The Anonymous Widower

Vast Australian Renewable Energy Site Powers BP’s Ambitions

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

BP is to lead the development of a $36 billion wind, solar and hydrogen project in Western Australia in its latest foray into green energy.

The oil company has bought a 40.5 per cent stake in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the eastern Pilbara region and will become operator of the project, one of the biggest such developments globally.

The Wikipedia entry for the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, starts like this.

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) is a proposal to create one of the world’s largest renewable energy plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It was first proposed in 2014, with plans for the project concept changing several times since then. As of November 2020, the project developers Intercontinental Energy, CWP Global, Vestas and Pathway Investments were planning to build a mixture of wind power and solar energy power generators which would generate up to 26 gigawatts of power.

Up to 1,743 wind turbines of 290 metres (950 ft) in height would be accommodated in 668,100 hectares (1,651,000 acres) of land, and 18 arrays of solar panels each generating 600 megawatts would cover 1,418 hectares (3,500 acres). It is to be located in the Shire of East Pilbara, about 30 km (19 mi) inland from 80 Mile Beach, with the nearest settlement on the map being Mandora Station. The total size of the scheme would be about 666,030 ha (1,645,800 acres).

It is a gigantic project and this Google Map of Western Australia shows its location.

It is no more than a pimple on the huge area of Western Australia.

I have my thoughts about BP getting involved with this project.

The Power Of Research

Around 1970, I spent four years in ICI applying mathematical methods to some of their processes, that were in research or development. I also worked for a time on their hydrogen plants. Some of the projects I heard about, were pretty wacky and some of these appear to have never been commercialised.

When I left ICI, I built a few mathematical models for other research organisations.

So I do wonder, if BP have found something, that will enable the process of making hydrogen from water a lot more efficient. There is an American startup called Bloom Energy, who have teamed up with Westinghouse to use steam from the nuclear reactor to do electrolysis more efficiently at a high temperature.

I wrote about this partnership in Westinghouse And Bloom Energy To Team Up For Pink Hydrogen, where Bloom Energy Vice President of Hydrogen Business Rick Beuttel, is quoted as saying this.

We are proud Westinghouse has turned to Bloom and our solid oxide technology to supercharge the clean hydrogen economy. Solid oxide technology is well suited for nuclear applications, efficiently harnessing steam to further improve the economics of hydrogen production. High temperature electrolysis is already garnering attention and accolades as a cost-effective and viable solution to create low-cost, clean hydrogen, which is critical to meeting aggressive decarbonization goals.

It sounds that by integrating the nuclear power station and the electrolyser, there are cost savings to be made.

Why not use solar power to create steam, which is called solar thermal energy and is used in various hot places in the world and then use high temperature electrolysis?

I suspect that BP are up to something, that is very similar to Fortescue Future Industries in the Australian company’s back yard.

So will they be selling the hydrogen to FFI, so they can market it together all over the world?

This BP deal is one to watch.

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

NeuConnect Awards Two Major Contracts

This page on the NeuConnect web site is entitled NeuConnect Awards Over £1.5 billion Of Major Contracts As First Ever UK-German Energy Link Moves An Important Step Closer.

NeuConnect is a proposed interconnector between England and Germany.

  • It will have a capacity of 1.4 GW.
  • The interconnector will be around 450 miles long.
  • It will be HVDC, like many similar undersea power cables.
  • As the title says, it will be the first-ever UK-German energy link.

Wikipedia describes the route like this.

The cable will run between the Greystones substation on the Isle of Grain, in Kent in England to the new Fedderwarden substation in Wilhelmshaven in the Lower Saxony region of Germany. Landfall will be next to Grain Coastal Park, in Kent, and at Hooksiel, near Wilhemshaven in Germany.

Two contracts have been awarded.

  • The contract to design, manufacture, install, test and commission the 725km interconnector has been awarded to Prysmian Group.
  • The contract to design and build two converter stations in the UK and Germany has been awarded to Siemens Energy.

This sounds like a very simple plan to add an important interconnector between the UK and Germany.

I have some observations and thoughts.

The Isle Of Grain

The Isle of Grain is described in Wikipedia like this.

Isle of Grain (Old English Greon, meaning gravel) is a village and the easternmost point of the Hoo Peninsula within the district of Medway in Kent, south-east England. No longer an island and now forming part of the peninsula, the area is almost all marshland and is a major habitat for diverse wetland birds. The village constitutes a civil parish, which at the 2011 census had a population of 1,648, a net decrease of 83 people in 10 years.

Apart for the birds, over the last few decades it has been home to the following.

  • Until 1982, it was the location of a BP oil refinery.
  • In the 1990s, the isle was used to make the segments for the lining of the Channel Tunnel.
  • Following completion of the Channel Tunnel, the site is now part-occupied by Thamesport, the UK’s third largest container port.
  • Next to the former BP site is Grain Power Station, built in the 1970s, which previously burnt oil.
  • This power station was demolished in the 2015 and replaced with a 1.275 GW gas-fired power station.
  • Another major installation is a new Grain Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility, which takes heat from the gas-fired power station.
  • The Isle of Grain is the landing point for the BritNed undersea power cable between The Netherlands and the UK.

The Google Map shows the Isle of Grain.

Note.

  1. Thamesport is in the South-West corner
  2. To its North is the LNG import facility.
  3. To the North-East of Thamesport is the 735 MW Medway power station.
  4. There is a rail connection to Hoo Junction on the North Kent Line.

This second Google Map shows the Eastern side of the Isle.

Note.

  1. Grain Coastal Park, where NeuConnect will make landfall, is marked by the green arrow at the top of the map.
  2. Towards the South-Eastern corner of the map is the 1.275 GW Grain gas-fired power station.
  3. To the East of the power station, there is more switchgear than you see in a bad Frankenstein film.
  4. The smaller square at the bottom with the two white squares could be the converter station for the BritNed interconnector.

I am sure there is space on the island for a connection for NeuConnect.

There is also a total of 2.01 GW of gas-fired power stations on the Isle of Grain.

Wind Power In The Thames Estuary

This Google Map shows the Thames Estuary.

Note that the red arrow indicates the Isle of Grain.

This map from Wikipedia shows the wind farms in the area.

These are the ones that are operational.

  • 2 – East Anglia Array – 714 MW
  • 8 – Greater Gabbard – 504 MW
  • 9 – Gunfleet Sands – 184 MW
  • 13 – Kentish Flats – 140 MW
  • 15 – London Array – 630 MW
  • 27 – Thanet – 300 MW

Note.

  1. The Isle of Grain is just above the second o in London.
  2. I have ignored the Ramplion wind farm (21!), as it is too far from the Isle of Grain.
  3. This is a total of nearly 2.5 GW.

Planned extensions in the area include.

  • East Anglia Array – 3.1 GW – Completion date of 2026

But the Wikipedia entry for the East Anglia Array says this about the wind farm.

The target capacity for the entire East Anglia Zone is 7200 MW which could require up to 1200 turbines.

Could we see one of the following?

  • A connector from the East Anglia Array to the Isle of Grain.
  • One or more new wind farms in the Thames Estuary connected to the Isle of Grain.
  • German investment in a wind farm or farms connected to the Isle of Grain.

The Isle of Grain could become an island of energy providing power for London, the South-East of England, Germany and The Netherlands.

An Electrolyser On The Isle Of Grain

Consider.

  • There will be plenty of renewable electricity.
  • As there is a liquified natural gas terminal, there is plenty of gas storage.
  • One or both of the gas-fired power stations can be converted to run on hydrogen.
  • As more and more trucks are converted to hydrogen, there will be a large demand for hydrogen for heavy transport.

This must surely make a large electrolyser on the Isle of Grain a possibility.

The BritNed Interconnector

The BritNed interconnector is described like this in Wikipedia.

BritNed is a 1,000 MW high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) submarine power cable between the Isle of Grain in Kent, the United Kingdom; and Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The BritNed interconnector would serve as a link for the foreseeable European super grid project.

Up to now, most of the electricity flow has been to the UK.

But surely, as more wind farms are developed power will flow the other way.

Wilhelmshaven Will Be A German Hub For Green Hydrogen

In Uniper To Make Wilhelmshaven German Hub For Green Hydrogen; Green Ammonia Import Terminal, I described plans by the Germans for a hydrogen hub at Wilhelmshaven.

The original story came from an article with the same name on Green Car Congress.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Under the name “Green Wilhelmshaven,” Germany-based international energy company Uniper plans to establish a German national hub for hydrogen in Wilhelmshaven and is working on a corresponding feasibility study.

Plans include an import terminal for green ammonia. The terminal will be equipped with an ammonia cracker for producing green hydrogen and will also be connected to the planned hydrogen network. A 410-megawatt electrolysis plant is also planned, which—in combination with the import terminal—would be capable of supplying around 295,000 metric tons or 10% of the demand expected for the whole of Germany in 2030.

As I said in the original post, I’m not happy about green ammonia, but the 1.4 GW NeuConnect interconnector has more than enough power to run a 410 MW electrolyser plant at full capacity.

It could even run three electrolysers of this size.

Hooksiel And Wilhelmshaven

NeuConnect will make landfall at Hooksiel.

This Google Map shows Hooksiel and Wilhelmshaven.

Note.

  1. Hooksiel is the village outlined in red.
  2. The water to the right of the map is the Jade Bight.
  3. The square block sticking out into the bight appears to be a container port.
  4. There appears to be chemical works or oil refineries North of the port.
  5. Wilhelmshaven is the town to the South of the port.

There would appear to be plenty of space for Uniper to construct Green Wilhelmshaven.

German And UK Wind Power Production

According to this page on Wikipedia, which is entitled Wind Power By Country, in 2020, these were installed wind power in various countries.

  • Germany – 62,184 MW
  • Spain – 27,089 MW
  • UK – 24,665 MW
  • France – 17,382 MW
  • Italy – 10,389 MW
  • Netherlands – 6,600 MW

In 2020 we were 37.5 GW behind Germany.

It looks like we’ll commission 3.3 GW this year and 6.1 in 2023, with Wikipedia saying that 12.9 GW is under development, which should close the gap to a certain extent.

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I described how Scotland will add 15.1 GW of floating and 9.7 GW of fixed foundation offshore wind.

It looks like initially, we’ll be buying German wind-generated electricity, but in the future the direction could easily change around.

Boris And Olaf

There were mumblings from Boris, that energy was talked about in their meeting in Downing Street last week.

It does appear there is a lot of ways that the UK and Germany can co-operate in the future with respect to energy.

  • German finance can be used to build wind farms in UK waters.
  • German companies can build the turbines and the interconnectors we need to develop vast offshore wind farms.
  • We can supply surplus energy to Germany through the NeuConnect interconnector.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Boris and Olaf had signed a very comprehensive energy co-operation agreement.

 

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the Crown Estate Scotland web site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Crown Estate Scotland has today announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.

The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.

Some highlights are then listed.

  • 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications.
  • A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
  • The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2.
  • Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
  • The potential power generated will move Scotland towards net-zero.

This map shows the position of each wind farm.

Note, that the numbers are Scotwind’s lease number in their documents.

Fixed Foundation Wind Farms

These are the six fixed foundation wind farms.

  • 1 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – 859 km² – 2.9 GW
  • 6 – DEME – 187 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 16 – Northland Power – 161 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 17 – Scottish Power Renewables – 754 km² – 2.0 GW

Adding up these fixed foundation wind farms gives a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².

Floating Wind Farms

These are the ten floating wind farms.

  • 2- SSE Renewables – 859 km² – 2.6 GW
  • 3 – Falck Renewables Wind – 280 km² – 1.2 GW
  • 4 – Shell – 860 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 5 – Vattenfall – 200 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 10 – Falck Renewables Wind – 134 km² – 0.5 GW
  • 11 – Scottish Power Renewables – 684 km² – 3.0 GW
  • 12 – BayWa r.e. UK  – 330 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW

Adding up the floating wind farms gives a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Mixed Wind Farms

This is the single wind farm, that has mixed foundations.

15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW

This wind farm appears to be using floating wind turbines.

I have a few general thoughts.

Are Floating Wind Farms Further Out?

There does appear to be a pattern, where the wind farms that are further from the land tend to be floating wind farms and those closer to the land appear to be fixed.

Consider.

  • As the water gets deeper, fixed wind turbines will surely get more expensive.
  • Floating wind turbines are the newer and more unproven technology, so only those bidders, who have done their research and are happy with it, will have bid.

Falck Renewables Wind Seem To Be Working With BlueFloat Energy

In the three Falck Renewables successes with leases 3, 8 and 10, BlueFloat Energy is a partner in the lease.

According to their web site, BlueFloat Energy were very much involved in WindFloat Atlantic, where this is said.

Top members of our team were key contributors to the development and construction of the WindFloat Atlantic project from concept to Final Investment Decision to commissioning. This 25 megawatt (MW) floating offshore wind project in Portugal marked a turning point in the offshore wind industry as it was the first floating offshore wind project to secure bank financing. With 3 x MVOW’s 8.4 MW turbines, the WindFloat Atlantic project was the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind project and continental Europe’s first floating wind project.

So do Falck Renewables intend to use WindFloat technology in their areas, which are to produce a total of 2.7 GW?

Perhaps a fleet of two hundred floating wind turbines based on WindFloat technology each with a capacity of 14 MW would be ideal.

  • Wind turbines would be interchangeable between all three farms.
  • There could be a few standby turbines to allow for maintenance.
  • It would be possible to borrow a turbine to explore a new site.

All it would need is technology to be able to position and connect a turbine into the wind farm and disconnect and remove a turbine from the wind farm, with simple procedures.

Did BP Avoid the Floating Wind Farms?

BP, who are relatively new to offshore wind, only had one success, for a large fixed wind farm. So did they avoid the floating wind farms?

Do Shell and Scottish Power Have A Bigger Plan? 

Shell and Scottish Power were successful with leases 4 and 11, which are reasonably close together.

They also won lease 17, which I wrote about in MacHairWind Wind Farm, where I concluded this.

The MacHairWind wind farm seems a well-positioned wind farm.

  • It is close to Glasgow.
  • It can be used in tandem with the Cruachan pumped hydro power station.
  • It will have access to the Western HVDC Link to send power to the North-West of England.

Is Scotland replacing the 1.2 GW Hunterston B nuclear power station with a 2 GW wind farm, with help from Cruachan and other proposed pumped storage hydro schemes to the North of Glasgow?

So did Shell and Scottish Power get the pick of the bunch and will build two large floating wind farms close together?

Shell and Scottish Power seem to be using French company; Eolfi’s floating wind technology.

Why Do Floating Wind Farms Have A Higher Density?

The floating wind farms have an average energy density of 3.5 MW per sq. km, whereas the fixed wind farms only manage 3.2 MW per sq. km.

It may be only ten percent, but does that help the economics? It certainly, wouldn’t make them worse.

I do wonder though, if the reason for the higher density is simply that a floating turbine can be bigger, than a corresponding fixed turbine.

I also have a few more specific thoughts about individual farms.

Lease 15 – The Odd Bid Out

In any design competition, there is usually at least one design, that is not look like any of the others.

In the successful bids for the ScotWind leases, the bid from Magnora ASA stands out.

  • The company has an unusual home page on its offshore wind web site.
  • This page on their web site outlines their project.
  • It will be technology agnostic, with 15MW turbines and a total capacity of 500MW
  • It will use floating offshore wind with a concrete floater
  • It is estimated, that it will have a capacity factor of 56 %.
  • The water depth will be an astonishing 106-125m
  • The construction and operation will use local facilities at Stornoway and Kishorn Ports.
  • The floater will have local and Scottish content.
  • The project will use UK operated vessels​.
  • Hydrogen is mentioned.
  • Consent is planned for 2026, with construction starting in 2028 and completion in 2030.

This project could serve as a model for wind farms all round the world with a 500 MW power station, hydrogen production and local involvement and construction.

I discuss this project in more detail in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

A Conclusion About Floating Wind

The various successful bids in this round of Scottish wind farm leases can be split by capacity into two groups.

  • Floating + Mixed – 15.1 GW – 61 %
  • Fixed – 9.7 GW – 39 %

Note that I have included Magnora’s successful mixed bid with the successful floating bids, as it uses floating wind turbines to generate electricity.

The over 60 % of successful bids involving floating wind farms, indicates to me, that the day of floating wind farms has arrived.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

EDF Renewables Eyes 50MW Solar Farm To Power Green Hydrogen Development In Teesside

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

These are the first two paragraphs.

EDF Renewables is looking to develop a 49.9MW solar farm to power a new green hydrogen production facility in Teesside.

Working together with Hynamics, a subsidiary of the EDF Group specialising in hydrogen, the companies are planning to develop a 30-50MW electrolyser, which will subsequently be scaled to over 500MW in line with emerging demand.

They are working with PD Ports and British Steel.

Teesside is certainly getting the green hydrogen it needs, as there is also a 400 MW hydrogen project on Teesside, that I wrote about in BP Plans To Turn Teesside Into First Green Hydrogen Hub.

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen City Council And BP Sign Joint Venture Agreement To Develop City Hydrogen Hub

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Renewable Energy Magazine.

The title is a good description of the project and these are a few details.

  • Production will start in 2024.
  • The hub will produce 800 kilograms of green hydrogen per day.
  • That will be enough for 25 buses and 25 other vehicles.
  • Further investment would provide hydrogen for rail, freight and marine uses.

I don’t think this is a small project, as they are talking about potentially exporting the hydrogen.

These are a few thoughts.

Electricity Supply

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

Scaling those figures mean that to create 800 kilograms of hydrogen will need 44.16 MWh of electricity or if it is a 24/7 operation, the electrolyser will need a feed of 1.84 MW.

Currently, there are two offshore wind farms close to Aberdeen.

That would provide enough electricity to provide a starter of under 2 MW.

I can see a lot more wind farms off the coasts around Aberdeen, as on all my visits to the city it has been windy and there is a lot of empty sea.

I don’t think providing enough renewable electricity for a very large electrolyser in Aberdeen will be a problem.

Hydrogen Exports

I would expect, that the hydrogen would go to Germany, as the Germans are backing BP in their wind farm ambitions and they are building a large hydrogen import terminal at Wilhelmshaven on the North-West German coast. The distance for a ship is under 500 miles.

BP’s Future Hydrogen Plans

This is a quote from Louise Kingham CBE, BP’s UK head of country and senior vice president for Europe.

Partnering with cities and corporates as they shape their paths to net zero is a core part of BP’s strategy. BP expects to partner with 10-15 cities globally by 2030 to provide innovative, integrated, ‎and decarbonized energy solutions at scale to help them achieve their goals of net zero emissions. BP also aims to capture 10% of the low carbon hydrogen market in key geographies by 2030.

BP is investing across all the energy transition growth areas in the UK. In fact, we have committed to spend £2 in the UK for every £1 generated here out to the middle of this decade.

“Today’s announcement is evidence of that commitment in action and is supported by other ambitious plans to produce clean energy from UK offshore wind, develop carbon capture in Teesside and grow the country’s electric vehicle charging network.

BP would be in part using their expertise in providing oil and gas to the production and delivery of hydrogen to end users, be they large or small.

I can also see BP repurposing a few gas and oil production platforms into offshore hydrogen production hubs, as this could be a better financial route, rather than demolishing the platforms.

Conclusion

Birmingham is building a hydrogen hub at Tyseley Energy Park to fuel hydrogen buses and other vehicles.

Where is the plan for London’s hydrogen hubs?

 

 

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

BP Snaps Up 30 Per Cent Stake In Green Biofuels Ltd

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

So why would BP take a stake in Green Biofuels?

This paragraph in the Wikipedia entry for BP, outlines the company’s future philosophy.

From 1988 to 2015, BP was responsible for 1.53% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. BP has set a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. BP plans to increase its investments in renewables 10 times and reduce oil production by 40% from current levels by 2030.

BP is doing things like developing wind and solar farms to achieve these aims.

BP also seems to be investing in both blue and green hydrogen.

But possibly, the two hardest products to decarbonise are diesel for heavy transport and aviation fuel.

Looking at Green Biofuels web site, the Wikipedia entry for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and other sources, Green Biofuels product; GD+ seems to make a good fist of reducing carbon emissions and pollution, if it replaces diesel.

DB Cargo UK and HVO

DB Cargo UK have a fleet of nearly two hundred large diesel locomotives in the UK.

DB Cargo UK have been experimenting with HVO, as I wrote about in Powered By HVO.

The company has issued a press release on these trials of HVO, from which this is an extract.

DB Cargo UK’s Head of Asset Management and Maintenance Steve Wilkinson said the company was collaborating with one of the UK’s leading suppliers of HVO fuel which already worked with high-profile brands like Caterpillar, John Deere, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.

“We are very pleased with the initial performance of the HVO fuel which we could use instead of or alongside traditional red diesel. The fact it is compatible with our existing diesel means investment in new storage and fuelling facilities would also be kept to a minimum,” he added.

“On top of that, it performs well at low temperatures, has a longer lifespan and is biodegradable,” he added.

DB Cargo UK currently operates 228 diesel and electric locomotives that transport in the region of 37 million tonnes of freight each year across the UK and into Europe.

It uses approximately 45 million litres of red diesel a year.

Was one of the UK’s leading suppliers of HVO fuel, a company called Green Biofuels?

Note that DB Cargo UK’s spokesman makes these points about the fuel.

  • They are very pleased with initial performance.
  • It is a straight swap for red diesel and it appears locomotives can run on either. He doesn’t say it but can it run on one fuel contaminated with the other? I suspect it’s a possibility.
  • Current storage can be used for HVO.
  • I get the impression that swapping from red diesel to HVO wouldn’t be the most challenging of operations.
  • It performs well at low temperatures. One train-driver told me, that one of the worse parts of the job, is picking up a train from a depot high in the Pennines on a cold day in the winter. That must apply to locomotives.
  • It has a longer lifespan.
  • It is biodegradable. I haven’t walked through an engine shed, since I used to bunk them as a child to get engine numbers, but they were filthy places, with oil and diesel all over the floor.

That sounds to me, like DB Cargo UK have decided that HVO is an excellent fuel and for them to swap to HVO, would be no more difficult than to swap between red diesel from BP to red diesel from Shell.

This is an extract from the Business Green article.

Founded in 2013, Green Biofuels is the UK’s largest provider of HVO, having delivered over 55 million litres of HVO products to the UK market over the past two years.

If DB Cargo UK wanted to swap from red diesel to HVO, they would need nearly all of Green Biofuels current production.

So have Green Biofuels run to BP and said can you help us out?

Red Diesel Replacement

This document on the Government web site is entitled Reform Of Red Diesel And Other Rebated Fuels Entitlement.

There is a section, which is entitled Policy Objective, where this is said.

In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws guaranteeing an end to its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least an 80% reduction from 1990 levels. The government also launched in 2019 an ambitious new strategy to clean up the air and save lives, given air pollution is one of the biggest continuing threats to public health in the UK.

Red diesel is diesel used mainly for off-road purposes, such as to power bulldozers and cranes used in the construction industry, or to power drills for oil extraction. It accounts for around 15% of all the diesel used in the UK and is responsible for the production of nearly 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Red diesel used in the construction and infrastructure building sectors was also estimated to have caused 7% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 8% of PM10 emissions (a type of particulate matter) in London in 2018. 

At Budget 2020, the government therefore announced that it would remove the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biodiesel from most sectors from April 2022 to help meet its climate change and air quality targets. The tax changes will ensure that most users of red diesel use fuel taxed at the standard rate for diesel from April 2022, like motorists, which more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce. Removing most red diesel entitlements will also help to ensure that the tax system incentivises users of polluting fuels like diesel to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery, invest in cleaner alternatives, or just use less fuel.

It doesn’t say, but I have found references to the fact that HVO pays the same tax rate as diesel, despite the evidence, that it appears to be more environmentally friendly.

If I was the Chancellor, I would certainly adjust the tax system, so that red diesel users who changed to HVO and other fuels, paid tax in proportion to the emissions and pollution they caused.

So have BP decided that Green Biofuels is the best interim solution to reduce emissions from diesel fuel and taking a stake, is the best way to get the required access to the product?

Could BP be thinking about replacing red diesel with a better green diesel?

  • Red diesel and GD+ could be acceptable to all diesel vehicles and equipment. So farmers for rxample, could run tractors and combines on the same fuel as their truck or Range Rover.
  • Businesses, like farmers, who often have tanks for both red diesel and normal diesel, would only need one tank.
  • Businesses with a green profile, would surely like it for their vehicles.
  • Organic farmers would like it for their tractors.
  • The availability of a green diesel would enable red diesel users to change to hydrogen or battery operation, at the optimal time.

I can see Prince Charles handing out green stars all round.

February 4, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Aviva To Eject Company Directors If Climate Goals Are Not Met

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

Increasingly, I am seeing company boards taking decisions, that will cut their company’s carbon footprint.

Only yesterday, I wrote Suppliers Sought For New Bi-Mode Locomotives For TransPennine Express And Great Western Railway, which was about First Group’s moves to decarbonise some of their locomotive-hauled trains.

I have also written about BHP, BP, Fortescue, Go-Ahead and Rio-Tinto taking action to decarbonise.

It does seem that some company boards are following Aviva’s guidance, but then it is in the directors own interest.

Many directors of large companies own shares and in a big public company, these are publicly traded.

I would suspect, that if a company board, do the right thing in terms of decarbonisation, that the share price will rise.

So by following the accepted climate science, they are actually helping themselves.

If they don’t believe that, then aggressive shareholders from Norwich will punish them.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Business, Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oman And BP Sign Renewable Hydrogen Partnership On Mega-Gigawatt Scale

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Oman has announced that it has entered into an agreement with BP, in which the energy giant will support the country’s development of mega-gigawatts of renewable hydrogen and energy by 2030.

Wind and solar power will be developed on 8,000 square kilometres of land.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Carlton Power, Stag Pool Knowledge For UK Energy Storage, Green H2

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

British energy infrastructure developers Carlton Power and Stag Energy are merging their operations with plans to develop projects that will help improve energy storage, grid stability and green hydrogen production in the UK.

The article says this about Carlton Power.

Yorkshire-based Carlton has delivered more than 6 GW of thermal and renewables generation in the past 30 years. It is the lead developer of the Trafford Energy Park in Manchester, which foresees a 50-MW/250 -MWh liquid air energy storage plant to be built in partnership with Highview Power, a 200-MW hydrogen electrolyser and commercial hydrogen hub for use in transport and heating as well as a 250-MWe battery energy storage facility. Carlton also plans to expand its Langage Energy Park near Plymouth with the addition of energy storage and electrolyser facilities.

They certainly seem to have a history, that will be worth extending into the future, with energy storage and hydrogen production.

The article says this about Stag Energy.

Edinburgh-headquartered Stag Energy, for its part, has previously developed open-cycle gas-turbine (OCGT) plants in England and Wales and has a joint venture with Lundin to build the Gateway offshore underground gas storage facility in the Irish Sea using salt caverns. Stag Energy is also part of the National Grid’s Pathfinder process to uncover ways to improve electricity system stability.

This article on Hydrocarbons Technology is entitled Gateway Gas Storage Facility and starts with these two paragraphs.

The Gateway Gas Storage Company (Gateway) is developing an underground natural gas storage facility, Gateway Gas Storage Facility (GGSF), 25km offshore south-west Barrow-in-Furness, UK, in the East Irish Sea.

The GGSF plant has a strong locational advantage for developing offshore salt cavern gas storage facilities, according to the British Geological Survey.

In my time at ICI in Runcorn, I learned a lot about salt caverns and once had a memorable trip into their salt mine under Winsford, which was large enough to accommodate Salisbury cathedral. A couple of years later, I worked with a lady, who arranged for ICI’s historic documents to be stored in the dry air of the mine.

Natural Gas Storage In Salt Caverns

This section in Wikipedia describes how caverns in salt formations are used to store natural gas.

In the 1960s, ICI used to create boreholes into the vast amount of salt, that lay below the surface and then by pumping in hot water, they were able to bring up a brine, which they then electrolysed to obtain chlorine, hydrogen, sodium hydroxide and sodium metal.

When they had taken as much salt out of a borehole, as they dared, they would move on.

Provided the salt stayed dry, it didn’t cause any problems.

It sounds like the Gateway Gas Storage Facility will use new caverns carefully created under the Irish Sea.

This document from the Department of Energy and Climate Change is an environmental impact assessment of the project.

It has a full description of the project.

The proposed gas storage facility will be located southwest of Barrow-in-Furness, approximately 24 km. offshore from Fylde, North West England. It will comprise 20 gas storage caverns created in the sub-seabed salt strata. A single well will be drilled at each cavern location, and the salt will be removed using seawater pumped down the well. The dissolved salt, or brine, will then be discharged directly to the sea. The size and shape of the caverns will be controlled using an established technique known as Solution Mining Under Gas (SMUG). At each well location, a monopod tower facility will be installed, to house the solution mining equipment required during the construction phase, and the gas injection and extraction wellhead equipment that will be required for the storage operations. It is proposed that the monopod towers will be drilled into position, although there is a contingency for them to be piled into place if drilling is not feasible.

A short pipeline and methanol feeder pipe will connect each wellhead facility to an 8 km. ‘ring main’ linking all the caverns. The ‘ring main’ will consist of a single 36″ diameter gas pipeline with a ‘piggy-backed’ 4″ methanol feeder line. Two 36″ diameter carbon steel pipelines will connect the ‘ring main’ to the onshore gas compressor station at Barrow. A 4″ methanol feeder line will be ‘piggy-backed’ on one of these pipelines. Power for the offshore facilities will be provided via a single cable laid alongside the more southerly of the two pipelines, with individual connections to each monopod tower. The offshore sections of the pipeline and cable systems up to the point of connection with the ‘ring main’ will be approximately 19 km. in length. The pipeline and cable systems will be trenched, and the trenches allowed to backfill naturally. Where necessary this will be supported by imported backfill. The trenches for the two 36″ pipelines will be approximately 20 metres apart, and the trench for the power cable will be approximately 10 m from the more southerly of the two pipelines. The two pipelines will cross the Barrow Offshore Windfarm power cable and the ‘ring main’ will cross the Rivers Field export pipeline and the Isle of Man power cables. All crossings will be suitably protected.

Note.

  1. The multiple cavern structure would surely allow different gases to be stored. Natural Gas! Hydrogen? Methanol? Carbon Dioxide?
  2. On this page of the Stag Energy web site, they state that forty caverns could be created, with each having the capability of storing around 75 million cubic metres of working gas.
  3. Converting that amount of natural gas to gigawatt-hours (GWh) gives a figure of around 800 GWh per cavern.
  4. This page on the Statista web site, shows that we used 811446 GWh of gas in 2020, so we will need around a thousand of these caverns to store our gas needs for a year.

It sounds just like the sort of gas storage project we need for a harsh winter.

In Do BP And The Germans Have A Cunning Plan For European Energy Domination?, I talked about BP’s plans for wind farms in the Irish Sea and speculated that they would create hydrogen offshore for feeding into the UK gas network.

The Gateway Gas Storage Facility would be ideal for holding the hydrogen created by electrolysis offshore.

Conclusion

The deal does seem to be one between equals, who have an enormous amount of practical knowledge of the energy industry.

I also think, that it will see full development of the Gateway Gas Storage Facility.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BP Plans To Turn Teesside Into First Green Hydrogen Hub

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

This is the first paragraph.

BP plans to build Britain’s biggest “green hydrogen” facility on Teesside to produce the clean fuel for use in new hydrogen-powered lorries and other transport.

Note.

The plans appear to be ambitious starting with a £100 million investment to build a 60 MW electrolyser by 2025, which would rise to as much as 500 MW by 2030.

The electrolyser will be paired with an upwards of a billion pound one gigawatt facility called H2Teesside, that will produce blue hydrogen.

I think there could be more to this than meets the eye.

Using The Carbon Dioxide Rather than Storing It!

I followed the carbon dioxide pipe from the CF fertiliser plant on Teesside using Google maps after seeing a film about it on the BBC. It goes to the Quorn factory and a massive greenhouse. I do wonder, if BP is talking to other companies, who also have a need for large quantities of good quality carbon dioxide.

One could be an Australian company, called Mineral Carbonation International, who have developed a process to convert carbon dioxide into building products like blocks and plasterboard. MCI won a prize at COP26, so could BP be looking at integrating one of these plants into their complex on Teesside?

The Electrolysers

Will BP be purchasing their electrolysers for green hydrogen from ITM Power in Sheffield?

This press release from ITM Power is entitled 12MW Electrolyser Sale.

The customer is not named, but could this be a starter kit for BP?

Alstom’s Hydrogen Aventras

In Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet, I came to this conclusion.

This modern hydrogen train from Alstom is what is needed.

I also felt there could be three similar trains; electric, battery-electric and hydrogen, which would help operators hedge their bets on what type of traction to use.

Teesside must be one of the more likelier places where the Hydrogen Aventras will be carrying passengers.

I wrote about this possibility in Alstom Hydrogen Aventras And Teesside.

A deal between BP and Alstom would surely be in the interest of both companies.

  • Alstom would get a local hydrogen supply.
  • BP would get a first sale.
  • BP would get excellent publicity and a local demonstration of the possibilities of hydrogen.

It might even be possible to supply the hydrogen by pipeline.

November 29, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments