The Anonymous Widower

The Australian Tycoon With Designs On U.S. Coal Mines

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

The article is a must-read, as it is an interview with Andrew Forrest about his very strong views on the future of the coal industry in the United States.

This is a typical question from the interview and Forrest’s forthright answer.

Biden put jobs at the center of his climate messaging. Does the messenger actually need to be someone with a track record of creating jobs?

It’s a bloody good point. I think I can deliver that message much stronger, because I’m not a politician. I’m not looking for votes, this is the hardcore reality.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rio Tinto’s Big Energy Project Attracts Multiple Bidders

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

The article has this subtitle.

The company seeks to offset its power consumption with a massive renewable plant.

These two paragraphs introduce the project.

British and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has attracted multiple bids for a massive renewable power infrastructure project.

The company currently seeks suppliers to build up to 4GW of renewable generation for its alumina and aluminium operations in Queensland, Australia. Speaking to the Melbourne Mining Club, the company’s CEO of Australia, Kellie Parker, said that it had received proposals for “a lot more than 4GW”. Parker also said that construction of the project “would not be easy” due to the cost of construction for Australian projects.

In the UK, we may talk of wind farms like Hornsea, which could produce 6 GW, but the Aussies can produce similar amounts of energy from the sun.

This will be the fourth major renewable power development in Australia to be announced in the last few months.

Australia is certainly looking to power the world.

Energy Storage

Rio Tinto are also talking about energy storage, as other systems of this type and size do. Could this be one of a number of Australian projects mentioned on the Highview Power web site?

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Energy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will We See More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

In this blog, I have talked about various deals, where two or more countries and/or companies are getting together to generate electricity in one country and transfer it to another, either as electricity or as hydrogen

Examples include.

There are also all the hydrogen deals done by Fortescue Future Industries.

Where Are There Possibilities Of More Multi-Country Renewable Energy Deals?

These are a few serious possibilities.

Argentina

This is an extract from this page on Wind Energy International, which is entitled Argentina.

Argentina has an estimated technical wind energy potential of 300 GW. In southern Patagonia (Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces), average wind speeds range between 9.0 and 11.2 m/s, whereas in the north (Neuquén and Río Negro provinces), wind speeds range from 7.2 to 8.4 m/s. The general average capacity factor for Argentina is 35% and in the Patagonia region it ranges between as much as 47% and 59%. Especially in Northwest Patagonia, locally known as the Comahue region, hydro and wind may seasonally complement each other and.benefit both technologies. One other promising region for wind power development is the Atlantic sea coast.

As I wrote in Australia’s FFI Plans $8.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Project In Argentina, it appears that Andrew Forrest and FFI are already on the ground.

Australia

There are already three major schemes based on Australia and I am certain they will be more. Especially, as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will need the zero-carbon energy.

It would appear that except for the Australia-Asia PowerLink, the energy will be transferred as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh wouldn’t be on the lists of many, where ideal countries for renewable energy are being discussed.

But, this report on Energy Tracker Asia is entitled The Renewable Energy Potential of Bangladesh, where this is said.

A report investigating the renewable energy technical capacity of Bangladesh found that the country could deploy up to 156 GW of utility-scale solar on 6,250 km2 of land and 150 GW of wind. Offshore wind power would account for 134 GW of this total capacity.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bangladesh, supplying renewable energy to the East, with international companies and organisations developing the renewable infrastructure.

I think it should be noted that international companies flock to countries, where the investment opportunities are good. That has happened in the UK, with offshore wind, where many wind farms have been developed by companies such as Equinor, Iberola, RWE and Wattenfall.

Chile

Chile has started to develop the 100,000 square kilometres of the Atacama Desert for solar power and I wrote about this in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

This sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Energy In Chile, illustrates the potential of solar power in the Atacama Desert.

In 2013, Total S.A. announced the world’s largest unsubsidised solar farm would be installed with assistance from SunPower Corp into Chile’s Atacama desert.

I also wrote Chile Wants To Export Solar Energy To Asia Via 15,000km Submarine Cable, about Chile’s ambitions to supply Asia with energy.

Ethiopia

Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Future Industries is on the case, as I wrote in Fortescue Future Industries Enters Ethiopia to Produce Green Energy.

North Africa

Consider.

  • The major North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, all have and depend on to a certain extent on fossil fuels.
  • There are gas pipelines to Spain and Italy.
  • Morocco will be the Southern end of the Morocco-UK Power Project, if it gets developed.
  • All five countries have some nuclear power stations.
  • All five countries have lots of sun for solar power.
  • Some Saharan countries to the South of Morocco, Algeria and Libya could also provide energy from the sun.
  • Egypt has substantial hydro-electric power on the River Nile.
  • Egypt will be connected to Greece through the EuroAfrica Interconnector.

I believe that a well-designed and co-ordinated project could generate a lot of electricity and hydrogen for Europe and bring much-needed income and employment to North Africa.

I feel that if the Morocco-UK Power Project can be successfully built, then this could create a flurry of activity all over North Africa.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a problem. As the rest of the world moves away from fossil fuels in the next few decades, they will see the revenues from oil and natural gas come under pressure.

But as a rich country, with 2.15 million km² of land and lots of sun, they must have some potential to generate solar electricity.

In the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Saudi Arabia, this is said.

The Saudi agency in charge of developing the nations renewable energy sector, Ka-care, announced in May 2012 that the nation would install 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2032.[2] It was projected to be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal, and 16 GW of photovoltaics. At the time of this announcement, Saudi Arabia had only 0.003 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. A total of 24 GW of renewable energy was expected by 2020, and 54 GW by 2032.

Wikipedia also says that Saudi Arabia also has nuclear ambitions.

I can see that Saudi Arabia will replace some of their oil and gas exports with green hydrogen.

July 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Mining Billionaire Touts A Green Revolution In U.S. Coal Country — With Skepticism Trailing Close Behind

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

It is a definite must-read about Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, making one of the most difficult hydrogen pitches in the world, to coal miners in West Virginia.

Perhaps we need Mr Forrest to convince the RMT, that their views are wrong and so nineteenth century.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fortescue Future Industries Enters Ethiopia to Produce Green Energy

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on 2Merkato, which describes itself as Ethiopia’s biggest business portal.

This is the first paragraph.

Ethiopia grants license to Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia. Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, noted that the company would increase Ethiopia’s access to green energy.

FFI seems to buying hydrogen from everywhere.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , | 1 Comment

Aussie Billionaire Aims To Mine $8bn US Fund For Coal-To-Hydrogen Industrial Conversion

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Twiggy Forrest-owned Fortescue’s project to tap renewable energy on Washington state grid – where surplus hydroelectric power usually exported to Canada and western seaboard – for clean hydrogen production at Centralia site.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), owned by Australian billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, is planning to convert a former coal mine in US state of Washington into a green hydrogen production facility, using funds it hopes to win from the federal government’s $8bn H2 hub fund, the company said on Friday.

These are some other points about FFI’s plans.

  • A former coal mine will be converted into a green hydrogen production facility.
  • The facility will be located at Industrial Park at TransAlta.
  • It will use 300 MW of renewable electricity.
  • Production of green hydrogen will be 110 tonnes per day or 40,000 tonnes per year.

Hopefully, they will have Federal Funds to support the development.

The article also details other hydrogen developments in the United States, with hydrogen hubs earmarked for New England, Midwest, West Virginia and Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

It certainly looks that the United States is getting serious about hydrogen.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Could Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Hydrogen Help Europe Ditch Russian Energy?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Motley Fool Australia.

This is the first paragraph.

Green hydrogen may help interrupt the Kremlin’s ability to conduct “war games”, says Fortescue chief Andrew Forrest.

I very much think that Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is right.

My last three hydrogen articles were.

If the projects in these articles don’t blow the bottom out of the market for Russia’s bloodstained gas, with a little bit of help from Twiggy’s hydrogen kanganaut, then I’ll be very surprised. Especially, as countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Morocco, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States are all planning to produce green hydrogen in large quantities.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Twiggy Save The World?

This article on the Sydney Morning Herald is entitled ‘No One’s Married To Coal’: How Forrest Is Taking On The World To Save The Climate.

The article is the story of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Damascene conversion to hydrogen.

 

These three paragraphs sums up Andrew Forrest‘s vision and ambitions.

Forrest’s companies, including its mining arm, Fortescue, and its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, would be net zero by 2030. This would necessitate inventing and then developing hydrogen-powered trucks, trains and ships. This way the mining operation would avoid burning up to a billion litres in diesel a year.

The project would include the construction of vast solar and wind power stations in the Pilbara that would create green hydrogen to first fuel the trains, trucks and ships of the iron ore empire and then for export to a clean-energy starved world. The electrolysers needed to make the hydrogen for the early phases of the plan would be built by a vast new factory in Queensland, that itself would double the global supply of the machines.

Hydrogen would soon become the world’s largest shipborne trade. The Fortescue revolution would occur at a blistering pace set by the demands of addressing global warming, and it would be done for profit, to remove the excuses of governments and businesses that objected to ambitious climate action.

Note.

  1. How many other companies are intending to be net-zero by 2030?
  2. Certainly not many Chinese, German or Russian companies.
  3. And how many companies have planned to achieve net-zero at a profit?

If Forrest achieves his ambitions, the world will be a much better place.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest Snaps Up Pilbara And Gascoyne Cattle Stations For Green Energy Production

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, purchasing another three cattle stations in the state’s north-west to generate renewable energy.

These are some points for the article.

  • Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased three cattle stations in northern WA
  • The stations will continue to run stock, and contribute to the production of green energy
  • FFI says it is looking at other parts of WA to acquire land for similar projects
  • The energy created will be used to decarbonise Andrew Forrest’s mining operations by 2030.
  • A renewable hub of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels will be created, which will generate 5 GW of energy.
  • The possibility of offshore energy is mentioned.
  • There is no mention of energy storage.

I have a few thoughts.

For A Reliable 5 GW Of Energy, Storage Is Surely Needed

I would think that this is probably understood by Fortescue Future Industries and given their ambitions for hydrogen, this must surely be part of an energy storage strategy.

Will Hydrogen Be Exported By Fortescue Future Industries From Australia?

I would expect this depends on three things.

  • How much green energy is generated.
  • The energy needs of Andrew Forrest’s mining companies.
  • How much hydrogen can be sold in Australia.

Fortescue Future Industries will certainly have the market, if they have a surplus.

How Much Energy Will Fortescue Future Industries Generate Per Hectare?

This paragraph from the article gives useful information.

The hub would consist of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels across Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a development envelope of more than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of more than 10,000 hectares.

  • If you look at the 65,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.77 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at the 10,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.5 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at Shell’s Scotwind E2 lease, that is 2 GW in 86,000 hectares, where 0.023 MW is generated per hectare.

So on a brief look Australia is a more efficient place for renewable energy, than the seas around the UK.

Conclusion

Andrew Forrest is developing a more detailed plan.

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment