Analysing long-term opportunities for offshore energy system integration in the Danish North Sea

Russell McKenna*, Matteo D'Andrea, Mario Garzón González

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study analyzes future synergies between the Oil and Gas (O&G) and renewables sectors in a Danish context and explores how exploiting these synergies could lead to economic and environmental benefits. We review and highlight relevant technologies and related projects, and synthesize the state of the art in offshore energy system integration. All of these preliminary results serve as input data for a holistic energy system analysis in the Balmorel modeling framework. With a timeframe out to 2050 and model scope including all North Sea neighbouring countries, this analysis explores a total of nine future scenarios for the North Sea energy system. The main results include an immediate electrification of all operational Danish platforms by linking them to the shore and/or a planned Danish energy island. These measures result in cost and CO2 emissions savings compared to a BAU scenario of 72% and 85% respectively. When these platforms cease production, this is followed by the repurposing of the platforms into hydrogen generators with up to 3.6 GW of electrolysers and the development of up to 5.8 GW of floating wind. The generated hydrogen is assumed to power the future transport sector, and is delivered to shore in existing and/or new purpose-built pipelines. The contribution of the O&G sector to this hydrogen production amounts to around 19 TWh, which represents about 2% of total European hydrogen demand for transport in 2050. The levelized costs (LCOE) of producing this hydrogen in 2050 are around 4 €2020/kg H2, which is around twice those expected in similar studies. But this does not account for energy policies that may incentivize green hydrogen production in the future, which would serve to reduce this LCOE to a level that is more competitive with other sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100067
JournalAdvances in Applied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology centre (DHRTC) for funding this research in the context of the “Alternative use of offshore infrastructures and reservoirs” program. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Electrolysis
  • Energy system integration
  • Hydrogen
  • Offshore
  • Oil and gas
  • Wind


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