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Germany And Scotland Look to Offshore Wind Green Hydrogen

Posted: 24/07/2020

Categories: Emergency Response & Preparedness

German representatives from the offshore wind industry are urging Angela Merkel’s government to issue tenders for additional offshore wind areas to help produce green hydrogen as quickly as possible, while in Scotland, UK gas network operator SGN has launched a project to use offshore wind to provide green hydrogen for heating.

Germany’s National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS) aims to open up the opportunity to syphon off approximately 3 GW of offshore wind energy to produce green hydrogen, which requires additional areas that need to be investigated and put out to tender as quickly as possible, according to BWE, BWO, VDMA, WAB and the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, reports ReNews.biz.

A preliminary draft of the area development plan has the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) selecting the first of two sites for Power-to-X in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The tender award procedure is due to begin in 2021.

“Not least because of the long planning time of offshore wind farms, we have long warned that an expansion gap is imminent. We are now in the middle of it. The challenge now is to keep this expansion gap as small as possible and to strengthen the domestic market for offshore wind energy sustainably and permanently,” the organisations commented

As well as making the long-term goals stated in law, it would also include putting the areas out to tender from the German government and choosing an economically efficient remuneration system for future offshore wind projects.

According to the organisations, the basis for this should be created as soon as possible following the summer break, as well as consulting the industry for their input. They claim the potential in the North and Baltic Seas is not yet exhausted, and the available areas and free grid capacities of 1,860 MW can be allocated at short notice.

“If the right course is set now, these will not only make a significant contribution to the sustainable economic recovery after the Corona crisis but will also contribute greatly to achieving the climate targets and security of supply during the energy transition,” it was concluded.

The project launched by SGN, in Fife, Scotland would be a world-first to imply a direct supply of onshore wind power to generate green electricity for heating.

SGN manages the network distributing natural gas to 5.9M homes and businesses across Scotland and parts of southern England. As part of its efforts to decarbonise the energy system and reduce emissions, the company is investigating the role that hydrogen can play.

The project begins with heating approximately 300 homes in the ‘Kingdom of Fife’ by using clean gas produced by an electrolysis plant, which is powered by the offshore wind turbine at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Levenmouth site.

Engineering and consulting company Wood has been contracted for services on the preliminary engineering design for SGN’s proposed site at Machrihanish, on the west coast of Scotland, as part of the project, which is named Hydrogen 100 (H100)

Wood has worked on the project in collaboration with the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company Business Park and Airport, which had been considered as one of three potential sites to host the hydrogen production, storage, and distribution infrastructure.

H100 Fife would be the first green hydrogen network, and SGN says it sees significant potential for further 100 per cent hydrogen networks in Machrihanish and Aberdeen in the future, according to a Wood press release.

As part of the scope of work, the team from Wood secured planning consent, completed the technical feasibility study, and provided preliminary engineering design for the candidate site.

“Wood brought together a multi-disciplinary team from across its business including environmental planning, geographical mapping, visualisation, process and pipeline engineering, renewables and hydrogen power experts to deliver a turnkey solution for SGN”, Wood said.

The rise of offshore wind power as a large-scale source of clean energy is an essential part of the solution for clean hydrogen growth, according to SGN’s website. It adds that the amount of clean energy required for electrolysis can be provided by offshore wind.

Renewables-powered green hydrogen is the most effective way of providing heating for the home, while also combating climate change. SGN says that the clean energy combination could put Scotland and the UK on track to meet net-zero targets by 2045 and 2050.

If your offshore teams require training in how to delivery advance levels of response for incidents such as confined space, advanced first aid, fire, or work at height rescue, contact HFR Solutions to discuss their ERT team training options.