Floating Wind Good, Floating Wind + Green Hydrogen Better

June 2, 2021

Anyone who thinks rapid global decarbonization is out of reach should take a look at the floating wind turbine sector. Floating wind seemingly popped up out of nowhere in just the past couple of years, and it has already hooked up with the splashy new green hydrogen trend. Too bad those pesky cryptocurrency speculators are sucking up all the clean kilowatts, but that’s another new trend and a whole ‘nother can of worms.

Floating Wind & Green Hydrogen To The Rescue

For those of you new to the topic, putting a wind turbine on a platform that floats is a technologically difficult exercise, but the payoff is huge in terms of rapid decarbonization. Floating platforms can be tethered to the seabed in deeper waters and/or farther from shore, which takes advantage of prime wind speeds while minimizing opposition from coastal communities.

The green hydrogen angle comes in for squeezing the most available juice possible from wind turbines. Hydrogen is a zero emission fuel that can be combusted to run turbines, or deployed in a fuel cell to generate electricity. At the present time, though, almost all of the global hydrogen supply comes from natural gas. That’s going to change because low-cost renewable energy has upended the economics of hydrogen production, making it financially feasible to “split” hydrogen gas from water with an electrical current.

Since hydrogen acts as a transportable energy storage medium, water-splitting provides a way to salvage excess energy from wind turbines or solar panels. The case for wind turbines is especially strong because winds generally pick up at night, when electricity demand goes down.

Other sustainable hydrogen pathways include biogas, industrial waste gas, wastewater, and waste plastics, but water-splitting seems to be attracting the most attention these days.

Read more here.

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