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    Gas TSOs Co-Present N Sea Wind Hub


Gas transmission operators Gasunie and Energinet were part of a five-company group that presented plans for a North Sea wind power hub to ministers in Copenhagen May 24.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Carbon, Renewables, Gas to Power, TSO, Gas for Transport, Infrastructure, News By Country, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands

Gas TSOs Co-Present N Sea Wind Hub

Dutch, Danish and German gas and power grid operators had their chance to present plans by their North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium to a ministerial meeting in Copenhagen May 24, attended by energy ministers from the G20 countries plus Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. But studies need to be done first, and no target investment date was given.

Speaking for the consortium, state-owned Danish gas and power grids operator Energinet chairman Lars Barfoed said that it has a “bold but simple” vision: “We want to connect large-scale offshore wind power to a central hub and create new energy highways and trade corridors between the North Sea countries”. The five-company consortium's concept was first unveiled last year.

By 2040, North Sea offshore wind power capacity is expected to reach 70-150 gigawatts, and to generate a fifth of the EU’s power consumption which is about seven to 15 times more than today, the consortium said. “Instead of having each country connecting its own offshore wind farms, first calculations show that up to 30% of the costs could be saved by an internationally coordinated roll out,” said Barfoed.

In addition to examining the perspectives in the central hub as a staging point for offshore wind power, the consortium is also looking into the development of electricity storage and conversion, including Power to Gas, as a way to value to any surplus offshore wind power generated. “Combining the strengths of the electricity and gas supply system can provide a key boost to the use of hydrogen as a sustainable solution in numerous applications in industry, transportation, and the built environment,” Barfoed told ministers.

The five consortium partners – Energinet, Dutch firms Gasunie, power grid TenneT and its German subsidiary, plus the Port of Rotterdam – have committed to undertake feasibility studies until mid-2019. Their May 24 statement has not given a target date for any investment decision.

Energinet chairman Lars Barfoed, addressing the Clean Energy ministerial meeting, May 24 (Photo credit: Energinet)