Hydrogen presents an exciting opportunity to help achieve the global energy transition to a low carbon economy. With its history of innovation and technology development for the oil and gas industry, Scotland could be at the forefront of this transition creating new opportunities for businesses.
Hydrogen is emerging as an exciting future energy source to help drastically cut emissions from those ‘hard to decarbonise’ sectors (heat, transport and industry) that have haunted the dreams of our Energy and Environment Ministers over the last decade.
Last year, at All-Energy 2017, we were delighted to announce that the Acorn project had secured European support from the ‘Advancing CCS Technologies’ (ACT) funding round, part of the ERA-NET programme. Acorn is a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at St Fergus in north east Scotland, based on a phased development of industrial emissions and the production of hydrogen, which re-uses existing infrastructure, and has a wide portfolio of build out options to enable decarbonisation. The ACT funding is supporting the feasibility studies, which are currently underway by the ACT Acorn consortium – Pale Blue Dot Energy, the Bellona Foundation, Heriot-Watt University, Radboud University, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Liverpool.
Now, one year on, we are at All-Energy 2018 and Acorn has progressed. In the feasibility phase, the ACT Acorn project is 50% complete and the reports completed to date can be accessed from the project website. On 20th June, the ACT Acorn consortium will be hosting a webinar, ‘Acorn 2025: A pathway to decarbonising the UK’, which will provide the vision pathway for the project and demonstrate the critical value of the ACT-funded research. To register, click here.
In September 2017, the Scottish Government also announced their support for Acorn in their Programme for Government. In early 2018, the Acorn CCS infrastructure project, CO2 SAPLING, formally secured European support as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) and is now starting to move into pre-FEED activity, which will also be jointly funded by the public and private sectors. On top of this, we have been meeting with local politicians to raise awareness of Acorn and are developing industrial partnerships to drive the Acorn project forward.
Acorn is a way of starting small, creating optionality and being able to grow quickly at the right time. It is an exemplar of a low cost, low risk, option-rich approach that can be used in other places around the world.
To mark World Poetry Day (21st March), it is a pleasure to share a poem from our Commercial Director Sam Gomersall on the Acorn CCS project.
Put Acorn into rhyme!
Explain the project in a line!
Charlie asks for such stuff,
Doing a blog is not enough.
Acorn captures waste CO2,
Emitted process from the flue,
Cleaned, dried and compressed,
Such efficiency, you’re impressed.
St Fergus is the place it’s been,
A little north of Aberdeen.
Re-use the Atlantic pipe and more,
To transport the CO2 offshore,
Inject it deep down the wellbore,
For sequestration in the store.
With existing pipe already in place,
The project can move at a pace.
Ready to go by 2023,
Other projects will be able to see,
Technical experience to be gained,
Risk allocation, business model explained.
The Acorn Project by Pale Blue Dot,
Seeks investors for the pot,
A partnership with government in,
Can deliver the Project as a win.
Once on line, more it can take,
Decarbonised gas can it make,
Ship imports to Peterhead,
Central belt emissions can be fed.
So let’s collaborate to make it go,
The Acorn seed thus to sow,
Time for action and to make,
A mighty oak for climate’s sake.
The finalised Climate Change Plan was laid before Scottish Parliament yesterday. It signals a period of tremendous opportunity for those embracing the change to a future of clean energy.