Renewable electricity grids & undersea hydrogen

So it seems that there are a couple of challenges with a completely renewable energy grid in a Northern European context.

1) We don’t have that much solar energy

2) The solar energy we do have is rarely at the right times

So if we don’t have enough energy we probably need to import some.

The import of energy from overseas of course comes with the long and inglorious history of colonial control and exploitation. There’s nothing inherent in exchanging currency for energy that that implies the relationship is neo-colonial or exploitative.

North Africa > Europe

There are abundant solar resources in the Sahara. Enough to power all of Europe.

There are some existing gas pipelines from Algeria to Spain and Italy.  The technology for laying undersea gas seems mature.

At the same time, it’s likely there are a number of gas power stations in Spain and Italy that are due for decommissioning. There is at least one existing Hydrogen power plant in Italy

What are the technical challenges for buying one of the existing undersea pipelines, adding a spur on the end to connect it to a power station and running the first renewable Hydrogen power station in Europe?

Pipes have an approx capacity of 21millon cubic liters of Hydrogen per day. Or 244686 Mw per day

Could the hydrogen be transported by road in tankers?

Could we run an under-river hydrogen pipeline up the Rhone using underwater pipes along the waterways to bring Hydrogen into the heart of Europe.

Can we connect the pipelines to lake Geneva and use marine salvage bags to store it until needed, in the manner of Hydrostor Except using Hydrogen rather than air?

What does a social investment model look like?

CIC established with 30% profit distribution model baked in.

Funds raised from individuals and fund managers through a share offer.

Infrastructure built, using solar panels produced in Algeria.

50% of surplus unconditionally paid into the bank accounts of the Algerian population.

20% of surplus used to re-invest, build more.

What are the costs?

240mw capacity

Power station €50 million 12Mw x 20 = 1bn for 240Mw

Pipeline €900 million to Almeria

Electrolyser 10Mw = £20millon 240Mw = 4.8bn

Solar farm $1.90/watt ($23 Million for 12Mw) x 20 =$276 million

Ballpark 6.8 Bn

The pipe can handle 50 x this.

What is the income

Based on £50/MWh

240Mw x 12hr = 2880Mw/day

£144000/ day x 365 = £50m/ yr

Payback 136 years.


Solar irradiance

Increased rainfall 

CSP > Hydrogen

Solar water splitting

Algeria – Europe pipelines

Chinese investment

Hydrogen pipe paper

Europe gas network

Nord stream

Danish study on hydrogen in MDPE

Plastic pipes undersea

Power to gas

Undersea Electric cable £100/ meter, 100k per km 

28 km Ceuta > Gibraltar  

2.8 million