By Paul Homewood
Who let the barmpots out?
A £1.6 billion plan to put Britain’s largest gas storage facility back to use in a new hydrogen-fuelled Net Zero era has been unveiled.
Just 19 miles off the East Yorkshire coast, a proposal to convert the huge Rough reservoir to handle the low carbon fuel – just as it did with gas – is being explored.
Bosses at Centrica Storage believe government delivering the right funding mechanism for the overhaul could provide a solution for the intermittent nature of both production and demand, while creating 350 permanent jobs and protecting hundreds more.
Thousands could be supported in construction, with new platform, pipeline and wells required..
Greg McKenna, chief executive, said: “We have some grand plans for Rough, subject to government backing. It is a £1.6 billion development, no-one is going to spend £1.6 billion if there isn’t some guaranteed return. We are looking for some government support model – it doesn’t need money to go into it. If we can get a regulated model from government we are prepared to go ahead and convert.”
Rough’s storage element closed in 2017, with the infrastructure having survived beyond its initial design life. The other 50 per cent of the field is still producing natural gas, though it is anticipated to come to an end in February 2023.
“The plan was to shut it down, which is a real shame to lose jobs, but also, Rough is the jewel in the crown of such reservoirs,” Mr McKenna said.
“The great thing is how it just fits in with the whole strategy on the Humber, with H2H, a big hydrogen reformer there, all the wind farms sitting off the coast potentially producing hydrogen and the Gigastack project across the river in Lincolnshire too. There could be all this excess hydrogen and you have to put it somewhere.
Pardon me for spoiling this fairy tale, but we are facing the current energy crisis precisely because we have so little gas storage, which is why we should not have shut Rough in the first place.
To fill Rough with hydrogen would need lots of natural gas that we don’t have. If we did, we could simply fill Rough with it anyway.
What Centrica are proposing is to use “surplus” wind power, which we also do not have, to create hydrogen to fill Rough instead.
Centrica do however, seem to have realised the tiny fault in Baldrick’s plan, when they admit:
“It is a £1.6 billion development, no-one is going to spend £1.6 billion if there isn’t some guaranteed return. We are looking for some government support model – it doesn’t need money to go into it. If we can get a regulated model from government we are prepared to go ahead and convert”
TRANSLATION – “Nobody in their right mind would invest money in this load of old crap, least of all us. That is why we need taxpayers to stump up billions to subsidise it”
Or put another way:
“Let’s manufacture hydrogen, at a huge cost to energy consumers, and then get taxpayers to spend billions more to store the stuff till we need it”
Everyone’s a winner! (Well, Centrica anyway!)
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
September 21, 2021 at 04:06PM