MW
  • 2026 – 4500 MW
  • Others – 5800 MW

I can draw these conclusions.

  • Total wind farm capacity commissioned each year is increasing.
  • It looks like there will be a capacity to install up to 5000 or 6000 MW every year from about 2025.
  • If we add my figures for 2021-2026 to the 8113 MW currently installed we get 24541 MW.
  • Adding in 6000 MW for each of the four years from 2027-2030 gives a total of 48541 MW or 48.5 GW.

As I write this on a Sunday afternoon, wind power (onshore and offshore) is supplying 13 GW or forty-four percent of our electricity needs.

I have further thoughts.

Parallels With North Sea Oil And Gas

I was very much involved in the development of North Sea oil and gas, as my software was used on a large number of the projects. I had many discussions with those managing these projects and what was crucial in shortening project times was the increasing availability of bigger rigs, platforms and equipment.

Big certainly was better.

I believe that as we get more experienced, we’ll see bigger and better equipment speeding the building of offshore wind farms.

Reuse of Redundant North Sea Oil And Gas Platforms

Don’t underestimate the ability of engineers to repurpose redundant oil and gas platforms for use with windfarms.

Electrolysers on the platforms can convert the electricity into hydrogen and use redundant gas pipes to bring it ashore.

Some processes like steelmaking could use a lot of hydrogen.

Platforms can be used as sub-stations to collect electricity from windfarms and distribute it to the various countries around the North Sea.

Hydrogen

Some processes like steelmaking could use a lot of hydrogen. And I don’t think steelmakers would be happy, if the supply was intermittent.

So why not produce it with giant electrolysers on redundant oil and gas platforms and store it in redundant gas fields under the sea?

A large store of hydrogen under the sea could have the following uses.

  • Steelmaking.
  • Feedstock for chemical manufacture.
  • Transport
  • Power generation in a gas-fired power station, that can run on hydrogen.

It would just need a large enough hydrogen store.

Energy Storage

This large amount of wind power will need a large amount of energy storage to cover for when the wind doesn’t blow.

Some of this storage may even be provided by using hydrogen, as I indicated previously.

But ideas for energy storage are coming thick and fast.

The North Sea Link To Norway

The North Sea Link is much more important than an interconnector between Blyth in Northumberland and Norway.

  • At the Norwegian end the link is connected to a vast pumped storage energy system in the mountains of Norway.
  • This pumped storage system is filled in two ways; Norwegian rain and snow and UK wind power through the interconnector.
  • In times of need, we can draw electricity through the interconnector from Norway.
  • It has a capacity of 1.4 GW.
  • It was delivered on time for a cost of around €2 billion.

It can almost be thought of as an international bank of electricity and is probably one of the most significant pieces of European infrastructure built in recent years.

There are also plans to build NorthConnect, that would connect Peterhead in Scotland to Norway.

Conclusion

It looks like we’ll be able to reap the wind. And possibly 50 GW of it!

 

January 2, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Hi James At one point last November, when we had the scarcely unprecedented combination of a cold snap and still weather, our vaunted wind industry was able to supply little more than 3 per cent of UK electricity demand. It was left to gas to supply the majority of our needs. What happens when the gas power stations are all closed?

    Happy New Year Andrew Needham

    Comment by andrewneedhamukhotmailcouk | January 2, 2022 | Reply

  2. […] Future Offshore Wind Power Capacity In The UK, I analysed future offshore wind power development in the waters around the UK and came to this […]

    Pingback by What Happens When The Wind Doesn’t Blow? « The Anonymous Widower | January 2, 2022 | Reply


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