The Anonymous Widower

European Company To Make All Wind Turbine Blades 100 % Recyclable, Plans To Build Six Recycling Factories

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

This sub-heading outlines what the company plans to do.

A Denmark-based company Continuum plans to make all wind turbine blades fully recyclable and stop landfilling and their emissions-intensive processing into cement with six industrial-scale recycling factories across Europe, backed by investment from the Danish venture capital firm Climentum Capital and a grant from the UK’s Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP).

Other points in the article include.

  • Continuum plan six factories.
  • The first factory will open at Esbjerg in Denmark in 2024 and will be able to accept end-of-life blades this year.
  • The second factory will be in the UK and it will be followed by others in France, Germany, Spain, and Turkey.
  • Each factory will have the capacity to recycle a minimum of 36,000 tonnes of end-of-life turbine blades per year.

This paragraph describes, what will happen to the recycled turbine blades.

The company will recycle wind turbine blades into composite panels for the construction industry and the manufacture of day-to-day products such as facades, industrial doors, and kitchen countertops.

Looking at their description of their mechanical separation process, I suspect that they could recycle other products and manufacture lots of others.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Design, Energy | , , , | 2 Comments

Denmark’s Bank Robbers Count The Cost Of Cashless Society

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

This is the second paragraph.

Figures from Finans Danmark, an industry association, show the number of attacks has collapsed in recent years as the shift towards online transactions has led many Danish banks to abandon cash services in branches. While there were 221 bank robberies in 2000, the number of hold-ups in Denmark fell to 121 in 2004, before declining to one in 2021 and none last year.

There were also no attacks on ATM machines.

Doing away with cash certainly cuts crime and it must be twelve years, since a Unite representative on Manchester buses told me he wanted cashless ticketing on Manchester’s buses and trams, as since it had been introduced in London, attacks on staff had declined dramatically.

I also wonder by how much the Income Tax take would rise?

January 3, 2023 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Danes Talk 62 MW Offshore Wind Turbines For North Sea Energy Island

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

The Danes may talk 62 MW, but that four times larger than one of the biggest today, that I wrote about in Vestas 15 MW Prototype Turbine Produces First Power.

This paragraph says a bit more about the 62 MW turbine.

According to the DEA’s framework document for the draft plan for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA), this could be a 500-metre-tall wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 480 metres and a capacity of up to 62 MW.

This turbine is bigger in terms of capacity, than  than some whole farms.

January 3, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 4 Comments

Gasunie Investigates Hydrogen Network In North Sea

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

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dogger Bank – The Joke That Is Growing Up To Be A Wind Powerhouse

The Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank, describes it like this.

Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about 100 kilometres (62 mi) off the east coast of England.

But many of my generation remember it from its use in the Shipping Forecast and as a joke place like the Balls Pond Road, Knotty Ash and East Cheam, in radio and TV comedy from the 1950s and 1960s.

But now it is being turned into one of the largest wind powerhouses!

According to Wikipedia’s list of the UK’s offshore wind farms, these wind farms are being developed on the Dogger Bank.

  • Sofia Offshore Wind Farm – 1400 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/26 – £39.65/MWh – RWE
  • Dogger Bank A – 1235 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/24 – £39.65/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Dogger Bank B – 1235 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Dogger Bank C – 1218 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Dogger Bank D – 1320 MW – Early Planning – SSE/Equinor
  • Dogger Bank South – 3000 MW – Early Planning – RWE

Note.

  1. These total up to 9408 MW.
  2. The Dogger Bank wind farms have their own web site.
  3. The Sofia offshore wind farm has its own web site.
  4. The Dogger Bank South wind farms have their own web site.
  5. Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B will connect to the National Grid at Creyke Beck to the North of Hull.
  6. Sofia and Dogger Bank C will connect to the National Grid at Lazenby on Teesside.

But this is only the start on the British section of the Dogger Bank.

This map, which comes courtesy of Energy Network Magazine and 4C Offshore is entitled 2001 UK Offshore Windfarm Map shows all UK offshore wind farms and their status. It looks to my naive mind, that there could be space for more wind farms to the North and West of the cluster of Digger Bank wind farms.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub

The UK doesn’t have full territorial rights to the Dogger Bank we share the bank with the Danes, Dutch and Germans.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Dogger Bank wind farm, this is said about the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in a project to build a North Sea Wind Power Hub complex on one or more artificial islands to be constructed on Dogger Bank as part of a European system for sustainable electricity. The power hub would interconnect the three national power grids with each other and with the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

A study commissioned by Dutch electrical grid operator TenneT reported in February 2017 that as much as 110 gigawatts of wind energy generating capacity could ultimately be developed at the Dogger Bank location.

Note.

  1. 110 GW shared equally would be 27.5 GW.
  2. As we already have 9.4 GW of wind power, under construction or in planning around the Dogger Bank, could we find space for the other 18.1 GW?
  3. I suspect we could squeeze it in.

If we can and the Danes, Dutch and Germans can generate their share, the four countries would each have a 27.5 GW wind farm.

What would put the icing on the cake, would be if there could be a massive battery on the Dogger Bank. It wouldn’t be possible now and many would consider it a joke. But who knows what the capacity of an underwater battery based on concrete, steel, seawater and masses of ingenuity will be in a few years time.

Where Does Norway Fit In To The North Sea Wind Power Hub?

It could be argued that Norway could also connect to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

  • 110 GW shared equally would be 22 GW.
  • Norway can build massive pumped storage hydroelectric power stations close to the landfall of an interconnector to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.
  • the British, Danes, Dutch and Germans can’t do that, as they don’t have any handy mountains.
  • Norway is a richer country the others involved in the project.

I can see Norway signing up to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

The North Sea Link

The Wikipedia entry for the North Sea Link, introduces it like this.

The North Sea Link is a 1,400 MW high-voltage direct current submarine power cable between Norway and the United Kingdom.

At 720 km (450 mi) it is the longest subsea interconnector in the world. The cable became operational on 1 October 2021.

It runs between Kvilldal in Norway and Blyth in Northumberland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the North Sea Link is modified, so that it has a connection to the North Sea Wind Power Hub.

 

 

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

North Seas Countries Commit To 260 GW Of Offshore Wind By 2050

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

The nine member countries of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) on Monday committed to at least 260 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.

The NSEC aims to advance offshore renewables in the North Seas, including the Irish and Celtic Seas, and groups Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission.

Note.

Intermediate targets are 76 GW by 2030 and 193 GW by 2040.

The UK has a target of 50 GW by 2030, of which 5 GW will be floating offshore wind.

The UK is not mentioned, but has joint projects with the Danes, Germans, Irish, Norwegians, Spanish and Swedes.

There is nothing about energy storage or hydrogen!

On the figures given, I think we’re holding our own. But then we’ve got more sea than anybody else.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Germany Has Potential For 82 GW Of Offshore Wind

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

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Germany has the potential to raise its offshore wind energy capacity to 81.6 GW which is above the federal government’s target of 70 GW by 2045, a study by research institute Fraunhofer IWES shows.

To exploit all the potential for wind energy in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, Germany needs to devise a strategy for more efficient use of the available space and use new offshore wind power technologies in additional areas in a way that will not raise concerns and affect nature conservation.

This map shows the German parts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Note.

  1. White lines show the borders with The Netherlands, Denmark and Poland.
  2. Heligoland in the South-East corner of the North Sea. Could this island be used as a giant offshore substation?
  3. There are plenty of ports to service offshore developments.
  4. It looks like compared to the UK, a fair proportion of German offshore wind farms will be closer to the land.

Currently, Germany has 7.8 GW of offshore wind in operation, with around seventy percent of the turbines in the North Sea.

According to the Wikipedia entry called Wind Power In The UK, in 2019, the UK had installed 8.4 GW of offshore wind turbines, and there could be a potential to have a total of 120 GW in British waters.

With the Belgians, Danes, Dutch, Irish, Norwegians, Poles and Swedes joining this party, I can see the world’s largest wind power station being developed in the North and Baltic Seas.

August 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Britannia With Help From Her Friends Can Rule The Waves And The Wind

The Government doesn’t seem to have published its future energy plans yet, but that hasn’t stopped the BBC speculating in this article on their web site, which is entitled Energy Strategy: UK Plans Eight New Nuclear Reactors To Boost Production.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Up to eight more nuclear reactors could be delivered on existing sites as part of the UK’s new energy strategy.

The plan, which aims to boost UK energy independence and tackle rising prices, also includes plans to increase wind, hydrogen and solar production.

Other points include.

  • Up to 95% of the UK’s electricity could come from low-carbon sources by 2030.
  • 50 gigawatts (GW) of energy through offshore wind farms, which  would be more than enough to power every home in the UK.
  • One of the big points of contention is thought to have been the construction of onshore wind turbines.
  • Targets for hydrogen production are being doubled to help provide cleaner energy for industry as well as for power, transport and potentially heating.
  • A new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas projects.
  • A heat pump accelerator program.

In this post I shall only be looking at one technology – offshore wind and in particular offshore floating wind.

Who Are Our Friends?

I will start with explaining, who I see as our friends, in the title of this post.

The Seas Around Us

If we are talking about offshore winds around the the UK, then the seas around the UK are surely our biggest and most-needed friend.

The Island Of Ireland

The seas are shared with the island of Ireland and the UK and the Republic must work together to maximise our joint opportunities.

As some of the largest offshore wind farm proposals, between Wales and Ireland involve a Welsh company called Blue Gem Wind, who are a partnership between Irish company; Simply Blue Energy, and French company; TotalEnergies, we already seem to be working with the Irish and the French.

The City Of London

Large insurance and pension companies, based in the City of London like, abrdn, Aviva, L & G and others are always looking for investments with which to provide income to back their insurance business and our pensions.

In World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, I describe why and how, Aviva back wind farms.

Germany

Germany are certainly on our side, despite being in a mess of Mutti Merkel’s making, because she got the country too deeply dependant on Vlad the Mad’s tainted gas.

  • German utilities are providing finance to build wind farms in British waters.
  • German company; Siemens is manufacturing turbine blades in Hull.
  • Germany wouldn’t mind buying any electricity and hydrogen we have spare. Especially, as we haven’t invaded them since 1944.

I suspect a mutually-beneficial relationship can be negotiated.

Norway

I have customised software for a number of countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United States and despite selling large numbers of systems to Norway, the Norwegians never requested any modifications.

They are generally easy-going people and they are great friends of the UK. They were certainly a fertile country for the sale of Artemis systems.

Just as the UK worked together with the Norwegians to deliver North Sea Oil, we are now starting to work together to develop renewable energy in the North Sea.

In UK To Norway Sub-Sea Green Power Cable Operational, I describe how we have built the North Sea Link with the Norwegians, which will link the British and Norwegian energy networks to our mutual benefit.

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I describe an ambitious plan called Northern Horizons, proposed by Norwegian company; Aker to build a 10 GW floating wind farm, which will be 120 km to the North-East of the Shetlands.

Floating Wind Turbines

This is the introduction of the Wikipedia entry for floating wind turbines.

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. Floating wind farms have the potential to significantly increase the sea area available for offshore wind farms, especially in countries with limited shallow waters, such as Japan, France and US West coast. Locating wind farms further offshore can also reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.

At its simplest a floating wind farm consists of a semi-submersible platform, which is securely anchored to the sea-bed to provide a firm platform on which to erect a standard wind turbine.

There are currently two operational floating wind farms off the East Coast of Scotland and one in the Atlantic off the Portuguese coast.

  • These wind farms are fairly small and use between three and five turbines to generate between 25-50 MW.
  • The largest current floating turbines are the 9.5 MW turbines in the Kincardine Wind Farm in Scotland, but already engineers are talking of 14 MW and 20 MW floating turbines.
  • Experience of the operation of floating wind turbines, indicates that they can have capacity factors in excess of 50 %.
  • Floating wind turbines can be erected on their floats in the safety of a port using a dockside crane and then towed into position.
  • Floating wind turbines can be towed into a suitable port for servicing and upgrading.

Many serious engineers and economists, think that floating wind farms are the future.

The Energy Density of Fixed Foundation And Floating Wind Farms

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I summarised the latest round of Scotwind offshore wind leases.

  • Six new fixed foundation wind farms will give a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².
  • Ten new floating wind farms will give a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Note.

  1. Floating wind farms have a small advantage in terms of energy density over those with fixed foundations.
  2. Suppose these energy densities are achieved using 14 MW turbines.
  3. Engineers are talking of 20 MW turbines.
  4. Using large turbines could increase the energy density by 20/14 or 43 %

We could see in a few years with 20 MW turbines, fixed foundation turbines having an energy density of 4.6 MW per km², with floating turbines having 5 MW per km².

The Potential Of A Ten-Mile Square In The Seas Around Us

I will assume.

  • It is at least 100 km from land.
  • The water would be at least 100 metres deep.
  • There are no structures in the area.

And calculate.

  • The area will be a hundred square miles, which is smaller than the county of Rutland.
  • This will be 259 square kilometres.

If it were to be filled with floating wind turbines at a density of 5 MW per km², the capacity would be 1300 MW or 1.3 GW.

There must be hundreds of empty ten-mile squares in the seas around us.

Offshore Hydrogen Production And Storage

I believe in the near future, that a lot of offshore wind energy will be converted to hydrogen offshore.

  • Electrolysers could be combined with wind turbines.
  • Larger electrolysers could be combined with sub-stations collecting the electricity.
  • In Torvex Energy, I discuss a method to create hydrogen from seawater, without having to desalinate the water. Surely, this technology would be ideal for offshore electrolysis.

Hydrogen would be brought to shore using pipelines, some of which could be repurposed from existing gas pipelines, that are now redundant, as the gas-fields they served have no gas left.

I also suspect that hydrogen could be stored in a handy depleted gas field or perhaps some form of specialist storage infrastructure.

Combining Wind And Wave Power In A Single Device

Marine Power Systems are a Welsh company, that has developed a semi-submersible structure, that can support a large wind turbine and/or a wave-power generator.

This is the mission statement on their home page.

Marine Power Systems is revolutionising the way in which we harvest energy from the world’s oceans.

Our flexible technology is the only solution of its type that can be configured to harness wind and wave energy, either as a combined solution or on their own, in deep water. Built on common platform our devices deliver both cost efficiency and performance throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Our structurally efficient floating platform, PelaFlex, brings excellent stability and straightforward deployment and maintenance. The PelaGen wave energy converter represents market-leading technology and generates energy at an extremely competitive cost of energy.

Through optimised farm layout and the combination of wind and wave energy, project developers can best exploit the energy resource for any given area of seabed.

We are unlocking the power of oceans.

There is a link on the page to more pages, that explain the technology.

It looks to me, that it is well-designed technology, that has a high-chance of being successful.

It should also be noted that according to this news page on the Marine Power Systems web site, which is entitled MPS Lands £3.5M Of Funding From UK Government, the UK government feel the technology is worth backing.

I certainly believe that if Marine Power Systems are not successful, then someone else will build on their original work.

If wind and wave power can successfully be paired in a single float, then this must surely increase the energy production at each float/turbine in the floating wind farm.

Energy Storage In Wind Turbines

The output of wind farms can be very variable, as the wind huffs and puffs, but I believe we will see energy storage in wind turbines to moderate the electricity and deliver a steadier output.

Using lithium-ion or other batteries may be possible, but with floating offshore turbines, there might be scope to use the deep sea beneath the float and the turbine.

Hybrid Wind Farms

In the latest round of Scotwind offshore wind leases, one wind farm stands out as different. Magnora ASA’s ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm is described as a floating offshore wind farm with a concrete floater.

I can see more wind farms built using this model, where there is another fixed or floating platform acts as control centre, sub-station, energy store or hydrogen electrolyser.

How Much Electricity Could Be Produced In UK And Irish Waters?

I will use the following assumptions.

  • Much of the new capacity will be floating wind turbines in deep water.
  • The floating wind turbines are at a density of around 5 MW per km²

This Google Map shows the British Isles.

I will look at various seas.

The Celtic Sea

The Celtic Sea is to the South-West of Wales and the South of Ireland.

In Blue Gem Wind, I posted this extract from the The Our Projects page of the Blue Gem Wind web site.

Floating wind is set to become a key technology in the fight against climate change with over 80% of the worlds wind resource in water deeper than 60 metres. Independent studies have suggested there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland. This renewable energy resource could play a key role in the UK meeting the 2050 Net-Zero target required to mitigate climate change. Floating wind will provide new low carbon supply chain opportunities, support coastal communities and create long-term benefits for the region.

Consider.

  • The key figure would appear 50 GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland.
  • Earlier I said that floating turbines can have a wind turbine density of 5 MW per km².
  • According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the Celtic Sea is 300,000 km².

To accommodate enough floating turbines to generate 50 GW would need 10000 km², which is a 100 km. square, or 3.33 % of the area of the Celtic Sea.

This wind generation capacity of 50 GW would appear to be feasible in the Celtic Sea and still leave plenty of space for the shipping.

The Irish Sea

According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the Irish Sea is 46,000 km².

Currently, there are ten wind farms in the Irish Sea.

  • Six are in English waters, three are in Welsh and one is in Irish.
  • None are more than sixteen kilometres from the coast.

The total power is 2.7 GW.

I feel that the maximum number of wind farms in the Irish Sea would not cover more than the 3.33 % proposed for the Celtic Sea.

3.33 % of the Irish Sea would be 1532 km², which could support 7.6 GW of wind-generated electricity.

I can’t leave the Irish Sea without talking about two wind farms Mona and Morgan, that are being developed by an enBW and BP joint venture, which I discussed in Mona, Morgan And Morven. This infographic from the joint venture describes Mona and Morgan.

That would appear to be a 3 GW development underway in the Irish Sea.

Off The Coast Of South-East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire

These wind farms are proposed in these areas.

Note.

All wind farms have comprehensive web sites or Wikipedia entries.

The total capacity of these wind farms is 22.5 GW

The North Sea

According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the North Sea is 570,000 km².

Would it is reasonable to assume, that perhaps a tenth of this area would be available for new wind farms in UK waters?

3.33 % of the available North Sea would be 1898 km², which could support 9.5 GW of wind-generated electricity.

On The East Coast Of Scotland

In Wind Farms On The East Coast Of Scotland, I summarised the wind farms off the East coast of Scotland, that are being built in a cluster in the First of Forth.

This map shows the proposed wind farms in this area.

There are five wind farms in the map.

  • The green area is the cable corridor for Seagreen 1a
  • Inch Cape is the odd-shaped wind farm to the North and West of the green area
  • Seagreen at the top of the map, to the North of Inch Cape.
  • Marr Bank with the pink NE-SW hatching
  • Berwick Bank with the green NW-SE hatching
  • Neart Na Gaoithe is edged in blue to the South of the green area.

Berwick Bank and Marr Bank are both owned by SSE and appear to have been combined.

The capacity of the wind farms can be summarised as follows.

  • Seagreen – 1075 MW
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW
  • Inch Cape – 1000 MW
  • Berwick Bank and Marr Bank – 4100 MW

This gives a total of 6625 MW or just over 6.6 GW.

Around The North Of Scotland

This map shows the latest successful ScotWind leases.

Note.

  1. Several of these proposed wind farms have detailed web sites.

These seventeen leases total up to 24.3 GW.

An Interim Total

I believe these figures are realisable.

  • Celtic Sea – 50 GW
  • Irish Sea – 7.6 GW – 3 GW already underway
  • South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire – 22.5 GW
  • North Sea – 9.5 GW
  • On The East Coast Of Scotland – 6.6 GW
  • Around The North Of Scotland – 24.3 GW

Note.

  1. I have tried to be as pessimistic as possible.
  2. Irish and North Sea estimates are based on Blue Gem Wind’s professional estimate for the Celtic Sea.
  3. I have used published figures where possible.

My estimates total up to 120.1 GW of extra wind-power capacity. As I write this, current UK electricity production is around 33 GW.

Vikings Will Invade

This Google Map shows the Faroe Islands, the North of Scotland, Norway and Denmark.

To get an idea of scale, the Shetland Isles are around 70 miles or 113 km. from North to South.

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I talked about Norwegian company; Aker Solutions’s plan for Northern Horizons.

  • It would be a 10 GW offshore floating wind farm 136 km to the North-East of the Shetlands.
  • This position would probably place it about halfway between the Faroes and the Norwegian coast.
  • The project is best described in this article on the Engineer, which is entitled Northern Horizons Plans Clean Energy Exports For Scotland.
  • In the article, there is a good graphic and a video.

This will be offshore engineering of the highest class, but then I first came across Norwegian offshore engineering like this in the 1970s, where nothing was too difficult for Norwegian engineers.

There are two major points to remember about the Norwegians.

  • They have the Sovereign Wealth Fund to pay for the massive investment in Northern Horizons.
  • They need to replace their oil and gas income, with a zero-carbon investment stream.

I feel that Northern Horizons will not be a one-off and the virgin sea in the map above will be liberally carpeted with more floating wind farms.

  • On Shetland, electricity can be fed into the UK grid.
  • On Norway, electricity can be fed into the Norwegian grid or stored in Norwegian pumped storage systems.
  • On Scotland, more pumped storage systems can be built to store energy.
  • Hydrogen can be piped to where it is needed to decarbonise heavy industry and transport.
  • Norwegian fjords, Shetland harbours, Scottish lochs and possibly Scapa Flow would be ideal places to assemble and service the giant floating turbines and build the other needed floating infrastructure.
  • I can also see Denmark getting in on the act, as they will probably want to decarbonise the Faroe Islands.

I estimate that between the Faroes, Scotland and Norway, there are 510,000 km² of virgin sea.

With a potential of 5 MW per km², that area has the potential to create an amazing amount of both electricity and hydrogen.

Exporting Power To Europe

There will need to be more interconnectors from the UK to Europe.

These are already working.

These are proposed.

There are also gas interconnectors, that could be converted to hydrogen.

This press release from National Grid, which is entitled Undersea Electricity Superhighways That Will Help Deliver Net Zero Move A Step Closer, has these bullet points.

  • Positive progress on plans for £3.4bn electricity super-highway projects – Scotland to England Green Links.
  • Ofgem opens consultation that recognises the “clear case” and “consumer benefit” of two subsea high voltage cables to transport clean between Scotland and England.
  • The cables form part of a planned 16 project £10 billion investment from National Grid to deliver on the government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030.

This paragraph expands on the work by National Grid to meet the third point.

These projects are part of National Grid’s work upgrading the electricity transmission system to deliver the UK government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030. In addition to the Eastern Links, it is developing 14 major projects across its network to facilitate the target representing a £10 billion investment. This includes two further Scotland to England high voltage links (also in partnership with the Scottish transmission network owners) and proposals in the Humber, Lincolnshire, East Midlands, North of England, Yorkshire, North Kent, as well as four in East Anglia (one of which is a proposed offshore link between Suffolk and Kent).

I think we can assume, that National Grid will do their part to allow the UK government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030 to be met.

Will The UK Have 40 GW Of Offshore Wind Generation By 2030?

In the Wikipedia entry for Windpower In The UK, this is the opening sentence.

The United Kingdom is one of the best locations for wind power in the world and is considered to be the best in Europe. By the beginning of March 2022, the UK had 11,091 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of over 24.6 gigawatts (GW): 14.1 GW of onshore capacity and 10.4 GW of offshore capacity.

It would appear an extra 30 GW of wind power is needed.

In An Interim Total earlier, I gave these figures.

  • Celtic Sea – 50 GW
  • Irish Sea – 7.6 GW – 3 GW already underway
  • South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire – 22.5 GW
  • North Sea – 9.5 GW
  • On The East Coast Of Scotland – 6.6 GW
  • ScotWind – 24.3 GW

The wind farms in South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire and ScotWind and Mona and Morgan are either being planned or under construction, and in many cases leases to construct wind farms are being paid.

I would feel, that at least 30 GW of these 56.4 GW of wind farms will be completed by 2030.

Conclusion

Boris’s vision of the UK becoming a Saudi Arabia of wind is no fantasy of a man with massive dreams.

Standard floating wind turbines, with the possibility of also harvesting wave power could be assembled in ports along the coasts, towed into position and then connected up.

Several GW of wind-power capacity could probably be added each year to what would become the largest zero-carbon power station in the world.

By harvesting the power of the winds and waves in the seas around the British Isles it is an engineering and mathematical possibility, that could have been developed by any of those great visionary Victorian engineers like Armstrong, Bazalgette, Brunel and Reynolds, if they had had access to our modern technology.

Up Yours! Putin!

 

 

 

April 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Offshore Service Facilities

Some years ago at a wedding in The Netherlands, I got talking to a Dutch engineer, who had a lot to do with the creation of the Delta Works.

Also in The Netherlands, I visited the Watersnoodmuseum, which describes the floods in the Netherlands, that brought about the Delta Works.

So I was not surprised to see the spectacular offshore construction ideas talked about on the Offshore Service Facilities web site.

The site talks about a project to create a four GW wind farm, eighty kilometres off the coast, all serviced from an artificial island.

This is their overview of what they call the IJVER project.

IJmuiden Ver (IJVER) is one of the designated wind farm areas under the Dutch offshore wind road map 2030. With a capacity of at least 4 GW and a distance to shore of approximately 80 km, it is currently the largest foreseen Dutch wind farm zone, and the furthest from shore. The area also includes legacy oil & gas asset, including several gas pipelines that can be retrofitted to transport other gasses such as hydrogen or for CCS-purposes.

Note.

  1. 80 km. is not far offshore, when you consider the UK’s Dogger Bank C wind farm is 196 km from Teesside.
  2. There are depleted gas fields for storage and pipelines to transport gases to and from the shore.

This page describes the concept, starting with this introductory paragraph.

A multi-purpose island provides additional benefits over fixed offshore platforms (so-called jackets). It stimulates the energy transition, drives down the costs of the renewable energy transition, creates room for nature inclusive island design, facilitates Research & Development (R&D) and innovation, creates a safe working environment, as well as additional economic opportunities.

One feature they are proposing is an interconnector to the UK.

In Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?, I suggested that Bacton, Sizewell and Felixstowe could be places, where wind power from the North Sea were to be landed.

Distances to the IJVER island would be as follows.

  • Bacton – 85 miles
  • Sizewell – 77 miles
  • Felixstowe – 92 miles

These distances are feasible for an interconnector.

There is this explanatory video.

Conclusion

My experience of the Dutch, their civil and marine engineers and their creations, indicates to me, that the Dutch could build an island like this.

Once you have built the island and it can stand up to the weather, you could of course fit it out how you want. Even with a football pitch, as shown in the video.

As with many ideas, the realisation of this concept will depend on the costs involved.

It should be noted, that some UK wind farms have been built with offshore substations, but nothing appears to be as ambitious as this idea and is probably based on proven oil and gas platform technology.

The Dutch also have plans with the Germans and the Danes to create the North Sea Wind Power Hub in the middle of the North Sea.

  • This would probably connect to the UK’s Dogger Bank wind farms.
  • It would feed electricity as required to the countries around the North Sea.
  • Hydrogen could be created on the hub.
  • Over a hundred GW of electricity could be generated according to some forecasts.

I like the concept of the North Sea Wind Power Hub and suspect that the Dutch will see it built.

February 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK National Grid In Talks To Build An Energy Island In The North Sea

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

This is the first paragraph.

UK company National Grid has revealed it is in talks with two other parties about building an “energy island” in the North Sea that would use wind farms to supply clean electricity to millions of homes in north-west Europe.

These are my thoughts.

An Artificial Island on the Dogger Bank

The idea of the North Sea Wind Power Hub in the area of the Dogger Bank has been around for a few years and has a comprehensive Wikipedia entry.

Wikipedia says that it would be an artificial island on the Dutch section of the Dogger Bank and the surrounding sea could eventually host up to 110 GW of wind turbines.

North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme

The Dutch and the Danes seems to have moved on and there is now a web site for the North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme.

The home page is split into two, with the upper half entitled Beyond The Waves and saying.

The incredible story of how the Netherlands went beyond technical engineering as it had ever been seen before. Beyond water management. To secure the lives of millions of inhabitants.

I have met Dutch engineers, who designed and built the Delta Works after the North Sea Floods of 1953 and I have seen the works all over the country and it is an impressive legacy.

And the lower half of the home page is entitled North Sea Wind Power Hub and saying.

Today, climate policy is largely national, decoupled and incremental. We need a new approach to effectively realise the potential of the North Sea and reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. We take a different perspective: harnessing the power of the North Sea requires a transnational and cross-sector approach to take the step-change we need.

Behind each half are two videos, which explain the concept of the programme.

It is a strange web site in a way.

  • It is written totally in English with English not American spelling.
  • The project is backed by Energinet, Gasunie and TenneT, who are Danish and Dutch companies, that are responsible for gas and electricity distribution networks in Denmark, Ger,many and The Netherlands.
  • There are four sections to the web site; Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and North Sea.

It is almost as if the web site has been designed for a British company to join the party.

Hubs And Spokes In North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme

If you watch the videos on the site, they will explain their concept of hubs and spokes, where not one but several energy islands or hubs will be connected by spokes or electricity cables and/or hydrogen pipelines to each other and the shore.

Many electrical networks on land are designed in a similar way, including in the UK, where we have clusters of power stations connected by the electricity grid.

The Dogger Bank

The Dogger Bank is a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea about 100 kilometres off the east coast of England.

Wikipedia says this about the geography of the Dogger Bank.

The bank extends over about 17,600 square kilometres (6,800 sq mi), and is about 260 by 100 kilometres (160 by 60 mi) in extent. The water depth ranges from 15 to 36 metres (50 to 120 ft), about 20 metres (65 ft) shallower than the surrounding sea.

As there are Gunfleet Sands Wind Farm and Scroby Sands Wind Farm and others, on sandbanks in the North Sea, it would appear that the engineering of building wind farms on sandbanks in the North Sea is well understood.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm

We are already developing the four section Dogger Bank Wind Farm in our portion of the Dogger Bank and these could generate up to 4.8 GW by 2025.

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm has its own web site, which greets you with this statement.

Building the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

At 4.8 GW, it will be 45 % larger than Hinckley Point C nuclear power station, which is only 3.3 GW. So it is not small.

The three wind farms; Dogger Bank A, B and C will occupy 1670 square kilometres and generate a total of 3.6 GW or 0.0021 GW per square kilometre.

If this density of wind turbines could be erected all over the Dogger Bank, we could be looking at nearly 40 GW of capacity in the middle of the North Sea.

Interconnectors Across The North Sea

This Google Map shows the onshore route of the cable from the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Note.

  1. Hull and the River Humber at the bottom of the map.
  2. The red arrow which marks Creyke Beck sub station, where the cable from the Dogger Bank Wind Farm connects to the UK electricity grid.
  3. At the top of the map on the coast is the village of Ulrome, where the cable comes ashore.

The sub station is also close to the Hull and Scarborough Line, so would be ideal to feed any electrification erected.

I would assume that cables from the Dogger Bank Wind Farm could also link the Wind Farm to the proposed Dutch/Danish North Sea Wind Power Hub.

Given that the cables between the wind farms and Creyke Beck could in future handle at least 4.8 GW and the cables from the North Sea Wind Power Hub to mainland Europe would probably be larger, it looks like there could be a very high capacity interconnector between Yorkshire and Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands.

It almost makes the recently-opened North Sea Link to Norway, which is rated at 1.4 GW seem a bit small.

The North Sea Link

The North Sea Link is a joint project between Statnett and National Grid, which cost €2 billion and appears to have been delivered as planned, when it started operating in October 2021.

So it would appear that National Grid have shown themselves capable of delivering their end of a complex interconnector project.

Project Orion And The Shetlands

In Do BP And The Germans Have A Cunning Plan For European Energy Domination?, I introduced Project Orion, which is an electrification and hydrogen hub and clean energy project in the Shetland Islands.

The project’s scope is described in this graphic.

Note that Project Orion now has its own web site.

  • Could the Shetlands become an onshore hub for the North Sea Power Hub Programme?
  • Could Icelink, which is an interconnector to Iceland be incorporated?

With all this renewable energy and hydrogen, I believe that the Shetlands could become one of the most prosperous areas in Europe.

Funding The Wind Farms And Other Infrastructure In The North Sea

In World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, I described how Aviva were funding the Hornsea wind farm.

I very much believe that City of London financial institutions will be able to finance a lot of the developments in the North Sea.

After all National Grid managed to find a billion euros in a sock drawer to fund their half of the North Sea Link.

Electrifying The North Sea: A Gamechanger For Wind Power Production?

The title of this section, is the same as that of this article on Engineering and Technology Magazine.

This article in the magazine of the IET is a serious read and puts forward some useful facts and interesting ideas.

  • The EU is targeting offshore wind at 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050.
  • The UK is targeting offshore wind at 40 GW by 2030.
  • The article explains why HVDC electricity links should be used.
  • The major players in European offshore wind are the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark.
  • The foundations for a North Sea grid, which could also support the wider ambitions for a European super-grid, are already forming.
  • A North Sea grid needs co-operation between governments and technology vendors. as well as technological innovation.
  • National Grid are thinking hard about HVDC electrical networks.
  • By combining HVDC links it can be possible to save a lot of development capital.
  • The Danes are already building artificial islands eighty kilometres offshore.
  • Electrical sub-stations could be built on the sea-bed.

I can see that by 2050, the North Sea, South of a line between Hull and Esbjerg in Denmark will be full of wind turbines, which could generate around 300 GW.

Further Reading

There are various articles and web pages that cover the possibility of a grid in the North Sea.

I shall add to these as required.

Conclusion

I am coming to the conclusion that National Grid will be joining the North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme.

  • They certainly have the expertise and access to funding to build long cable links.
  • The Dogger Bank wind farm would even be one of the hubs in the planned hub and spoke network covering the North Sea.
  • Only a short connection would be needed to connect the Dogger Bank wind farm, to where the Dutch and Danes originally planned to build the first energy island.
  • There may be other possibilities for wind farm hubs in the UK section of the North Sea. Hornsea Wind Farm, which could be well upwards of 5 GW is surely a possibility.
  • Would it also give access to the massive amounts of energy storage in the Norwegian mountains, through the North Sea Link or Nord.Link between Norway and Germany.

Without doubt, I know as a Control Engineer, that the more hubs and spokes in a network, the more stable it will be.

So is National Grid’s main reason to join is to stabilise the UK electricity grid? And in turn, this will stabilise the Danish and Dutch grids.

 

October 9, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments