Design tools for port and grid infrastructure planning for floating wind and wave industries
van Lanschot, Thomas Francis
This thesis considers the development of one floating wave and one floating wind energy technology for their application in the Western Europe marine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the associated port and grid connection infrastructure required to support growth in deployment. In this thesis, the Western European EEZ incorporates the marine zones of Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, The United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Germany. The process associated with developing infrastructure can be lengthy and complex, therefore this work presents a series of methods and evidence to expedite assessments. The core areas assessed for the development of floating wave and wind energy at array scale are evaluated as mooring suitability, power production, marine planning sensitivity and port/grid infrastructure capabilities. Three modelling processes were developed across four time frames of 2018, 2020, 2025 and 2030 to identify the following, 1) basic site potential, 2) costed site potential and 3) infrastructure assessment. The first model constrained the marine zones according to assessment criteria and identified that by 2030, an approximate 300,000km2 of floating wave or 260,000km2 floating wind across the marine zones of Western Europe. This could equate to approximately 15TW and 4.2TW of installable capacity. The second modelling approach sought to allocate sites to theoretically suitable infrastructure based on location and fixed hosting values for port and grid capacity outlining a cost of energy. It was found that a total of 38GW and 75GW of respective wave and wind capacity could be considered capable of being cost feasible, defined as less than 100£/MWh, by 2030. The third modelling approach examined the more practical nature of the two infrastructure types. A grid assessment model utilised a genetic algorithm solver to evaluate a market mix assessing the energy penetration in Western Europe. A port operations model assessed the feasible build out time. It was found that after power market and port modelling, only 3.9GW and 13.6GW of wave and wind was practically deployable. Energy market modelling highlighted that 90% of wave and 80% of wind capacity was reduced due to the lack of access to suitable volumes of demand as well as a clash between production variability due to seasonal and diurnal demand profiles. Furthermore, it was found that by 2030 the electrical grid infrastructure was twice as likely to reduce capacity potential, although impacts were location specific. This thesis also highlighted how groups of countries working in an energy partnership could connect greater numbers of potential sites within the combined EEZ. The best performer being a power union of Denmark and Norway, with vast numbers of sites in Norway being connected to the Danish electrical grid system. This highlights that policy makers could utilise this type of understanding to evaluate infrastructure but also expand the use of decision tools in infrastructure planning.