The announcement that Statoil, Vattenfall and Gasunie have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate the possibilities of converting Vattenfall’s gas power plant, Magnum, in the Netherlands, into a hydrogen-powered plant marks an interesting new development in carbon capture and storage for Norway and the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has traditionally worked on exploiting its combination of energy-intensive industries and power generation in coastal regions close to geological CO2 storage.
Such CCS clusters, with a shared infrastructure for fuel supply, electricity grid connections and transport and geological storage of CO2, are natural locations not only for decarbonised H2 production but also for decarbonised heat and power generation from fossil fuels, low-carbon manufacturing and negative emissions biomass conversion with CCS.
The UK CCS Research Centre has also recently received funding to investigate the scope for cost reductions through synergistic design and linked operation of these hydrogen and other electricity generation and fuel conversion plants with CCS in the UK.
As the UKCCSRC Director, Professor Jon Gibbins notes, “Benefits of hydrogen production in broader CCS clusters could include shared sub-systems and heat integration as well as exploitation of what would otherwise be waste energy streams.Linking hydrogen production and other industries that use CCS may also help to overcome adverse effects of short- and long-term variability in demand for electricity and hydrogen.”
The UK has world-class potential for CCS clusters that could produce hydrogen for natural gas replacement as well as a range of new low-carbon industries because of the extensive offshore geological storage sites that have been identified with good access for areas where suitable industries already exist and new energy infrastructure vestments can be made in the future.
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