Bridges and Bottlenecks is the latest podcast series by Energy Voice Out Loud in partnership with DNV. Each episode looks to address the hard-hitting issues within the energy transition. Technology exists that will be the bridge to take us there, but there are still a number of bottlenecks that stand in the way of progress.
Joining Energy Voice’s print features lead, Ryan Duff, is DNV’s market area manager for onshore oil and gas James Jenkins and Tim Dumenil hydrogen asset manager from Storegga.
The three dive into the hydrogen and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) markets, the issues they are facing and the opportunities for businesses if the UK sees success in the sectors.
Mr Jenkins tells listeners: “It’s fair to say that UK policy support for hydrogen pipeline infrastructure is probably a couple of years behind those of CCS pipeline infrastructure.”
Despite this, hydrogen can offer many benefits as Storegga’s hydrogen asset manager explained: “It’s an energy vector that can be transported over long distances. So, energy can be transferred globally from regions with high renewable power generation capacity to areas of very high energy demand that can’t be met through local renewable power generation within that market.”
Late last year the Scottish Government awarded the Net Zero Technology Centre £200,000 to advance research into the feasibility of exporting hydrogen from Scotland to Germany.
Germany’s growing demand for hydrogen can only be met by imports, NZTC explained at the time, a position Mr Dumenil shared.
“The German Government have set out a very clear strategy to 2050 that says by 2050 somewhere between 50 and 70% of their hydrogen will be imported and they’re looking to stable regimes with security of supply.”
Mr Dumenil adds: “This feeds very well into part of the UK’s narrative and the joint declaration of intent that was signed between the UK and German governments in September.”
Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage
Moving on to CCUS, Mr Jenkins outlined the UK’s lofty goals for the sector and how DNV sees the country progressing towards them.
The UK is currently targeting the capture of 20 to 30 megatons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030.
“Looking at the 20 to 30 megatons of CO2 by 2030, we forecast that we won’t meet that ambition,” he told listeners.
“We predict that only around 11,000,000 tonnes of CO2 will be captured but this will rise to 25 in 2035.”
Storegga fronts the Aberdeenshire Acorn CCUS project which received long-awaited Track 2 funding last year from the UK government.
Speaking on this, Mr Dumenil commented: “The Acorn project has been, in one shape or form, in development for over 15 years.
“So, we genuinely do welcome some of the recent clarity that we’ve had, particularly in terms of coming out of the original track application process and now getting awarded the Track 2 status for the Acorn carbon capture and storage project.”
He explained that there “is still a lot of work to be done on that” as Acorn project partners need to “develop the capture solutions at large single point emitters.”
With challenges facing both hydrogen and CCUS there is reason to be pessimistic about the future of either sector.
However, with the export potential for hydrogen and good signals from government the Mr Jenkins and Mr Dumenil remain optimistic.
DNV’s market area manager for onshore oil and gas concludes: “It’s exciting times and I do feel a great privilege to be working in the energy sector at this current time.
“I think we are we are heading in the right direction but there needs to be greater pace to ensure we meet net zero by 2050.”
To hear what other challenges are facing the industry and how hydrogen and CCUS can create opportunities throughout the energy transition, listen to episode four of Bridges and Bottlenecks on your podcast platform of choice.