The Anonymous Widower

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

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

This is the first paragraph.

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

These are my thoughts.

An Artificial Island on the Dogger Bank

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

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

North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a strange web site in a way.

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

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

Hubs And Spokes In North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme

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

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

The Dogger Bank

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

Wikipedia says this about the geography of the Dogger Bank.

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

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

The Dogger Bank Wind Farm

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

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

Building the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

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

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

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

Interconnectors Across The North Sea

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

Note.

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

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

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

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

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

The North Sea Link

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

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

Project Orion And The Shetlands

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

The project’s scope is described in this graphic.

Note that Project Orion now has its own web site.

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

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

Funding The Wind Farms And Other Infrastructure In The North Sea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further Reading

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

I shall add to these as required.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

 

October 9, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Alstom’s Coradia iLint Hydrogen Train Makes Its Swedish Debut

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Global Railway Review.

This picture shows a hydrogen-powered Alstom Coradia iLint train near Hamburg

If you’re ever in Hamburg, take a ride to Buxtehude and take a ride to Cuxhaven.

These trains are now in service in Germany and have been ordered in quantity in Germany and have been demonstrated in Austria, Italy and The Netherlands.

August 26, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orsted In Gigawatt-Scale Offshore Wind To Green Hydrogen Plan With Steel Giant ArcelorMittal

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

The title says a lot and at the heart of the plan is a 1 GW electrolyser.

Now that is enormous.

Will it be made in Rotherham by ITM Power?

The article is a must read.

April 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 4 Comments

Get H2 Partners Propose Green Hydrogen Pipeline In Europe

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

This is the first paragraph.

Seven companies from the GET H2 initiative in Europe want to build a cross-border pipeline for green hydrogen. From Lingen (Emsland) to Gelsenkirchen and from the Dutch border to Salzgitter, production, transport, storage and industrial acceptance of green hydrogen are to be connected in several steps between 2024 and 2030 under the umbrella of the overall project.

Note.

  1. I suspect this could be almost four hundred kilometres of hydrogen pipeline.
  2. The hydrogen will be used in refineries, for steelmaking and other industrial uses.
  3. It could avoid production of sixteen million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

This will need a lot of wind-turbines and electrolysers, most of which I expect will be in the German and Dutch parts of the North Sea.

March 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , | 1 Comment

New Device Separates Hydrogen From Natural Gas When The Two Gases Are Blended In Pipelines

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

With clean hydrogen gaining recognition worldwide as the carbon-free fuel capable of making a significant contribution to addressing climate change, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will field test a new technology that can simultaneously separate and compress hydrogen from a blend of hydrogen and natural gas.

It may sound rather mundane, but it means, you can convert surplus electricity into hydrogen and blend it with natural gas and distribute it in the local natural gas grid.

  • As natural gas grids can contain a proportion of hydrogen, this shouldn’t be  a problem.
  • Any user, who needs hydrogen connects one of these clever devices to the grid and it separates out the hydrogen, for your use.
  • All very simple and efficient, as you don’t need a second gas grid for hydrogen.

I very much like this idea, which was developed by a Dutch company called HyET Hydrogen.

There is also an explanatory video.

This invention could change the world!

 

 

December 17, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

Limach And Hyperdrive Partner On Electric Machines

The title of this post, is the same as that as of this article on International Rental News.

This second deal from Hyperdrive Innovation is with Dutch excavator manufacturer Limach.

This paragraph from the article is important.

The construction industry is responsible for 40% of European carbon emissions, making it an urgent priority for decarbonisation to meet net zero targets.

That is a lot of carbon.

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Business, Energy Storage | , , , | 2 Comments

Dutch Province To Introduce Regular Hydrogen Services

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The regional transport authority in the Dutch province of Groningen has announced plans to introduce hydrogen trains for its regional concession following a successful test earlier this year.

In March 2019, I went to Groningen and explored the railways in the area, where Stadler GTW trains are used for the train services.

These trains are a smaller version of Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains.

In The Train Station At The Northern End Of The Netherlands, I describe a visit to Eemshaven station to the North of Groningen.

I said this.

At the turnround at Eemshaven with the driver, he indicated that there had been speculation about battery and hydrogen trains in the North of The Netherlands.

