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Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Weil Supports Further Expansion of Wind Energy and the Conversion of Electricity Into Green Hydrogen

By August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

  • Weil visits construction site of the TenneT offshore project BorWin5 on Norderney
  • TenneT CEO Meyerjürgens calls for stronger, internationally coordinated expansion of offshore wind energy in Europe to achieve the European climate targets

During his visit today to the construction site for the offshore grid connection system BorWin5 of the power grid operator TenneT on the North Sea island of Norderney, Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil said: “In Lower Saxony, the energy turnaround is being decisively promoted as the number one wind energy country in Germany. In both offshore and onshore we need more wind energy production in Lower Saxony in order to meet our climate targets for 2030 and in the long term until 2050. ”

TenneT Managing Director Tim Meyerjürgens said: “TenneT has now met and even significantly exceeded the Federal Government’s expansion targets for sustainable North Sea wind power. In total, our offshore transmission capacity in the North Sea will already be around 7.1 gigawatts this year. The federal government’s target for the North and Baltic Seas is 6.5 gigawatts by 2020. “However, further efforts are needed to push ahead with the energy transition. “According to all international studies and scenarios, the current rate of development in Europe is not enough for offshore wind to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement for Europe. An accelerated, large-scale and internationally coordinated expansion is necessary. ”

The reason for Minister Weil’s visit to the TenneT construction site on Norderney was the horizontal boreholes currently underway there for laying empty conduits under the island, into which the submarine cables for the BorWin5 offshore grid connection will later be moved.

The DC cable routes for several grid connection systems of offshore wind farms run over the island of Norderney. In previous projects, the cables had been routed across the island in an empty tube structure, which, while preserving the natural environment, runs largely under existing paths but is now fully occupied. In order to better protect the particularly sensitive natural environment in the Lower Wadden Sea and at the same time to ensure dyke safety, TenneT is currently carrying out horizontal wells (HDD) for its current projects. Drilling is carried out from the center of the island to the north (north beach) and to the south (Wadden Sea, mainland). Two horizontal bores are carried out for each direction and network connection system.

With the BorWin5 project, TenneT is building a 900 megawatt DC link to transmit the wind power generated at sea to the high voltage grid on land. On the associated BorWin epsilon offshore converter platform, the three-phase current generated at sea is converted into direct current and transported to Hilgenriedersiel with a submarine cable that crosses over Norderney, which is about 125 kilometers long. The electricity is also transmitted from land to Cloppenburg via an underground cable that is also about 125 kilometers long.

As a member of the North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) consortium, TenneT supports the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and the associated commitments of the EU and the North Sea countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, in July TenneT presented a feasibility study on the implementation of wind energy distribution boxes in the North Sea. “An internationally coordinated approach in the future could implement the connection and integration of a large expansion of offshore wind energy more effectively and at significantly lower costs of up to 30 percent than with continued individual national planning,” says Meyerjürgens. Since the North Sea has great potential for offshore wind energy, the implementation of 180 gigawatts of offshore wind can be achieved by 2045 through the Consortium’s approach.

The concept is based on an internationally coordinated expansion of wind energy distribution cross projects, including the connection of wind energy, interconnection of energy markets through interconnectors and intelligent integration into the onshore power grid, including power-to-gas conversion. , be combined. Such an approach has great economic and environmental benefits.

Prime Minister Weil also advocated the use of electricity-to-gas conversion and transmission in combination with the link with other sectors: “Northern Germany is predestined for a successful hydrogen economy,” said Weil, “Lower Saxony is ready to realize the full potential of green hydrogen. Here already exists the necessary infrastructure for storage, transport and distribution of large quantities of hydrogen. “A green hydrogen economy would be an enormous advantage in terms of industrial policy, so Weil goes on. The innovations that Hydrogen could achieve in Niedersachsen could become a success story for the whole of Germany, for Europe and for the global climate. Decarbonised industrial processes could equally contribute to added value, job security, resource conservation and climate protection. There are a large number of Lower Saxon companies and research institutes, which intensively dealt with hydrogen in various facets. A good example of this is the project “Element Eins” by TenneT, Gasunie and Thyssengas, which was named a real laboratory for the energy transition. in which a 100 megawatt plant for the conversion of wind energy into green hydrogen in northwestern Lower Saxony is planned. “The Lower Saxony state government together with the other northern German states will make every effort to overcome existing barriers to power-to-gas. For this we have already presented key points for a North German hydrogen strategy, “emphasized Weil.

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