Offshore Floating Renewable Energy and the Future of Power to Fuel Technology
This paper reviews the state of the art in Power-to-Fuel (P2F) technology, and the effects such technology could have on the future energy mix. P2F is broadly defined as using electrical energy to produce a fuel from its component parts, often in the presence of a catalyst. The most familiar is the production of fuel using the hydrogen and carbon via the Fischer-Tropsch process. The paper will determine the technical readiness, evaluate the projected economics, and present how incorporating it into an offshore renewable energy development scheme could make hereto uneconomic renewable energy development areas profitable. As the offshore resources are much better than on land, and the environmental impacts less, it is anticipated that using offshore renewable energy to produce clean, carbon neutral, eco-fuels will provide massive global benefits, not least of which will be the preservation of the utility of trillions of dollars of existing equipment and infrastructure. For example,offshore and onshore pipeline infrastructure can be re-purposed to move green-fuels to shore for further processing; producing green-plastics and even green carbon neutral car and jet fuel. These would be carbon neutral replacements for these hydrocarbon-based products, but at the same time leave the existing infrastructure for distribution and use unchanged. In gas form product can be transmitted much farther than even HVDC. In liquid form the export path could be through tankers, freeing the operators to sell to the best market rather than just to the local grid.