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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Michael Susan and Zhihao Lu, MSc EES students

When:Tu 28-05-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:5159.0110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6

Title: Exploring the energy storage capacity of salt caverns in the Netherlands.

By: Michael Susan, MSc EES student.

With a shift from reliable fossil fuel-based energy towards intermittent renewable energy sources there is an increased stress being placed on the grid. A mismatch of demand and supply exist where electricity is mostly produced during periods of low demand and the least during periods of high demand. Consequently, storage of energy is necessary during periods of high production to compensate for deficits during periods of high demand. Salt caverns, situated in subsurface salt layers at a depth of 1000 m, offer a potential for large-scale energy storage due to their high pressures, sizes, and compositions.

In this thesis the energy storage capacity of salt caverns in the Netherlands was explored. Firstly, a model salt cavern was designed for energy storage purposes. Additionally, four alternative storage methods (underground pumped hydroelectric storage, compressed air energy storage, hydrogen gas storage and natural gas storage) were then investigated and compared using the designed salt cavern model. Lastly, the most suitable storage method was used to develop an outlook for salt cavern storage potential in the Netherlands.

Title: New “Groningen Gas field”- application and role of green hydrogen produced from offshore wind farm in North Sea to Dutch energy system in 2050.

By: Zhihao Lu, MSc EES Student.

In order to reach the emission reduction target of Paris Agreement, Dutch government has addressed the focus on the electrification in transport and household sectors and development of Renewable Energy Supply, especially the offshore wind energy, for a successful energy transition. As the domestic production of natural gas from Groningen Gas field is being restricted and scheduled to be closed by 2030. It is important to find a New “Groningen Gas field” to fulfil the gas demand from wide range of applications in the future. Thus this thesis aims to investigate the application and role of green hydrogen produced from offshore wind farm to the Dutch energy system in 2050. Furthermore, economical analysis that focus on the production cost of gas are carried out and compared with the predicted natural gas price in 2050 in order to understand the potential of green hydrogen.

Two scenarios are made in this thesis which focus on the trajectory of Power-to-methane (P2M) and trajectory of Power-to-Gas (P2G) respectively. With the modelling in the Big Picture model, the output illustrates the requirement of the offshore wind capacity from two scenarios. The modelling results illustrates the ideal of applying green hydrogen to fulfill the gas demand would be challenging but is technically possible together with energy reduction in the end sectors and application of electrification. However, the trajectory P2G is more technically feasible due to the higher chain efficiency. The economical analysis has concluded that the trajectory P2G would be more economically attractive than the P2M. However, the production cost of either Synthetic natural gas from P2M and green hydrogen from P2G are still higher than the predicted natural gas price. In this case, calculation regarding the effect of carbon price has been done to illustrate the possibility to reduce the price gas between green hydrogen and natural gas which improve the economical feasibility of green hydrogen.