The Anonymous Widower

Shell’s Jackdaw Gas Field Given Go-Ahead By Regulators

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Development of a major North Sea gas field has been approved by regulators.

The Jackdaw field, east of Aberdeen, has the potential to produce 6.5% of Britain’s gas output.

This is Greenpeace’s response

But environmental campaigners have condemned the move.

The activist group Greenpeace said it believed the approval could be unlawful and it was considering legal action.

“Approving Jackdaw is a desperate and destructive decision from Johnson’s government, and proves there is no long-term plan,” said Ami McCarthy, a political campaigner for Greenpeace.

I have my thoughts.

The Short Term Problem

We are all paying the high gas price, brought about by Vlad the Mad’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

On the other hand, I am all for cutting carbon emissions, but stopping the development of the Jackdaw gas field will do nothing to cut total emissions in the short term.

In my view, the only way to cut carbon emissions is to replace the use of natural gas with hydrogen or electricity produced by renewable sources like solar, tidal, wave or wind power.

This change to every heating system and important industries like cement, chemicals, glass and steelmaking to hydrogen and renewable energy is not a short term or low-cost project. Especially whilst we’re still recovering from the pandemic and trying to handle Vlad the Mad.

We will need a supply of natural gas for a few years and if we don’t have enough gas will Greenpeace and their ilk, be happy to see everybody freezing and a large increase in unemployment?

The Government is between a rock and a hard place, where they can either bow to Greenpeace or buy Putin’s bloodstained gas, where there are two alternatives.

  • Buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from countries like Australia, Canada, Qatar or the United States.
  • Develop our own proven resources.

The advantages of taking the second route include.

  • Some of the countries from where gas is available, have bizarre views on human rights and keeping their people safe.
  • Gas is transported over long distances in a liquid form. Liquifying natural gas uses a lot of energy. Is that energy renewable?
  • Countries from where gas is available are thousands of miles away. How much carbon dioxide will be emitted liquifying and transporting it?
  • Gas from our own resources is delivered by pipeline.
  • Development of gas fields like Jackdaw, will surely create employment in the UK.

At a first look, I feel that developing Jackdaw and other similar fields, may well be a sensible option to help us through these difficult times.

Exporting Gas To Europe

If you look at the geographical position, you would feel, that the gas will be landed at St. Fergus gas terminal, which is to the North of Aberdeen.

But no! The gas will be landed at Bacton in Norfolk through the SEAL pipeline, which is 475 km. long

Could this be because Shell want to make sure the South of England gets its gas?

Possibly, but much of the UK’s gas imports arrive at LNG terminals in the South.

But Bacton has other assets, in that it has two undersea gas pipelines to the Continent. One is to Belgium and the other is to the Netherlands.

Surely, if we export our gas to other countries, then it is their business what they do with the carbon dioxide.

Not our’s or Shell’s!

Perhaps, we should develop other proven gas fields, as they will create employment in the UK and valuable exports. It will also help our friends out in Europe, in their time of need!

Will Shell Play The Market?

I have just been informed, that recently, improvements have been made to the pipelines in the area and Jackdaw’s gas could now go to St. Fergus.

This surely would give the gas from Jackdaw three destinations.

  • Scotland via St. Fergus.
  • England via Bacton
  • Europe via Bacton and the undersea pipelines.

So will Shell play the markets?

If in the future, we start to produce massive amounts of green hydrogen, I’m sure Europe, will be happy to buy that instead.

Powering Platforms With Renewable Energy

The BBC article says this.

And it plans also to re-power its offshore platforms with renewable electricity rather than burning gas.

Looking at the map, Jackdaw will not be far from the 2 GW wind farm, that Shell are developing.

Will they build a short interconnector from this wind farm to the gas platforms of Jackdaw and other nearby fields?

Will Shell Produce Hydrogen Offshore?

This article on Gas Processing And LNG is entitled Construction Of World’s Largest PEM Electrolyzer Completed.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Air Liquide has completed the construction of the world’s largest PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzer. Supplied with renewable energy, this unit is now producing up to 8.2 tons per day of low-carbon hydrogen in Bécancour, Québec. With this large-scale investment, the Group confirms its long-term commitment to the hydrogen energy markets and its ambition to be a major player in the supply of low-carbon hydrogen.

The new 20 MW PEM electrolyser, equipped with Cummins technology, is the largest operating unit of its kind in the world and will help meet the growing demand for low-carbon hydrogen in North America. Bécancour’s proximity to the main industrial markets in Canada and the United States will help ensure their supply of low-carbon hydrogen for industrial use and mobility. The commissioning of this electrolysis unit increases by 50% the capacity of Air Liquide’s Bécancour hydrogen production complex.

Note.

  1. This article is about a year old and electrolysers will get larger.
  2. 20 MW of electricity will produce 8.2 tons per day of low carbon or green hydrogen.
  3. It may surprise some, that the electrolyser has been built by Cummins, who are diesel engine manufacturers. They are a company, who appear to have seen the way the wind is blowing and are making sure they lead the revolution.

How much hydrogen could a 2 GW wind farm produce?

  • Wind farms have a capacity factor, which is how much energy they actually produce compared to their rating.
  • Shell’s 2 GW wind farm will be a floating wind farm and these typically have a capacity factor of at least 50 percent.
  • I will assume the capacity factor of 50 percent.

This will give 8,200 tonnes per day of green hydrogen. This is nearly three million tons per year.

How Will The Hydrogen Be Brought Ashore?

The HyDeploy project is investigating blending of hydrogen into our natural gas grid.

  • It appears that up to 25 % of hydrogen can be added without the need to change boilers and appliances.
  • This blending of hydrogen into our natural gas supply, would cut our carbon emissions by a worthwhile amount.

So will we see gas piped to nearby gas platforms like Jackdaw for blending with fresh virgin natural gas?

This would have the following advantages for Shell.

  • They wouldn’t need to install an electric cable to the shore with all its associated onshore and offshore substations.
  • The hydrogen could be brought ashore at either Bacton or St. Fergus gas terminals.
  • Shell could invite other local wind farms to share their electrolyser.
  • Shell would need to new onshore installations.

If Shell get this right, they could cut the project cost.

Will Shell Produce Blue Hydrogen Offshore?

I wonder if Shell have a cunning plan.

  • It is known, that Shell have developed a catalyst-based blue hydrogen process, which splits natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, with the addition of oxygen from the air.
  • I suspect the process could need a lot of energy to work. But at least a GW from the nearby wind farm will probably be a good start.
  • Could that carbon dioxide be captured and stored in a depleted gas field.
  • The hydrogen could be piped to either Bacton or St. Fergus, as I previously described.

This hybrid method might be a more economic way to produce zero-carbon hydrogen.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t be surprised if Shell will produce hydrogen offshore.

 

June 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Affordable Blue Hydrogen Production

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Shell Catalysts & Technologies web site.

This is said at the top of the page.

Natural gas producers are at a crossroads. They face a shifting regulatory landscape emphasising emissions reduction and an economic environment where cash preservation is critical. Shell Catalysts & Technologies offers resource holders a phased approach to diversifying their portfolios towards clean hydrogen fuels by leveraging proven and affordable capture technologies and catalysts.

My knowledge of advanced chemical catalysts is small, but I did work in the early 1970s on a project with one of ICI’s experts in the field and he told me some basics and how he believed that in the future some new catalysts would revolutionise chemical process engineering.

Wikipedia’s definition of catalysis, or the action of catalysts is as follows.

Catalysis is the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a substance known as a catalyst.

When I heard that Velocys were going to develop a catalyst-based system to turn household waste into sustainable aviation fuel, I did make a small investment in the company, as I thought the project could have legs.

Shell’s process takes natural gas and converts one molecule of methane (CH4) into two molecules of hydrogen (H2) and one of carbon dioxide (CO2) using one molecule of oxygen (O2) from the air.

In the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process, does a clever catalyst extract the carbon atom from the methane and combine it with two oxygen atoms to create a molecule of carbon dioxide? If it does, then this would leave the four atoms of hydrogen to form two molecules of H2 and the catalyst to go and repeat its magic on another methane molecule.

The video on the Shell site claims to do the conversion 10-25 % cheaper than current carbon intensive methods like steam reforming.

For every two molecules of hydrogen produced, both the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process and steam reforming will produce one molecule of carbon dioxide.

If you look at steam reforming it is an endothermic process, which means heat has to be added. The classic endothermic process is dissolving ice cubes in a glass of water.

Shell don’t say, but does their process need less energy to be added, because their clever catalyst does a lot of the work?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the reaction takes place in a liquid, with hydrogen and carbon dioxide bubbling out.

  • The two gases would be separated by using their different physical properties.
  • Carbon dioxide is heavier for a start.

Whatever Shell have done, it is probably pretty impressive and has probably taken many years to develop.

If as I suspect, it produces pure carbon dioxide, that would be an added bonus, as some uses of carbon dioxide wouldn’t want impurities.

Uses of pure carbon dioxide include.

  • Feeding it to soft fruits, flowers, salad vegetables and tomatoes growing in large greenhouses.
  • Dry ice.
  • Mineral Carbonation International can use carbon dioxide to make building products like blocks or plasterboard.
  • It can be added to concrete.

The more of the carbon dioxide that can be used rather than stored the better.

May 18, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shell To Develop Blue Hydrogen Plant

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

The article is based on this press release from Shell, which is entitled Shell And Uniper To Work Together On Blue Hydrogen Production Facility In The UK.

These are the three bullet points of the press release.

  • Shell and Uniper sign co-operation agreement to progress plans for low-carbon hydrogen production at Uniper’s Killingholme site in North Lincolnshire
  • Hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise heavy industry, transport, heating and power across Humber and beyond.
  • Project recently passed eligibility phase for UK Government’s Phase-2 carbon capture, usage and storage Cluster Sequencing Process.

Note.

  1. The Killingholme site is currently occupied by the 900 MW gas-fired Killingholme power station.
  2. Heavy industry on Humberside includes chemicals and oil refineries and the Scunthorpe steelworks.

This Google Map shows the location of Killingholme power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The river is the Humber.
  3. The Port of Immingham is on the power station side of the river.
  4. Cleethorpes Beach is marked by the green dot in the bottom-right hand corner.
  5. Grimsby is to the North of Cleethorpes.
  6. Between Grimsby and Killingworth power station is a mass of chemical works.

This second Google Map shows the area to the South-East of the power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The Hornsea 02 substation to the North of the power station.
  3. The large Uniper site to the South of the power station.
  4. The large number of tanks inland from the port and the chemical works.

I have some thoughts.

A Full Description Of The Project

This paragraph from the press release described the project.

Uniper has signed an agreement with Shell to progress plans to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site in the East of England. The hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise industry, transport and power throughout the Humber region.

The Humber Hub Blue project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts, using gas reformation technology with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The captured carbon would be fed through the proposed Zero Carbon Humber onshore pipeline, part of the East Coast Cluster, recently selected as one of two CCS clusters to receive initial government support under the government’s cluster sequencing process.

I suspect that a lot of the plant from the existing Killingholme power station will be repurposed.

This is the specification of the power station.

The Uniper (Formerly E.ON UK) plant consists of two 450 MW Siemens V94.2 gas turbine modules each connected to a heat recovery steam generator using only a single steam turbine in a 2 into 1 configuration. Gas is supplied from a 26-mile pipeline from Theddlethorpe.

When it was built by Powergen (now called Uniper) and opened in April 1993 it was only the second gas-fired power station built in the UK. It was taken out of service in 2002 due to the lower price of electricity and was then restored to full service in August 2005, with one of the 450 MW units returning to service in April 2005.

It was announced that the power station will be closed in 2015.

Will The Project Use The Shell Blue Hydrogen Process?

Will the plant use the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process, that I described in Shell Process To Make Blue Hydrogen Production Affordable?

It appears the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process offers advantages.

  1. Shell are claiming, that with carbon dioxide costing $25-35/tonne, that their process is more economic than grey or green hydrogen.
  2. Steam reforming also needs steam, but this new process actually generates steam as a by-product, which further improves the economics, as integrated chemical plants use a lot of steam. Killingholme’s neighbours would probably welcome the steam.
  3. Shell are reporting capturing 99% of the carbon.
  4. It looks like savings of between 10 and 25 % are possible.

 

The most-fervent greens, may claim blue hydrogen is totally wrong.

But if it is more affordable than both grey and green hydrogen and all but one percent of the carbon dioxide is captured, I believe that this should be an option, that is fully investigated.

This appears to be a victory for top-class chemical engineering.

Northern Endurance Partnership

The Northern Endurance Partnership is described on this page of the Equinor web site, where this is said.

BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total today confirmed they have formed a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as operator.

This infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.

There is also a map.

Note.

  1. One facility would appear to serve the Tees and the Humber.

It looks like the depleted gas fields could hold a lot of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Capture

Some points from the Equinor press release about carbon capture.

  • Blue hydrogen production at Killingholme could see the capture of around 1.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of carbon a year through CCS.
  • The UK Government has set a target to capture 10 Mt of carbon a year by 2030.
  • NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the UK North Sea.

These projects could could decarbonise a lot of businesses  on Teesside and the Humber.

Carbon Capture And Use

The Equinor press release says this about carbon capture and use.

The Northern Endurance Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS across the Humber and Teesside. We’re delighted to start working together with five really world class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.”

Uses include.

  • Feeding to salad vegetables, tomatoes, soft fruit and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Creating sustainable aviation fuel.
  • Creating building products like blocks and plaster board.
  • Making better concrete.

This is a list that will grow.

Making Hydrogen With An Electrolyser

The Shell press release says this.

Uniper continues to develop a separate green hydrogen project, using electrolytic hydrogen production technology, as part of the overall Humber Hub development at Uniper’s Killingholme site. Uniper, along with its project partners, will shortly complete the Project Mayflower feasibility study, part funded by the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, administered by InnovateUK, looking at the decarbonisation of port related activities at the Port of Immingham.

Note that the sub station for the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 wind farm is close to both Killingholme power station and the Uniper web site.

What Will Happen To Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Plant?

I think there are two possible scenarios.

  • It will be closed when Uniper’s electrolyser is fully on stream.
  • It will become an emergency hydrogen source, when the wind is not blowing.

In both cases it will produce less carbon dioxide, thus leaving more space in the Northern Endurance Partnership.

Conclusion

It looks like there could be a comprehensive hydrogen production facility at Killingholme.

 

 

 

 

April 13, 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

Shell And ScottishPower Win Bids To Develop 5 GW Of Floating Wind Power In The UK

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

This is three paragraphs from the press release.

Shell and ScottishPower have secured joint offers for seabed rights to develop large-scale floating wind farms as part of Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing. The partners have won two sites representing a total of 5 gigawatts (GW) off the east and north-east coast of Scotland.

The new wind farms will be delivered through two joint ventures called MarramWind and CampionWind. They bring together ScottishPower’s and Shell’s decades of experience working offshore and significant presence in Scotland, as well as their strong innovation capabilities for delivering world-class offshore energy projects.

The development, construction and operation of ScotWind projects is set to bring new skilled jobs and manufacturing opportunities and boost local supply chains.

ScottishPower are actually involved in three large ScotWind projects; one by themselves and two in partnership with Shell.

MacHairWind

MachairWind is a project that Scottish Power is developing alone.

I wrote about this project in MacHairWind Wind Farm.

MarramWind And CampionWind

These two wind farms are being developed in partnership with Shell.

They both have their own web sites.

MarramWind’s web site has this introduction.

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to develop the MarramWind offshore windfarm following success in the recent ScotWind auction process by Crown Estate Scotland.

Located 75 kilometres off the North East coast of Scotland in water depths averaging 100 metres, the proposed MarramWind floating offshore windfarm could deliver up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of cleaner renewable energy.

This map clipped from the MarramWind web site, shows the location of the wind farm.

CampionWind’s web site has this introduction.

ScottishPower and Shell have joined forces to develop the CampionWind offshore windfarm following success in the recent ScotWind auction process by Crown Estate Scotland.

Located 100 kilometres from the east coast of Scotland, in water depths averaging 77 metres, the proposed CampionWind floating offshore windfarm could deliver up to 2 gigawatts (GW) of cleaner renewable energy.

This map clipped from the CampionWind web site, shows the location of the wind farm.

Note.

  1. The two wind farms will be within a few miles of each other.
  2. Both wind farms will use floating wind turbines.
  3. The water is a bit deeper at MarramWind, but this surely doesn’t bother a floating turbine.
  4. MarramWind and CampionWind will have a total capacity of 5 GW.
  5. Hywind Scotland is the world’s first commercial wind farm using floating wind turbines, situated 29 kilometres off Peterhead. This wind farm is only 30 MW, but in its first years of operation has achieved a capacity factor of over 50 %.
  6. The proposed turbines at Northern Horizons‘ 10 GW wind farm, which is 130 kilometres to the North-East of Shetland will be 20 MW giants and nearly as tall as The Shard in London.

So will Scottish Power and Shell design and build a combined field, similar in concept to Northern Horizons’ wind farm, using an armada of 250 floating wind turbines?

  • The wind turbines might be moored around a fixed or floating mother platform or structure, that will collect the electricity and deliver it to the shore.
  • Turbines could be serviced in situ or moved into port, as needed.
  • Extending the wind farm could just be a matter of mooring the extra turbines in position and then connecting them to the mother platform.
  • Is there a convenient disused oil or gas platform, that could be repurposed as the mother platform?

It certainly would appear to be a way of building large offshore fields in deep waters.

Where Would The Combined MarramWind And CampionWind Rank In Terms of UK Wind Farms?

Consider.

  • MarramWind and CampionWind will have a total capacity of 5 GW.
  • Phase one of the Hornsea Wind Farm is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, with a capacity of just over 1.2 GW and when complete it will have a capacity of 6 GW.
  • Northern Horizons is planned to be 10 GW.
  • The East Anglian Array could be as large as 7.2 GW.
  • The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is planned to be as large as 4.8 MW.
  • Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas are a pair of 1.8 GW wind farms.
  • MacHairWind will be a 2 GW wind farm.

Note.

  1. This is not a complete list of large wind farms in the development pipeline.
  2. BP have obtained leases, but have not published their plans.
  3. Most farms under development are at least one GW.
  4. These farms are a total of 38.6 GW.

The Combined MarramWind and CampionWind would be one of several large wind farms around 5 GW.

There Is A Desperate Need For Energy Storage

If we are generating upwards of 40 GW of wind and solar energy in the UK, there will be a desperate need for energy storage to cover for the times, when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Scotland should be OK, as there are various energy storage projects in development.

  • The 1.5 GW/ 30 GWh Coire Glas project is according to SSE shovel-ready and has planning permission.
  • The 450 MW/2.8 GWh Red John project is being constructed.
  • Drax, ILI Group and SSE have several other projects under development.

So what would happen in the South?

The government appears to be on the case as I wrote in Ministerial Roundtable Seeks To Unlock Investment In UK Energy Storage.

But there is also the possibility of using hydrogen.

  • Hydrogen could be created by a series of giant electrolysers.
  • It could be blended with natural gas to eke out our natural gas and save carbon. According to HyDeploy, it appears that up to 20 % can be added, without needing to change boilers and appliances.
  • It can be stored in depleted offshore gas fields.
  • It can be used to power heavy transport like buses, trucks, trains and ships.
  • It can be burned in gas-fired power stations to generate electricity.

Hydrogen can also be used as a feedstock or green energy source for the making of chemicals, concrete and steel.

Conclusion

We are approaching the end of the first phase of the development of renewable energy in the UK.

Massive floating wind farms using armadas of floating wind farms, a large expansion of pumped storage hydro and a huge expansion of the use of hydrogen will see us through to a carbon-free future.

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shell Resurrects Plans For Rejected North Sea Gasfield

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Shell has submitted a revised plan for a North Sea gasfield that was rejected by regulators on environmental grounds last year.

The oil and gas major is seeking to develop the Jackdaw field, about 155 miles east of Aberdeen, which it says could produce 6.5 per cent of UK domestic gas output at peak — enough to heat 1.4 million homes. It hopes to start production in 2025 at the field, which would keep producing until 2033.

Other points in the article include.

  • The platform would be unmanned.
  • One of the problems with the field is that the gas naturally contains a lot of carbon dioxide.
  • Shell plans to capture and store this carbon dioxide.
  • The gas would be brought to shore using a nineteen mile pipeline to the Shearwater platform.

Surprisingly, the Shearwater platform is connected by the 295 mile SEAL pipeline to the Bacton terminal in Norfolk. But then Bacton is connected by the BBL pipeline to the Netherlands.

  • There are depleted gas fields connected to Bacton, that can be used to store the carbon dioxide from the Jackdaw gas field.
  • Shell manage the BBL pipeline.
  • Shell are sitting in the middle with gas, that can be sold to the highest bidder.

It could be good for Shell without a great deal of expenditure on infrastructure.

In the short term, Jackdaw could make up our gas shortage, but as we start to blend wind-produced hydrogen into the gas network, we can export the surplus gas to the Continent. Shell might have plans for other gas fields to participate in the export of British gas to Germany, that has been replaced by wind-produced hydrogen.

It would be an interesting point, as to who would be responsible for the carbon dioxide produced by Jackdaw’s gas, that is burned in Germany. I suspect it will be the Germans.

In the long-term, when Shearwater and Jackdaw have given up all their gas, I wonder if Shell’s plans could be.

  • Surround the platforms serving these fields with floating wind farms.
  • Put a giant electrolyser on the Shearwater platform and bring hydrogen to the shore in the SEAL pipeline.
  • Distribute the hydrogen from Bacton to the UK or through the BBL pipeline to the Continent.

I feel that Shell could do very nicely thank you out of the Jackdaw gas-field.

But it is also a plan, that produces a lot of energy, without emitting vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

 

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 1 Comment

Shell’s New Filling Station For Electric Cars

I took these pictures of Shell’s new filling station for electric cars in Fulham, yesterday.

It’s got eleven chargers, a Little Waitrose and a Costa Coffee. What more couple Fulham want?

I’m surprised the Council allowed a Costa!

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 9 Comments

How To Tell A Valid Year-End Forecast From A Vague, Unreliable Prediction

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

It is a thought-provoking must-read article.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Business, World | , | 2 Comments

Thoughts On The Cambo Oil Field

There is an article in The Times today which is entitled Sturgeon Faces Backlash After Shell Pulls Out Of North Sea Oilfield.

I have been following the technology of Carbon Capture and Use and some very good ideas have come forward in the last couple of years.

  • Carbon dioxide is becoming increasingly important in the growing of flowers, salad vegetables, soft fruits and tomatoes in greenhouses.
  • At COP26, Australian company, Mineral Carbonation International won an award for their process that turns carbon dioxide into building materials like blocks and plasterboard.
  • A big investment was also made recently in an Italian company, who are using the properties of liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide to store energy.
  • Carbon dioxide has for years made a good fire extinguisher, which can’t be said for some chemicals currently used.
  • I suspect that some clever chemists are working on using carbon dioxide to create sustainable aviation fuel.

If the number of ideas for the use of carbon dioxide continues to increase, I can see gas-fired power stations being built, that are also used to produce much-needed high-quality carbon dioxide.

It should also be noted, that many like me, live in houses that are unsuitable for the fitting of heat pumps at an economical cost.

So we must wait for better technology or for hydrogen to be piped into our houses.

In the meantime, we will have to rely on gas. Or freeze!

I don’t know whether Cambo will produce any gas, but if it doesn’t, I can’t see much point in developing it.

Perhaps, Shell would prefer to develop a gas field.

December 3, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was This The Most Significant Statement On Freight Locomotives Last Week?

This press release from Freightliner, is entitled Freightliner Secures Government Funding For Dual-Fuel Project.

The dual-fuel project is important and will cut carbon emissions in the short term.

But it is only a quick fix, made possible by good technology.

It is also not zero-carbon.

This sixth paragraph from the press release is very significant.

This sustainable solution will support a programme to decarbonise freight operating companies’ diesel fleets in a cost-efficient manner that does not require significant short-term investment and facilitates operational learning in support of a longer-term fleet replacement programme, potentially using 100% hydrogen fuel.

I believe the paragraph indicates, that Freightliner and possibly the other companies involved in the building and operation of heavy freight locomotives have concluded, that the technology is now such, that a zero-carbon rail locomotive powered by 100 % hydrogen is now possible.

  • Rolls-Royce and possibly other gas-turbine companies have the technology to build small gas-turbine powered generators that can produce several megawatts of reliable electrical zero-carbon power, when fuelled by hydrogen.
  • We are seeing companies developing strategies for the safe supply of hydrogen in large industrial quantities.
  • Hydrogen has been successfully deployed on buses, trains and other large vehicles.
  • The technology has been proven that will allow dual-mode hydrogen-electric locomotives, that can use electrification, where it exists.
  • Some big companies like Cummins, JCB and Shell are backing hydrogen.

There are thousands of large diesel-powered locomotives all over the world and locomotive builders that can successfully replace these with hydrogen-powered locomotives will not go financially unrewarded!

July 11, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments