Arguments pro and con.
[greentechmedia.com] – Why Norway Can’t Become Europe’s Battery Pack
[greentechmedia.com] – The Debate Over Norway’s Ability to Become a Hydro Battery for Europe Is Surprisingly Robust
[greentechmedia.com] – Norway Could Provide 20,000MW of Energy Storage to Europe
800 Nm3/hr hydrogen flow costs $2M. Investment cost alkaline equipment is 50% of the cost for PEM. Operating cost: alkaline 20% more efficient than PEM (mainly energy cost).
[hydrogen-pro.com] – Company site
What does Nm3/hr mean? Normal Meter Cubed per Hour. Unit used to measure gas flow rate. The ‘Normal’ refers to normal conditions of 0degC and 1 atm (standard atmosphere = 101.325 kPa) – for practical purposes this is rounded to 1 bar.
[source] Origin Norsk Hydro 1927.
Nel Hydrogen from Norway, with more than 80 years of experience in producing hydrogen, will build an initial 100 MW power-to-gas plant in Normandy, France between 2018-2020. Investment volume: 45 million euro. The intention is to expand to 700 MW by 2025. The resulting hydrogen will be mixed with natural gas in order to make the fuel “greener” by significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
[news.cision.com] – Nel ASA: Enters into exclusive NOK 450 million industrial-scale power-to-gas framework agreement with H2V PRODUCT
[nelhydrogen.com] – Company site
[wallstreet-online.de] – Nel ASA erhält Auftrag für weltweit größte Wasserstoff-Elektrolyseur-Tankstation
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie last month. The intention is to convert one of the existing three units of the Magnum power plant in Eemshaven into a facility where hydrogen rather than natural gas will be burned as of 2023. Statoil will produce the hydrogen from natural gas, but will store the resulting CO2 byproduct under ground. This will result in the first climate neutral hydrogen power station in the world (440 MW). Currently Norway is busy constructing a so-called CO2-vault of its west coast and likes to see the Dutch power station in Eemshaven as one of its first customers.
The production of hydrogen from natural gas is merely a temporary solution and must be seen as a preparation for a later stage, when the hydrogen must come from the new offshore wind power stations in the neighboring North Sea, where electricity will be used in an electrolysis process to split water in hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen will be converted into ammonia for easier storage and eventually be burned at Magnum. Hence the description of the power station as an “ammonia battery“.
[statoil.com] – Evaluating conversion of natural gas to hydrogen
[nl.wikipedia.org] – Magnum (energiecentrale)
[volkskrant.nl] – Eerste klimaatneutrale energiecentrale ter wereld komt in Eemshaven
[bellona.org] – First ever climate neutral power plant
[snn.eu] – Aandacht in Den Haag voor noordelijke energie ambities
The old and near obsolete North Sea oil & gas infrastructure can be reused for the coming reneweable energy base, where the North Sea will play a central role. Core themes ENSEA:
Energy system: The infrastructure and processes that deliver power to end users and includes the electricity and gas supply networks, power generators (both large and centralised land small and decentralised) and other assets.
Balancing: Regulation of energy production, storage and consumption in order to equalise the production and consumption at any time (e.g. by quick regulating gas power plants) to keep the electrical energy system secure.
Back up: Energy production capacity which is in standby to react quickly when there is a difference in energy production and consumption e.g. because of fluctuating production of renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy.
Storage: Small capacity storage and high power pumps (e.g. flywheels or batteries) capable for operating for minutes or hours, or larger capacity storage necessary for extended periods without production from renewable sources.
Infrastructure (electricity grid): Smart grid infrastructures designed for both supply to customers as well as production of power within these grids.
Jutland/Denmark now also member of ENSEA:
[ensea.biz] – Associated Partner Denmark
[wikipedia.org] – Sabatier reaction
CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O ∆H = −165.0 kJ/mol
Hydrogen can be won from water and electrolysis, using renewable electricity. Hydrogen is explosive and needs to be stored at very low temperatures. By mixing it with the superfluous greenhouse gas CO2 (an exothermic reaction, meaning you get extra heat), you get methane, which is far easier to handle. And you solve the storage problem.
Norway is of central importance in the design of a pan-European renewable energy base. The country is sparsely populated and has mountains with large lakes, that can function as hydro storage basins for excess renewable energy from offshore wind from countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Although Norway is not a member of the EU, it does closely cooperate on many areas with Brussels, including energy.
Natural conditions for the production of HP in Norway are very favourable. Yearly precipitation in most of the country varies from 300/500 up to more than 2000 mm, and precipitation is rather evenly distributed over the year. There are large mountainous areas and mountain plateaus with high elevation and steep falls/short distances down to the lowlands/coastal areas. The high number of lakes provides ideal conditions for establishing reservoirs. They are key elements in the hydropower infrastructure as precipitation falls as snow 3-5 months during the winter season when runoff is at its lowest and electricity demand at its highest.
