Update on Low Carbon energy potential from The North Sea
To reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, an energy transition is necessary. In the Netherlands, a research project is running Innovation Program North Sea Energy (NSE 2020-2021), which focuses on the transition from Oil & Gas to renewables. Hint is participating as an associated partner. This study requires the analysis of the availability of renewables (for a large part relying on wind power from the Dutch sector of the North Sea), energy storage, energy transportation, energy usage, and the legal, environmental, and socio-economic aspects. A critical boundary condition is the presence of the current Oil & Gas infrastructure in the North Sea, which might be re-used for construction and/or transportation of renewables. A mixed-use during the transition period is also considered. The aim is to complete the transition by 2050 with a road map for the changeover in the coming 30 years. The electricity from wind farms is irregular, so the storage of energy is a significant issue. Converting the wind power into Hydrogen is an obvious way to go (electrons to molecules). The use of Hydrogen to synthesize more complex molecules (like Methanol) could contribute to the storage in more simple ways than storing Hydrogen directly. But other options also need to be studied.
Due to Covid-19, NSE3 2019 results presentation has been postponed to June 15, 2020. Partners were supposed to receive marketing material in Q1, but this is also delayed.
This week the program released a new website:
https://north-sea-energy.eu/en/home/where Hint is included in the partner’s page.
Hint’s role focuses on modeling the conversion of wind power to electrical power, the data analysis of the wind data over more extended periods, and the transportation of fluids through flow lines over long distances. The first aspect is essential for the storage requirements, the latter for transporting fluids to and from shore (e.g., CO2 for CC(U)S or as raw material for Methanol production). As Hint has a lot of expertise in metering, this essential experience will be(come) necessary for the whole process.
Providing reliable measurements is key to Safe Operations and any Production System Optimization, and Production Forecasting. Reliable metering will form the foundation for Dynamic modeling & optimization of offshore energy hubs, as the various types of energy have different caloric values and physical behavior. Thus, measuring the various types of gas is critical, but also measuring impurities and contaminations (e.g., Sulphur) to ensure that these components stay within the maximum concentration allowed.
The kickoff is planned for May 11, 2020.
When the new work packages for NSE2020-2021 were defined, we thought Hint could best contribute to WP3 (Safety, integrity, and reliability). But, during a meeting with the lead of WP1(Energy Hubs), we received an overview of the scope of WP1, and we concluded that there is exciting research work for Hint in this package. For instance, in conversion molecules and CCS.