It appears the driver was right.

The Bridge Over The Ems

The article also indicates that the bridge over the River Ems, that I wrote about in From Groningen To Leer By Train, could be opening soon.

This video shows what the new bridge will look like.

And this Google Map shows the current state of the bridge.

I’m not sure of the date of the picture, but there still appears a lot of work to do.

 

 

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Germany Builds The World’s First Hydrogen Train Filling Station

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

Hydrogen Trains In Germany

The hydrogen filling station for trains is described under this heading.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The town of Bremervörde in Lower Saxony, Germany, has broken ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains. Chemical company Linde will construct and operate the hydrogen filling station for the Lower Saxony Regional Transport Company.

It will provide approximately 1600 Kg of hydrogen per day.

The Supergroup Of ‘Green Energy’

This is a second section, which I find an interest sting concept.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

Oil giant Shell and Dutch utility Eneco have won the tender to build a super-hybrid offshore wind farm in the Netherlands. It will consist of two sites located 11.5 miles (18.5 km) off the west coast, near the town of Egmond aan Zee.

The Shell/Eneco consortium, CrossWind, will build the Hollandse Kust (noord) project. They will pair the offshore wind farms with floating solar facilities and short-duration batteries. It will also generate green hydrogen via an electrolyzer, according to GreenTech Media.

It will be operational in 2023 and have an output of 759 MW.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Trading Update From ITM Power

ITM Power issued a Press Release entitled Trading Update, this morning.

It is a document, that is a must-read about the future of hydrogen.

There are some interesting statements on various topics.

The Future Of Hydrogen Production

The Press Release says this.

Alongside the predicted growth trajectory for electrolysis, the cost outlook for green hydrogen is also positive. The Hydrogen Council expects green hydrogen to become cost competitive with grey hydrogen by 2025 assuming a €50 per ton CO2 price.  An 80GW electrolyser target for Europe by 2030 has been proposed, where electrolysers feed into a hydrogen transmission network that interconnects the renewable energy resources of the North Sea, Morocco and Ukraine with the demand centres of Europe.  Further afield, Australia is actively pursuing opportunities to export green hydrogen and has estimated that 69 per cent of the 2025 global market for hydrogen will lie in its four target markets of China, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Note.

  1. Green hydrogen is produced by a zero-carbon process like electrolysis using renewable electricity.
  2. Grey hydrogen is produced by a process that releases carbon-dioxide like steam reforming of methane.

It looks like green hydrogen will be the future.

Governments And Green Hydrogen

The Press Release says this.

Governments are increasingly recognising the role of green hydrogen as a decarbonisation tool.  The U.K. government has introduced an overarching net zero target and placed an early focus on decarbonising industrial clusters that will lead to progressively larger deployments of electrolysers. In the Netherlands, the Dutch government has recently presented its green hydrogen vision for achieving a sustainable energy system that is reliable, clean and affordable.  A total of three European governments have now stated explicit electrolyser targets for 2030: Germany 5GW, Holland 3-4GW and Portugal 2GW.

It looks like a lot of electrolysers will be built.

The Germans And Hydrogen

The Press Release says this.

The German government announced in its stimulus package of 3 June 2020 that it will present a national hydrogen strategy in the short term. Accordingly, a programme for the development of hydrogen production plants will be developed to demonstrate industrial-scale production of up to 5GW total output in Germany, operational by 2030. For the period up to 2035, but until 2040 at the latest, an additional 5 GW will be added if possible. To implement all these measures, the German government will invest €7bn.

Not only is hydrogen zero-carbon, it also means they will buy less of Putin’s gas.

Conclusion

Hydrogen has a very long term future.

June 8, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

H2-Share Launches First Hydrogen Truck

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2-View.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

H2-Share’s first hydrogen-powered rigid truck has hit the road in the Netherlands.

The European project aims to facilitate the development of a market for low-carbon heavy-duty vehicles that run on hydrogen for logistic application.

It looks a well-thought out project to develop a market for hydrogen trucks.

  • Looking at the picture, it appears that the project has taken an off-the-shelf DAF truck and modified it for hydrogen.
  • The truck is a two-axle 27 tonne truck.

I shall follow this project.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment