HFI-welded steel tubes in the renewable energy sector
Solutions for the energy transition (but not only)
With HFI-welded steel tube and pipe measuring 114.3 to 610.0 mm in diameter and up to 25.4 mm in wall thickness, Mannesmann Line Pipe supplies line pipe and MSH sections for the generation, production and distribution of renewable energies.
Joint strategy for Europe
The energy transition is regarded as a central societal task of the 21st century.
In 2007, Europe started to mark out the basic framework of a future European climate and energy policy. The Energy Roadmap 2050 was published about two years later. The main goals were defined as follows: expanding renewable energies, boosting energy efficiency, and reducing CO2 emissions while at the same time upholding reliable supplies and the affordability of energy.
The EU has thus defined the main principles of energy policy for Europe, although the member nations still decide for themselves which energy sources to use and how to shape their own national energy transition.
Different starting points and national sovereignty
At present, the so-called "20-20-20 targets" set by European government leaders in 2009/2010 (an at least 20 % reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels, a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency, and raising the share of renewables to 20 % of total energy requirements by 2020) seem achievable. The situation with the ambitious targets for 2030 looks more difficult, particularly because achieving them is again subject to the will of national policymakers. Since the starting points are very different in terms of the energy mix in the various countries, there is no single way or approach for achieving these targets. The fact is, however, the problem of global warming has been identified almost universally and the energy transition is well underway, not only in Europe.
Model state Norway
Norway leads the field by a long way in the achievement of national climate goals. Some 99 % of consumed electricity is generated hydroelectrically, i.e. renewably. In the electromobility sector, the share of vehicles is already at almost 20 %. In 2017, new electric and hybrid vehicle registrations exceeded those of conventionally powered vehicles. As of 2025, it will only be possible to buy electric cars in Norway.
China holds the key
The pace of the global energy transition probably depends heavily on China, a country inhabited by a fifth of the world’s population. The second-largest economy after the USA emitted, at 28.2 %, by far the most carbon worldwide in 2017. China’s 66 cities with a million or more inhabitants are choking in smog – and more and more people are migrating to these cities. According to the German Energy Agency (dena), about 4.2 billion square meters of residential space is built per year – more than the total living space in Germany. This is where the dividing line between the opportunities and risks associated with sustainability and climate protection is particularly narrow.
Chinese energy juggling act
By 2013 China had already become the world market leader in the production and use of wind turbines, solar cells and smart grid technologies and the biggest generator of green electricity. In 2016, regenerative sources supplied almost 25 % of its electricity and this value is due to double by 2020. While money is pouring into renewables at home, even more Chinese money is being pumped into coal, oil and gas worldwide. According to a study by China’s Global Environmental Institute (GEI), in 2016 China was involved in 240 coal-fired power plant projects in 25 countries worldwide, with another 52 in the pipeline.
Further demand for fossil fuels
Fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in the national energy strategies of the USA and Russia. How the growing economies of India and the African continent will develop and what this will mean for the global transformation of the energy sector towards renew-ables and global climate protection is impossible to tell at the moment.
Energy transition is the term used to denote the shift from the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy to a sustainable energy supply with renewable energy sources.
The energy transition comprises the three areas of electricity, heating and transportation and, in the long term, the abandonment of the use of fossil fuels, e.g. in plastics or fertilizer production. Key elements of the transition are the expansion of renewables combined with the build-up of energy storage, boosting energy efficiency and the realization of energy savings.
Renewable energy sources include wind power, solar power, marine power, hydropower and geothermal heat. The electrification of the heating sector and transportation also plays an important part.
Four questions to Head of Sales Konrad Thannbichler
Mr. Thannbichler, the energy transition is well underway worldwide – how is Mannesmann Line Pipe responding?
We believe we are well-equipped. In the last ten years we have gathered a good deal of experience in a large variety of sectors that has been converted into innovative products and applications for our customers. Particularly in the field of offshore windfarms, we have acquired ample expertise from the numerous projects completed to date. At the same time, we have developed new products for our customers and will continue to do so in our main markets, the production and transport of mineral oil and natural gas.
Can you name some specific examples?
As examples, I need only mention the development of flowlines in use in secondary oil production and grade X8Ni9 for LNG transport. Right now, for our customer ONE, we are involved in the approval of the Zap-Lok® connection for offshore applications in the North Sea.
What’s your assessment of future trends with fossil fuels?
When looking at this, it’s undoubtedly essential to monitor political and social conditions, as these can change rapidly. It can be an event like Fukushima, or it can be a new president in the USA who wants to leave the Paris Climate Protection Agreement or scrap his predecessor’s Clean Power Plan. In the interests of our customers we do not wish to concentrate on a single energy policy.
So you’re taking a two-pronged approach?
Exactly. With our Business Development & Processes department we and our customers are always listening closely to the market and can respond flexibly to changes of course or to energy policy shifts. We can make mature products available for all needs associated with energy generation, production and distribution – for renewable or fossil fuels. Be it gas, solar, oil, hydroelectric, wind, hydrogen transport, geothermal or carbon capture, we’ve got the experience and special skills in all these segments and can offer customized solutions or at least individual components for overall solutions.
We can make mature products available for all needs associated with energy generation, production and distribution – for renewable or fossil fuels.Konrad Thannbichler