Update on Low Carbon energy potential from The North Sea

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Innovation Program North Sea Energy (NSE 2020-2021)


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. An important 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 the renewables. A mixed-use during the transition period is also considered. The aim is to have the transition completed 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 major 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 is focusing on the modeling of the conversion of wind power to electrical power, the data analysis of the wind data over longer periods of time, and the transportation of fluids through flow lines over long distances. The first aspect is important for the storage requirements, the latter for transportation of 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) essential for the whole process.



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. Providing reliable measurements is key to Safe Operations and any Production System Optimization, and Production Forecasting. Thus, not only the 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 11th, 2020.
When the new work packages for NSE2020-2021 were defined, we thought Hint could contribute the best to WP3 (Safety, integrity, and reliability). But, during a meeting with the lead of WP1(Energy Hubs), we received an overview about the scope of WP1 and we concluded that there is interesting research work for Hint in this package. For instance, in conversion molecules, and CCS.

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