Moscow (Reuters) – Russia’s Nord Stream 2 said on Saturday it plans to start laying pipelines in Germany’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) this year, confirming its intention to continue work on a Moscow-backed gas pipeline to stalled Europe.
It said the plan would lay a 2.6 kilometer (1.62 mile) section of each pipeline, adding that it would name a pipe laying vessel at a later date.
Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; written by Tom Balmforth; editing by David Evans
MILAN (Reuters) – The Italian gas group Snam aims to become carbon neutral by 2040 and will increase spending on preparing its grid for hydrogen and the transition to cleaner energy sources.
Europe’s biggest gas pipeline company said Wednesday that it would invest 7.4 billion euros through 2024, half of which would prepare its infrastructure to receive hydrogen.
It said the net zero-carbon target does not include emissions beyond its control, but works with suppliers to address the so-called Scope 3 emissions that are generated by the provision and use of its products.
He said his party aimed to reduce direct and indirect carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 from the previous target of 40%.
“Snam will be one of the first energy companies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and make a broad contribution to system decarbonization through developing green gases and, in particular, hydrogen,” said Snam CEO Marco Alvera.
The company, which is also interested in getting involved in the water sector, said it aspires to fully transport decarbonized gas on its network by 2050 to make Italy a European hydrogen hub.
Snam, which derives most of its revenue from gas transportation in Italy, wants to expand the use of hydrogen in pipelines and has achieved a 10% hydrogen mix in a pilot study.
Net profit in the 2020-2024 period is expected to grow 2.5% per year while core income will increase by an average of 3.3%, the company said, emphasizing dividend growth of 5% per year until 2022.
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Barbara Lewis
An EPFL PhD student has calculated the maximum amount of geothermal energy that can theoretically be extracted using a ground source heat pump in the Canton of Vaud and Geneva. In a study that combined data on the area available for the system with computer modeling techniques, he found a stark difference between the potential for geothermal energy in urban versus rural areas.
Switzerland is one of the countries in Europe that most relies on geothermal energy for residential heating. A study conducted by the Swiss Federal Energy Office in 2019 found that the country has one 101,600 ground source heat pumps (GSHP) – “the highest concentration per square kilometer in the world”. Many of these pumps are installed in residential yards up to 400 meters deep and use a vertical closed loop system to transmit heat to the surface.
The advantage of GSHP is that it has little impact on the environment. They can heat homes and buildings all year round because geothermal energy is a stable source of heat. And they offer a promising alternative to decarbonizing the heating sector. In Switzerland, building heating and cooling systems account for a third of total energy demand, and 75% of the country’s energy comes from fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas.
Limited energy sources
In 2017, Doris Leuthard, then president of the Swiss Confederation, called geothermal energy a “tremendous source of energy” but warned that it was unlimited; it needs to be extracted according to special rules. For example, the borehole heat exchangers used in the GSHP must be spaced to prevent thermal disturbance – the heat exchanger equivalent of a short circuit – and prevent the ground from cooling. “Heat transfer fluids absorb heat that’s in the soil,” says Alina Walch, a PhD student at EPFL’s Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory. “If too many of these exchangers are packed into a small space, the ground will cool off, which is something we have to avoid.”
Thermal interference is one factor that the team of scientists, including Walch, considered a study published in Renewable Energy on November 18th. They calculated the technical potential of the GSHP at the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva. “The technical potential is the maximum amount of geothermal energy that can be extracted by a heat pump using all available areas in the two cantons, assuming they are operating at least 80% of their rated power,” he said.
The research team estimated the available area using existing topographic data in Switzerland, excluding built environments and natural habitats such as forests from their study. They then simulated the GSHP installed across the area based on factors such as ground temperature, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity. “We combined various technical constraints and estimated the optimal borehole spacing that would meet installation standards and maximize the heat that could be extracted,” said Walch.
Insufficient capacity in the city center
They are the first study of its scale in Switzerland to consider not only the earth’s geothermal capacity but also the technical limitations of GSHP. The scientists estimate that the annual technical potential of the area they studied is 4.6 TWh, which is equivalent to about a third of total heating demand. They also calculated a maximum energy density of 15.5 kWh / m2. “Geothermal energy only has limited potential to be the only source in this region. This could cover demand in many suburban and rural areas, but very little in the city center, ”said Walch. City planners can use this information in the technical and economic feasibility studies of implementing the GSHP system.
The research team also found that the cumulative depth of the borehole should not exceed 2 km per hectare to avoid overexploitation of the soil’s heat capacity.
Walch emphasized that their findings are only theoretical for now; this study did not take into account local phenomena such as the phreatic zone and groundwater flow, which can affect the time it takes for the soil to cool down. It is important to drill the test holes before installing the borehole heat exchanger.
The team hopes that by measuring the heat generation capacity of shallow geothermal energy, and by pinpointing areas where additional energy sources will be needed, their work will inform a decarbonization strategy for the Swiss heating sector. “Our ultimate goal is to conduct a national study and combine these findings with similar findings for other types of renewable energy,” said Walch, also working on a study to evaluate The potential for Swiss solar power capacity. “It is important to estimate the technical potential that does not depend on heat demand. We wanted to evaluate the capacity of a hybrid system combining geothermal and solar power, using data on these two renewables. “
MILAN, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Italy has set guidelines for a national hydrogen strategy to help decarbonize the economy as it gradually phases out coal and increases production of renewable energy to meet long-term climate targets.
In a draft document called the National Hydrogen Strategy Preliminary Guide, seen by Reuters, the Ministry of Industry said it was targeting investment in the sector at around 10 billion euros ($ 12 billion) by 2030, with half of that coming from European funds and private investment. .
To help increase “green” hydrogen production, about 5 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity to extract gas from water will be introduced during the period, the document says.
Electrolysis can be a carbon-free process if the power used is generated from renewable energy. Hydrogen is now mostly produced from fossil fuels or other carbon emission processes, because electrolysis is too expensive because of the large power required.
By 2030, hydrogen could account for 2% of Italy’s final energy demand and help remove up to 8 million tonnes of CO2, the document said. As the scale of the industry goes up and costs fall, this could reach up to 20% by 2050, he said.
The document, when published, will form the basis of consultations before a final hydrogen strategy is approved, possibly early next year.
Brussels mapped out plans this year to promote hydrogen as it strives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. France, Germany and Spain have set their own targets.
Hydrogen is currently too expensive to be widely used but as costs go down, governments around the world see it as a substitute for fossil fuels in areas where electrification is not an easy solution.
The ministry document, which says the plan could create more than 200,000 jobs and generate up to 27 billion euros in Italy’s gross domestic product, said hydrogen could be used in transportation, heavy industry and natural gas pipelines.
Italian gas group Snam has been experimenting with a 10% hydrogen mixture in part of its natural gas network, while power company Enel and energy company Eni both have hydrogen plans.
$ 1 = 0.8458 euros Reported by Stephen Jewkes; Edited by Edmund Blair
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Woodside Petroleum suspended talks to sell a stake in a gas field and liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to Chinese companies several months ago due to a growing diplomatic row between Australia and China, the company chief said on Thursday.
Chief Executive Peter Coleman said he hoped to revive the talks when the fighting died down.
Woodside has been negotiating with China’s national oil companies, including PetroChina Co. 601857.SS, and a second tier company to sell a “modest” stake in the connected Scarborough gas field and the Pluto 2 LNG Train project, which will cover a portion of the gas sale.
“They told us a few months ago that they cannot continue at this time because of the relationship between China and Australia,” said Coleman.
“So we were a little frustrated and disappointed by that. But we hope things will get better and we will be able to bring them back to the standings, ”he said in an interview.
Diplomatic relations with China, Australia’s main trading partner, have deteriorated after Canberra called for an international investigation into the source of the coronavirus.
The damaged relationship has hit exports of Australian coal, barley, wine, timber and lobster, but analysts expect LNG to be immune because Australia is the largest LNG supplier to China.
“The restrictions, so far, do not appear to be affecting Australian LNG exports to China,” research firm EnergyQuest said in a report on Thursday.
EnergyQuest estimates China imported 23.5 million tonnes of Australian LNG in the first 10 months of this year, in line with the first 10 months of last year.
Coleman said the diplomatic spat did not hurt Woodside’s existing partnerships with Chinese companies in Australia and Myanmar, where he said relations were “very good”.
Woodside also wants to sell its recently enlarged stake in the Sangomar oil project in Senegal.
CNOOC China has ties to Woodside’s former Senegal partner, FAR Ltd. FAR.AX, for a project in West Africa. Coleman said he did not see any diplomatic spatter stopping CNOOC from offering for shares in Sangomar.
“No. The Australia-China thing is very specific for investment in Australia. This is not a general problem,” Coleman said.
The collapse of Woodside’s talks with China was first reported by the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Edited by Christian Schmollinger and Michael Perry