Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “Norway”

Yara Birkeland Autonomous Battery Container Vessel

The vessel YARA Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. KONGSBERG is responsible for development and delivery of all key enabling technologies including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous ship operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems. A 120 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) open top container ship. It will be a fully battery powered solution, prepared for autonomous and unmanned operation. The vessel will reduce NOx and CO2 emissions by reducing diesel-powered truck transport by around 40,000 journeys per year. This eco-initiative will help to meet the UN sustainability goals, and improve road safety and congestion… The ship will also be equipped with an automatic mooring system – berthing and unberthing will be done without human intervention, and will not require special implementations dock-side.

The containers contain mainly fertilizer. (Automatic) loading and unloading the cargo takes about as much time as charging the batteries.

In 2019, the share of hydroelectricity in Norway was 93.4%.

Yara Birkeland operational route, HeroyaLarvik (overland 27 km).

[] – Autonomous Ship Project, Key Facts About Yara Birkeland

Read more…

Norwegian Oil & Gas Production Forecast

[source] With a Norwegian population of 5.4 million, for every inhabitant, wealth increases with almost a single barrel of oil per day or $75. As a result, Norway sits on the largest public fund in the world, value 1 trillion $. Norway is a large investor in North Sea renewable energy infrastructure.

OSLO, June 11 (Reuters) – Norway is betting on hydrogen and offshore wind for its energy transition but will continue to extract oil and gas until 2050 and beyond, the outgoing centre-right government said as it presented its long-term energy strategy on Friday.

Europe’s second largest oil and gas producer will continue to hold regular licensing rounds, offering exploration acreage to energy firms, the government said.

[] – Norway not ready to let go of oil, gas in push for greener energy

Norway At 84.7% Plugin EV Share In July

[] – Norway At 84.7% Plugin EV Share In July

Norway and CO2 emissions

Deutsche Welle documentary about Norwegian carbon sequestration efforts:

Oil nation Norway plans to help fight climate change by capturing and storing Europe’s carbon emissions. The ‘Northern Lights’ project will store captured CO2 emissions in the North Sea. But this procedure is not without risks.

The world is facing a climate catastrophe, and despite rapid growth in renewable energy production, some industries continue to emit vast amounts of CO2 during production processes. Two of these industries are cement and steel, both crucial for the economy. A solution is needed, and Norway believes part of the answer for Europe is carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The country has called its CCS project ‘Northern Lights.’ The plan is to capture CO2 emitted from industrial sites, liquefy it, and then transport the liquefied gas via pipelines to be stored in the North Sea, approximately 3000 meters below sea level.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that the only way to limit the global rise in temperature to a maximum of two degrees is to capture and store many billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. But in Germany people have protested against the use of carbon capture and storage.

The technology has been fraught with problems in the past. And there are other, more natural alternatives. One option could be to restore moorlands and bogs. When wet, these store carbon that has been sucked from the air by plants. But many bogs have been drained for farming, and as drained moorlands dry, CO2 is produced, meaning they have become a source of pollution rather than carbon storage. Reversing this and returning them to their carbon storing potential could be relatively inexpensive, as well as being a more natural way of reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

This documentary weighs up the pros and cons of CCS and investigates why the restoration of moorlands has hardly progressed in years.

Hexicon Wind Farm Principle

Hexicon is a Swedish offshore wind design, where floating twin rotors are automatically direct themselves towards prevailing winds. Recently, a scale model was successfully tested in the Marin test center in the Netherlands. The next step is to evaluate the test data in order to achieve a pilot at Metcentre in Norway in 2023.

[] – Developer site
[] – Hexicon Completes Model Test for Its Two-Turbine Floater

Dutch test site Marin

Novel Floating Wind Concept

A small Norwegian startup (2017, 3 employees) has proposed a new concept to harvest wind power: a sort of floating windscreen, see picture. Interestingly, they attracted the attention of Aibel, a serious oil company of 4000 employees.

At first sight, this concept could be interpreted as one giant wind rotor, smeared out as it were over many smaller rotors, and as such offering single-stop maintenance advantages. Additionally, the rotors are attached to a 3D mesh or grid, rather than to a single monolithic monopile, offering new construction possibilities and extra stiffness, with less material and weight. Note that this principle can only be applied to floating wind, as the entire screen needs to be able to rotate around a virtual vertical ax to keep it directed to the wind. An additional advantage is that it occupies less “sea space” per MW, which the fishing industry and shipping will love.

This structure is said to be able to provide electricity for 80,000 households.

[] – Company site
[] – Multi-Turbine Floater Unveiled, Costs Said to Be On Par with Fixed-Bottom OW
[] – Norwegian company unveils wind sail floating solution
[] – Aibel company site

Nordlink Subsea Cable Germany-Norway Inaugurated

The European super grid got more integrated today with the inauguration of the Nordlink subsea cable Germany-Norway. German wind power gets connected with Norwegian pumped hydro storage capacity. Cable capacity: 6 million households. Owners: Norwegian transmission system operator StatNett (50%), Dutch grid operator TenneT (25%) and German bank KfW (25%).

[] – Nordlink
[] – NordLink – the “green cable” – between Germany and Norway is now fully in operation
[deepresource] – Our Nordlink posts

Read more…

Rystad Predicts 250 GW Offshore Wind by 2030

The offshore wind industry’s global installed capacity is set to exceed 250 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, driven by a surge in coming projects, a Rystad Energy report shows. The combined capital and operational expenditure for the decade is set to add up to an eye-popping $810 billion, signaling an increasing shift of investments from oil and gas to renewable energy technologies.

The cumulative installed capacity of global offshore wind projects climbed to 33 GW in 2020 – a significant achievement for an industry that has nearly tripled its size since 2016. We expect the world’s installed capacity to hit an estimated 109 GW by 2025 and rise further to 251 GW by 2030, growing by 22% a year on average.

[] – An expenditure splash of $810 billion is expected for the offshore wind industry this decade

NordLink Operational

Germany has a 2nd subsea power cable to Norway, called NordLink, connecting a large Norwegian hydro-buffer with German renewable energy sources to even-out intermittent power supply.

Construction start date: 2016
Trajectory: Wilster-Tonstadt
Subsea length: 516 km
Cost: 2 billion euro
Power: 1.4 GW
Operator: TenneT


[] – Deutschland nutzt Norwegen jetzt als Batterie
[] – NordLink
[deepresource] – Norway Wants to Become Europe’s Battery Pack (2012)

Offshore Wind Update

The Danish offshore wind park “Kriegers Flak” is halfway completed. 36 of the 72 Siemens Gamesa 8.4 MW wind turbines are in place and the rest will be until June, according to installer Jan de Mul of Flanders.

[] – Kriegers Flak Wind Turbines Halfway There

More interesting is the breakthrough of offshore wind in Eastern Europe, with a bang really. Poland gave the nod to 2.5 GW Baltica 2&3 via a “contract for difference” scheme:

[] – Poland Awards 2.5 GW Baltica 2&3 with Contract for Difference

But the greatest news is:

[] – Ireland to Get 1.4 GW Floating Wind Farm, Green Hub

Ireland will have a large floating wind farm off the West coast, build by Norwegian contractor Equinor. This technology will greatly expand the potential regions where offshore wind can be applied, even deep onto the ocean, which is interesting for Japan, China and the US.

Norwegian Oil Fund Invests in Dutch Offshore Wind Park

[source] Fill er up! Well, well, well… 5.4 million people owning 1.1 trillion euro, that’s 200k per capita, build-up over merely 20 years. The Norwegians have a luxury problem: what to do with all that money? And then they saw the European Renewable Energy Policy and they knew their problem was solved.

The Norwegian Statens pensjonsfond Utland just acquired 50% of the newly built Borssele I & II offshore wind parks from Danish wind developer Ørsted. Until now this state-owned pension fund was focussed on oil investments. Investment sum: 1.4 billion euro. The Norwegian fund sits on a staggering 1.1 trillion euro and is the largest public fund in the world. Ironically, the fund got its mammoth size thanks to Norwegian oil revenue.

The take-away point is that the financial resources to fund the renewable energy transition are virtually limitless, now that the transition is backed by:

1) Paris Accords
2) EU Green Deal
3) Global and especially European public opinion.

A large share of the funds will come from Scandinavia. Owning the parks yourself would be best, but geopolitically this is still preferable over US, UK, Chinese or Arabian ownership of the parks. Norway is de facto member of the EU Common Market.

[] – Norwegischer Pensionsfonds investiert erstmals in Meereswindpark

Floating ‘Concrete Hull’ Offshore Wind Turbines

For floating offshore wind, the regular monopiles are replaced by large, hollow concrete hulls, anchored by cable to the ocean floor. Floating wind vastly expands the possibilities of offshore wind to much deeper waters.

[] – Concrete Hulls for World’s Largest Floating Wind Project
[] – The next frontier of wind power
[] – Anchoring Systems

Read more…

Nel Pushes for Hydrogen Price of $1.5/kg by 2025

Nel Hydrogen of Norway predicts that by 2025, large-scale Nel electrolyzers in the multi-GW range will be able to produce hydrogen from electricity at a price of $1.5/kg, reaching fossil parity.

Nel is currently setting up a fully automated manufacturing facility at Herøya, at its Norwegian home base, that should produce 500 MW/year as of Q2-2021. The potential is up to 2 GW/year. Scale is the most important driver behind the expected spectacular price decay. Nel thinks it will be able to bring filling stations to market with a capacity of fueling heavy-duty trucks within 10-15 minutes, enabling a range of 1,000 km.


[] – Nel launches $1.5/kg target for renewable hydrogen
[] – Nel ASA

Zalmkwekerij in Noorwegen

A few facts regarding Salmon.

Global Salmon production: 3.2 million tonnes/year
Farmed/wild ratio: 3:1
Atlantic origin: 70%
Individual Salmon: 4-6 kg after 2 years
Energy: 208 kcal/100 gram
Protein: 20%
Fat: 13%

Good source of vitamin D and Omega-3 and 6.

[] – Tracé van Zalm

Nel Hydrogen Will Deliver Dutch PosHYdon Electrolysis System

The plan is that a lot of Dutch offshore wind will be transformed into hydrogen at sea, using the extensive fossil fuel pipelines, lying idle on the North Sea floor, to get the hydrogen on shore. Nel Hydrogen of Norway will deliver the required electrolyzers.

[] – NEL Hydrogen to Deliver PosHYdon Electrolysis System

Nel Hydrogen electrolyzer

Hydrogen Land €9B Project

Multi-billion companies like Shell, Gasunie, RWE and Equinor join forces in giving the hydrogen economy a major 9 billion push, distributed over more than 50 projects (if the Dutch government cooperates). If this project will proceed, it will surpass the $5B Neom green hydrogen project in Saudi-Arabia as the largest green hydrogen project on earth. The project aims at 1 GW electrolyzer capacity in 2027, 4 GW in 2030 and 10+ GW in 2040. Focal point of activities will be located in the northern Dutch province of Groningen, bordering the North Sea, with its near future multi-GW offshore wind farms.

[] – The Netherlands: Hydrogen Land Investment plan worth 9 billion euros should ensure a leading position in Europe
[] – Equinor joins Europe’s biggest green hydrogen project, the NortH2-project
[deepresource] – NortH2 – The Netherlands Starting the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – Germany Embraces the Hydrogen Economy
[] – Mijn Toekomst is Waterstof

Snøhetta Designs CO2-Neutral Office in Telemark/Norway

Powerhouse Telemark sets a new standard for the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings by reducing its yearly net energy consumption by 70% compared to similar new-construction offices, and by producing more energy than it will consume over its entire lifespan

[] – Snøhetta Completes its 4th Energy Positive Powerhouse in Telemark, Norway – a Sustainable Model for the Future of Workspaces

Plans for Next-Gen Turbine Installation Vessel from Norway

Companies: Ocean Installer and Vard Shipyards.
Size: 1,000 tonnes and structures 150 m above sea level

[] – Norwegian initiative for global offshore wind
[] – Norwegians to Develop Next-Gen Turbine Installation Vessel

Growing Crops in the Desert With NanoClay

Nothing grows in the desert because the sandy soil is unable to retain water. The Norwegian company Desert Control has found a solution: add a layer of nano clay as top soil of ca. 40-60 cm and the desert can begin to produce crops instantaneously.

Earlier this year a project in Dubai has begun to grow watermelon, zucchini and pearl millet:

Growing melons in the Dubai desert in 2020

The way it works is that a mixture of water and clay particles is spayed over sandy soil, sinks into it and mixes with the sand, increasing the ability to hold water like a sponge and add minerals to the mix and you are ready to go plant your crops. You will need less than half the water to achieve good results. The liquid nanoclay is only a little thicker than water and easily percolates into the soil; you can even use sprinklers.

Dubai, a rich country that imports 90% of its food, is the ideal incubator for this technology. Price tag: $2-5/m2. Desert Control raised $5 million, which it invested in nanoclay producing units with a capacity of 40 m3/hour.

[] – This startup wants to turn Dubai’s desert into farmland
[] – Company site
[] – The innovation turning desert sand into farmland
[] – Transforming Deserts into Fertile Farmland using Liquid NanoClay

Nel Hydrogen Announces $350/kW Electrolyser

Bye-bye Royal Dutch Shell, Total, BP, Exxon and what have you. Nel Hydrogen has just sold 5 x 17 = 85 MW worth of electrolysers to US truck startup Nikola Motors for ca. $30 million.

PHOENIX (JUNE 3, 2020) — Nikola Corporation who becomes publicly traded on June 4, 2020 on the Nasdaq (NKLA), signed a purchase order with Nel ASA (Nel, OSE: NEL), for 85-megawatt alkaline electrolyzers supporting five of the world’s first 8 ton per day hydrogen fueling stations. Together, these electrolyzers may produce over 40,000 kgs of hydrogen each day.

The purchase order has a value in excess of USD $30 million, and the electrolyzers will primarily be delivered from the new electrolyzer mega-factory currently under development in Norway. This purchase order will support Nikola’s five initial stations with 8 ton per day hydrogen production capacity. The remaining equipment will be covered by a separate purchase order that is expected to be finalized within the coming months.

That phrase “in excess of” is a little puzzling, but if we assume that “in excess of” does NOT stand for “excessively over”, we may tentatively conclude that the electrolysers will change owner for the tip of somewhere near $30M/85MW = $350/kW! So far, the electrolyser price was in the range of $1000-1500/kW.

If this turns out to be true, the price of green hydrogen will be largely determined by the price of renewable electricity and not so much by the cost of conversion of electricity into hydrogen. It means that the renewable energy storage problem would be solved and that governments in North-Africa or the Gulf region could begin to contemplate combining their cheap labor, 1-2 cent/kWh desert solar and $350/kW electrolyser technology in order to touch serious money after the end of the oil age.

One can doubt if this news will be greeted in the HQs of Tesla and Volkswagen, companies that have placed their bets heavily on battery cars. The big winner could be Japan.

Regardless, this is hardly the time to buy a new gasoline car. Combine the above with the storage of hydrogen in Borohydride (“H2Fuel”), a storage technology currently under development in the Netherlands and in ten years time you will be fueling your car in 3 minutes with a yogurt-like substance and you’re good for yet another 1000 miles, without the necessity to daily fight with your neighbors over who can use the charging station. Additionally, “shameless” electric flying, based on a fuel cell, will become possible with Borohydride, that has an energy density of 9 kWh/kg.

[] – Nel ASA: Receives purchase order from Nikola
[] – Nikola Orders Enough Electrolysis Equipment From Nel to Produce 40 Ton Hydrogen/Day
[] – Renewable Hydrogen Out-competing Fossil Alternatives
[] – Japan Is Betting Big On The Future Of Hydrogen Cars
[deepresource] – H2Fuel

Nel Hydrogen suggest a price potential of below $350/kW in a set of Powerpoints, that has a “2019” smell about it. Apparently that boundary has been broken in 2020.

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