Oldenburg, November 7, 2023. "We are very satisfied with the result of the first market survey on hydrogen storage. It exceeded our expectations. The survey has made it clear that there is a con-siderable need to be able to store hydrogen in large quantities in the future," says Peter Schmidt, Managing Director of EWE GASSPEICHER GmbH, commenting on the response to the company's recent market survey to determine the storage needs of hydrogen production companies, traders and power plant operators.
EWE had more than 30 registrations in the first market survey of its kind in Germany. "The quanti-ties significantly exceed the values from the long-term scenarios of the Federal Ministry for Eco-nomic Affairs and Climate Action in 2030. They show that a rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen storage market is also unavoidable," says EWE project manager Jonas Höckner. For EWE, the survey is par-ticularly important in order to be able to develop storage capacities for hydrogen in line with cus-tomer needs in terms of flexibility and security of supply. According to Jonas Höckner, more dy-namic injection and withdrawal cycles are necessary than with conventional natural gas storage. Based on the results of the survey, EWE is therefore planning to build up appropriate storage ca-pacities for hydrogen in underground cavern storage facilities.
Hydrogen storage planned in the northwest
"In setting up this infrastructure, which is essential for the hydrogen ramp-up, EWE can look back on decades of experience in gas storage. With this experience and the corresponding geological conditions in northwest Germany, EWE is predestined to build this storage infrastructure and thus also play an active role in shaping the hydrogen ramp-up in Germany and Europe," explains Peter Schmidt.
With the large-scale "Clean Hydrogen Coastline" project, EWE wants to build a hydrogen economy in the northwest. EWE applied for funding in February 2021 as part of the European IPCEI (Im-portant Project of Common European Interest) program, which is currently still being examined at the European level. In addition to the production, transport, and use of hydrogen – especially in the industrial and transport sectors – the storage of hydrogen is also part of the project, because unlike electricity, hydrogen can be stored on a large scale, especially in underground salt caverns.
Research work in Brandenburg for transferability to large cavern storage facilities
As a basis for large-volume storage, it is necessary to prove that hydrogen can be stored safely. To this end, EWE has built the first underground hydrogen storage facility in Ruedersdorf, Branden-burg, and has already demonstrated that the supply line to the cavity is leak-proof to a depth of 1,000 meters. At the end of October, EWE began extensive tests for the operation of the hydrogen storage facility, as an important step towards transferability to large caverns. Overall, EWE's pio-neering project would provide the basis for making hydrogen produced from renewable energies storable in large quantities and usable in line with demand.
Peter Schmidt: "With the first market survey in Germany on hydrogen storage requirements, EWE has once again taken on a pioneering role in driving forward the hydrogen ramp-up and thus the energy transition. Germany has set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2045. The de-velopment of a hydrogen infrastructure plays a central role in this."