The Anonymous Widower

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.

This is the sub-title.

In the area of hydrogen production, the Netherlands has a sizeable climate target to meet. The North Sea offers opportunities for generating the required green energy through wind farms. Werna Udding, responsible for offshore hydrogen at Gasunie, explains: ‘We are already working on the national hydrogen network on land. And now, together with other parties, we are also investigating the possibilities of creating an offshore hydrogen network.’

Note, that according to Wikipedia, Gasunie is a Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company operating in the Netherlands and Germany.

The first paragraph outlines the project.

Green hydrogen will play an important role in the energy transition. It will be used to help to make industry and heavy transport more sustainable, for example, and will serve as a feedstock for the chemical industry. ‘It’s with this in mind that the Netherlands has set itself an ambitious target for the production of hydrogen: 4 gigawatts in 2030 – and we are even thinking about doubling that target figure,’ says Werna. Internationally, the bar is set even higher. Last summer, the Netherlands signed the Esbjerg Declaration with Denmark, Germany and Belgium, in which they have agreed to develop the North Sea as a ‘green power plant’. By 2030, they want to produce 65 gigawatts of offshore wind power, 20GW of which is earmarked for the production of green hydrogen. And Werna believes that could be even more: ‘Minister Jetten (Climate and Energy Policy) has commissioned research into seeing whether 70GW of offshore wind energy can be realised by 2050.’

Note, that the numbers are large but are the UK’s numbers large enough given that we have a greater area of sea.

There are four more sections.

  • Scope For Large-Scale Power Generation
  • Hydrogen Network For Transport To Shore
  • Start Eight Away
  • Public Or Private

The whole news article is a must-read to get a feel for Dutch thinking on how to develop offshore wind power and green hydrogen.

Conclusion

I like the concept of a hydrogen network for transport to shore, as the gas is delivered to the gas terminal in the form it will be used.

Surely, it would be best if gas and electricity are delivered to shore in the proportions, they will be used?

Electrolysers don’t seem to be an industrial hazard, but my electrical experience says that any equipment like substations and electrolysers, which handle large amounts of energy should be placed in the safest location possible.

 

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

Denny Bros Completes Solar Scheme At Bury St Edmunds Factory

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

This is the sub-title.

An energy-hungry manufacturer has completed a huge £0.5m solar array across its roofs – which on a good day can power the whole operation and more.

This Google Map from a few months ago, shows the incomplete array.

A more recent picture in the article, shows the top building with solar panels on the roof.

According to another report in the East Anglian Daily Times, the company turns over about eight millions.

As Denny Brothers appears to be a well-run company, that is partly employee-owned, the numbers must add up.

Incidentally, the article was displayed with two adverts; one for a solar panel company and the other for the well-known employee-owned company; John Lewis.

I suppose that’s the way the cookie rumbles!

I certainly don’t regret installing solar panels on my flat roof!

What About A Couple Of Wind Turbines?

I ask this question, as some MPs want to allow more onshore wind, providing the natives don’t mind.

I wrote about onshore wind in Chancellor Confirms England Onshore Wind Planning Reform and I think that in the right place they are acceptable.

I know the Government has changed since September, but if you look at the Google Map above, I suspect a couple of turbines could be squeezed in and they probably would be in Germany.

 

 

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | 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
  • Doggerbank A – 1235 MW – Under Construction – Commissioning in 2023/24 – £39.65/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank B – 1235 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank C – 1218 MW – Pre-Construction – Commissioning in 2024/25 – £41.61/MWh – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank D – 1320 MW – Early Planning – SSE/Equinor
  • Doggerbank 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. Doggerbank A and Doggerbank B will connect to the National Grid at Creyke Beck to the North of Hull.
  5. Sofia and Doggerbank 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

German Startup EVIA AERO Commits To Hydrogen-Powered Britten-Norman Islanders

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

These two paragraphs outline the deal.

EVIA AERO has signed a letter of intent with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) to increase its order for hydrogen modification kits and aircraft. As part of the agreement, the startup airline expects to receive five additional hydrogen modification kits and ten 19-seat aircraft.

The hydrogen modification kits are designed to power the nine-seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft and come in addition to a previous order with CAeS for 10 kits.

I can remember seeing the Islander prototype at a Farnborough Air Show in the mid-1960s on the BBC with commentary from the iconic Raymond Baxter.

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

BP To Open Offshore Wind Office In Germany, Starts Recruitment Drive

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

This is the first paragraph, which adds a bit more information.

Global energy major bp plans to open an office in Hamburg, Germany dedicated to the development of offshore wind projects and is in the process of seeking employees for the new office.

These are other points from the article.

  • The topic of wind power is being promoted particularly in Hamburg.
  • BP said that the company has already achieved a number of milestones in the field of wind energy.
  • In cooperation with EnBW, bp is currently developing several wind farms in the Irish and Scottish Seas.
  • Similar plans already exist for the Netherlands.
  • The energy major would also like to supply charging stations for electric vehicles with green electricity.
  • In Germany, wind and solar energy should account for 80 per cent of electricity generation by 2030, compared to today’s 42 per cent.
  • Offshore wind energy is planned to grow seven times by 2045.

I believe that BP’s project expertise and management, backed by billions of German euros could be a complimentary dream team.

October 31, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RWE Looking for Innovators To Boost UK’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain

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

RWE appear to be looking for innovators in three areas.

  • Autonomous solutions and the best way to integrate them into wind farm site investigations, construction, and operations and maintenance (O&M) is the first challenge for which RWE is looking for responses.
  • The second challenge is about solutions to measure and reduce the environmental impacts of offshore wind farm construction and operations on birds.
  • The last challenge focuses on ideas and innovations in cable monitoring and protection, aiming to secure a reduction in offshore wind farm cable failures.

As sums of around £25,000 are talked about in the article, it could be worth applying, if you have a relevant idea.

Is it slightly flattering to the UK’s skills, that a German company is backing British innovation?

But then I was involved in a British invention, which was also backed by the Germans and made me a reasonable amount of money.

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | 1 Comment

National Grid’s North Sea Link Strengthens Electricity Supply And Repays Its Carbon Cost In Just Six Months

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

These are three bullet points from the press release.

  • World’s longest subsea electricity cable has been in operation since Oct 2021.
  • 5.7 terawatt (TWh) hours of clean power have been shared between GB and Norway, strengthening security of supply for consumers in both countries.
  • It has saved 800,000 tonnes of carbon in the first year, paying off its carbon cost after only six months of operation.

This must surely be considered a good start.

These two paragraphs describe the operation in the first year.

During its first year of operation, the link has imported 4.6 TWh of clean electricity – enough to power 1.5 million British homes for a year.

North Sea Link has also exported 1.1 TWh to Norway, demonstrating the vital role that interconnectors play in strengthening energy security and maximising the benefits of clean energy sources for consumers across the UK and Europe.

In The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter, I describe what makes the North Sea Link so important.

It gives the UK access to the Norwegian Bank Of Electricity or Ulla-Førre, which is a complex of five hydroelectric power stations and a massive lake in the Norwegian mountains to the East of Stavanger.

  • The power stations have a total generating capacity of 2.1 GW.
  • Lake Blåsjø is able to hold enough water to generate 7800 GWh of electricity.
  • Ulla-Førre can also supply electricity to Germany, through the 1.4 GW NordLink.

If Ulla-Førre has a problem, it is that if Norwegian weather is dry, the filling of Lake Blåsjø could be difficult, which is where the interconnector comes into its own, as excess UK wind power or the 1,185 MW Hartlepool nuclear power station, can be used to send electricity to Norway for storage.

In An Update To Will We Run Out Of Power This Winter?, I predicted we will add the following capacity to our renewable generation in the next three years.

  • 2023 – 2925 MW
  • 3024 – 3726 MW
  • 2025 – 6476 MW

This is a total of 13,127 MW.

As a Control Engineer, I can see the following happening.

  • Several of the UK’s gas-fired power stations will be mothballed.
  • Some of the UK’s gas-fired power stations will be fitted with advanced control systems so they can supply more precise amounts of electricity.
  • Some UK electricity is stored in Ulla-Førre for onward sale to Germany.
  • Some UK electricity is stored in Ulla-Førre for withdrawal back to the UK, when needed.

One of Ulla-Førre’s main tasks could be to ensure that no UK electricity is wasted.

Conclusion

With all these wind generated electricity and electricity transfers, the Crown Estate, National Grid and the Treasury should be coining it.

The Germans are already building the 1.4 GW NeuConnect between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven to import more electricity.

But I do believe that another interconnector will be needed.

 

 

 

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alstom’s Coradia iLint Successfully Travels 1,175 km Without Refueling Its Hydrogen Tank

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

This paragraph describes the trip.

Alstom, global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has demonstrated the effectiveness of its hydrogen powered solutions for long distance transportation. During a long-distance journey, an unmodified serially-produced Coradia iLint train covered 1,175 kilometres without refuelling the hydrogen tank, only emitting water and operating with very low levels of noise. The vehicle used for this journey comes from the fleet belonging to LNVG (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen), the transport authority of Lower Saxony, and has been in regular passenger operation on the network of evb (Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH) since mid-August. For the project, Alstom also partnered with the gas and engineering company Linde.

The distance is around 730 miles.

This paragraph describes the detailed route.

Starting in Bremervörde, the route took the Coradia iLint across Germany. From Lower Saxony, where the hydrogen train was built and developed by Alstom, it travelled through Hesse to Bavaria, all the way to Burghausen near the German-Austrian border before coming to a stop in Munich. Following this remarkable journey, the train will now head for the German capital. Several trips through Berlin are on the agenda as part of InnoTrans 2022, the premier International Trade Fair for Transport Technology, to be held from 20 to 23 September.

It looks to be a good test of a hydrogen-powered train.

It looks like Alstom believe that hydrogen trains can replace diesel ones, providing there is a source of hydrogen.

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 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

Cummins Fuel Cell Technology Powers Coradia iLint Fleet In Germany

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

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins is powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains (earlier post) are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train fleet arrived in mid-summer.

I rode  the prototype in March 2019 and wrote My First Ride In An Alstom Coradia iLint.

I took this picture at the time.

Note.

  1. The new fleet seem to have a slightly different front end with a snow plough, and a new colour scheme.
  2. According to the article, the Cummins fuel cell systems were assembled in Germany.

I have a few thoughts.

Cummins Fuel Cells

I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see that Cummins fuel cells are being used, as most other companies seem to be using Ballard.

But, having worked with Cummins on diesel engine testing and seen their thoroughness, I’m sure that their fuel cells will do a good job.

Is The Cummins Choice About Marketing?

Consider.

  • Alstom has manufactured or assembled trains for the US market at Hornell, New York.
  • Cummins is a large United States company.
  • United States and Canadian railways are standard gauge, like most of Europe.
  • United States and Canadian railways have a lot of track mileage without electrification.
  • United States and Canadian railways use right hand running as does Germany.
  • The Coradia iLint doesn’t need any electrification.
  • The Coradia iLint has a range of 600–800 kilometres (370–500 mi) on a full tank of hydrogen.

I suspect that a German-specification, Coradia iLint might be possible to run in the United States and Canada, with only a different interior and signage.

If you are an Alstom train salesman in the United States, selling a commuter train to American cities and transit authorities, must be easier if the train has a substantial United States content.

I don’t think Cummins will be worried that the smart new train has their fuel cells, as it might help convert truck, van and car drivers to Cummins hydrogen technology.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, that Alstom got a premium deal from Cummins.

Are Hydrogen-Powered Trains Suited To North America?

Consider.

  • There is a lot of track without electrification.
  • Distances are long, which makes electrification expensive.
  • Providing hydrogen for trains should be no more difficult than in Europe.
  • In my experience hydrogen trains are a better passenger experience than diesel, in terms of noise and vibration.

I suspect that Alstom/Cummins could sell a lot of hydrogen-powered trains in the North America.

 

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment