Lean2Sustain Blog

The Way Forward.

-- A Unique Collaboration --

Leveraging Technologies and Service Collaboration

I was energised and enthused by being made aware of the recent advances in technology in the Offshore Energy Industry at the recent EEEGR Offshore Wind Week at Orbis Energy in Lowestoft. It’s not just about technology advances, but overall collaboration.

The two technical advances are related to energy sharing between the gas field companies, and the wind energy suppliers. The first one is what they call “Gas to Wire”. This is where the gas provision companies, are not just sending gas onshore, but they are using gas fired generators on the platforms to produce electricity, thus taking advantage of the electrical network provided by the offshore wind turbines, and push power onshore. A similar improvement is happening in reverse. The wind generated power is now being used to power the gas compressors on the gas platforms. This may sound obvious, but it takes application, commitment and engineering. A great example of how industries which have competed traditionally can work in a symbiotic way. The collaboration goes even further. The different industries, have now worked with the field supply and logistics companies to develop a system where they can book and share supply ships, who are serving both turbines and platforms, ensuring non fully loaded trips are minimised.

All the above will improve supply efficiency, and reduce the overall carbon footprint  for the UK.

Renewable Energy Drive in Japan

Another interesting article below on “Renewables”. It looks as though  there is a stronger move in this direction, and potentially away from Nuclear Fission . People are really thinking about the bigger picture with respect to “Energy”. As always,  there is  a real business driver not just a desire to go “cleaner”, but in this case with the advent of feed-in tariffs, this has really helped the shift in thinking. I read another recent article around how the growth of “renewables” is now also having an impact on research projects such as nuclear fusion research. If we go back to the 80’s  was going to be the  holy grail of energy generation.

From a cultural perspective it is really encouraging  that there is a constant drive for  new ideas /technologies which sits behind lean thinking. Our “Darwinian” Genes are also kicking in around the need for constant change and survival.

Balance of power: Shift toward renewable energy appears to be picking up steam

Solar Power

Interesting recent post from the World Economic Forum . At a global level solar energy supply will surpass nuclear energy by the end of the year in terms of generating capability in Gigawatts. However this is  not the  “Death Nell” for “Nuclear”, but it might get some  countries/ economies to re-think their long term energy supply strategy. A deciding factor will be  energy intensity i.e  energy generating capability per sqr. km due to the availability of land. Another factor will be the ability to store effectively renewable energy such as solar power, which is a real conundrum. However there may be a solution with the recently developed cobalt-based metal-organic framework.

Renewable energy generation is on an upward trend.


Cheaper Wind Energy

It is great to see that the most recent rounds of CfD ,Contracts for Difference, that renewable energy (see link to Carbon Brief report for detail ) is becoming considerably cheaper with the unit prices of wind energy and solar, continually coming down. The ultimate consequences of this new style bidding process will keep driving down prices, improving technology, and can only benefit the UK energy strategy long term. Reducing the UK reliance on carbon based energy continues to grow momentum. This will also boost the local economies of those areas involved in construction and support services.

Analysis: UK auction reveals offshore wind cheaper than new gas

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