Floating offshore wind offers big advantages

By Antonio ​Gentile, Key Account Director Saipem, ENEL, Fincantieri & MSC, RINA

As CAPEX expenditure falls, variable renewable-energy sources will gradually move from being marginal providers of electricity to becoming the main source of this power by 2050.

By this time, 82% of the world’s grid-connected electricity will be generated from renewable sources, with 69% from variable renewables, including 33% from wind (20% onshore wind, 11% bottom-fixed offshore wind, and 2% floating offshore wind).

While wind generation today is largely onshore, where wind speeds are generally higher and more reliable and there are fewer constraints on hub heights and site locations, offshore wind is set to show a 14% average annual growth until 2050.

Floating wind turbines give access to significant wind resources in deep waters, offering flexible site selection in order to target areas with higher wind speeds and a lower social and environmental impact.

As a result, it is forecast that offshore wind’s contribution to the wider energy mix will increase, reaching about 40% of total wind production by 2050, with a significant scaling of global installed offshore wind capacity from 56 GW in 2021 to 1,748 GW in 2050.

Indeed, floating offshore wind is expected to generate 15% of all offshore wind energy by then, contributing 264 GW by 2050.

In the next five years, we expect significant technological developments in floating wind, which will reduce costs, scale production, and broaden applicability.

The European floating wind farms, Kincardine and Hywind in Scotland and WindFloat Atlantic in Portugal, are operating well, proving that the technology is technically reliable and that floating wind can perform as well as, or better than, bottom-fixed offshore wind.

In 2025, an increasing number of floating wind turbines will be in operation. This will allow the industry to gather even more experience of daily operations, wind turbine performance and main component integrity management.

This knowledge will undoubtedly stimulate new development. There are currently more than 40 floating wind concepts being designed and new techniques are frequently being announced to tackle factors such as weight, fabrication schedule and installation methods.

Other concepts offer even more radical change, such as turret mooring systems, multiple turbines on each floating structure, or a combination of floating wind energy with wave energy converters or green hydrogen production.

Floating wind farms will also require different installation methods, driving the design of new types of wind turbine installation vessels.

There will also be developments in specialized construction support vessels to handle cable-laying operations and ensure grid connection, as well as manage rock dumping operations to protect wind turbine foundations and cables from being damaged by currents.

For now, cost remains the main concern for floating wind: while bottom fixed wind energy currently has projects with a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) below USD 50 per megawatt hour (USD/MWh), the first floating wind farms have seen LCOE exceed 200 USD/MWh. This is due mainly to the small size of the first floating wind farms and the immaturity of the technology and the supply chain.

However, technological developments will undoubtedly bring costs down and push the floating wind LCOE to below 100 USD/MWh by 2025 and under 40 USD/MWh by 2050.

The advantages of a digital twin

By ​Egidio Zanin, Senior Business Development Manager Nuclear Industry Cluster, RINA

The concept of a “digital twin” is fairly recent. Moreover, its application in the nuclear power sector is new, and brings additional challenges due to the dynamic nature and significant uncertainty of the nuclear process.

A digital twin is a digital representation of an intended or actual real-world physical product, system, or process that can be used for practical purposes such as simulation, integration, testing, and monitoring. It has been recognized that digitalization across the life cycle of the nuclear industry could deliver significant advantages, providing improved process reliability, which would reduce scheduling and cost risk while ensuring operations are undertaken safely.

The digital twin includes the use of numerical models that cover the operation of the asset. These models can simulate scheduled operations and the process flows of waste material, extending down to chemical models that can account for changes in speciation and solubility as a function of process conditions. Statistical tools, developed to calculate the uncertainty in plant data, can also be incorporated into predictions.

The Cleandem project, funded by HORIZON 2020 programme, is currently studying digital twin applications for nuclear decommissioning activities. Data from drones and other specific tools would be plugged into the digital twin in order to model the dynamics of the system, from starting stage to fully decommissioned state.  

The strategy adopted is typically to undertake early phase operations in a cautious manner (leading phase) in order to gather information during early retrievals (learning phase). This knowledge allows acceleration of the decommissioning in later phases. The digitalization of the information manager has the potential to extract as much useful information as possible from retrievals to improve predictions of how to operate in later years.

It can also be important to consider additional variability due to the availability of resources and failure (e.g. mechanical) of plant equipment. We can add to this complexity the dynamic changes in the system chemistry which in turn impacts on our ability to treat the effluent. All of these processes require different types of models and the usual practice is to develop independent models in software specifically and optimally designed for the purpose of solving a particular type of real-world problem.

The adoption of a digital twin provides a simple, easy-to-use interface that can be accessed by any interested party through the use of the models. In this way, it can also increase the number of stakeholders who can participate in improving a system’s overall process reliability.

Electrolyzers: technology for a cleaner world

By ​​Natalia Pierozzi, Senior Technical Manager Carbon Reduction Excellence, RINA

Hydrogen is set to play a crucial role on the journey to zero emissions and, in particular, green hydrogen which emits no greenhouse gases during production.

The huge potential for this energy vector is set to place great demands on electrolyzers, the technology used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

We are seeing a steady stream of announcements on electrolyzers and their scaling up. Researchers and industry experts are working on novel concepts and improvements to existing technologies. Meanwhile, manufacturers are achieving increased production capacity at the gigawatt scale, while new national policies and investments are being launched to support the scaling up of both hydrogen production and usage.

But what is the current status of electrolysis technology? There is currently a wide variety of electrolyzers in the market, including alkaline, Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM), Solid Oxide, and Anion Exchange Membrane. Each of these technologies has its own specific challenges and opportunities.

For example, alkaline electrolyzers are well suited for large-scale industrial installations, while PEM electrolyzers are ideal for applications that require a small amount of space and variable renewable energy input. However, the use of noble and scarce materials in the manufacture of PEM electrolyzers poses a problem in their large-scale deployment.

Meanwhile, there are other emerging technologies that could act as game changers in the future production of green hydrogen, such as membrane-less electrolyzers and devices that use the photoelectrolysis process.

In the last decade, great progress has been made in electrolysis technology, but there is still much work to be done. The key areas where technological innovation is needed are efficiency and performance improvement, cost reduction, upscaling, and a reduction in the use of noble and scarce materials.

The latter poses a serious challenge, especially in Europe, where the supply of critical raw materials is heavily dependent on a small number of third-party countries.

The European Union has responded to this challenge by preparing a new European Critical Raw Materials Act, expected to be in place by March 2023. This package of regulatory and non-regulatory measures aims to secure a sustainable supply of critical raw materials to support the green transition, and strengthen EU resilience.

At RINA, we are contributing to the European Commission’s work as members of a task force on Critical Raw Materials within the European Electrolyzers partnership.

Our goal is to provide input to the incoming policy framework, including technical recommendations and potential roadmaps and action plans.

This is a watershed moment for hydrogen, and therefore also for electrolyzer technology, and the development momentum observed today in electrolysis technology is expected to continue. The time to invest and take action is now, as we stand at the forefront of a cleaner, brighter energy future.

Clean energy in port

By ​Gianluca Vezzani, Senior Business Development Manager  Ports & Maritime Engineering and Consulting Area/Market, RINA

Ships’ diesel engines contribute around 80% of the total carbon emissions produced in ports, impacting both the port area and the local surroundings.

In order to reduce these emissions, Onshore Power Supply (OPS) is set to form a key part of the energy transition, offering one of the best ways to decarbonize shipping activity while in port.

The main benefit of OPS, also known as ‘cold ironing’, is to enable vessels to shut down their auxiliary engines at berth while still maintaining onboard services.

This alternative energy solution offers a crucial method of lowering carbon emissions. Furthermore, OPS eliminates the vibrations and noise pollution from ships’ engines, improving the quality of life in the areas surrounding the port.

However, several factors currently limit the full deployment of OPS in ports.

Firstly, in order to be economically viable, shore-side electricity supply needs to be more cost competitive than the ship’s own fuel consumption. As a consequence, appropriate incentive programmes should be created to encourage ship owners to invest in the onboard systems needed to plug into onshore power sources.

Moreover, significant investment is required in OPS berths in terms of facilities, infrastructure, technologies and equipment. Public funding will be a key factor in promoting OPS installation in all shipping sectors.

There is currently no international legislative framework in place to mandate or facilitate the use of OPS in ports worldwide.

However, significant progress has been made in Europe in the form of Directive 2014/94/EU, which establishes a common framework of measures for European Union Member States to use alternative fuel infrastructures.

According to the Directive, OPS shall be installed as a priority in EU maritime and inland ports by the end of 2025, provided the economic and environmental benefits are consistent. This will provide a further incentive for shipowners.

Due to the variety of factors that can potentially hamper OPS investments, an integrated approach across the different disciplines has proven to be the best route towards successful project development. 

Such an integrated approach needs to include a comprehensive feasibility study to evaluate the viability of the investment prior to the implementation of any OPS project.

Several aspects need be taken into account based on the port location, readily available power supply, and berthing capacity.

These include: identification of the best technical solution to fit the purpose of the specific port and terminal, estimation of all project-associated costs, revenue calculations, legal implications, assessment of environmental, social and economic benefits to the community, as well as to the industrial and commercial sectors of the territory.

The success of OPS projects also relies on the involvement of ship owners in the decision-making process, in order to foster more investment in onboard OPS technology. 

Certifying pipes and valves as H2 ready

By ​Enrico Beccaceci, Senior Technical Manager ASEAN Engineering Integration, RINA

Today, we are seeing an increasing number of initiatives being developed in the transition to full decarbonization. Within this framework, hydrogen represents a key pillar of the energy transition necessary to limit global warming to 2 Celsius degrees and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The energy sector, with its focus on transmission and distribution networks, is now being asked to deliver significant volumes of hydrogen from production sites to end users.

Where feasible, the exploitation of existing pipelines through life extension and conversion from natural gas to hydrogen service (i.e., repurposing or retrofitting) is the first option to consider. However, this is not always technically possible or economically viable, and the realization of new “hydrogen-ready” pipelines has become mandatory.

Despite this, the regulatory framework relevant to hydrogen service and hydrogen applications is still incomplete.

RINA is working hard to fill the regulatory gap, and is now presenting two “H2-Ready Method Statements”.

The first helps carbon steel line pipe manufacturers certify and deliver ready made products for hydrogen transmission and distribution networks.

With this Method Statement, a specific line pipe production can be declared compliant with the highest H2 usage factor (up to 72%) according to the applicable principles of Option B (Performance-Based Design Method) of ASME B31.12:2019 “Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines”.

The Method Statement covers applications and limitations, as well as a series of requirements such as material traceability, manufacturing route, steel grade, chemistry, toughness, mechanical properties, welding and hydrotest. This enables manufactured carbon steel line pipes to be certified H2-ready.

The second Method Statement developed by RINA applies to metallic valve types intended for the construction of gas transmission and distribution pipelines, and hydrogen piping systems. It covers the requirements relating to all the valve’s components (metallic and non-metallic) at different functions and working at different stress levels, and assists metallic valve manufacturers in the qualification of their H2-ready products.

Several requirements, such as applications and limitations, material requirements, design criteria for unlisted valves, and functional requirements, are specified in this Method Statement in order to obtain the qualification of a H2-ready metallic valve.

Once the above requirements are satisfied, an official statement is issued by RINA declaring the given line pipe/valve production inspected, verified, and H2-ready according to the relevant Method Statement.

In this way, RINA is helping to fill the regulatory gap, enabling industry to keep pace with the rapidly evolving demands of decarbonisation and the energy transition.

H2iseO Hydrogen Valley

By ​Ginevra Rossetti, Head of Mobility & Logistics, RINA

"H2iseO Hydrogen Valley" is an Italian hydrogen-based industrial value chain for a sustainable mobility system in Val Camonica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo railway line.

The project has three phases:

- The first phase involves the arrival of the first 6 hydrogen-powered electric trains, which will be built by Alstom and delivered by 2023. Between 2021 and 2023, a first hydrogen production plant will also be built at Iseo station

- In the second phase, another 8 hydrogen powered trains will be delivered, thus completing the replacement of the entire fleet with totally green vehicles. In addition, one or possibly two further hydrogen production plants are planned for the Brescia and/or Edolo areas by 2025

-   In the third phase, the hydrogen produced by the plants can be used for vehicles other than trains, starting with public transport and the 40 buses managed in Val Camonica by FNM Autoservizi

RINA is proudly to be working on this project delivering design consultancy services for several of the hydrogen production, storage, and distribution sites. As an environmental engineer, I firmly believe that this is a groundbreaking project, contributing to the achievement of the “first of its kind” system in Italy.

Once realized it will be a case study that should guide and assist the development of similar projects, significantly contributing to an historic change in the mobility sector. While there are challenges every day, it is a credit to the team behind the project who have made it possible with their strategic vision and strong personal commitment.

The decarbonization process is “The Challenge” of our generation. I strongly believe that the achievement of our decarbonization goals depends first on a behavioural shift and we all need to contribute with a personal commitment to change.

The "hydrogenisation" of the Brescia-Iseo-Edolo railway line as the first to use hydrogen means that hydrogen production and distribution infrastructures can be set up in the area to support the local economic and industrial sector.

In this sense, the "H2iseO Hydrogen Valley" will not only decarbonize a railway line but also encourage the development of an economic and industrial district based on hydrogen in the area, thus contributing to the cultural change.

 V i s i t  t h e  p r o j e c t ' s  s i t e 

A new option: onboard hydrogen production

By ​Antonios Trakakis, Marine Greece Technical Director, RINA

Under the International Maritime Organization’s decarbonization strategy launched in 2018, the shipping industry is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 50% compared to 2008.

This strategy requires a continuous effort, so that every year ships emit less GHG than the previous year. While technological and operational methods can enable shipowners to meet these goals in the short term, from 2030 the industry will have no choice but to deploy alternative zero-carbon fuels.

Today, the use of zero-carbon fuels is hindered by their relatively small annual production, which is substantially less than currently required by the shipping industry, as well as their high cost, which far exceeds that of fossil fuels.

Extensive studies show that LNG represents the best way to achieve initial decarbonization, although as a fossil fuel it cannot be the ultimate solution.

Meanwhile, hydrogen is the ideal fuel to mix with LNG. However, the use of hydrogen is impeded by supply and storage issues, for which there are no easy short-term solutions.

For this reason, the industry is looking at the feasibility of onboard hydrogen production.

Technically, this is possible using the steam methane reforming process: natural gas is combined with steam to produce hydrogen and CO2. 

The hydrogen is consumed directly, either in a mix with LNG in order to power internal combustion engines, or alone in fuel cells. This solution removes the need to purchase and store hydrogen onboard. Furthermore, it is much less expensive than a zero-carbon fuel as its production relies on LNG, an abundantly available fossil fuel.

The reformer can be manufactured in containerized units enabling the shipowners to progressively increase their onboard production of hydrogen by simply installing the required number of reformer units. This enables the ship to produce more hydrogen each year.

Meanwhile, by increasing the use of hydrogen, the ship will burn less natural gas and, as a result, emit proportionately less CO2 and less methane slip as time goes on. This solution can also provide carbon credits for those existing ships which are striving for compliance.

The CO2 generated from this system can be liquified at the cryogenic temperature used to store LNG. As a result, it can be easily stored onboard as pure CO2, either in an empty LNG tank or in a separate tank, and then disposed of ashore for the production of syn-fuels, or for storage in depleted reservoirs.

Overall, the scalable production of onboard hydrogen removes the shipowner’s dependency on finding a zero-carbon fuel in the immediate term. It is left to the shipowner to decide how far he wishes to position himself ahead of compliance requirements, and in turn bear the costs of compliance only when the regulations incentivize investment. 

Forgevienna and DIVINA: the hard-to-abate challenge

By ​​Antonio Lucci, Carbon Reduction Excellence Senior Business Development Manager, RINA

RINA is active in the hard-to-abate sector, in particular in supporting companies develop innovative combustion systems to lower their CO2 emissions. Green hydrogen can be a viable substitute for natural gas, initially by blending it, and in the longer term by potentially replacing it altogether.

RINA is supporting the steel and glassworks sector, using its expertise in hydrogen combustion to develop projects to decarbonise melting processes. The goal is to obtain a full-scale pilot capable of demonstrating the technology of production by hydrogen combustion.

The challenges that have to be met are of a different nature, from the heat input aspects that have to be guaranteed to the NOx emission aspects that have to be controlled by tuning the combustion optimally to demonstrate that the properties of the resulting glass are equivalent to the traditional method.

At present, we are at the stage where we have identified a technological pathway that can be followed but which must be supported by dedicated funding in order to be able to incorporate the fast-changing technology.

Glass melting furnaces use energy from natural gas combustion, so can potentially be converted to use hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Hydrogen combustion has several differences compared to natural gas combustion, with potential impacts on the thermodynamics and kinetics of the glass production process, as well as on the furnace and the combustion systems industrially adopted. 

The strategy adopted is typically to undertake early phase operations in a cautious manner (leading phase) in order to gather information during early retrievals (learning phase). This knowledge allows acceleration of the decommissioning in later phases. The digitalization of the information manager has the potential to extract as much useful information as possible from retrievals to improve predictions of how to operate in later years.

It can also be important to consider additional variability due to the availability of resources and failure (e.g. mechanical) of plant equipment. We can add to this complexity the dynamic changes in the system chemistry which in turn impacts on our ability to treat the effluent. All of these processes require different types of models and the usual practice is to develop independent models in software specifically and optimally designed for the purpose of solving a particular type of real-world problem.

The adoption of a digital twin provides a simple, easy-to-use interface that can be accessed by any interested party through the use of the models. In this way, it can also increase the number of stakeholders who can participate in improving a system’s overall process reliability.

EVERYWHE2ERE project ends year on a high 

By Giannicola Loriga, Head of R&D. Networking & Development Strategy, RINA

2022 has been a very successful year for the European-funded EVERYWH2ERE project¹  coordinated by RINA.

The idea behind EVERYWHE2ERE is to transform European cities into living laboratories in order to demonstrate the sustainable use of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen (FCH) technologies in real life.

In particular, EVERYWH2ERE aims to demonstrate the reliability of fuel cell technologies in portable power gensets with the aim of replacing current solutions which are mainly based on diesel engines.

The project has started with the use of transportable gensets in niche but everyday situations such as music festivals, exhibitions, constructions sites and other temporary events.

By testing the gensets in daily applications, the project can also facilitate the promotion and social acceptance of fuel cell technologies by a wider audience.

The EVERYWH2ERE gensets, integrated with pressurized H2 storage, have been developed in two sizes: 25 kW and 100 kW.

After three years of intensive development, in January 2022 the 100kW genset received CE marking, indicating its conformity with European health, safety, and environmental standards, thus enabling its use at public events!

The first large demonstration was launched in March 2022 at a construction site belonging to Acciona (an EVERYWH2ERE partner) in San Sebastian, Spain. A 100 kW EVERYWH2ERE genset powered one of eight tower cranes used at the 82,000 m2 site. The crane could load up to 7,600 Kgs, with a maximum nominal power of 68.6 kW.

Over a period of four months, 533 hours of effective operation were recorded by the EVERYWH2ERE genset, which supplied a total 935 kWh to the construction site with a corresponding consumption of 247 kg of H2.

A second demonstration was set up at the MotorLand motorcycling circuit in Aragon, Spain, for the Grand Prix MotoGP race in September 2022. The giant screen installed in front of the main grandstand was powered by a 100 kW EVERYWH2ERE genset. 

In October 2022, the project also achieved CE Marking and conformity for its 25 KW EVERYWH2ERE genset, enabling its use at the Hydrogen Energy Summit & Expo (HESE) in Bologna, Italy. Over three days, the genset powered the “Hydrogen EVERYWH2ERE” screens, heaters and laptops.

Finally, the year terminated with a 100 KW genset shipped to the port of Tenerife where it is expected to be in operation for several applications in 2023. The gensets continue their tour of Europe, and many more demonstration activities are planned for the current year.

In the meantime, the project has developed a new generation of 25kW and 100kW gensets, and two new systems will be released at the start of 2023.

External interest in the project has grown following the first high-impact demonstrations, and another full campaign is now underway for 2023. Readers should stay tuned for future European events hosting EVERYWH2ERE gensets, and the continuation of its living laboratories! 

¹ The project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 779606. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.” 

Solar fuels set to shine 

By ​​Giorgio Bonvicini, Senior Engineer Environment & Climate Change, RINA

A solar fuel is a synthetic chemical fuel, like hydrogen, methanol or methane, which is produced from a common substance like water or carbon dioxide by applying solar energy.

The production of solar fuels complements power generation from photovoltaic and other types of solar power plants, and is set to play an important role in the challenge to exploit the sun’s huge potential energy.

Indeed, according to the US Department of Energy, the amount of solar energy striking the earth's surface in one hour (170 PWh) is enough to support the world's energy consumption for an entire year (160 PWh).

Solar fuels have two principal advantages: they address complementary sectors and final uses, including “hard to abate” sectors that are difficult to electrify; and they allow the adoption of different storage technologies, thus increasing the flexibility of the energy system in response to fluctuating energy needs.

Moreover, solar fuels have the potential to replace current fossil fuels, thus reducing GHG and pollutant emissions, and thus contributing to the transition to renewables and the diversification of our energy supply. For these reasons, the production pathways for solar fuels are increasingly being studied at EU and international level.

The production of solar fuels can be carried out through different technological pathways including electrochemical, chemical, thermochemical and biochemical processes. Within these pathways, the most viable solution is currently hydrogen production through water electrolysis with electricity from solar PV. 

However, there are other promising technologies for the future including photoelectrochemical cells (combining both stages in a single device producing hydrogen directly from solar energy), and CO2 hydrogenation, producing methanol from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide captured from the air or coming from a CCS plant.

The market for solar fuels is currently at an early development stage, but its potential to meet worldwide energy needs has been estimated at 4%-6% by 2050 and 6%-10% by 2100.

Besides the technological challenges, the main driver to achieving these targets will be economic: on the one hand, the carbon emissions price is expected to increase in future, while on the other hand solar electricity costs are expected to decrease. The market outlook for solar fuels should therefore become favorable in the coming decades.

RINA has an increasingly high level of expertise in this field. The company provided technical assistance to the European Commission in 2014-2015 on “Algae Bioenergy Siting, Commercial Deployment and Development” (together with Padova University and SELC), and in 2019-2020 on “Solar Fuels Research & Invest” (with EY, IMEC and CEPS).

Moreover, RINA has been involved since 2021 in the Spotlight project (“Sunlight Production of Chemical Fuels”), led by TNO and co-funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

The aim of the project is to develop and validate a photonic device and chemical process concept for the sunlight-powered conversion of CO2 and green H2 to methane and methanol, which is fully compatible with our current infrastructure and suitable for multiple applications.

New service helps clients show eco leadership 

By ​Laura Severino, Head of Climate Neutrality & Chain of Custody Sustainability Strategic Centre, RINA

and Claudio Martines, Head of Digital Assurance, RINA

This year, RINA has launched a new Carbon Neutrality Service to help companies and organisations catalogue their efforts towards eliminating emissions.

By using the Service, organizations have their approach to eliminating emissions formally verified and certified, demonstrating that they are contributing to carbon reduction.

Climate change is one of the main challenges facing companies, nations and governments today. The 2015 Paris Agreement has created a global action plan to limit global warming below 2°C, while the European Green Deal has set a deadline for European climate neutrality by 2050.

Certification enables organizations to show they are meeting global and regional emissions targets, thereby distinguishing themselves as leaders in the decarbonization field.

The new Service can be applied to an individual process, a product, a service, or the organization itself. It focuses on certifying an organization’s systemic approach to eliminating emissions, and can be easily integrated into existing management systems.

The Carbon Neutrality programme includes the following steps:

- Measurement of the Carbon Footprint (quantification of CO2 emissions based on recognized standards)

- Confirmation of the Commitment to Carbon Neutrality

- Definition of the Strategy and the Carbon Neutrality Management Plan (for example, minimizing high emitting activities, or if they cannot be avoided, making them more efficient; or replacing climate-changing energy sources with lower emission energy sources)

- Provision of support for the Commitment and the Carbon Neutrality Management Plan, in order to define responsibilities, processes and procedures

- Implementation of the Carbon Neutrality Management Plan

- Recommendations for offsetting residual emissions by investing in projects or by acquiring Carbon Credits

- Monitoring of the performance with respect to the Carbon Neutrality Management Plan

- Reporting of annual actions and achievements

RINA has a long experience in the field of conformity assessment, offering services linked to carbon emission measurement and reduction. It reports on both the regulated and voluntary markets, and can act as a certification partner to support organizations with third-party services during every phase of the carbon neutrality process.

In cases where the subject is a product, the RINA Carbon Neutrality Service places significant importance on traceability and the management of communication.

The client can also issue carbon neutrality declarations to stakeholders on single batches of product. This is possible thanks to a RINA digital platform licensed and distributed in Cloud and Software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) mode which supports audit activities by providing documentation on the integrity and traceability of data coming from clients.

As a result, the Carbon Neutrality Declaration by product batch is issued in real-time by RINA upon delivery of the batch.

Stakeholders, by scanning the Carbon Neutrality Declaration in digital format, can access a web page where updated information about the batch and its carbon footprint, as well as its "Carbon Neutral" status, is made available.

By using the new Service, companies confirm their commitment to carbon neutrality and the steps taken towards the ultimate goal of eradicating emissions. In this way, they will play a key role in reducing their own and their value chain’s CO2 emissions as quickly as possible.

Transforming wind and wave energy

By ​​Matteo Tirindelli, Senior Project Manager Engineering Integration Centers, RINA
and Mauro Boni, Head of Marine Floating Offshore Sector, RINA

The energy landscape is changing fast. Accelerated deployment and technology scaling are having a profound effect on reducing renewable’s Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). This is particularly the case when it comes to ocean wave and offshore wind energy.

The cost of offshore wind energy has tumbled more than 60% in the past decade. Indeed, the sector has made remarkable progress since the first fixed bottom offshore turbine, rated at 0.45 MW, was installed in Danish waters in 1991.

This has been made possible by experiential learning, or ‘learning by doing’. This has resulted in cost reductions approaching 20% each time installed capacity has doubled.

Economies of scale further underpin this accelerated cost reduction; today’s turbines are nearing 15 MW, with plans underway to reach 18 MW in the very near future. With rotor diameters now exceeding 220 m, one turbine can power 20,000 homes and save up to 38,000 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of removing 25,000 passenger cars from the road – every year¹.

The developments do not stop there. Floating wind generators have become the new frontier, and the race is now on to deploy the first commercial scale project in this field. Floating wind energy opens up 80% of the oceans’ wind resource, an extremely attractive proposition in markets such as west coast America and Japan that have limited shallow water seabeds.

Indeed, the race to full wind commercialisation promises to be an exciting one. There are over 30 different designs being developed, each at different levels of maturity. Each individual technology has its own relative merits in terms of stability, manufacturability, transportability and deployability. And although consolidation will be inevitable part of this maturing sector, different technologies are set to play an important role in the international floating offshore wind market.

Wave energy technology is at an earlier stage of development. Recent estimates put theoretically usable global wave energy capacity at between 2,000 and 4,000 TWh/year ². Due to the immense potential of wave energy, a wide range of wave energy converter concepts (WEC, more than 1000 prototypes worldwide) have been created to capture energy from waves. The wave energy sector could potentially equal and even exceed the offshore wind sector in the coming decades.

Overall, offshore renewable energy promises to play a bigger role in the future international energy mix. Scaling up offshore renewable power generation will not only support aggressive global electrification goals, it will also increasingly integrate with other technologies to offer energy storage solutions and underpin the production of green hydrogen.

In RINA, we are ready to support our partners in crucial aspects of their renewable energy projects. Our assistance includes: Site Investigation and associated Engineering Studies to define the most effective location; Technology Scouting to identify the most suitable solution; and Project Certification to verify the quality of the project in the context of international standards and permitting requirements.

¹GLOBAL OFFSHORE WIND REPORT 2020. Global Wind Energy Council. Available online:
²IRENA–International Renewable Energy Agency. Available online: (accessed on 20 July 2020).

Biofuels: from China to Europe

By ​Jun Zhou, Carbon Manager China, RINA

Biofuels are set to play a key role in the fight to reduce carbon emissions. Potentially applicable in both the transport and energy sectors, this relatively new form of energy is derived from a range of different oils including vegetable oil, animal fat, waste oil, microbial oil, and waste cooking oil.

As the world’s most populous country, China is a major generator of waste cooking oil. Today, the country’s waste oil supply is around 3 million tons per year, with a potential to rise to 10 million tons annually. 

China’s biofuel is mainly exported to the European Union, which today consumes 40% of all worldwide biodiesel supplies. Trade between the two partners is expected to grow further following the introduction of the new EU Renewable Energy Directive RED II. Under the directive, EU members will move to generating 32% of their energy from renewables by 2030, with a possible uplift in this percentage to be decided this year. 

As a result, Chinese biofuel exports to the EU have the potential to more than triple by 2030 compared to the 2 million tons recorded in 2021, an effective compound growth rate of 14.3% per year.

RINA is today one of the leading certification bodies for biofuel in China, issuing several hundred biofuel certificates each year. The first ever biofuel certificate in the country, as well as the first sustainable aviation fuel certificate, were both issued by RINA.

By offering high levels of professional service to producers, backed by broad experience, RINA is helping Europe move towards a more sustainable era.

RINA goes green

By Valerio Recagno, Senior Director Global ESG & Compliance, RINA

At RINA we are committed to achieving sustainable growth while managing our impact on the environment. To achieve this, we are following the "RINA Carbon Neutral 2023" strategy to tackle climate change and work to improve the world for future generations. So far, we have launched a set of carbon reduction related initiatives, including:

- Smart Working and reduction of commuting for all RINA employees

- Purchase of electricity certified to be 100% sourced from renewables (in all countries where available, otherwise sourced by the greenest available energy mix offered by the market)

- Greener vehicles: renewal of the company fleet with the progressive introduction of hybrid / electric cars

- Carbon neutral travel: use of carbon neutral flights and train journeys, and rental of electric vehicles

- Plastic free: a project launched in 2019 aimed at eliminating disposable plastics in our offices

- Paperless offices: a project aimed at reducing paper consumption in all our offices around the world

- The afforestation of the Sangone Park in Turin where, in a joint venture with the Municipality of Turin and Arbolia, over 2,100 trees have been planted for CO2 capture

In addition, as part of its commitment to sustainability, RINA has submitted its strategy to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), with the intention of developing a formal emission reduction plan over the next two years aimed at achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The journey to decarbonization 

By Simone Ursino, Business Development Manager Carbon Reduction Excellence, RINA

The journey towards decarbonization is a complex one where multiple solutions and technologies will play a role. All will contribute to achieving the goal of zero emission on a global scale across the sectors.

Carbon capture is indeed a critical part of the portfolio of technologies for sustainability particularly in relation to industrial emissions. Carbon capture technologies find their applications in specific point sources where concentrated emissions occur. It is not an economical and technical viable solution for the widespread emission point as per the land mobility sector case.

Removing carbon dioxide can support the transition towards cleaner energy vectors but can also support the decarbonization of CO2 coming from industrial processes: indeed, carbon capture means preventing emissions from entering the atmosphere after they have been produced, either as a product of a combustion or as byproduct of a specific industrial process.

Which industry?

In the first case, carbon capture must be seen as a transition measure towards the adoption of cleaner energy vectors.

In the other cases, CO2 production is a direct and unavoidable consequence of the industrial process. For example, in the cement industry, where 50% of the CO2 produced from the manufacturing process comes from the decarbonation reactions of calcium carbonate - the reaction underlying the cement production process itself, carbon capture is probably the most effective solution to deploy.

The use of carbon capture in industrial processes dates backs to the 1930s, when chemical solvents were used to absorb CO2 in the natural gas industry in order to obtain pure methane. Later, physical solvents were used in gasification plants using coal, petroleum coke, and biomass feedstocks. In the middle 20th century, adsorption processes using solid sorbents enabled the gas separation in hydrogen production in refineries and nitrogen production.

Modern methods of carbon capture

In recent years, membranes have been developed to capture CO2. Today carbon capture technologies are usually categorized as follows: post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxy fuel combustion.

Post-combustion technologies are applied to exhaust gases and do not require significant changes in the original process: gases are first treated to remove particulate matter and the oxides are then put in contact with solvents, typically an aqueous amine solution, to absorb the CO2 and enable nitrogen and oxygen to be released into the atmosphere.

Pre-combustion refers to removing CO2 from fossil fuels before combustion is completed, while oxy fuel combustion is the process of burning a fuel using pure oxygen instead of air, producing approximately 75% less flue gas than air fueled combustion and exhaust consisting primarily of CO2 and H2O.

Of course, the selection of the most appropriate technology must be done according to the characteristics of the flue gases in terms of temperature, pressure, CO2 content and flow, but also considering how it modifies the industrial process.

Nowadays, CO2 is a commodity, with more than 200 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 used every year globally, mainly in the fertilizer industry (for manufacturing processes) and the Oil & Gas industries (for reservoir enhancement). 

All elements of the carbon capture and storage value chain are mature and have been in commercial operation for decades, but incremental improvements to carbon capture technologies will continue to reduce cost and improve performance - especially in low-concentration dilute gas streams. However, transport infrastructures will need to scale up to increase the quantities of removed CO2 and its segregation or further reuse, while tackling the issue of international logistics.

Groundbreaking infrastructure projects

RINA has been recently involved in studies and assessments to repurpose pipelines originally designed for the export of hydrocarbons from operating reservoirs which will soon be reemployed to inject CO2 in depleted wells in UK. Similarly, RINA is working on Approval in Principle of the conversion of two existing gas pipelines in Italy with the final objective to certify the fitness for service in the new operating condition.

New challenges will come soon from terminals, where assets originally designed for LNG could be soon converted to handle CO2: the compatibility of existing equipment must be assessed, and our laboratory assets are fully equipped for conducting tests - up to full scale including offshore burst test - in pure CO2 environments or in the presence of other contaminants. Fracture initiation-propagation, corrosion, internal coating behavior and leakage are all areas of investigations in which RINA has longstanding expertise and experience.

Moving to sea and air

Furthermore, new technological breakthroughs will soon enable carbon capture to be deployed in new applications beyond industry: examples include direct air capture (DAC) and CO2 capture from seawater.

Capturing CO2 from the air requires overcoming technical - and consequently economic challenges - due to the much greater dilution of carbon dioxide compared to an industrial point source.

Meanwhile, oceans - with a CO2 concentration 100 times greater than air - are responsible for soaking up some 30% of humanity's total annual carbon emissions resulting in the ecosystem's degradation due to ongoing acidification processes and the depletion of oxygen content.

In the forthcoming scenario, the CO2 value chain could play a key role in decarbonization, bringing together industries, dedicated transport assets - via ships and via pipe - final segregation sites or new end users.