More than two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with water . The upper and inner surfaces of this massive water are fit for exploiting its untapped potential to meet the increasing energy demand of mankind and the energy trilemma as well. This point is less pronounced and has been neglected by the humanity. The floating energy hub based on multi-renewable energy systems, hereafter floating energy hub, is the keyword to address the mentioned issue, about which we covered in the previous article.
This issue is especially prominent for energy systems of coastal cities since they are more susceptible to extreme weather events such as typhoons and usually have more ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets than many other cities and the land scarsity issue .
The proposed floating energy hub by this study consists of the floating photovoltaic (FPV), floating/offshore wind turbines, floating battery storage system (FBSS), and underwater hydrogen storage system. From supply, dispatch, demand, and storage sides, the proposed design of the floating energy hub utilizes and harnesses solar power and wind power for supplying the cheapest form of electricity, narrows the gap between supply and demand thanks to its geographical freedom (floating/offshore installation) and proximity to the location of demand or load center. Hence, it results in saving time and cost in the dispatch section. It also exploits the potential of the upper and inner surfaces of water for energy storage, e.g. FBSS and underwater hydrogen storage on the upper surface and below the surface respectively. Finally, the floating energy hub uses electricity and hydrogen as energy carriers.
Therefore, to meet the energy trilemma, solar and wind power as the two cost-effective forms of power generation and CO2 emission reduction with seasonal behavior are able to counterbalance each other to a certain extent during the seasonal load [3, 14-16]. Then, FPV goes well with the floating wind turbines in the floating energy hub so that they provide flexibility and resilience in the supply section. Moreover, the considered energy storage systems bring a lot more demand flexibility in the energy system. Figure 1 shows the Energy Hub Sea concept in which the hub is intended to be equipped with a self-sufficient energy system that is renewable energy-based and independent from external fuel deliveries . It was funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research program which is located at Helgoland in the North Sea.
Thanks to its offshore installation, the floating energy hub reduces the ecological and biodiversity concerns and eventually the environmental impacts related to the terrestrial ones. Thus, the floating energy hub not only meets the energy trilemma but also rectifies the side effects on the environment.
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