28 01 2015
The North Sea Commission (NSC) is a cooperation platform for regions around the North Sea and has 5 themes they focus on, one of those themes is Energy and Climate Change.
In October the members gathered for a meeting on the North Sea Grid. Tomorrow, 29th January, the stakeholdermeeting in cooperation with DG Mare in Edinburgh takes place. Both ENSEA and NSC are envolved in this meeting. A short interview with Paulien Kooistra.
As an advisor of the Energy and Climate Change working group, Paulien Kooistra is the linking pin between several platforms (ENTSOE, CPMR, projects and the regional representatives of the group) and projects like ENSEA in the North Sea Region.
Paulien: “ENSEA became involved in the North Sea Commission through the coastal provinces of the Netherlands already being a member of the NSC. Another connection was made in Norway where Camilla Loevaas Stavnes was involved in both ENSEA and NSC.”
The NSC has various themes they focus on. You participate in the Energy and Climate change group. What is the main focus of the group? Paulien explains: “The energy and climate change group of the NSC focusses on developing energy related project ideas. Offshore wind and the North Sea Energy Grid, and Smart cities and regions are some of the fields the group addresses.”
During the meeting in October the North Sea Grid was one of the subjects addressed. Paulien emphasizes: “A development strategy for the North Sea region is an ideal platform. Both for the debate reliable essay writing service on and delivery of an E.U. wide integrated energy and climate change strategy.” The heart being the North Sea Energy grid.
In future the NSC is aiming for a wide range of project development in the fields of tidal, blue and wave energy, clean shipping, LNG for ships, trucks and trains. Paulien rounds up by inviting those interested to join the annual conference: “To get an idea of our aims the NSC will organize study visits to some of those or similar projects in Transport and to Energising Deltas (Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands).”
Want to learn more or become a member of the North Sea Commission? Send an email to Paulien Kooistra: Kooistra@energyvalley.nl or visit the website of the North Sea Commission.
28 01 2015
A broad energy consortium has been studying the possibilities Power2Gas can offer to our energy system. To finalise the research project Energy Valley together with Topconsortia Knowledge and Innovation Gas (TKI Gas) have organised a workshop during the latest Energy Convention in Groningen. On the 18th of November 100 guests from predominantly the business community came to Martini Plaza in Groningen to hear about the role of Power2Gas in the future Dutch energy system.
This high level study focuses on the future role of Power2Gas. The workshop also addressed future opportunities and challenges for Power2Gas as a system technology. Power2Gas (often abbreviated P2G) is a technology that converts electrical power to a gaseous fuel. It uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electrolysis.
Transport and industry
Two projects will likely be realised in 2016: Delfzijl and Attero Wijster. In Delfzijl Torrgas, Siemens, Stedin, Gasunie, A.Hak, Hanzehogeschool/EnTranCe, Groningen Seaports and Energy Valley intent to construct a 12 Megawatt Power2Gas facility in Delfzijl (The Netherlands). Here syngas from the Torrgas biocoal-gasifier will be upgraded with hydrogen from electrolysis and delivered to nearby industrial consumers. Attero expects to realize a P2G installation in cooperation with PON and Audi and focuses on the production of SNG for mobility.
By using this sustainably produced www.custom-papers-online.com syngas a large step forward has been taken to make the chemical industry more sustainable. Besides this, Power2Gas-technology can be used as a solution for any temporary surplus from wind and solar energy. The installations that are being built in the Energy Valley region are not only the first in the Netherlands, but also the largest of their kind – considerably bigger than existing Power2Gas initiatives in Germany for example.
Knowledge and experience
The Delfzijl project is unique in its use of oxygen from electrolyses in the gasification process of Torrgas. In most other Power2Gas-projects sustainable oxygen is not being used. The Power2Gas installation in Delfzijl presents a significant advancement in research into this scaling process and will offer the Netherlands and the Northern Provinces important knowledge about and experience in the total integration of the Power2Gas concept in industry and the national power supply.
Storage of sustainable energy
With the rise of solar and wind energy, with a variable output , there is a need to balance and manage the supply and demand of energy. By the transfer to hydrogen and eventually green gas, green energy can be stored in the gas infrastructure where it will find its way to users.
This way the gas infrastructure will be used as a huge storage medium and help to ensure that all energy, which can be produced with sustainable solar panels and wind turbines is actually being used.
Power to Gas in the Energy Valley
Energy Valley sees many opportunities for Power2Gas in the region. There is a growing need for links between Power2Gas concepts and the production of sustainable energy from wind turbines, solar energy and biomass. The electrical energy can be transformed to hydrogen-gas and oxygen-gas. This sustainable hydrogen can be used directly in the industry or in mobility (for example buses that drive on hydrogen). In the Energy Valley region these concepts can be demonstrated and realized very well in industry parks such as Chemiepark Delfzijl and the Energietransitiepark Midden-Drenthe.
30 10 2013
By Gert van Wijland for European Energy Review
The northern North Sea is one of Europe’s key energy regions. Surrounding regions are teaming up to bolster this position further. EER talks to initiator and director Gerrit van Werven of Energy Valley (northern Netherlands). ‘Together we have all the necessary expertise and infrastructure to kick start the transition to a sustainable system.’
Director Gerrit van Werven of Energy Valley (northern Netherlands, including North Holland North) is a busy man. He’s keen to talk about the cooperation between his foundation and other North Sea regions, but he has less time for an interview than originally planned: Henk Kamp, the Dutch minister responsible for energy, has unexpectedly swung by the north for a visit. As a tireless advocate of a major regional energy industry, Van Werven can’t afford to miss that.
He’s certain to seize the opportunity to point out the importance of the energy sector to the north, which Energy Valley sees as its key focus. And not without reason: the northern part of The Netherlands boasts Europe’s largest gas reserves and all the transport, storage and enrichment expertise that go with that. Van der Werven will also point to the presence of six major power plants in the region (some still under construction) as well as the large number of wind turbines, the bio-ethanol plants being built and several internationally recognised research institutes.
The region’s strategic location is obviously key: ‘Via Delfzijl and Den Helder we have direct access to the energy-rich North Sea, and we share a border with Lower Saxony, Germany’s green power state’, says Van Werven. ‘That’s where Germany’s sustainable energy sector is concentrated.’ To realise its plans for a single regional energy cluster Energy Valley is particularly focussed on the countries around the North Sea – although the emphasis actually lies less on national geography than on regions and areas boasting a strong energy sector. ‘There are quite a few, and the sea is what binds them together’, says Van Werven. ‘Power generation doesn’t end at the water’s edge – in fact that’s where it starts. Just look at all the offshore wind turbines and drilling rigs.’
Maintaining the balance
High time, then, for an energy partnership. It goes by the name of European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) – see panel 1. The inaugural meeting was held almost a year ago in the German town of Papenburg. ENSEA’s strength lies in combining the expertise and know-how specific to each of the member regions, enthuses Van Werven.
‘All the regions contribute their strengths and show their weaker points. Together we have all the necessary expertise, space and industrial power to develop a new system of energy.’ ENSEA’s approach is innovative in its shift of focus. Energy transition is traditionally held to mean the changeover from a reliance on fossil fuels to a completely sustainable system of power generation. That’s also ENSEA’s ultimate goal, says Van Werven, ‘but in the interim we’re aiming to maintain the balance, a balance between supply and demand. How to cope with peaks and troughs in wind and solar power, for example? That can only be achieved by integrating green power with fossil fuels and managing it as one single big energy system.’
Based on the idea that energy is an issue that transcends national borders, the regions have teamed up to bundle the work of their combined government, commercial and research institutes. The idea is to initiate additional integrated research on cross-border issues such as balancing energy, energy infrastructure, technology and innovation. The alliance was initiated by the non-profit organisation Energy Valley, based in the northern Netherlands. This organisation successfully lobbied Brussels last year for a 3 million euro subsidy within the seventh framework programme for research and innovation/technological development. The European Union granted the alliance the title ‘Region of Knowledge’ based on the combined development of knowledge and research activities worked out by research institutes, local and regional authorities and commercial partners.
Simultaneously all regions are working hard to find technical solutions designed to support the new system. The entire infrastructure is increasingly geared to this new future, says Van Werven. He points to the Energy Academy Europe (EAE), a new top institute in Energy Valley that combines education, research and innovation on energy. The Academy was initiated by Groningen University and Groningen’s Hanzehogeschool polytechnic and trains higher technical education and university students in all energy-related fields. The most important energy themes have been demarcated as gas (including biogas and green gas), energy of the future (such as wind and solar power), smart grids, energy efficiency and conservation, and carbon reduction.
Education and research
To emphasise the links with regional business there’s also an Energy College, where students with lower qualifications are trained for manual jobs in the sector. The two education programmes together attract some 3,000 students from across the world.
But the pursuit of knowledge is not only limited to these two education programmes. Van Werven sums up: ‘We have the internationally renowned Kema research institute; we lead the field in the thermo-chemical conversion of biomass; we’re developing new techniques to further boost the efficiency of natural gas production; we inject green gas into standard natural gas. There’s a huge energy industry emerging here.’ Investments of 25 billion euros are currently in the pipeline.
Most of those funds come from the business sector. In combination with research institutes and local government stimulus the sector is creating its own momentum, Van Werven says. That will happen for sure once the cooperation with the regions around the North Sea gathers pace. And it most certainly will, Van Werven predicts, for all the regions are basically grappling with the same problem: how do we strike a balance between supply and demand and what do we do with the old ‘fossil’ infrastructure that hasn’t yet been written off? ‘There’s still a lot of money in the old infrastructure and that’s why we’ve got to keep using it during the transition’, Van Werven says. ‘Accelerated writedowns would result in a massive destruction of capital. That’s why in oil exploration regions, for example, they’re looking whether it’s possible to re-use the foundations of drilling rigs for the placement of wind turbines.’
Closer to home, Van Werven believes there are huge advantages to be gained by reaching out over the river Eems to team up with neighbouring regions Lower Saxony and Bremen. Developments there are largely complementary to what’s happening in the ‘Dutch Valley’. ‘The potential is there to create a situation that’s mutually highly beneficial.’ But national politics frequently lags behind the local dynamic, Van Werven contends. Despite its strategic importance to power production, the region is still frequently treated by national government as a stepchild on the periphery, he believes. ‘National government has long regarded us as simply an extraction region rather than as a serious negotiating partner. They listen more to us in Lower Saxony than they do in The Hague.’
And then he’s off, in a bid to impress upon Minister Kamp the excellence of the regional energy sector. After all, the minister doesn’t come north often.
|ENSEA is the acronym for European North Sea Energy Alliance, a partnership of four regions clustered around the North Sea. Its principal goal is to develop and share expertise in the field of energy transition and to translate its research findings into pragmatic solutions to bolster sustainability in regional energy sectors. ENSEA participants comprise the following regions, each with its own specific expertise:
|Energy Valley was founded in 2003 as a network organisation to link up public and private partners active in the regional energy sector in the northern Netherlands. The non-profit organisation sees its mission as ‘to encourage, incite, facilitate and connect companies, knowledge institutes and government bodies to develop projects together and make real progress inclean, reliable and innovative energy.’
Energy Valley focuses on innovative energy technologies that are in line with national and international energy goals, while building on the strengths of the regional energy sector.
This sector is traditionally built around the biggest gas reserves in Europe, located in the area Energy Valley considers to be its heartland. The last decade or so has seen a strong upsurge in sustainable energy.
Energy Valley propagates an efficient transition to a new system of energy. Key aspects it mentions include:
Energy Valley is a strong advocate not only for the local energy industry in the northern Netherlands, but also for the wider region around the North Sea. It lobbies in Brussels and The Hague and seeks local partners in all the countries surrounding this energy-rich sea.
Visit and register on http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagina.php?id=4159#artikel_4159 to read the article on the website of Europen Energy Review.
Wednesday 26 June 2013 the closing conference of the Energy Vision North Sea Region (EVNSR) project took place during the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels. At this meeting the Interreg IVb cluster project presented its findings with respect to (i) opportunities for smart interregional cooperation and specialization towards a more sustainable and integrated energy system around the North Sea, and (ii) the results of an analysis of the “Big Wins” of 9 different energy-related projects implemented under the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme between 2007 and 2013.
- Smart Interregional Specialisation and Cooperation in the NSR
- Renewable energy technology development and integration in the NSR
Under the watchful eye of some 60 representatives of regional, national and international governments, research institutes and representatives from the business; project coordinator Koos Lok of the Energy Valley Foundation handed over the EVNSR analyses results to the president of North Sea Commission Mr. Ole http://paydayloans.greattowait.com/ Sörenson and chairman the North Sea Region Programme Mr. Christian Byrith.
Due to the success of this very cost-effective project, a project extension was granted until October 2nd 2013. During this extension, project partners will actively seek to further disseminate and discuss practical ideas for synergistic cooperation between North Sea regions and eight specific “Building Blocks” (ideas for development of an integrated energy systems around the North Sea on the basis of previous Interreg IVb project results / “Big Wins”).
For more information about the EVNSR project results and analysis you can download the pdf documents added. If you have any further questions or interested in developing or discussing the appointed themes or “Building Blocks” please contact Robbin van der Linde at email@example.com.
Papenburg, 4 October 2012
Scotland, Norway (Rogaland), Northern Germany (Ems-Achse) and Northern Netherlands (Energy Valley) have formed a unique alliance called ENSEA (European North Sea Energy Alliance) to develop knowledge of energy transition. All of these North Sea countries possess specific expertise. The collaboration between Europe’s leading players in the production and transport of natural gas and electricity (Energy Valley), renewable and low carbon energy (Scotland), sustainable energy (Niedersachsen) and the supplier of clean energy (Rogaland) allows a knowledge base to be built on the integration of conventional and sustainable energy resources and its application. The European Union supports this project and has awarded a € 3 million grant to the new Region of Knowledge.