[regjeringen.no] – Energy and Water Resources in Norway
[springer.com] – The Master Plan for the Management of Watercourses in Norway
[brage.bibsys.no] – Hydropower in Norway
[sciencedirect.com] – Implicit Environmental Costs in Hydroelectric Development
[deepresource] – Norway Wants to Become Europe’s Battery Pack
[deepresource] – Norway Europe’s Green Battery
[deepresource] – NorNed
[deepresource] – Green Light For British-Norwegian Interconnector
[deepresource] – European Supergrid Submarine Cables – Inventory & Plans
[deepresource] – 1 kWh (=lifting a car to the top of the Eiffel Tower)
Norway is ahead of everybody else in its ambition to get rid of the stinking petrol clunker once and for all. In 2017 the majority of new vehicles sold in Norway are e-vehicles. By 2025 all vehicles sold should be electric by law.
Why Norway? Because of government regulations and the convenient fact that Norway has a lot of hydro-power, the easiest form of renewable energy around, which ensures that e-driving is really clean and not a zero-sum game of moving emissions from a car exhaust to the fossil power station smoke stack.
And as the Dutch proverb goes: “if one (Norwegian) sheep has crossed the dam, more will follow.”
Like the Netherlands for instance. The flatlanders have no hydro-power worth mentioning, but ambitious offshore wind park plans, to be realized before 2023, providing enough electricity from wind to power an entire Dutch e-vehicle fleet. Like Norway, the Netherlands wants to phase out petrol cars after 2025.
[deepresource] – Suitable Offshore Wind Locations
The Dutch part of the North Sea could (in theory) power all European cars.
[deepresource] – Gemini Wind Farm Live Data
[bloomberg.com] – The Country Adopting Electric Vehicles Faster Than Anywhere Else
Winfried Kretschmann is a member of the German Greens party and happens to be the first ever Green Minister-President of any German state, in casu of Baden-Württemberg, home of Mercedes-Benz. Within his party he is a right-winger and relatively business-friendly. Kretschmann was caught on camera while ranting against the left-wing of his party, that insists that selling new petrol-driven cars should be forbidden as of 2030. Kretschmann deems this to be unrealistic.
[wikipedia.org] – Winfried Kretschmann
EU scientists are investigating if high pressure air, stored in empty mines and tunnels, could provide an alternative for pumped hydro storage in mountain basins. Currently pumped air storage efficiency merely reaches ca. 50%. The goal of the project is to substantially increase that efficiency to 70-80%. The trick is to not ignore the thermal losses accompanied with putting air under pressure, c.q. releasing it.
[ricas2020.eu] – RICAS Project (Research Infrastructure Compressed Air Storage)
[wikipedia.org] – Compressed air energy storage
[cleantechnica.com] – EU Proposes Air As World’s Next Big Energy Storage Option
[sintef.no] – Air could be the world’s next battery
[trouw.nl] – Energieopslag in Bergen: een heel luchtige zaak
[ethz.ch] – Pilot in Switzerland; expected efficiency 75%.
Rough estimates of the potential of fracking, as practiced in North-America, are that it can postpone the end of the oil age with perhaps a decade or so.
However, there never has been any doubt that the remaining quantity of fossil fuel, stored in the earth’s crust, is many times larger than the cumulative amount of fossil fuel consumed so far in the entire history. The problem has always been: can we access that fuel in an economic way and the concept of EROEI is the leading indicator to decide if a fuel can be exploited economically. The decisive factor is technology, a very dynamic factor. There are for instance enormous quantities of frozen methane lying around on the ocean floor and now it is beginning to dawn that unbelievable large quantities of coal are waiting to be exploited beneath the North-Sea floor, that could be harvested in gas form:
Scientists have discovered vast deposits of coal lying under the North Sea, which could provide enough energy to power Britain for centuries.
Experts believe there is between 3 and 23 trillion tonnes of coal buried in the seabed starting from the northeast coast and stretching far out under the sea.
Data from seismic tests and boreholes shows that the seabed holds up to 20 layers of coal – much of which could be reached with the technology already used to extract oil and gas.
In comparison: so far the world extracted ‘merely’ 0.135 trillion ton of oil, a small fraction of the coal reserves located beneath the North-Sea. In other words: peak conventional oil may have happened in 2005, but in hindsight it was a completely irrelevant event.
If it is wise to exploit these vast reserves is a different matter altogether. But one thing is certain: the original idea we had when we started this blog over three years ago, namely that fossil fuel could become scarce on relatively short notice, that idea needs to be abandoned. Limiting factors will more likely be: finance, geopolitics, war, environment, climate change; not lack of combustible material. It is likely that there is far more fossil fuel around than the atmosphere can ever handle.
Obviously we do not advocate the grand-scale exploitation of coal underneath the North-Sea, although it is nice to know that we in Europe are perhaps not as dependent on the Middle-East for the duration of the transition. What we do advocate is the exploitation of a limited amount to enable the renewable energy transition to occur, meaning a large wind-turbine next to every village and solar panels on every available roof, combined with large scale hydro-storage in mountain areas. The EU should stick to its original goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Again: there is no serious energy problem in the long term. There is an awareness problem.
[dailymail.co.uk] – Vast deposits totalling up to 23 trillion tonnes found under the North Sea
[wikipedia.org] – Coal gasification
[theecologist.org] – ‘Underground coal gasification’ hell-fires threaten Tyneside and the North Sea
[thegwpf.com] – Coal is the new black gold under the North Sea
[resilience.org] – 3000 Billion tons of coals off Norway’s coastline
[thejournal.co.uk] – Drilling date set for North Sea’s vast coal reserves
[walesonline.co.uk] – An estimated trillion tonnes of coal found off Wales’ coast
[heraldscotland.com] – North Sea is the place to be in crude price slump declares entrepreneur
[source] – North Sea is the place to be in crude price slump declares entrepreneur
On March 19, a contract for a subsea cable named NordLink was signed, under supervision of the Dutch royal couple, king Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima:
Contracts were signed today in Hamburg between NordLink partners TenneT, Statnett and KfW plus ABB AB for the construction and installation of the German section of the high voltage direct current transmission cable (HVDC cable) for the NordLink project and for the two converter stations. NordLink, the “green cable”, is the first direct connection between the German and Norwegian electricity markets.
NordLink is now being build, another one is planned (NorGer)
[tennet.eu] – Dutch royal couple attends contract signing ‘green cable’
As was the case with earlier cable NorNed, the idea is to use Norway as ‘Europe’s battery pack‘: if there is too much renewable energy generated in the UK, for instance wind energy after 24:00, send it to Norway through the interconnector cable and use the energy to pump up water into mountain basins. When energy is required in Britain, let the water flow back to lower altitudes and generate electricity, that can be send back through the same cable. Overall efficiency still ca. 80%.
Completion date: 2021
Length cable: 730 km
Capacity: 730,000 homes or 1,400 MW (both ways)
Investment: 2 billion euro
[guardian.com] – UK and Norway to build world’s longest undersea energy interconnector
Johan Sverdrup oil field:
Start production: 2019 (est.)
Total reserves: 1.8 billion barrel
Max production: 650,000 barrel/day (a coffee mug / European = ca. 10 kwh)
Total revenue: $205 billion ($40,000 / Norwegian)
Norway already has a fund of $840 billion ($160,000 / Norwegian). It is unlikely that Norway will join the EU any time soon.
There can only be one energy strategy for Europe in a resource depleted future: the European supergrid, a pan-European infrastructure, consisting of renewable energy generation, mainly based on wind and solar and large scale hydro storage to filter out intermittent energy supply from said sources. NorNed was a major step towards that integrated renewable European energy future. After 2020 slowly declining fossil fuel supplies from Russia need to be gradually replaced by this renewable infrastructure, probably combined with severe energy saving measures as well as rationing.
Wikipedia: NorNed is a 580-kilometre (360 mi) long HVDC submarine power cable between Feda in Norway and the seaport of Eemshaven in the Netherlands, which interconnects both countries’ electricity grids. It is the longest submarine power cable in the world. Budgeted at €550 million, and completed at a cost of €600m, the NorNed cable is a bipolar HVDC link with a voltage of ±450 kV and a capacity of 700 MW. NorNed is a joint project of the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett and its Dutch counterpart TenneT… After two months of operation, the cable generated revenues of approximately € 50 million, meaning that in two months’ time, 8% of the total costs of the cable have been recovered. In the business case drawn up for the NorNed cable, annual revenues were estimated at €64 million. NorNed has been included in European Market Coupling Company operations as of 12 January 2011.
Translated Dutch wikipedia: the cable is a big success; in 2008 (cable in use for merely eight months) 3000 GWh were imported by the Netherlands and 330 GWh were exported. The cable is used to import cheap clean hydro electricity during the day from Norway. During the night cheap Dutch electricity is exported to spare reserves in the Norwegian hydro bassins or even to pump up water into the bassins. In this way the lakes are used to store energy that can be easily be reovered for times of peak demand.
Youtube text – Uploaded October 12, 2011 – Olav Hohmeyer is a professor in energy and natural resource sciences at the University of Flensburg. He is a member of the German Advisory Council on the Environment. They have recently given recommendations to the German government on pathways towards a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050. He will explain the key findings of this work and emphasize how Norwegian hydropower may play an important role to help Germany become 100 per cent renewable.
The big advantage of hydro storage is that it can be regulated on short notice. The total storage capacity in the Norwegian hydro system is about 84 TWh. The current German yearly electricity consumption is in the order of 500 TWh. The strictly theoretical maximum amount of Norwegian mainland hydropower production is 600 TWh. A more realistic figure is 200 TWh.
[source] – Hydro Electricity and Storage Capabilities in Norway – can they be useful for Europe? [pdf, 15p]
[en.wikipedia.org] – Ulla-Førre, largest reservoir in Norway, capacity 7.8 TWh.
[Google Maps] – Lake Blåsjø
More videos with prof. Olav Hohmeyer:
Uploaded 8 nov 2012 – „Die Showcity Flensburg ist ein Baustein, der den öffentlichen Nahverkehr attraktiver macht.” — Nobelpreisträger Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer kommentiert das Projekt vor dem Hintergrund des Klimaschutzes.
Uploaded 3 nov 2010 – Nach der beschlossenen Verlängerung der Laufzeiten für Kernkraftwerke befürchten Kritiker, dass der Ausbau Erneuerbarer Energien ins Stocken geraten könnte. Olav Hohmeyer, Professor für Energie- und Ressourcenwirtschaft an der Universität Flensburg und Mitglied des Weltklimarats IPCC, beschreibt die Hintergründe der von ihm beobachteten Verzögerung beim Ausbau der Offshore-Windparks.
Uploaded 21 aug 2011 nano: Bericht 14.03.2011 Die Brücke stand schon “Brückentechnologie Atomkraft nicht notwendig” “Die Brücke zu erneuerbaren Energien stand bereits”, so Prof. Olav Hohmeyer vom Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen in Deutschland.
Geupload op 11 jun 2011 – Mittwoch, 08.06.2011 um 23:35 im Ersten So viel Energie steckte noch nie in der Diskussion um die Zukunft. Die Frage ist nicht mehr, ob wir die Atomkraftwerke abschalten können, sondern wie und wie schnell. 2022, 2020? Oder gar 2015, wie Gutachten renommierter Experten nahelegen. Prof. Olav Hohmeyer vom Zentrum für nachhaltige Energiesysteme in Flensburg ist sicher, dass bereits ab Anfang 2015 Deutschland zu jedem Zeitpunkt ohne Atomstrom versorgt werden kann, auch ohne Zukäufe aus dem Ausland. Es gebe keine regionalen Versorgungsengpässe und auch zu Zeiten der Jahreshöchstlast – meist einem Abend im Dezember – ist Strom für jeden Verbraucher in Deutschland gewährleistet. Die Kosten? Das Abschalten aller Atomkraftwerke in Deutschland wird den Durchschnittshaushalt allenfalls um einige Euro im Monat belasten. Für einen Zeitraum werden wir Kohle- und Gaskraftwerke vermehrt nutzen müssen, mit erhöhtem CO2-Ausstoß für einige Jahre. Danach wird die Klimabilanz aber wesentlich besser aussehen, als die Politik sie bisher geplant hat. Deutschland könnte spätestens 2050 seinen Strom komplett regenerativ herstellen. Mit politischer und gesellschaftlicher Bereitschaft ist dieses Ziel aber schon wesentlich früher zu erreichen.
Youtube text: Osmotic Power – The energy is based on the natural phenomenon osmosis, defined as being the transport of water through a semi-permeable membrane. This is how plants can absorb moisture through their leaves — and retain it. When fresh water meets salt water, for instance where a river runs into the sea, enormous amounts of energy are released. This energy can be utilized for the generation of power through osmosis. At the osmotic power plant, fresh water and salt water are guided into separate chambers, divided by an artificial membrane. The salt molecules in the sea water pulls the freshwater through the membrane, increasing the pressure on the sea water side. The pressure equals a 120 metre water column, or a significant waterfall, and be utilized in a power generating turbine.
Statkraft prototype Tofte/Norway
A 10 kW prototype was realized in 2008. A commercial scale implementation is expected to become operational in 2015. This is expensive technology.
[wikipedia.org] – Prototype Tofte/Hurum, Norway (10 kW)
Youtube text: Statnett and TenneT are installing the world’s longest submarine high voltage cable between Norway and the Netherlands. This animation gives a short overview about this extraordinary cable project.
[wikipedia] – European Supergrid
[wikipedia] – NorNed. Operational May 2008, length 580 km, budget € 600 million, power 700 MW.
[wikipedia] – BritNed. Operational April 2011, length 260 km, budget € 600 million, power 1000 MW.
[wikipedia] – NorGer. Operational in future, length 570 km, power 1400 MW.
Here are the results of the Legatum Prosperity Index, showing the world’s most and least prosperous nations in 2012. The most prosperous nations:
5. New Zealand