Suddenly there’s a brilliant alternative to oil rig decommissioning costs. You can store Scotland’s surplus renewable electricity with it and it’s low-tech.



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.

  • water
  • 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.




5 thoughts on “Suddenly there’s a brilliant alternative to oil rig decommissioning costs. You can store Scotland’s surplus renewable electricity with it and it’s low-tech.

  1. macgilleleabhar May 20, 2017 / 10:51 am

    This could have another benefit if the hydrogen can be pressurised in that it could extend the oil production.
    As for the Hindenburg I read somewhere that the “Dope” used to seal the fabric is used as rocket today and that the sealant was the major cause of the disaster.
    It is also reassuring for me to see Siemens involved as after a lifetime in industry that name to me is synonymous with quality and competence.


  2. Bugger (the Panda) July 20, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    I have had a look at the Hinckley Point business plan and it is quite incredible, with guaranteed Kw sales price of about 3 x today’s price, no responsibility for EDF to clean up site after and an ongoing slippage of actual installation of a reactor which has yet to make it to generation.

    Natural renewables are already damn near to undercutting nuclear and China is stopping coal fired generation, as is India.

    Funnily emough, if electric cars actually replace petroleum fired ones, we will need renewables more than ever


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