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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Offshore
Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm
A wide range of environmentalists, union leaders and alternative energy advocates were set to rally today in Rockaway Beach in favor of offshore wind energy projects in the region.
A coalition of wind power supporters planned to speaktonight before the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority holds its first New York City public information meeting regarding wind, scheduled for today at 6 p.m.at the Queens Public Library.
They are slated to rally just after 5 p.m. outside that library, at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach, before the meeting.
Offshore wind will have to be a major component if that objective is to be met, according to organizers of the rally. New York has a chance if addressed in a comprehensive and timely way to be a national leader on offshore wind, and attract the new industries and jobs that will be created.
This push for wind power comes after NYSERDA held public information meetings regarding wind power last week in Long Island.
The authority plans to hold three public information meetings this week in New York City.
Representatives are scheduled from the Utility Workers Union of America AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, New York Offshore Wind Alliance, National Wildlife Federation, Workforce Development Institute and Local 361 Ironworkers union.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing for the state to obtain half of all its power from renewable energy sources by 2030.
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Posted: at 12:35 pm
Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill
August 14th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
If Europe is to fall in line with the Paris Climate Agreement intention of limiting global warming to1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the region must significantly increase its rate of growth for offshore wind development, tripling it at the very least.
These are the primary conclusions published byMichiel Mller from leading international energy and climate consultancy, Ecofys, who penned an article for Energy Post last week explaining that Europe will needa fully decarbonized electricity supply by 2045 and that Renewables are essential to making this happen, specifically,Mller argued that offshore wind from the North Seas region will be pivotal for realising a 100% decarbonised electricity supply in less than 30 years.
Mllers argument is based on research done between Ecofys and its parent company, Navigant, which looked at offshore wind generation in the North Sea for the ten countries surrounding the North Sea France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, a white paper published in March by Ecofys and Navigant concluded that 15% of the North Sea regions total electricity demand could be supplied by offshore wind energy by 2030. This integrated North Sea Grid is believed to be the only way to achieve the growth necessary to help meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets.
The research from Ecofys and Navigant determined that the total available onshore generation from various renewable energy sources wind, solar, bio, hydro, and a little bit of nuclear would only be able to provide up to 55% of the required capacity to meet the Paris Agreement targets. This leaves 45% needed to be covered by offshore wind, which translates into approximately 230 GW (gigawatts) 180 GW generated in the North Sea, and the remaining 50 GW in other seas such as the Baltic and Irish Seas, as well as the Atlantic Ocean.
There is currently only 13 GW worth of offshore installed in the region, requiring a massive turning of the screws to increase the rate of delivery. Ecofys and Navigant explains that the installation rate would have to triple from the current 3 GW a year to approximately 10 GW a year.
But, as has been pointed out repeatedly this year, this sort of growth cannot be achieved by one nation alone, and requires national collaboration, coordination, and interconnectivity between North Sea nations. Interestingly, a report published in July bythe World Energy Council (WEC) Netherlands posited a similar solution, explaining that the North Sea must play a crucial role in the energy transition ahead for northwestern Europe a transition which could result inbetween100 billion and 200 billion in economic value for neighboring regions in the transition away from fossil fuels.
The opportunities and diversity thereof in the North Sea are huge,said Jeroen van Hoof, the chair of WEC Netherlands. The Energy Transformation in the North Sea creates new industries. We can benefit from huge economic advantages by installing large wind farms. Also, a co-ordinated removal and smart re-use of former oil and gas assets can generate new economic activities. The potential is significant.
The main point from all that has been published this year regarding the North Seas potential, however, is the desperate need for cooperation and interconnectivity between the North Seas bordering coutnries. AsMller concludes in hisEnergy Post article, before the demand for interconnection can be addressedon the technical level, it will be the collaborative connection between the involved countries and public and private stakeholders that counts.
Developing a long-term spatial planning strategy and a robust 2045 roadmap for flexibility options will be two of the key steps to meeting the Paris goals. Joint strategic planning will secure operational security during and beyond the energy transition.
The full article fromEnergy Post can be read here and I recommend you do.
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Tags: Belgium, Denmark, Ecofys, France, Germany, ireland, Luxemburg, navigant, north sea, North Sea Grid, norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, UK, united kingdom
Joshua S Hill I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.
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Posted: August 13, 2017 at 2:32 am
The newest tropical depression or storm will attempt to take shape offshore of the southeastern United States in the coming day or two.
A depression may form as a tropical low, dubbed 99L, churns northeast of the Bahamas this weekend, and then a few hundred miles off the southeastern U.S. coast on Monday.
When clusters of thunderstorms have a chance to become a tropical depression or storm, they are assigned a number between 90 and 99. The L designation refers to a system under investigation in the Atlantic.
Ninety-nine L has become better organized since Friday, heightening the concern for a depression or storm to develop. The next tropical storm in the Atlantic will acquire the name Gert.
Even if strengthening takes place, chances are low for 99L to rapidly intensify and become a hurricane.
The most likely future track for 99L keeps it over the open waters of the Atlantic, in between the southeastern U.S. and Bermuda.
Even if 99L attempts to graze the Outer Banks of North Carolina with rain later on Monday, it is expected to get swept off to the northeast and absorbed by a non-tropical system on Tuesday.
The favored offshore track would limit the hazards of 99L to cruise and shipping interests, as well as beachgoers.
Rough seas will get churned up over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Swimmers at the southeastern U.S. beaches, the eastern coast of the Bahamas and Bermuda may face an increased risk for rip currents.
Regardless of 99L remaining offshore, the non-tropical system set to whisk it away from the U.S. will first enhance the risk for flash flooding in the southeastern U.S. into early next week.
Seas will also be churned up across most of the East Coast this weekend.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, the system that attempted to brew just east of Florida has lost its chance to develop, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
A new tropical wave that emerged off the western coast of Africa will be the next feature to be monitored by AccuWeather meteorologists.
If it can overcome the dry air that has plagued most systems so far this season, it may have an opportunity to develop as it crosses the open waters of the eastern and central Atlantic next week.
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Posted: at 2:32 am
Malcolm Turnbull and Barack Obama, whose administration pressed the Australian government to change its policy toward asylum seekers. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
The Obama administration urged Australia to change its policy of offshore detention of refugees while agreeing to accept up to 1,200 people to relieve their suffering, a former senior US official has said.
The former US deputy secretary of state Heather Higginbottom, who negotiated the deal designed to take refugees from offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru, makes the revelation in a Time magazine article.
Higginbottom penned the article to address the leak of the full transcript of the phone conversation between US president, Donald Trump, and the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, about the deal.
In the January phone call Turnbull persuaded Trump to honour the Obama-era agreement, despite protestations from the president it was a stupid deal that would kill him politically. Turnbull also falsely claimed that people held in Australias offshore detention centres were economic refugees.
Higginbottom said the refugees were people who risked their lives on makeshift boats to flee conflict and the lack of access to basic means of survival but were turned back by an Australian government that refuses asylum seekers who arrive by sea.
While the last administration strongly pressed the Australian government to change its policy toward asylum seekers, we also sought to immediately relieve the suffering of these refugees and agreed to resettle up to 1,200 after they went through the US governments rigorous refugee screening processes, she said.
Higginbottom, who is now the chief operating officer of the aid organisation Care, singled out the policy of detention as the aspect of Australias policy rejected by the Obama administration.
Higginbottom lamented that coverage of the Turnbull-Trump phone call had focused on personalities and not that the wellbeing of 2,000 actual human beings hangs in the balance.
The United Nations has called Australias policy of offshore detention of asylum seekers unjustifiably punitive and unlawful, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
In the leaked phone call, Turnbull told Trump that Australia had taken a very strong line on national security and border protection and said that he, Jared Kushner and a White House immigration adviser had reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach ... We are very much of the same mind.
Turnbull noted that Trump, who has attempted to ban immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries, prioritised minorities in his executive order and linked it to the fact 90% of the 12,000 refugees Australia had accepted from Syria were Christians.
Turnbull explained that Australia turned back boats at sea and sent asylum seekers to offshore detention not because they are bad people but rather to prevent people-smugglers of a product.
He said people who came by boat would not be let in even if they were a Nobel prize-winning genius, which prompted Trump to say that is a good idea.
We should do that too, he said. You are worse than I am.
Turnbull referred to a speech he gave to the UN in September claiming that Australias harsh treatment of refugees was necessary to control its borders and maintain support for its regular migration intake.
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How Falana’s Letter to Kachikwu Exposed Nigeria’s Huge Losses in Deep Offshore PSCs – THISDAY Newspapers
Posted: at 2:32 am
Indications have emerged that a letter written by a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, when he was the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC), exposed Nigerias huge losses in the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) signed with the international oil companies (IOCs) on the deep offshore oil fields.
THISDAY had reported that the country lost close to $60 billion to the non-enforcement of the terms of the PSCs signed between the federal government and the IOCs in 1993, quoting the minister, who had disclosed this at the 2017 conference of the Nigerian Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) held recently in Lagos.
The federal government had in 1993, awarded some oil blocks in the deep water to the IOCs under PSCs, which provide that the royalties to be paid by the IOCs would depend on the depth of the water where oil is found.
The 1993 PSC also provides that royalties paid by the IOCs on oil blocks located in deep water should be reviewed upward when crude oil price exceeds $20 per barrel.
Nigeria lost out in the PSCs as oil was discovered in water depths above 1,000 metres in all the five deep-water oilfields that came on stream between 2005 and 2010, as the contracts stipulate that royalty is zero in water depths exceeding 1,000 metres.
Though the terms of the PSC also stipulate that the agreements would be reviewed when oil price exceeded $20 per barrel, the federal government did not enforce this provision.
In a letter dated August 5, 2015 written by Falana to Kachikwu when he was the group managing director of the NNPC, the constitutional lawyer had called on the National Assembly to repeal the provision of the PSCs, which stipulates that royalty on crude oil production in water depths exceeding 1,000 metres is zero.
Falanas letter titled Re: Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, which was obtained by THISDAY, also recalled how the military administration of Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999 enacted the Deep Offshore and Inland Sharing Contracts Act Decree in order to give effect to certain fiscal incentives for the oil and gas companies operating in the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin under production sharing contracts between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other companies holding oil prospective licences or mining licences and various petroleum exploration and production companies. Falana noted that by virtue of section 5 of the Act, the payment of royalty in respect of the Deep Offshore production sharing contracts shall range from 4 to 12 per cent while no royalty shall be paid whatsoever in areas in excess of 1000 metres depth.
According to him, since a large quantity of the oil and gas produced by Nigeria is located beyond 1000 metres depth, the multinational oil companies have taken advantage of the Act to avoid the payment of royalties to the Federation Account.
Thus, the fiscal incentives given to the oil companies have led to the loss of several billions of dollars by the Federal Government. As the existence of the obnoxious law can no longer be justified the National Assembly ought to repeal or amend it by taking advantage of section 16 thereof which provides for a review after a period of fifteen years from the commencement and every five years thereafter, Falana said.
In view of the fact that the 15-year period of non-payment of royalty expired last year, for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation collect royalties from the oil companies, the National Assembly should amend section 5 of the Act by deleting the section which provides for zero per cent royalty in areas of 1000 metres.
If the National Assembly fails to discharge its constitutional duty in the circumstance we shall not hesitate to file an application for mandamus at the Federal High Court with a view to ensuring compliance with the law forthwith, Falana added.
THISDAYs investigation revealed that on receipt of the letter, Kachikwu was said to have directed that the NNPCs Secretary/Legal adviser, Mr. Chidi Momah should discuss with constitutional lawyer on the matter.
Kachikwu was also said to have spoken totally in agreement with the position of Falana and also directed that a legal opinion be sought internally to enable him respond to the issue.
THISDAY could not confirm if Falana had any discussion with the NNPCs Secretary/Legal Adviser on the matter.
Posted: August 11, 2017 at 6:38 pm
UK offshore can compensate for others with more limited space
A new report by the consultancy, prepared for TenneT and Energinet.dk, said 180GW of the total capacity would be deployed in the North Sea and another 50GW in the Baltic and Irish seas, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Restricting global warming to well below 2C in line with the Paris climate accord would require electricity generation to become carbon neutral by 2045, Ecofys noted.
To calculate the needed offshore wind capacity, it further assumed a 50% reduction in total energy demand by 2045 as well as a 45% electrification level.
The report identified spatial planning as an international challenge, arguing that the region as a whole has sufficient space available to meet the combined offshore wind target.
It noted that countries such as Denmark and the UK, which have "overabundant space" in their part of the North Seas to meet national offshore wind capacity requirements, can compensate for others with more limited space, including Belgium and France.
Ecofys also recommended the countries develop a 2045 roadmap for flexibility options, such as energy storage, demand response and capacity reserves, to ensure grid stability with a higher share of variable renewables in the system.
It added that increased interconnection capacity is needed to pool these flexibility resources from across the region.
In a separate study for the European Commission, Ecofys and RPS outlined the potential environmental impacts arising from the development of renewables and a grid in the Irish and North Seas up to 2030.
In a high renewables scenario, up to 76.6GW of renewable energy would be deployed in the region the vast majority of it wind.
"Much of the impact from the offshore elements relate to biodiversity through direct conflict (e.g. collisions, loss of habitat, smothering etc.) or indirect impacts (increased effort required for feeding, avoidance behaviour)," the report said.
"Facilitating the development of international grid infrastructure, including offshore grid connection hubs to support the exploitation of the lowest levelised cost of energy, is key to allowing more [offshore wind] capacity to be installed," a spokesperson for industry association WindEurope said.
First published on Ends Europe
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Posted: at 6:38 pm
Senvion's offshore business helped revenues despite an overall fall onshore
The firm's results were backed by its servicing and offshore segments, as onshore revenues fell 25% compared to 2016, totalling 490.8 million.
Offshore revenues, however, grew 146% from 75 million to 184.3 million in the first six months of 2017. This was due to a 307 million order for the 203MW Trianel Windpark Borkum II offshore project in Germany, where Senvion will supply its 6.2MW turbine.
Onshore revenues fell in many of Senvion's core markets during H1, including the UK, Canada, Portugal and Belgium. However, there was a 27.5% increase in onshore revenues in Germany.
"Our performance in the first six months of 2017 is in line with our expectations. Senvion continues to face a challenging environment whilst we are remaining on track," said Senvion CEO Juergen Geissinger.
"We have been making progress in shaping our company for the future in times of fast decreasing levelised costs of energy as many markets shift to auction-based systems.
"Our order intake is growing and we continue to introduce products successfully. Our Chile contract has finally closed financing and is now being converted into a firm order, which is another milestone for our company," Geissinger added.
Earlier this week, developer Aela Energia completed the financing for a 299MW of capacity in Chile, which Senvion will supply with turbines from its 3MW platform.
As a result of the deal, Senvion reduce its guidance for 2017 saying the revenue would move to 2018. Senvion now expects 2017 revenues to total 1.9-1.95 billion, down from an initial 2-2.1 billion.
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Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:31 am
(Adds quote from central bank, background)
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Malaysia's central bank said on Wednesday the introduction of ringgit futures on the Singapore Stock Exchange and the Intercontinental Exchange, and their offshore trading is inconsistent with Malaysia's policies.
In November last year, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) forced currency traders overseas to stop driving the ringgit lower and demanded that banks sign a commitment to cease trading the ringgit on the offshore non-deliverable forward (NDF) market.
The bank later added that the "disruptive influence" on the ringgit from the NDF market has subsided, and has introduced several measures to boost onshore ringgit trade.
"The recent introduction of the ringgit futures at the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) or ICE Futures Singapore is inconsistent with Malaysia's foreign exchange administration policy and rules," BNM said on Wednesday.
Offshore trading of the ringgit - either as NDFs traded in offshore financial centres or as a derivative contract on exchanges outside Malaysia - is against the Malaysian policy, it said.
The central bank spokeswoman declined to give further details and did not say if the central bank had given regulatory approval for such a contract.
Reporting by Emily Chow and A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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Posted: at 6:31 am
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WITN) - Drilling off the coast continues to be a hot topic for residents and visitors of the Crystal Coast and a meeting in Morehead City is giving the public a chance to weigh.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted that hearing inside the Crystal Coast Civic Center discussing the potential to lease parts of the coast to oil and gas companies.
Supporters say it would be good for the local economy.
"From your catering, your tugboats, your towboats, your diving and salvage, your welding, your pipe fitting, all of those companies in all of those sectors of our economy would benefit from off shore oil and natural gas exploration," says David McGowan, the executive director of NC Petroleum Council.
Governor Roy Cooper is among those, however, who oppose the proposal over concerns of the environmental impact and the condition of the coast.
It's a concern shared among residents who call the coast home.
"You can take the chance and drill and maybe something doesn't happen, but what if something does happen," asks Paula Kowalski, a New Bern resident. "What if there is a leak or oil is spilling? "
For others, specifically visitors, they question the impact this could have on area tourism.
"You want to stick with what brought you here and build up the tourism area," says Joe Lockwood, a Crystal Coast tourist.
And it's fears like those that are the reason these public hearings are being conducted, to openly discuss whether or not the state should take any further actions on these proposals.
These meetings are not to determine whether or not to allow drilling off the coast, they are only to discuss whether this idea should even be explored.
Environmental surveys and more public forums would need to be held before oil and gas companies could even make proposals, and even then, there would still be plenty of obstacles before drilling became a reality.
The next step in the approval process that would allow for drilling would be environmental impact studies and seismic studies to see what resources are available along the coast.
As of right now, there is no timeline on when those studies could begin.
Offshore drilling is a highly-debated issue up for discussion in the east Wednesday night.
The State Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a public hearing in Morehead City to get public feedback on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) oil and gas lease program in the Atlantic.
The Executive Director of the N.C. Petroleum Council is expected to speak in favor of offshore drilling.
The open meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.
Posted: at 6:31 am
More good news from the Department of Energy (DOE) as we hit the midpoint of #AmericanWindWeek. DOE released three new wind energy market reports on Tuesday, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratorys (NREL) latest annual Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report.
The offshore market report reviews the latest information on the offshore wind market, technology and cost trends in the U.S. and worldwide.
Their findings? Global offshore wind costs are declining, new technologies are being developed, and confidence in the U.S. offshore industry is increasing.
Check out some key highlights of the report:
Offshore wind has arrived in the U.S.
The countrys first commercial offshore wind project the Block Island Wind Farm starting operation in December 2016. Its a 30 megawatt (MW) pilot project in state waters off Block Island, Rhode Island. The project consists of five 6-MW GE Haliade turbines and was developed by Deepwater Wind. It sells electricity to National Grid, supplying both mainland Rhode Island and satisfying all of Block Islands electricity needs.
Although smaller than offshore projects in other countries, it marks a historic moment in the U.S. offshore wind industry and has helped accelerate interest in the U.S. offshore wind market.
Offshore wind costs and prices have declined across the globe particularly in Europe
European strike prices (winning auction prices for offshore wind bids) have decreased significantly in the past couple years, dropping as low as $65 per megawatt-hour. While many factors affect these auction prices, the recent trend in price declines indicates a reduction in offshore wind costs.
Confidence in the emerging U.S. offshore wind market has increased
Decreasing global costs, continued supply chain development and new state policy commitments have the industry feeling optimistic about the future of American offshore wind power.
In the past year, Massachusetts and New York made commitments to buy 1,600 MW and 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy, respectively, while Maryland recently awarded offshore renewable energy credits to two offshore projects totaling 368 MW.
Recent U.S. offshore lease activities have attracted a diverse group of industry participants, including DONG Energy, Statoil, and Avangrid Renewables.
More offshore wind is on the way
The U.S. offshore wind project development pipeline currently includes over 20 planned projects totaling more than 24,000 MW of potential installed capacity.
That includes 12 projects that have won competitive lease auctions from the Department of Interiors Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), including the Skipjack Wind Farm, South Fork Wind Farm, and Vineyard Wind.
Another five projects have submitted unsolicited applications to BOEM, and five demonstration projects have obtained exclusive development rights to a site from federal or state authorities.
A majority of the nearer-term activity is concentrated in the Atlantic off the Northeast coast, but projects have been proposed off the Southeast coast, in the Pacific (off of California and Hawaii), the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes.
Offshore wind turbines are getting larger and projects are being developed in deeper waters further from shore
The global offshore wind industry is developing larger and larger turbines with a push towards turbines between 6 to 8 MW in deeper waters. Larger turbines mean fewer installations and lower maintenance, and thus lower energy costs. The average offshore turbine size increased from 3.4 MW in 2014 to 4.7 MW in 2016, and NREL expects the average turbine size to reach 7 MW for projects installed in 2020.
Floating foundation technology is starting to be developed for projects in deeper waters. There are currently over 20 floating demonstration or pilot-scale projects around the globe, as well as four proposed commercial scale projects planned off Hawaii and California.
NRELs full report provides a wealth of additional details on the offshore wind market and technology trends. Were excited to follow the progress of the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry in the years ahead.