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Benefits of an Integrated Power and Hydrogen Offshore Grid in a Net-zero North Sea Energy System


The North Sea Offshore Grid concept has been envisioned as a promising alternative to: 1) ease the integration of offshore wind and onshore energy systems, and 2) increase the cross-border capacity between the North Sea region countries at low cost. In this paper we explore the techno-economic benefits of the North Sea Offshore Grid using two case studies: a power-based offshore grid, where only investments in power assets are allowed (i.e. offshore wind, HVDC/HVAC interconnectors); and a power-and-hydrogen offshore grid, where investments in offshore hydrogen assets are also permitted (i.e. offshore electrolysers, new hydrogen pipelines and retrofitted natural gas pipelines). In this paper we present a novel methodology, in which extensive offshore spatial data is analysed to define meaningful regions via data clustering. These regions are incorporated to the Integrated Energy System Analysis for the North Sea region (IESA-NS) model. In this optimization model, the scenarios are run without any specific technology ban and under open optimization. The scenario results show that the deployment of an offshore grid provides relevant cost savings, ranging from 1% to 4.1% of relative cost decrease (2.3 bn € to 8.7 bn €) in the power-based, and ranging from 2.8% to 7% of relative cost decrease (6 bn € to 14.9 bn €) in the power-and-hydrogen based. In the most extreme scenario an offshore grid permits to integrate 283 GW of HVDC connected offshore wind and 196 GW of HVDC meshed interconnectors. Even in the most conservative scenario the offshore grid integrates 59 GW of HVDC connected offshore wind capacity and 92 GW of HVDC meshed interconnectors. When allowed, the deployment of offshore electrolysis is considerable, ranging from 61 GW to 96 GW, with capacity factors of around 30%.

Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Netherlands

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