There are 1400 rigs in the North Sea including those of all countries involved, not just Scotland. The decommissioning costs will run into nay billions. However, Siemens and the Dutch research institute have come up with a way of using them to solve the problem of renewable energy storage rather than spending those billions wastefully.
As you know, renewable sources are already capable of producing more energy than can be used on some days. That phenomenon will increase as more and more wind and tidal turbines are installed.
The solution, it seems, would be to connect the unused rigs to the renewable grid and transform the surplus electricity into hydrogen which can be stored. Presumably hydrogen storage is safer than in the days of the Hindenburg? Just how this conversion is done is not explained in the original Oil and Gas people report yesterday so I’ve had a wee look further afield.
You can do it yourself. I found this:
Make Hydrogen Gas – Method 1
One of the easiest ways to obtain hydrogen is to get it from water, H2O. This method employs electrolysis, which breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.
- 9-volt battery
- 2 paperclips
So, it’s pretty low-tech. You just apply your surplus electricity to water. The oxygen and the hydrogen bubble up separately (much more of the latter) and you capture the hydrogen in a container. I gather that, by itself with no oxygen, the hydrogen is not dangerous.