Ocean News & Technology Article – Offshore Clean Energy Systems: Decarbonisation amidst energy supply challenges
By Andy Martin, Chief Commercial Officer, Verlume
As the world faces collective challenges around energy security and supply, the deadlines for reaching 2050 net zero targets remain. Despite these global challenges, we have recently seen concrete examples of the momentum around decarbonisation gathering pace.
In the United States, the historic Inflation Reduction Act set out significant tax credits for clean sources of fuels, $27 billion investment into a clean energy technology accelerator to support deployment of carbon reduction technologies, as well as the first nationwide price on greenhouse gases.
In Canada, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, draft guidelines were recently released for new oil and gas projects to deliver “best-in-class” performance around greenhouse gas emissions. The country aims to cut carbon emissions to around 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Offshore Clean Energy Systems for Decarbonisation
Despite the increasing focus on emissions and integration of clean energy technology, we understand that oil and gas is still a critical element within the world’s energy mix and must ensure that it is produced and utilised sustainably. It is, therefore, a high priority to find innovative solutions which reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions related to hydrocarbon production.
At Verlume, we believe that this can be achieved through the electrification of offshore oil and gas operations using renewable energy produced on site. The advantages of clean energy systems include being able to power longer offsets in the subsea environment without the need for power from shore, thus reducing associated costs and bringing fields to production that would otherwise be marginalised.
The ongoing ‘Renewables for Subsea Power’ (RSP) project is a tangible example of this clean energy approach in action. Renewables for Subsea Power is an active project developed by partners in the UKCS to combine Verlume’s Halo seabed battery energy storage system and Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter, together with partners Baker Hughes and Transmark and supported by the Net Zero Technology Centre, Harbour Energy and Serica, to provide a full renewables remote power and communications system for subsea power to a multitude of applications such as a subsea electronics module and an autonomous underwater vehicle. Further applications of this system could include re-enabling failed assets with electrical umbilical failures, enabling in-fill or stranded asset wells, long offsets or the adoption of all-electric subsea systems for carbon capture utilisation and storage.
As part of the RSP project, Verlume is providing the Halo battery energy storage system – an enabling technology which encourages and further supports the use of renewable energy. Halo has been developed specifically for the harsh offshore environment as a means of providing a reliable, uninterrupted power supply at point of use. It has modular and scalable battery architecture with a fully integrated Intelligent Energy Management System, enabling longer duration operations.
Energy Storage in Offshore Wind
The RSP project is powered through a wave energy device, but the Halo system has been designed to be power input agnostic, meaning that it can accept power from any renewable energy source.
Verlume has also developed an industry-leading concept to create multi-MWh intelligent in-field energy storage for offshore wind. In this fast-growing international market, it will be vital that as operations scale up further, there is a sustained focus on the decarbonisation of all offshore activities.
A use case for the Halo offshore wind solution is to provide energy storage services to optimise wind farm performance and operations. It will allow for charging at times of low energy demand from the wind farm, with power distributed 24/7. The solution will also be part of intelligent in-field energy storage and charging infrastructure for a host of vessel types including crew transfer vessels, further facilitating zero carbon emissions from vessel operations.
Offshore clean energy systems will play a significant role in creating sustainably produced hydrocarbons and cleaner offshore renewable energy production, whilst also maintaining a focus on ‘keeping the power on 24/7’.