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Archive for the category “Norway”

Developments in Offshore Wind Jack-Up Market

New offshore wind installation mega-vessel “Voltaire”, able to lift 3,000 ton, ordered by Jan de Nul, Belgium, scheduled to become operational in 2022.

According to Bloomberg there are merely a dozen ships in the world that can install a large offshore wind turbine, which is understandable with a list price of ca. 300 million euro per ship. Currently almost all these vessels are operating in European waters. Europe is uniquely blessed with ca. 600,000 km2 shallow water with high wind speeds (North Sea, Baltic and Irish Sea, together an area larger than France) that can be utilized for offshore wind, in principle enough to supply the entire EU (300 GW on average), three-five times over.

[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age
[deepresource] – European Wind Energy Potential
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea
[deepresource] – Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential 2030

Principle offshore wind installation vessel illustrated. About one turbine foundation can be realized per day or 4 per week, if fetching a new batch in port is included. The next generation is 10 MW, 13 MW is in the pipeline. Take the Netherlands: 13 GW average electricity consumption. That could be covered by 1,000 wind turbines, or 2,000 rather, if a conservative capacity factor of 50% for large turbines is taken into account. That’s 500 weeks or 10 years installation time. So, a single ship can realize the electricity transition of a country like Holland in a decade. For 100% renewable primary energy we need to calculate twice the amount of electricity consumed today, that’s only two decades! Productivity could be significantly enhanced if a simple cheap barge and tugboat is used to fetch a new batch of 4-6 monopiles from the harbor in Rotterdam, Vlissingen or Eemshaven, while the expensive installation vessel Aeolus merrily hammers away full-time. In that case 4,000 13 MW turbines could be installed in 4,000 days or 11 years. Note that in the mean time a lot of additional solar and onshore wind capacity has been, c.q. will be built. In conclusion: this single ship Aeolus is able to complete the energy transition of the Netherlands, the #17 in the global GDP ranking before 2030, not 2050 as the EU demands. Most likely developing sufficient storage capacity will be the real bottleneck, not electricity generation capacity.

1600 GW waiting to be raked in. EU average power consumption 300 GW. The old continent has no conventional fossil fuel reserves worth mentioning, fortunately Europe doesn’t need to. Armed with the Paris Climate Accords, Europe effectively dissed everybody else his fossil fuel reserves and is offering a viable alternative instead.

Some recent developments in the fields of offshore jack-up vessels:

[bloomberg.com] – Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats
[auxnavaliaplus.org] – Vessels and platforms for the emerging wind market (pdf, 108p)
[deme-group.com] – DEME’s giant installation vessel ‘Orion’ launched in China
[a2sea.com] – A2SEA Invests in a New Jack-up Vessel
[4coffshore.com] – Construction Progressing for Next Gen Vessel
[cemreshipyard.com] – Offshore Vessels Demand for Offshore Wind Activities
[windenergie-magazine.nl] – Jan de Nul orders new installation vessel
[jandenul.com] – Getting ready for the next generation of offshore wind projects
[offshorewind.biz] – Jan De Nul Orders Mega Jack-Up
[industryreports24.com] – Massive hike by Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Market
[renews.biz] – Japan joins offshore wind jack-up brigade
[maritime-executive.com] – Wind Tower Service Firm Plans to Build Jones Act Ships
[iro.nl] – New design jack-up vessels to strengthen Ulstein’s offshore wind ambitions
[newenergyupdate.com] – Flurry US offshore vessel deals prepares market for huge turbines

Kick-off Building Nexans Aurora Submarine Cable Layer

The hull is to be built in Crist, Poland. The rest at Ulstein Verft in Norway. Completion date 2021. Purpose: connection offshore wind farms with onshore grids.

[offshorewind.biz] – Ulstein Kicks Off Nexans Aurora Construction

Largest Hydrogen Electrolyser Plant in the World (135/167 MW)

135 MW historic hydro-power electrolysis-based hydrogen production in Glomfjord, Norway 1953-1991

167 MW historic hydro-power electrolysis-based hydrogen production in Rjukan, Norway 1919-1988, possibly the oldest facility of its kind world-wide

The historic hydrogen production facilities were much larger than existing ones, but that could change really fast. They were located in Norway because of the abundance of cheap hydro-power, combined with the scientific interest in heavy water for the nuclear industry and other more down-to-earth applications of industrial hydrogen. The main challenge is to improve efficiency from currently 80% into 9x%, reduce cost and increase output. All the signs are that the hydrogen economy could have a new lease on life.

[nelhydrogen.com] – The world’s most efficient and reliable electrolyser
[nelhydrogen.com] – Nel Hydrogen about
[sintef.no] – Large scale hydrogen-production
[deepresource] – 700 MW Renewable Hydrogen Plant to be Built in France
[wikipedia.org] – Hydrogen economy
[wikipedia.org] – Hydrogen station
[wikipedia.org] – Hydrogen production
[wikipedia.org] – Hydrogen fuel
[pv-magazine.com] – Hydrogen, don’t give up!
[wikipedia.org] – Sintef
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy
[deraktionaer.de] – Nel-CEO Løkke im Exklusiv-Interview

Nel H2Station Factory

Norwegian “Nel Hydrogen” company has a hydrogen gas stations factory in Denmark with a capacity of max. 300 stations per year.

[nelhydrogen.com] – Nel Company site

Read more…

Norwegian Battery Breakthrough

[source]

Researchers at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE) in Kjeller say they have perfected a way to substitute silicon for the graphite commonly used in the anodes of lithium ion batteries.

silicon battery technology NorwayThe discovery will lead to batteries that can power an electric car for 600 miles or more, the researchers claim… The researchers have found a way to mix silicon with other elements to create an anode that is stable and long lasting and which has three to five times higher capacity than a conventional graphite anode.

[cleantechnica.com] – Researchers In Norway Claim Lithium Ion Battery Breakthrough

NordLink – Connecting Germany and Norway

[wikipedia.org] – NordLink

Can Norway Serve as Europe’s Battery Pack?

[Source]

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

HydrogenPro AS

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.

700 MW Renewable Hydrogen Plant to be Built in France

[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

Read more…

First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands

[source] Magnum power station, 8 billion euro, 1.3 GW, high efficiency (58%) natural gas power station that was built from 2009 in Eemshaven in the north of The Netherlands.

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

Read more…

European North Sea Energy Alliance

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.

[ensea.biz] – European North Sea Energy Alliance
[wikipedia.org] – OSPAR Convention
[ensea.biz] – ENSEA flyer
[deepresource] – Gold Mine North Sea

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.

Norwegian Energy Policies


Stolsvatn hydropower plant

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)

And the Winner of the E-Vehicle Transition is… Norway!

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

Read more…

Kretschmann Caught Ranting Against “Unrealistic” E-Vehicle Transition Timeline

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.

We don’t.

[wikipedia.org] – Winfried Kretschmann

[ibtimes.co.uk] – Netherlands wants to ban non-electric car sales by 2025
[thedrive.com] – Norway Doubles Down on Plans to Make Gas Cars Obsolete by 2025

RICAS-2020 – Compressed Air Storage

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%.

Norway Overtook Russia as Europe’s Largest Gas Supplier

norway-russia

[rt.com] – Norway outstrips Russia as western Europe’s largest gas supplier

Enormous Coal Reserves Found Under the North Sea

coal_gassification

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
[cluffnaturalresources.com] – Review of UCG technological advancements
[gov.scot] – Independent Review of UCG – Report

gasification_world_624map[source] – North Sea is the place to be in crude price slump declares entrepreneur

Read more…

Green Light For German-Norwegian Interconnector

NordLink_signing_with_Dutch_royal_couple-20150319_92e39932f9

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-norger
NordLink is now being build, another one is planned (NorGer)

[tennet.eu] – Dutch royal couple attends contract signing ‘green cable’

Green Light For British-Norwegian Interconnector

nsn-interconnector

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

norway-oilfield[source]
Johan Sverdrup oil field:

Owner: Norway
Discovered: 2010
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.

[imarketreports.com] – Statoil Sees $205 Billion Revenue From North Sea Field
[wikipedia.org] – Johan Sverdrup oil field

13Feb_Johan_Sverdrup_A[source]

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