Hydrogen storage pilot project in underground salt dome reaches milestone
Clean Energy Wire
German energy provider EWE has completed the first stage of a test project to see whether the safe storage of green hydrogen in underground caverns is possible. The company has laid the foundations at a salt dome site in Rüdersdorf near Berlin with the installation of 160 steel pipes at a depth of up to 1,000 meters, the utility said. It wants to test the safe storage of pure hydrogen in the underground cavern. EWE hydrogen expert Paul Schneider said the company was “playing a pioneering role in Europe" in conducting the research project because the findings could be transferred to large cavern storage facilities. "This would mean that large quantities of green hydrogen generated from renewable energy sources could be stored and used as required and would become an indispensable component in order to achieve set climate targets," Schneider added.
EWE project manager Hayo Seeba said that the tests were “especially important for future, long-term applications. In the case of large-scale hydrogen storage, we have to prove to the responsible authorities that hydrogen is compatible with the materials used and is safe in the long term.”
Hydrogen produced with renewable electricity is seen as increasingly vital in the fight against climate change, particularly for high CO2-emission sectors like heavy industry and aviation. It could also be used for seasonal storage, meaning storing the summer's high renewables energy output for the winter. Germany has set out to become a global leader in hydrogen technologies and the government has penned a National Hydrogen Strategy to fulfil these ambitions.