The Anonymous Widower

Edvard Grieg And Ivar Aasen Runs On Power From Shore

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Aker BP.

This is the first paragraph

The Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen production platforms on the Utsira High area in the North Sea are now operated with electric power from shore. Two gas fired turbines have been shut down, and thus we achieve a significant reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.

This is surely the way to power offshore assets.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

Why Don’t I Feel The Cold?

It’s been cold today in London, but I didn’t really feel it.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Offshore Wind Developers Answer Scotland’s Call For Innovation, Oil And Gas Decarbonisation

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

This is the sub-heading.

Crown Estate Scotland has received a total of 19 applications for its Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) offshore wind leasing process.


Note that there are two sections to INTOG.

This document on the Crown Estate Scotland web site, is entitled INTOG – Public Summary and it defines the two sections.


  • To enable projects which support cost reduction in support of commercial deployment of offshore wind including alternative outputs such as Hydrogen.
  • To further develop Scotland as a destination for innovation and technical development which will lead to risk reductions and supply chain opportunity.

Applications in this section should be no more than 100 MW in capacity.

Targeted Oil and Gas:

  • To maximise the role of offshore wind to reduce emissions from oil and gas production.
  • To achieve target installed capacity in a way that delivers best value for Scotland, creating supply chain opportunity in alignment with Just Transition principles.

A rough estimate is that powering rigs by using offshore wind would increase gas production by around ten percent.

The Applications

The article says this about the applications.

Of the 19 applications, ten are for the Innovation part, while nine have been submitted for the TOG element.

It is expected that up to 500 MW will be awarded to innovation projects and around 4 GW for projects looking to decarbonise oil and gas assets.

The article also lists the known bidders.


I believe that there is going to be some outstanding applications for leases under the INTOG scheme.

I have already written about Cerulean Winds ambitious proposal in Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company, which could result in 6 GW of wind turbines installed amongst the oil and gas fields to provide electricity and decarbonise the platforms and rigs.



December 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Ignition Facility Achieves Fusion Ignition

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the achievement of fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) — a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power. On Dec. 5, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted the first controlled fusion experiment in history to reach this milestone, also known as scientific energy breakeven, meaning it produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it. This first-of-its-kind feat will provide unprecedented capability to support NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program and will provide invaluable insights into the prospects of clean fusion energy, which would be a game-changer for efforts to achieve President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy.

BBC Radio Five is giving the story a high profile.

The breakthrough is also featured in this article on The Telegraph, which is entitled Nuclear Fusion: Scientists Announce Major Breakthrough That ‘Could Bring Limitless Clean Energy’.

I am 75 and ever since my teens there have been regular stories about limitless fusion energy.

But the history of nuclear fusion seems to be a continuing tale of one step forward and four steps back.

I can remember ZETA at Harwell, being announced with a similar fanfare in 1957.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Zealand’s $Bn Pumped Storage Hydropower Project: Making It Worthwhile

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Greater electrification of the economy is an essential part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate policy, as set out in the emissions reduction plan.

But the national electricity system depends heavily on the fluctuating storage capacity of hydropower lakes, which makes the country prone to energy shortages during dry years.

The NZ Battery Project aims to address this. One of the options being investigated is the Onslow pumped storage hydropower (PSH) scheme.

This Google Map shows the location of Lake Onslow in the South Island of New Zealand.


  1. Christchurch is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. There is a spine of mountains with several large lakes.
  3. New Zealand generates just under 60 % of its electricity from hydroelectric power
  4. Stewart Island is off the South Coast of the island.
  5. Lake Onslow is marked by the red arrow.

New Zealand generates just under 60 % of its electricity from hydroelectric power, with 13 % from geothermal.

This document on the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is entitled Lake Onslow Option.

In a section entitled Facts and Figures, this is said.

The Lake Onslow option referenced by the Interim Climate Change Committee could be anticipated to provide at least 5TWh of annual generation/storage. It is estimated to have a construction timeframe of 4-5 years, with commissioning and filling taking a further 2 years. At its construction peak, it is expected to create 3,500-4,500 skilled and semi-skilled jobs.

The Mirage News article says that Lake Onslow scheme will be able to generate 1.5 GW of electricity.

When full, it could generate 1.5 GW for over 4.5 days.

In The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter, I talk about Ulla-Førre, which is a large pumped storage hydro scheme in Norway.

  • Ulla-Førre has a storage capacity of 7.8 TWh and a generating capacity of 2.1 GW
  • Lake Onslow has a storage capacity of 5 TWh and a generating capacity of 1.5 GW

Wikipedia lists Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China, as the largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station in the world, because of an installed generating capacity of 3.6 GW.

But it is only a tiddler in terms of storage, when compared to the monsters in New Zealand and Norway.

The Mirage News article also gets serious about advantages of pumped storage hydropower.

Making The Investment Worthwhile

This is said about making the investment worthwhile.

Pumped storage hydropower is well known to be a cost-competitive option for energy storage. While the capital expenditure is high, the cost of the energy is one of the lowest, at 20-40 cents per kWh. Return on investment in pumped storage hydropower is considerably better than for conventional batteries.

Does the return on investment explain, why after nearly four decades in the UK since Dinorwig power station or Electric Mountain, opened in 1984, that the Scottish Highlands are being proposed as the home for several new pumped storage hydro power stations?

In Will Coire Glas Start A Pumped Storage Boom In Scotland?, I estimated that the potential could be over half a TWh of storage.

A Multi-Purpose Asset

This is said about designing the scheme as a multi-purpose asset.

The Onslow infrastructure provides a way of managing dry years by storing water during rainy periods.

It can also participate as a conventional electricity generator. This will have implications for the wholesale electricity market because variability (from renewable generators) is currently mitigated by existing hydropower and fossil-fuel generation.

From a technical perspective, the challenge for Transpower is to maintain a consistent frequency and voltage in the power network. The Onslow infrastructure will assist with frequency regulation for the entire electricity network.

It offers a fast-acting and large-scale dynamic load, as is the case for other pumped storage hydropower projects such as the UK’s Coire Glas project or France’s Grand Maison. Both are also located remotely in the network similar to Onslow.

Globally, PSH schemes are viewed as multi-purpose assets. The Wivenhoe Dam (in Queensland, Australia) is a lower reservoir for a pumped storage hydropower scheme and provides drinking water and flood mitigation for Brisbane.

Another example is the hydropower infrastructure of the Durance Valley in France. It was designed, built and regulated to guarantee the operator provides drinkable water (740 million cubic metres per year) for 5 million inhabitants. It also supplies water to more than 170,000 hectares of cultivated lands (1.5 billion cubic metres per year in a dry season), generates reliable low-carbon electricity (for over 2 million people per year) and protects the valley from extreme flooding – and it’s become a visitor attraction, drawing 2.5 million tourists annually.

Are we developing the new pumped storage hydro systems, so that they provide the greatest benefits to the inhabitants of Scotland and a wider UK?

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wabtec Planning For Transition From Diesel

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

It has this sub-title.

At InnoTrans, company looks at role of batteries, hydrogen in railroading’s future.

It is very much a must-read, that gives a road-map of their plans to decarbonise rail freight, by the use of both battery and hydrogen power.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

€1m Qatar Corruption Scandal Rocks European Parliament

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

This is the sub-heading.

A senior MEP and three officials have been charged with corruption, money laundering and participating in a criminal organisation.

As Cilla would have said “Surprise Surprise!”

December 13, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | 4 Comments

100,000 Newborn Babies Set To Have Their DNA Fully Decoded

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

This sub-heading gives a few more details.

Genomics England programme aims to extend the number of treatable conditions detected to about 200.

I am coeliac and I do wish, I had been diagnosed at birth.

But more importantly, my youngest son, who would have been fifty this year, might still be here.

He was probably coeliac and worked as a sound engineer in the music business.

He lived the rock-and-roll lifestyle on a diet of ciggies, Subways and high strength cannabis.

He probably had an immune system, with all the strength of a plastic colander.

Consequently, he died at 37 of pancreatic cancer.


December 13, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment