The Anonymous Widower

Xlinks Welcomes New Investor Octopus Energy In Providing Cheap Green Power To Over 7 Million Homes

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Xlinks is pleased to announce a financial and strategic partnership with energy tech pioneer Octopus Energy Group.

The Morocco – UK Power Project will speed up the UK’s transition to net zero by laying four 3,800km-long subsea cables to connect a huge renewable energy farm in the Moroccan desert with Devon in South West England. Morocco is setting its sights on becoming a world leader in solar energy, already boasting some of the world’s largest solar arrays, and meeting two-fifths of its electricity demand with renewables. There will be huge economic benefits to both countries involved, with Xlinks bringing green energy and engineering jobs to both the UK and Morocco.

The project will diversify UK supply routes and boost energy security through the supply of 3.6 GW of reliable, clean power to the UK for an average of 20 hours a day, enough green energy to power about 7 million homes.

Note.

  1. The cables will be nearly 2,400 miles
  2. It is scheduled to be operational in 2027.
  3. Xlinks is expected to deliver power at £48/MWh, which is comparable with offshore wind.
  4. Wikipedia talks of a Hinkley Point C strike price of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices).
  5. Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, is also a personal investor in the project.
  6. Greg Jackson is interviewed in this article in today’s Sunday Times.

I wrote more about this project in Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project.

Conclusion

This mega-project could be approaching the point, where the starting gun is fired.

 

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poland May Become A Green Hydrogen Tycoon

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

In 2050, Poland may become one of the most competitive producers of green hydrogen in the European Union. In addition, we could export it to other countries, using the already existing infrastructure – e.g. the Yamal gas pipeline.

According to analysts of the Polish Economic Institute (PIE), in the next three decades Poland could become a very competitive producer of green hydrogen. Particularly economically beneficial in Polish conditions would be the production of hydrogen based on energy from onshore wind energy.

Note.

  1. The Yamal pipeline comes all the way from Siberia.
  2. The Baltic pipeline will connect Norway and Poland.
  3. Poland currently has over 7 GW of wind power.
  4. Wikipedia says this “In 2019, wind was the second most important source of electricity produced in Poland, after coal, and accounted for about 10% of the electricity production.”
  5. I have been to quite a few parts of Poland and it seems that it can be flat and windy.
  6. 1.2 GW of offshore wind is under development near Slupsk.

I very much feel that the conclusion of the article could be right.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | 3 Comments

Wind And Solar Boom Will Bring Energy Surplus

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

Under the picture, is this sub-title.

The government has set a target of 50 gigawatts of offshore wind farms by 2030, up from about 10 gigawatts at present.

According to this Wikipedia list of offshore wind farms, the UK currently has 2180 offshore turbines with a capacity of 8113 MW.

These wind farms appear to be planned.

Hornsea

The Hornsea wind farm is currently supplying 1.2 GW to the grid, but it is planned to be expanded to 6 GW, which is another 4.8 GW.

East Anglia Array

The East Anglia Array is currently supplying 0.7 GW to the grid, but it is planned to be expanded to 7.2 GW, which is another 6.5 GW.

Sofia

The Sofia wind farm will supply 1.4 GW from 2026.

Moray East

The Moray East wind farm will supply 0.95 GW from 2022.

Neart Na Gaoithe

The Neart Na Gaoithe wind farm will supply 0.45 GW from 2023.

Triton Knoll

The Triton Knoll wind farm will supply 0.86 GW from 2022.

Seagreen

The Seagreen wind farm will supply 1.1 GW from 2023.

Dogger Bank

The Dogger Bank wind farm will supply 3.6 GW from 2025.

Moray West

The Moray West wind farm will supply 1.2 GW from 2025.

Rampion 2

The Rampion 2 wind farm will supply 1.2 GW before 2030.

Norfolk Boreas

The Norfolk Boreas wind farm will supply 1.8 GW before 2030

Norfolk Vanguard

The Norfolk Vanguard wind farm will supply 1.8 GW before 2030

These wind farms total up to 31.1 GW

Morgan And Mona

The Morgan and Mona wind farms will supply 3 GW from 2028.

ScotWind

This map shows the wind farms in the latest round of leasing in Scotland.

These wind farms should be providing 24.8 GW by 2030.

Celtic Sea

In Two More Floating Wind Projects In The Celtic Sea, I give details of six wind farms to be developed in the Celtic Sea, that will produce a total of 1.2 GW.

All should be delivered by 2030.

Northern Horizons

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I talk about Northern Horizons, which will produce 10 GW of wind energy from 2030.

An Armada Of Wind Farms

As many of these wind farms will be floating and wind-powered, the collective noun must surely be an armada.

These are some figures.

  • The size is certainly spectacular at 70.1 GW.
  • As the UK electricity consumption in 2020-2021 was 265.4 TWh, the average hourly production throughout the year is 30.3 GW.
  • As I write this post, the UK is generating 30.1 GW.

As the best offshore wind farms have a capacity factor of around fifty percent, we should be able to power the UK with wind power alone.

So when The Times says this in the first two paragraphs of the article.

Britain will have excess electricity supplies for more than half of the year by 2030 as a huge expansion of wind and solar power transforms the energy system, a new analysis suggests.

Energy storage technologies, including batteries and electrolysers to make hydrogen, will need to be deployed at massive scale to prevent this surplus electricity going to waste, according to LCP, a consultancy.

The article would appear to correct.

The Need For Energy Storage

If we look at energy production at the current time, energy production is as follows.

  • Biomass – 0.5 GW
  • Gas – 17 GW
  • Nuclear – 5 GW
  • Onshore Wind – 12 GW with 20 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Offshore Wind – 8.1 GW with 30 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Interconnects – 0.4 GW
  • Others – 0.5 GW

This totals up to 28.2 GW.

In 2030, energy production could be as follows.

  • Biomass – 0.5 GW
  • Nuclear – 5 GW
  • Onshore Wind – 12 GW with 20 % capacity factor – 2.4 GW
  • Offshore Wind – 30 GW with 30 % capacity factor – 9 GW
  • Floating Offshore Wind – 40 GW with 50 % capacity factor – 20 GW
  • Others – 0.5 GW

This totals up to 37.4 GW.

So if you take a typical day, where on average throughout the day we are producing around 7 GW more of electricity than we need, we will actually produce around 7 * 24 GWh = 168 GWh of excess electricity

Whichever was you look at it, we have got to do something concrete with a large amount of electricity.

  • Store it in batteries of various types from lithium ion, through new types of batteries like those being developed by Highview Power and Gravitricity to pumped hydro storage.
  • Store the energy in the batteries of electric cars, vans, buses, trucks, trains and ships.
  • Store the energy in Norwegian pumped hydro storage.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and blend the hydrogen with the natural gas supply.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and use the hydrogen to make zero-carbon steel, concrete and chemicals.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and develop new zero-carbon industries.
  • Convert it to hydrogen using an electrolyser and store the hydrogen in a depleted gas field.
  • Sell it to Europe, either as electricity or hydrogen.

Note.

  1. We are going to have to build a lot of batteries and I suspect they will be distributed all round the country.
  2. We are going to have to build a lot of hydrogen electrolysers.
  3. We have world class battery and electrolyser companies.

We should also fund the following.

  • Developments of technology, that makes better batteries, electrolysers, boilers and heat pumps.
  • I would also do a lot of work to increase the capacity factor of wind farms.

I also believe that if we have masses of electricity and hydrogen, we might find as a country, it’s very beneficial in terms of jobs, exports and a healthier economy to invest in certain industries.

Conclusion

The future is rosy.

 

May 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Study Suggests Solar Energy Can Be Cleanly’ Converted Into Storable Hydrogen Fuel

The title of this post, is the same as that, as this news item from Strathclyde University.

This section entitled Green Hydrogen, describes the research.

Most hydrogen is still made from natural gas, producing greenhouse gasses, and green hydrogen production is urgently needed. Green hydrogen is produced from water using a photocatalyst – a material which drives the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight.

The study, ‘Photocatalytic overall water splitting under visible light enabled by a particulate conjugated polymer loaded with iridium’ is published in Angewandte Chemie, a journal of the German Chemical Society. It suggests that using a photocatalyst under simulated sun light facilitates the decomposition of water when loaded with an appropriate metal catalyst – in this case iridium.

When used in a fuel cell, hydrogen does not emit any greenhouse gasses at the point of use and can help decarbonise sectors such as shipping and transportation, where it can be used as a fuel, as well as in manufacturing industries.

Using this photocatalyst may not be the final solution, but I do believe from my mathematical modelling of catalysts in an unrelated application in the 1970s, that this research could lead to an affordable way to create green hydrogen.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Chief Rupert Pearce On The Cold Batteries That Could Save The Planet

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

It is an article very much worth a read, as it talks about former Inmarsat boss; Rupert Pearce and his new position as boss at Highview Power.

I have followed Highview Power for a few years.

I first wrote about the company in British Start-Up Beats World To Holy Grail Of Cheap Energy Storage For Wind And Solar, after reading about the company in the Daily Telegraph in August 2019.

They seem to have had good press in the last three years and have generated a steady stream of orders from Spain, Chile and Scotland.

But progress seems to have been slow to get the first full-size system at Carrington completed.

It does seem , that Rupert Pearce could be the professional boss they need?

Highview Power ‘s CRYOBatteries certainly have potential.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries Compared To Lithium-Ion Batteries

Highview Power ‘s CRYOBatteries do not use any exotic metals or materials, that are not readily available, whereas lithium-ion batteries use lots of rare metals and electricity in their manufacture.

CRYOBatteries can also be expanded in capacity by just adding more liquid-air tanks.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries Typically Cost £500 Million

This figure is disclosed in the Sunday Times article.

For that you probably get a power station, with these characteristics.

  • 50 MW Output.
  • Five to eight hour storage.
  • No emissions.
  • Well-understood maintenance.
  • An environmentally-friendly plant.
  • Long battery life.

But my experience tells me, that like large lithium-ion batteries used for grid storage, that CRYOBatteries could be an asset that will appeal to large financial companies.

  • At present, Highview Power have not run a 50 MW CRYOBattery, but once they show high reliability, I can envisage the energy storage funds taking a good look.
  • At £500 million a throw, they are a good size with probably a decent return for insurance companies and pension funds.

See World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant for Aviva’s view on investing in massive green infrastructure.

I very much feel, that with his City connections and experience, that Rupert Pearce might be the right person to arrange financing for CRYOBatteries.

I will add a story from the financing of Artemis, which was the project management system, that I wrote in the 1970s.

Normally we leased or rented the systems, but some companies wanted to buy them outright, so we came up with a price of something like £125,000. Our bank were happy to fund these systems, when the purchaser was someone like BP, Shell, Bechtel, Brown & Root or British Aerospace. Later on, the bank would package together several systems and get us a better deal.

Intriguingly, £125,000 in the late 1970s is about half a billion now. I suspect, I’m being naive to suggest that Highview’s problem of funding multiple sales is similar to the one we had fifty years ago.

Highview Power CRYOBatteries And Wind And Solar Farms

I discussed the use of CRYOBatteries with solar power in The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery.

As the Highview Power press release, on which I based the article has now been deleted, I would assume that that project has fallen through. But the principles still apply!

But surely, a wind farm paired with an appropriately-sized CRYOBattery would ensure a steady supply of power?

Could CRYOBatteries Be Used With Floating Offshore Wind Farms?

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described an unusual wind farm proposed by Magnora ASA.

  • 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 floater will be key to the whole wind farm.

  • It will certainly have an offshore substation to connect the wind turbines to the cable to the shore.
  • Magnora may be proposing to add a hydrogen electrolyser.
  • Tanks within the concrete floater can be used to store gases.

I wonder if CRYOBatteries could be installed on the concrete floaters, that would be used to smooth the electrical output of the wind farm?

Note that in the past, concrete semi-submersible concrete structures have been used to host all kinds of gas and oil processing equipment.

Conclusion

I feel that Highview Power have made a good choice of Chief Executive and I have high hopes he can awaken a company with masses of potential.

 

 

April 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 Forest’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 Fraser is developing a more detailed plan.

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fortescue And E.ON To Supply Europe With Green Hydrogen

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia and E.ON SE, energy giant from Germany, have teamed up to supply green hydrogen to Europe. This strategy is meant to help the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

These are other points from the article.

  • FFI intends to supply five million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030.
  • The hydrogen will be produced by renewable hydrogen in Australia.
  • E.ON will handle the distribution.
  • Five million tonnes is about a third of Germany’s energy imports.

I have some further thoughts.

How Much Energy Is Needed to Produce Five Million Tonnes Per Year Of Hydrogen?

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

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

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

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

55.2 MWh/tonne is 55.2 kWh/kg.

To produce five million tonnes of hydrogen will need 55.2 * 5.000,000 / 10 MWh.

  • This is 27,600,000 MWh or 27,600 GWh.
  • It works out at an average of 75.6 GWh per day or 3.15 GWh per hour.

This article on vox is entitled The Economic Limitations Of Wind And Solar Power, where this is said.

“Capacity factor” refers to how often a power plant runs and thus how much power it produces relative to its total potential (capacity). Nuclear power plants in the US run around 90 percent of the time, so they have a 90 percent capacity factor. On average, the capacity factor of solar ranges anywhere from 10 to just over 30 percent. For wind, it ranges from 20 to just over 50 percent, averaging around 34 percent in the US.

If FFI is using solar to generate electricity in Australia, I suspect that the capacity factor will be around twenty percent at best.

So will FFI need around 16 GW of solar power to satisfy the supply to Germany?

The Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia gives a good insight into its capability of providing the 16 GW of energy needed. This statement is key.

Using solar to supply all the energy needed would use less than 0.1% of land.

It does look that Australia could provide Germany with some of the hydrogen it needs.

Would It Be Cheaper To Produce The Hydrogen In The North Sea?

This is probably heresy to Andrew Forrest, who is the Australian billionaire behind Fortescue Future Industries.

Consider.

  • North Sea Hydrogen could be piped to Germany.
  • Australia and Germany would probably need transfer by liquid hydrogen tanker.
  • Electrolysers would need to be used to create hydrogen from renewable energy in both Australia and the North Sea.
  • Floating wind farms in the North Sea could be more efficient than solar in Australia, as the capacity factor is higher.

We obviously won’t know until both wind and solar technologies are fully developed.

Will There Be Price Competition Between Australian And North Sea Hydrogen?

It does appear that Andrew Forrest believes in research and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his company developing ideas that drop the price of solar-produced hydrogen.

Research and good engineering on both sides will also drop prices, so I suspect price competition will occur.

Will Fortescue Future Industries Develop North Sea Hydrogen?

Given the ambition being shown by Andrew Forrest to be the Hydrogen King, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the streams of international investors in the North Sea, who are developing wind farms.

Conclusion

Go! Aussie! Go!

 

 

April 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

STEAG Advances Plans For 55MW Norfolk Solar Plant With Battery Storage

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

It is very much a standard solar farm with a battery and provided everything is installed properly, there shouldn’t be to much adverse effects on wildlife and especially, East Anglia’s magnificent hares.

This article on the Solar Power Portal is entitled Solar Farms and Biodiversity.

This is a paragraph.

The point is that all sorts of wildlife move onto solar sites, from hares and hedgehogs, buzzards and butterflies, grasshoppers and beetles; other protected species such as Hazel Dormouse – all continue their ways along the hedgerows uninterrupted.

Hopefully, if the rules are followed at King’s Lynn, the hares will thrive.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

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

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

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

The African Nation Aiming To Be A Hydrogen Superpower

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

It is a fascinating tale of how Namibia aims to modernise its economy, by becoming a major producer of hydrogen using electricity generated by wind and solar power.

Conclusion

Could other countries follow Namibia’s lead?

December 28, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment