A new study has been released highlighting the potential for hydrogen production in transforming the Bacton, UK, Terminal into an international clean energy hub helping to decarbonise the East Anglian economy.
The ‘Bacton Energy Hub: Exploring the potential for hydrogen from the Southern North Sea’ study has been delivered by a collaborative partnership led by Hydrogen East.
The report reveals that Bacton has excellent connections into the onshore gas network that could also support the flow of sizeable quantities of hydrogen into the Great British system.
With the terminal being connected to Europe through two gas interconnectors, the pipelines could possibly sustain hydrogen export opportunities in the longer term.
There is also the possibility for infrastructure re-use for carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) in the Southern North Sea (SNS) that is anchored by a blue hydrogen production facility at the terminal.
The existing 6GW+ of offshore wind off East Anglia, and further offshore wind build out, is likely to increase periods of surplus electricity production; electrolysis could act as an offtaker for this energy, which might otherwise be constrained off the system.
In addition to this, there is 573MW of operating distributed solar PV with another 81MW in planning as of December 2020 which could support early deployment of behind-the-meter electrolysis.
The report additionally found that local demand for hydrogen is already beginning to emerge in a range of important sub-sectors and there is no scope to build this organically.
Provisional demand assessments indicate that hydrogen demand in 2050 could also conservatively reach 10TWh in a ‘Central Scenario’.
Future stages will expand this research to cover important sectors such as construction, shipping and aviation which will significantly increase provisional demand estimates.
Nigel Cornwall, Director of Hydrogen East, said, “Developing the options for a potential Bacton Energy Hub will help to facilitate and accelerate the transition towards net zero emissions.
“It is a key regional project, which could realise extensive potential benefits both in terms of supporting delivery of the Local Industrial Strategy and the stated aim of enabling Norfolk and Suffolk to become the UK’s Clean Growth Region.
“It will contribute to Hydrogen East’s driving objective of Norfolk and Suffolk becoming a significant regional hydrogen economy.”
You can find the report here.
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