Large quantities of heat, steam and CO2 are released in industrial processes in the port of Rotterdam. Chemical companies, horticulture and households in the region do require heat. These energy sources can be exchanged smartly via pipelines. By dealing with energy as efficiently as possible and making as much use of residual flows as possible, less CO₂ and NOx are released into the air, contributing to realisation of a sustainable port and ensuring a cost-effective and sustainable business climate.
Open network: Heat, steam and CO₂
In order to realise a sustainable, energy-efficient port, the Port Authority is contributing to an extensive ‘open network’ via which supply and demand of various energy carriers will be interconnected. Installation of such an extensive system involving suppliers and customers of energy sources cannot be realised by the Port Authority alone: that requires collaboration and investment from multiple parties. The regulations on various points will also have to be adapted; only then will new energy earnings models be feasible. It is also important to first take a look at what we already have: there are many existing pipelines already in place that could be used differently or better. Current infrastructure projects where companies, in collaboration with the Port Authority, can utilise synergetically in order to reduce their emissions and to prevent dissipation of their residual heatare:
The Port Authority, Gasunie and other parties are currently working on the so-called ‘Heat Roundabout,’ the objective of which is to transfer residual heat from the port to Westland and the cities. The principle of the heat network is that, since it is an open platform, various suppliers and consumers can use the network. Other sustainable sources such as geothermal heat can also be connected to it. A CO₂ pipeline system can also be expanded at the same time a new heating pipeline is installed, since horticulturalists need CO₂ as well as heat to make their plants grow more rapidly. Presently, they sometimes burn gas to produce CO₂. By using a pipeline system for CO₂, CO₂ emitted by the port industry which would otherwise end up in the air is transferred to the horticulturalists.
Capture and storage of CO₂: ROAD
Capture and storage of CO₂ (Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS) are required so that CO₂ still to be produced in the next few decades does not end up in the atmosphere. Even though renewable energy accounts for an ever increasing share of our energy supply, fossil fuels will still be needed over the next few years. The CO₂ released in the process must be captured and stored in order to protect the environment and achieve the climate objectives. ROAD (the Dutch acronym for Rotterdam Capture and Collection Demonstration project) is a large-scale pilot project that uses new technology applied for coal plants on this scale for the first time in Europe. The goal is to capture 25% of the CO₂ from one of the plants and store it in a gas field under the North Sea.
A great deal of energy is generated and consumed in the Port of Rotterdam; sustainable energy like solar energy, wind energy and energy from biomass is produced as well. TenneT will be transmitting electricity from offshore wind parks to the Maasvlakte in the coming years, which will offer opportunities for new developments such as electrification of the industry and conversion of electricity to hydrogen. That hydrogen can in turn serve as fuel.
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