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Hydrogen stored in salt caverns ‘could help meet future energy demands’

Report from the ETI looks at role hydrogen storage could play in future UK energy provision.

Using salt caverns to store hydrogen for power generation during peak electricity demand would mean less investment is needed in new clean power station capacity, according to a report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The report uses the findings of a techno-economic study carried out by Amec Foster Wheeler for the ETI that looked at the technology surrounding hydrogen production, hydrogen stores and the power sector that converts hydrogen into electricity.

ETI carbon capture and storage strategy manager and report author Den Gammer said: “We discovered that the ability to store hydrogen in large quantities and convert that hydrogen into power is a reliable, affordable and flexible way of creating power to meet peak energy demands in the UK.

“The UK’s energy landscape is changing very rapidly. More renewable power supplies are being installed and, although clean, these new supplies are intermittent, which increases the need for a low cost, clean, on-demand power supply that currently only fossil fuel plants can provide.

“The country needs a system that follows the load the public creates and our research shows that systems involving the storage of hydrogen and creating power from it, can do that in a very flexible way. Modelling shows that such storage schemes become effective in the time period 2030 -2040.”

He added that it is a low cost way of providing clean power for peak and load following demand.

Salt caverns are currently used for storing oil and natural gas. There are around 30 large caverns in the UK. A single cavern used for storing hydrogen could cater for the peak demands of a city.

 

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