The Right Time

Storage is Key to the Development of Clean Energy Systems

The Race for Storage is On

Globally, governments and investors are advancing multi-billion-dollar projects to create Clean Energy Hubs that are anchored to renewable resources.

The hydrogen economy is booming with growing recognition that hydrogen is a clean, versatile, and sustainable energy source that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. As a leader in the development and implementation of the hydrogen economy, the European Union has set an ambitious target of 40 GW of renewable hydrogen by 2030.

The Value of Underground Gas Storage to the European Union Hydrogen System

  • Large-scale, underground hydrogen storage is indispensable to the development of the European hydrogen market and will become an important part of the future decarbonised energy system.
  • If hydrogen is to be deployed at scale, a substantial deployment of storage will be needed as well, requiring a better understanding of the specific storage needs
  • In the early stages of hydrogen market development (up to 2030), demand will likely be concentrated around cluster areas (hydrogen valleys) that will initially mostly manage their supply locally. Underground hydrogen storage will be an integral part of these valleys, helping to significantly improve the economics of the emerging hydrogen infrastructure.
  • As the transition continues and hydrogen supply and demand grow, the hydrogen valleys will evolve into an interconnected hydrogen network.
  • Our first-order estimation of hydrogen storage capacity requirements shows the need for around 70 TWh of hydrogen storage in 2030, growing to around 450 TWh of hydrogen storage in 2050.
  • Hydrogen storage in salt caverns is a low-hanging fruit and current research shows that porous structures (depleted gas fields, aquifers) are showing fair potential to cover further storage needs for pure and blended hydrogen.
  • To be ready for substantial hydrogen demand and regional pipeline networks by 2030, we need to start developing storage now.
  • Storage system operators have a key role—their experience will be needed.


    Hydrogen Storage is Central to Europe's Carbon Neutrality

    “When it comes to reaching the European Union’s carbon neutrality objective, the assets of GIE members – Storage, Transmission and LNG Terminals System Operators – will all be part of the solution. That’s why we extend the EHB’s vision by providing an initial outlook into the hydrogen storage needs across Europe, in terms of capacities and services, as well as a broader discussion on repurposing and retrofitting possibilities, geographical availability, and the type of flexibility required in the future markets.”   Torben Brabo, GIE President

    GIE NEW STUDY | Picturing the value of underground gas storage to the EU H2 system

    The study presents the essential role of underground gas storages in establishing an integrated energy system and hydrogen economy in Europe by 2050. The vision paper and map provide a detailed overview, with concrete facts and figures, of the potential of these facilities. They build on the updated proposal for the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB), a vision for a pan-European dedicated hydrogen network. This analysis was performed by Guidehouse in collaboration with GIE.

    Proposed Clean Energy Hub

    On August 23, 2022, Canada and Germany signed an historic “Hydrogen Accord” in Stephenville, Newfoundland, a gateway to Europe at a time of heightened global energy concerns.

    Canada is working with European partners to strengthen global energy security and accelerate the global clean energy transition. To these ends, Canada’s allies in Europe have initiated efforts to displace imports of Russian oil and gas in the short term while accelerating efforts to deploy renewable energy and clean hydrogen.

    The Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance commits the two countries to:

    • Enabling investment in hydrogen projects through policy harmonization
    • Supporting the development of secure hydrogen supply chains
    • Establishing a transatlantic Canada–Germany supply corridor
    • Exporting clean Canadian hydrogen by 2025

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