Hybrid Wind Energy

While listening to a talk about the feasibility of offshore wind energy, or to be more specific, the addition of wind turbines to abandoned offshore oil platforms, I was amazed that the speaker seemed not to have considered the transmission losses to move the electricity back to shore.  The presenter said that his firm planned to install large electrical conductors inside the existing hydrocarbon pipelines.  I just did not see how this would work out on any large scale for any long run of wire.


After giving the matter a bit of thought, I came up with a solution to the problem of moving the energy from wind power back to shore.  This solution not only solved the problem for near-shore wind generators but also for far offshore wind generators as well.  You see, the problems with electrical generation are transmission and storage. You lose quite a bit of energy in the transmission process, and the storage problem is terrible. The solution I thought up was simply using the electrical power on the platform to separate water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis.


Normally, electrolysis is not used to generate hydrogen because the power that can be generated by the hydrogen is less than the power required to generate the hydrogen. In the case of wind power, the cost of the electricity used to convert the salt water to hydrogen is not as important. Once generated, the hydrogen could then be transported back to shore inside the existing hydrocarbon pipeline to the existing hydrocarbon storage facility. The hydrogen could be stored and then burned in existing electrical generation plants when and where needed, in fuel cells or even in specially outfitted cars.  Simple as that.


The setup would be to construct an electrolysis plant on the old offshore platform that could be efficiently powered by electricity produced from as many generators as could be fitted on the platform to convert seawater into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen would then piped ashore via the existing hydrocarbon pipeline. The compressor on the platform (used to push the hydrogen to shore inside the pipeline) would be powered either by electricity or hydrogen. The hydrogen would be piped ashore and handled from there in much the same manner as natural gas. You would be therefore creating hydrogen fuel from water and wind power. The hydrogen could then either run fuel cells, electrical generation plants or even specially outfitted cars.


I am positive I’m not the first person to think of this solution, but if this is possible I wonder how many other opportunities we may have hanging out ready to be created from our leftovers.

The following two tabs change content below.
Since 2001, Larry LaBorde has sold gold, silver, platinum and palladium for investment to clients in the U.S. and around the world through his firm, Silver Trading Company LLC. The firm also offers guidance about metals storage options. We love your feedback! Please email Larry with your thoughts about this article or your questions about metals or storage.

Latest posts by Larry LaBorde (see all)

Larry LaBorde's Articles0 comments

Comments are closed.

Product Prices These are our most commonly sold products, but we have many more!

Hover over product to see pricing.

{{product.name}} (*) (**)

US Price: ${{getPrice(product)}}

Price Outside US: ${{getPrice(product, 'non_us')}}

Ounces: {{product.oz}}

* (15 oz foreign Min) ** (When available)