The Anonymous Widower

Have We Missed The Boat On Fracking?

I have just re-read my post from October 2019, which was entitled Fracking Hell…Is It The End?, where these were my conclusions.

  • Fracking for hydrocarbons is a technique that could be past its sell-by date.
  • The use of natural gas will decline.
  • INEOS could see hydrogen as a way of reducing their carbon footprint.
  • The heating on all new buildings should be zero carbon, which could include using hydrogen from a zero-carbon source.
  • There are reasons to think, that electricity from wind-farms creating hydrogen by electrolysis could replace some of our natural gas usage.

So will the Government’s lifting on the ban on fracking make any difference?

The announcement is detailed in this article on the BBC, which is entitled Fracking Ban Lifted, Government Announces.

These are my thoughts.

Fracking Is Not A Quick Fix

My personal view is that to achieve any significant amounts of gas from fracking will take some years, so it is not something that will be available in the short term.

Opposition To Fracking Won’t Help

There are very few inhabitants of the UK, who are enthusiastic about fracking.

Opposition to fracking will make it less likely to be the feasible short term fix we need in the UK.

Suppose There Was An Earthquake Near To A Fracking Site

Fracking also has the problem, that if there were to be a small earthquake near to a site, even if it was very likely to have not been caused by fracking, it would result in massive public uproar, which would shut down all fracking in the UK.

This to me is a big risk!

Would The Jackdaw Oil And Gas Field Be A Medium Term Solution?

I believe that with other gas field developments and imports, Jackdaw could keep us supplied with enough gas until the end of the decade.

Future Renewable Electricity Production

In Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I summarised the likely yearly additions to our offshore wind power capacity in the next few years.

  • 2022 – 3200 MW
  • 2023 – 1500 MW
  • 3024 – 2400 MW
  • 2025 – 6576 MW
  • 2026 – 1705 MW
  • 2027 – 7061 GW

Note.

  1. Ignoring 2022 as it’s going, this totals to 19.2 GW.
  2. Hopefully, by the end of 2027, Hinckley Point C will add another 3.26 GW
  3. According to Wikipedia, there are currently 32 active gas fired combined cycle power plants operating in the United Kingdom, which have a total generating capacity of 28.0 GW.

I think it is not unreasonable to assume that some of the electricity will enable some of our gas-fired power stations to be stood down and/or mothballed.

Gas consumption would be reduced and some power stations would be held in reserve for when the wind was on strike!

Using Hydrogen To Eke Out Our Gas

Consider.

  • In Lime Kiln Fuelled By Hydrogen Shown To Be Viable, I wrote about how hydrogen can be used instead of or with natural gas to fuel a lime kiln.
  • There are other processes, where hydrogen can be used instead of or with natural gas.
  • Using more hydrogen will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted.

Perhaps we should strategically build a few huge hydrogen electrolysers, so that some large industrial users can cut back on their natural gas.

Will Energy Storage Help?

Energy storage’s main use is to mop up all the surplus electricity when demand is low at a low price and sell it back, when demand is high.

If we waste less energy, we will use less gas.

Will District Heating Schemes Help?

Consider.

More schemes like this should be developed, where there is a readily-available source of heat or electricity

Conclusion

As we add more renewables to our energy generation, it appears to me, that our gas usage will decline.

If we were to go fracking, we should have done it a lot earlier, so we can bridge the short term gap.

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ricardo Partners On Innovative Hydrogen-Electric Train Trial

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Ricardo Rail.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ricardo, in partnership with Scottish Power, Network Rail Scotland and the University of Leeds, have received next phase energy sector funding to develop their innovative Holistic Hydrogen Approach to Heavy Duty Transport (H2H) project, which aims to be a catalyst that will help the UK remove all diesel trains from the network by 2040.

Of all British companies, one of those with most to lose from world-wide decarbonisation and the phase out of petrol and diesel is Ricardo.

Ricardo plc is an unusual company, which started life as Engine Patents Ltd in 1915.

For over a hundred years, they have been the go-to company, if you have a tricky design problem, with your diesel or petrol engines or the transmission.

Wikipedia has a list of technologies that shaped the company’s first 100 years.

I used to know the grandson of the company’s founder; Sir Harry Ricardo and he told me, that virtually every modern diesel or petrol engine in the world, has been designed with help from one or more of the company’s patents.

So decarbonisation has meant that Ricardo has diversified and their innovative Holistic Hydrogen Approach to Heavy Duty Transport (H2H) project has been one of the results.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wabtec Signs $600M MoU With Kazakhstan Railway Company

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Wabtec announced Tuesday signing of a $600M memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy for 150 FLXdriveTM battery-electric shunters and modernization work to transform the mainline fleet into NextFuelTM liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) locomotives.

Note.

  1. It is for 150 shunting locomotives, which is not a small number.
  2. A lot of the work will be done in Kazakhstan.
  3. Wabtec certainly seem to be getting their FLXdrive technology about.
  4. Obviously LNG locomotives must be a good route to reduce carbon emissions for diesel locomotives.
  5. The Kazahks seem pleased with the deal for economic and decarbonisation reasons.

But what surprises me about this deal, is that it has not gone to Russia. Does this say something about Putin’s lack of friends.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments