The Anonymous Widower

Global Port Services Wins Pre-Assembly Contract For Scottish Offshore Wind Farm

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Global Port Services, owned by Global Energy Group alongside the Port of Nigg, has secured multiple contracts to support Seagreen Wind Energy Limited (SWEL) with site-enabling works for the pre-assembly construction of wind turbine components at its Port of Nigg facility.

The news comes as the final turbine foundations for the Seagreen offshore wind project arrive at Nigg to be prepared for installation 27 kilometres off the coast of Angus.

Note.

  1. Nigg is a village in the Highlands to the North of Inverness.
  2. The Port of Nigg has a busy Marine Fabrication Yard.
  3. There is a very interesting BBC documentary called Rigs of Nigg, which tells some of the stories of the port from the 1970s.
  4. As the article indicates, the yard is now very much involved in the wind power industry.
  5. SSE have invested in the yard.

This Google Map shows the port.

Note. all the yellow steel structures, which look like the fixed foundations for the Seagreen Wind Farm.

I am a bit surprised that foundations for Seagreen are being assembled a fair distance from Angus.

Is there not a fabrication yard on the Firth of Forth?

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

71 Offshore Wind Applications Now Filed In Brazil, Proposals Total 176.6 GW

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

Brazil is the fifth largest country by area in the world and the seventh most populous, so it probably needs all the energy it can get.

The Wikipedia entry called Energy In Brazil shows a set of impressive numbers with Brazil regularly ranked in the top two countries in the world in a sector.

So I am not surprised to see 71 applications totalling 176.6 GW filed.

The largest is a wind farm of 6.5 GW.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Funding Available For Rail Construction Innovation Projects

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

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Innovators from across the UK are being invited to submit proposals for the Innovation in Railway Construction Competition, which is making £7·44m available for ideas which could be tested at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence in South Wales.

The competition is being run by Innovate UK with GCRE and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

£7.44m doesn’t seem much, but it is only for feasibility studies, as the article explains.

Entries for the first phase close at 12.00 on December 14, with funding available for feasibility studies of up to £25 000. This would be followed by an invite-only phase two, with successful first phase projects able to develop and demonstrate their innovations.

As Innovate UK keeps coming up with these competitions, they must be judged to be worthwhile.

Do they use the same technique in areas like Health and the NHS? If not, why not!

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MOB To Launch Gauge-Changing Montreux – Interlaken GoldenPass Express

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

This is the explanatory paragraph.

December 11 will mark the start of a long-awaited through service by luxury train between Interlaken and Montreux. Operated by Montreux-Oberland Bahn and BLS Lötschbergbahn, the gauge-changing GoldenPass Express service is expected to become a major attraction between the two lakeside resorts that will help revive tourist travel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These are some details of the service.

  • Journey time for the 115∙3 km trip through three cantons, including 11 intermediate stops and the change between 1 000 mm and 1 435 mm gauge at Zweisimmen, will be 3 h 15 min.
  • The trains have been built by Stadler.
  • There are three classes of accommodation; Prestige, First and Second.
  • Catering will be appropriate to the class.
  • Initially, there will be one train per day in each direction, but after June 2023, there will be four trains per day.
  • Fares range between £64 and £129 one-way depending on the class.
  • Tickets can be bought here.

It sounds like a trip worth doing.

I suspect that if this service is a success, then other countries will imitate it.

In the UK, we haven’t anything as grand as Montreux – Interlaken, but we do have the Settle and Carlisle Line.

  • Trains run between Leeds and Carlisle.
  • There are charter services, some hauled by steam locomotives.
  • The distance is a kilometre longer than Montreux – Interlaken.

In Through Settle And Carlisle Service Under Consideration, I look at a Department for Transport study for a Glasgow and Leeds service via the Settle and Carlisle Line.

If the Borders Railway is ever extended to Carlisle, an Edinburgh and Leeds service would be a possibility.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Netherlands Plans Its Biggest Offshore Wind Tender Next Year with Four IJmuiden Ver Sites Likely to Be Auctioned Off In One Go

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article from offshoreWIND.biz.

Tis is the first paragraph.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) plans to combine the first four IJmuiden Ver offshore wind sites for the purpose of putting them out to tender together. This means the sites III and IV will be auctioned next year, same as the sites I and II, instead of the initially planned 2025, with 4 GW of offshore wind capacity awarded in 2023.

I think this is sensible, as there must be economies of scale in building a four GW wind farm in one go, rather than four x one GW wind farms.

In my experience, it would also be easier to manage the large single project.

I wonder, if when countries lease large areas in the future they will do it more often in one go, as the legal fees for one lease must by smaller than those for several leases.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Green Groups Furious As New Coalmine In Cumbria Is Approved

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

These two paragraphs outline the story.

Michael Gove has approved the first deep coalmine in 30 years, despite calls from environmental activists and Labour to turn down the project.

The levelling-up secretary’s planning approval for the mine in Cumbria comes after two years of opposition. Critics said that it would increase emissions and 85 per cent of the coking coal would be exported to produce steel.cumbria

In March 2019, I wrote Whitehaven Deep Coal Mine Plan Moves Step Closer, when local councillors unanimously backed the plan.

In that post, I speculated about the possibility of using the coal from Cumbria with the HIsarna ironmaking process and wrote this.

In Wikipedia, there is an entry for the HIsarna ironmaking process.

This process is being developed by the Ultra-Low Carbon Dioxide Steelmaking (ULCOS) consortium, which includes Tata Steel and the Rio Tinto Group. Reduction in carbon-dioxide produced by the process compared to traditional steel-making are claimed to be as high as fifty percent.

This figure does not include carbon-capture to reduce the carbon-dioxide still further.

However, looking at descriptions of the process, I feel that applying carbon-capture to the HIsarna steelmaking process might be a lot easier, than with traditional steelmaking.

If you are producing high quality steel by a process like HIsarna, you want to make sure that you don’t add any impurities from the coal, so you have a premium product.

So is Cumbrian metallurgical coal important to the HIsarna process?

I originally heard that the coal from Whitehaven was very pure carbon and I felt as the HIsarna process uses powdered coal, there might be a connection between the two projects. Reading today in The Times article, it seems that the Cumbrian coal has some sulphur. So either the HIsarna project is dead or the Dutch have found a way to deal with the sulphur.

The HIsarna process is a continuous rather than a batch process and because of that, it should be easier to capture the carbon dioxide for use elsewhere or storage in a depleted gas field.

There’s more to come out on the reason for the approval of the project.

I shall be digging hard to see what I can find. But I do believe a steel-making process, that uses a much smaller amount of coal, not coke, could lead to a more economic way of making zero-carbon steel than using hydrogen created by electrolysis.

Carbon capture would need to be used to deal with carbon dioxide produced, but progress is being made with this technology.

 

December 8, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Steps To Unlocking The Potential Of High-Power Wind Turbines

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on offshireWIND.biz.

This is the first paragraph.

The critical role of wind in the world’s future energy needs is clear: the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition states that 1,400 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind power will sustain one tenth of global electricity demand by 2050. Key to achieving this is the upward power rating of wind turbines, which we anticipate will reach an individual turbine capacity of 20 GW within the next five years.

The article is a must-read.

After reading the article, I am convinced that there will be 20 MW turbines in five years.

When turbines of this size are readily available, it is likely that the rate of installation of wind turbines will increase.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , | 2 Comments

BP, Equinor And Ithaca To Explore Electrification Options Of West Of Shetland Oil And Gas Fields

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

BP, Equinor, and Ithaca Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore electrification options for their offshore production facilities in the West of Shetland area.

Three oil & gas fields off the UK are to be electrified.

  • the BP-operated Clair is 47 miles to the West of Shetland
  • the Equinor-operated Rosebank is 90 miles to the North-West of Shetland
  • the Ithaca-operated Cambo is 78 miles to the North-West of Shetland

Note

  1. Clair is the largest oilfield on the UK Continental Shelf.
  2. Rosebank could be a very difficult field to develop.
  3. Clair is operating and Rosebank and Cambo are being developed.

If these fields were operated conservatively and in a carbon-free manner, they could provide a steady amount of oil and gas, to help deliver the UK to the new age of renewables and hydrogen.

The article says this about electrification.

Electrification solutions could include power from the shore, potentially from onshore wind or from offshore wind. Full electrification of the abovementioned fields would require around 200 MW of power, Equinor said.

Note.

  1. I would suspect the distance to Shetland and the need for 200 MW, will mean that an offshore solution will be chosen.
  2. Would the Shetlanders welcome a wind farm of up to twenty large turbines?
  3. Waters are likely to be so deep, that floating wind turbines will be likely to be needed.
  4. In a year, 1752 GWh of electricity will be needed.

I will now answer some simple questions.

How Much Carbon Dioxide Would Be Saved?

According to this web page, the CO2 generated by burning natural gas is 0.185 kg / kWh.

I estimate that electrifying these three fields will stop the emission of around 324,120 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

How Many Turbines Will Be Needed?

Current floating wind turbines are around eight to ten MW. So somewhere between 20 and 25 turbines will be needed.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like 24 x 8.3 MW turbines arranged in three wind farms of eight turbines, with one wind farm to each oil or gas field.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Increased CCS Can Decarbonise GB Electricity Faster On Route To Net Zero

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on the SSE web site.

This is the first paragraph.

Building more power carbon capture and storage plants (Power CCS) could significantly accelerate the UK’s plans to decarbonise the GB electricity system on route to net zero, according to new analysis commissioned by SSE.

I am not surprised, as in my time, I have built several production, storage and distribution mathematical models for products and sometimes bringing things forward has beneficial effects.

These three paragraphs summarise the findings.

The UK Government’s proposed emissions reductions from electricity for 2035 could be accelerated to 2030 by combining its 50GW offshore wind ambition with a significant step up in deployment of Power CCS. This would require 7-9GW (equivalent to 10-12 plants) of Power CCS compared to the current commitment of at least one Power CCS plant mid-decade, according to experts at LCP Delta.

Replacing unabated gas with abated Power CCS generation will deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis suggests that adding 7-9GW Power CCS to the UK’s 2030 offshore wind ambition will save an additional 18 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040, by preventing carbon emissions during periods when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.

Gas consumption for electricity generation would not significantly increase, given the 7-9GW Power CCS would displace older and less efficient unabated gas power stations already operating and reduce importing unabated gas generation from abroad via the interconnectors. Importantly, Power CCS can provide a safety net to capture emissions from any gas required to keep the lights on in the event of delays to the roll out of renewables or nuclear.

The report is by LCP Delta, who are consultants based in Edinburgh.

The report says this about the transition to hydrogen.

Power CCS also presents significant opportunities to kickstart, then transition to, a hydrogen economy, benefitting from the synergies between CCS and hydrogen, including proximity to large-scale renewable generation and gas storage facilities which can support the production of both electrolytic and CCS-enabled hydrogen.

And this about the reduction in carbon emissions.

The existing renewables ambition and the accelerated Power CCS ambition are expected to save a total of 72 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040 compared to commitments in the UK’s Net Zero Strategy from October 2021.

I don’t think there’s much wrong with this analysis.

But of course the greens will trash it, as it was paid for by SSE.

I have a few thoughts.

Carbon Capture And Use

I believe we will see a great increase in carbon capture and use.

  • Carbon dioxide is already an ingredient to make Quorn.
  • Carbon dioxide is needed for fizzy drinks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be fed to tomatoes, salad plants, herbs and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make animal and pet food.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make building products like plasterboard and blocks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be added to concrete.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used as a refrigerant and in air-conditioning. There are one or two old Victorian systems still working.

Other uses will be developed.

Carbon Capture Will Get More Efficient

Carbon capture from power stations and boilers, that use natural gas is a relatively new process and its capture will surely get better and more efficient in the next few years.

Gas From INTOG

I explain INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

One of INTOG’s aims, is to supply electricity to the oil and gas rigs and platforms in the sea around the UK.

Currently, these rigs and platforms, use some of the gas they produce, in gas turbines to create the electricity they need.

  • I have seen reports that ten percent of the gas that comes out of the ground is used in this way.
  • Using the gas as fuel creates more carbon dioxide.

Decarbonisation of our oil and gas rigs and platforms, will obviously be a good thing because of a reduction of the carbon dioxide emitted. but it will also mean that the gas that would have been used to power the platform can be brought ashore to power industry and domestic heating, or be exported to countries who need it.

Gas may not be carbon-neutral, but some gas is more carbon-neutral than others.

SSE’s Plans For New Thermal Power Stations

I have taken this from SSE’s news item.

SSE has deliberately chosen to remain invested in the transition of flexible thermal electricity generation due to the key role it plays in a renewables-led, net zero, electricity system and is committed to decarbonising the generation.

Together with Equinor, SSE Thermal is developing two power stations equipped with carbon capture technology. Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station is based in the Humber, the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, while Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station is located in the North East of Scotland. Combined, the two stations could capture around three million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Studies have shown that Keadby and Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Stations could make a lifetime contribution of £1.2bn each to the UK economy, creating significant economic opportunity in their respective regions. Both will be vital in supporting the huge amount of renewables which will be coming on the system.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also collaborating on Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

Note.

  1. SSE appear to think that gas-fired power stations with carbon capture are an ideal backup to renewables.
  2. If gas is available and it can be used to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide, then why not?
  3. Hydrogen is coming.

Things will get better.

Is A Virtuous Circle Developing?

Consider.

  • Spare wind electricity is turned into hydrogen using an electrolyser or perhaps some world-changing electro-chemical process.
  • The hydrogen is stored in Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage.
  • When the wind isn’t blowing, hydrogen is used to backup the wind in Keadby Hydrogen power station.
  • The other Keadby power stations can also kick in using natural gas. The carbon dioxide that they produce, would be captured for storage or use.
  • Other users, who need to decarbonise, can be supplied with hydrogen from Aldbrough.

Note.

  1. Gas turbines are throttleable, so if National Grid wants 600 MW to balance the grid, they can supply it.
  2. As time progresses, some of the gas-fired power stations at Keadby could be converted to hydrogen.
  3. Rough gas storage is not far away and could either store natural gas or hydrogen.
  4. Hydrogen might be imported by tanker from places like Africa and Australia, depending on price.

Humberside will be levelling up and leading the decarbonisation of the UK.

If you have an energy-hungry business, you should seriously look at moving to Humberside.

 

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Powerhouses Clash Offshore California In Bid To Build Wind Farms

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

This is the first paragraph.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is holding a live auction, starting on 6 December, for the rights to develop floating offshore wind energy projects in five areas off the California Coast.

Note, that the auction is live. It could be a new television sport with companies bidding billions, for up to 4.5 GW of leases.

The heavyweights from Europe, who are qualified to bid include BP, EDF, Equinor, Ferrovial, Hexicon, Ideol, Orsted, RWE, Shell, SSE and TotalEnergies.

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment