Skip to main content

2023.05.15 Aggreko

Renewable energy in the oil & gas Energy Transition

Have you done everything you can to reduce emissions produced by your operations?

Have you rightsized your fleet of generators and adapted them with an ultra-low emissions package?

Have you minimised your reliance on diesel by  introducing and expanding your use of natural gas power?

What about renewable energy?

Renewables are the final, and perhaps the most complex, piece in the Energy Transition puzzle. After all, if you can harness them effectively they’ll deliver truly emission-free power.

But how can you get to a point where you are completely powered by renewable energy sources? Much of the technology is still being developed and improved and we’re not yet at a stage where large oil and gas operations can rely solely on the likes of wind or solar energy.

Read on to find out when and how you should introduce the cleanest energy into your power plan.

When to switch to renewable energy

You don’t actually need to complete earlier phases of your Energy Transition before introducing renewables into your energy strategy. In fact, when it comes to such a fundamental change in the way you power your operations, it makes sense to approach it as a gradual process.

Rather than putting renewables to one side while you follow the other steps of your Energy Transition, it’s better to be aware of the possibilities from the start. That way you can introduce them at the earliest and most effective opportunity.

But how do you incorporate renewable energy with your existing thermal fuels?

Hybrid power solutions

The answer is hybrid power plants that combine the advantages of renewable energy and battery storage with the reliability of thermal generators.

Battery technology is absolutely crucial to the development and adoption of renewable energy. Solar generators have improved and are continuing to improve all the time, but they will always be limited by the amount of sunlight available. To compete with the 24/7 power generation of fossil fuels, you need to be able to capture and store as much solar energy as possible when the conditions are right.

As batteries have decreased in cost and increased in capacity they are now much more economical for storing solar energy. A smart hybrid solution will maximise the power generated during periods of sunlight and store it for use during periods of low or zero power generation. Existing gas generators can be incorporated into the new system to deal with peak loads, but solar and battery power will always be used first to reduce emissions and fuel costs.

Aggreko’s modular smart hybrid solutions enable the seamless integration of this old and new technology. This is why you should consider them at all stages of your Energy Transition. Whatever point you’ve reached when your thermal generators need to be replaced, stop and consider the options. If you replace them like for like, chances are you’ll be replacing them again in only a few years as part of your Net Zero strategy. Installing a hybrid solution now will save you money in the long term as well as accelerate your Energy Transition.

New revenue streams

As you gradually introduce hybrid power plants, your reliance on fossil fuels will decrease. If you’ve invested in harnessing the power of the gas associated with your oil production you may soon find you have more natural gas than you need.

But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t money well spent. This excess gas can be sold back to the power grid to not only cover the cost of your investment but also deliver a new, regular income stream.

And as you increase your renewable power generation you may find further opportunities to increase profits. Some oil and gas operators are transitioning towards becoming energy companies as their solar power fields grow and their cost of producing energy becomes cheaper. Become a market leader in this area and you can sell clean power to other operators that have not progressed as far in their Energy Transition.

Take action now

Whatever stage of your Energy Transition you’ve reached, you need to be aware of the possibilities of renewable energy and hybrid power solutions. This will ensure that you’re ready to take full advantage at the right time, maximising profits with reliable, clean power.

Aggreko has produced a free guide that clearly explains each phase of the Energy Transition. Wherever you are on the path to Net Zero it gives you the information you need to help you transition at your pace. Download it today to see how you can take your next steps with Aggreko.

Download whitepaper