13 Nov 2023, 13:38
Julian Wettengel

Econ min says Germany needs more hydrogen storage capacity than assumed – media report

Tagesspiegel Background

The German economy ministry warns of a significantly higher future demand for hydrogen storage capacity than previously assumed, reported Tagesspiegel Background. In its ‘Green Paper Hydrogen Storage’, seen by Tagesspiegel, the ministry says reasons for underestimating demand are a lack of certainty regarding possible supply bottlenecks and a general "optimisation logic" based on economic criteria on which earlier estimates were based. According to the ministry, unexpected additional demand could occur due to unusually long "cold and dark doldrums" in winter or supply problems for hydrogen leading to higher demand. These should be considered when planning the fleet of storage facilities, the paper stated. In addition, the ministry is currently working on a power plant strategy with additional hydrogen plant capacities, which until now has not been taken into account in scenarios.

Germany plans to use green hydrogen in power plants in the future for times of little wind or sunshine, or when renewables cannot provide sufficient supply at times of peak demand. Gas storage operators’ association INES assumes that all 31 German cavern storage facilities and four of 16 pore storage facilities can be converted from natural gas to hydrogen within five to seven years and will then be able to store up to 32 terawatt hours (TWh), Tagesspiegel writes. However, the economy ministry assumes a much higher need. For example, the government scenarios so far assumed a demand of 15 TWh by 2035, while the ministry paper now estimates that demand is likely to stand at 40 TWh by that year.

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