- Apr 24, 2020 12:13 pm GMT
Far from shore wind farms
In June 2015, the Carbon Trust report to the Scottish Parliament identified that the UK would require up to 55GW of wind energy by 2050 and that it would be necessary to move to deeper offshore waters to meet this goal.
However moving to deeper water will require the development of a new design for turbine foundation. The move to far from shore locations also adds new challenges.
Electrical transmission from near-shore wind farms is normally done using high voltage alternating currents (HVAC). However, as transmission distances approach 100 miles, this option becomes less practical and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) systems may be required. HVDC systems require considerably larger and more costly offshore and onshore transformer and converter substations.
Alternative option – hydrogen generation far from shore
This is where the opportunity for hydrogen comes in. The benefits of hydrogen gas are striking. It emits no carbon dioxide and, if used more widely, would have a major impact on the decarbonisation of our fuel supply.
Heating and transport in particular are major CO2 emitters, and would be ripe for decarbonisation if hydrogen could be used effectively to deliver the offshore wind energy to where it is needed.
A far from shore wind farm, using floating wind turbines, has the potential to use decommissioned offshore platforms originally constructed for oil and gas production. The Brent platforms are an example that could be used as a hub for the facilities to produce hydrogen by electrolysis.
Exciting times for offshore wind, Dr Massey and I discuss:
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