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New GIE study reveals an urgent need for targeted policy intervention to fulfill European underground hydrogen storage requirements

April 4, 2024

Slides presented during the event

Brussels, 4 April 2024

As Europe advances towards a greener and more sustainable energy future, a groundbreaking study conducted by Artelys and Frontier Economics sheds light on the crucial role of Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS) in delivering significant benefits to the energy system. Titled ‘Why European Underground Hydrogen Storage Needs Should Be Fulfilled’, the study highlights the necessity for targeted policy intervention to support the development of UHS and ensure a more resilient and integrated European energy system.


On 4 April 2024, the study was discussed in exclusivity during a high-level event organized by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) at NH Brussels EU Berlaymont Hotel. The event featured presentations and discussions led by experts from Artelys and Frontier Economics, together with representatives from the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), and industry stakeholders from across the whole energy value chain.


“The study emphasizes the urgent need for targeted policy intervention to unlock the full potential of Underground Hydrogen Storage in Europe, facilitating a more cost-efficient, integrated and decarbonised European energy system. Immediate actions outlined in our roadmap include setting explicit EU-wide targets and ambition for UHS capacity at key checkpoints, such as 2030.” Commented Charlotte Roule, President of Gas Storage Europe.


Christopher Andrey, Director at Artelys, explained: ‘’The modelling confirms the intuition that underground hydrogen storage is a key building block to meet the flexibility needs that emerge in an energy system that mostly relies on variable renewable electricity to power electrolysers. Investing in underground hydrogen storage allows electrolysers to operate in a flexible way – thereby minimising energy system costs, decreasing GHG emissions and RES curtailment – and enables the delivery of hydrogen to hydrogen-fuelled electricity generation technologies that participate in ensuring the security of electricity supply. Our simulation results show that the optimal deployment of underground hydrogen storage reaches 45 TWh in a 2030 scenario aligned with REPowerEU and close to 300 TWh in a net zero 2050 scenario.’’


Catherine Galano, Director at Frontier Economics added ‘’UHS will support the energy transition in the short-, medium- and long-term, and beyond the hydrogen sector alone. The lack of maturity in today’s market, limited political awareness and lengthy approval processes are preventing the values of hydrogen storage from being reflected in investment decisions. Thankfully, swift and decisive intervention, as recommended in our report, can go a long way to prevent the European energy system from missing out on the contribution of underground hydrogen storage.’’


“We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in Europe’s energy transition. The integration of renewable energy sources and the expansion of hydrogen infrastructure holds significant importance. This study underscores the urgent need for coordinated efforts and targeted policies to accelerate the deployment of Underground Hydrogen Storage, which will kickstart a hydrogen economy at an earlier stage, resulting in positive impacts for the entire energy system. Gas infrastructure operators will pursue their close collaboration with stakeholders throughout the energy value chain to drive progress towards a sustainable and resilient energy system.” Stated Torben Brabo, President of Gas Infrastructure Europe.


“Considering the lead time for realizing UHS capacities, immediate interventions are needed. The modelling results of the study reflect the current EU policy assumptions that could very likely deviate from real Hydrogen Storage bookings in 2030. But it becomes obvious that there is no alternative in closing the gap by an urgent need for supporting and funding instruments to trigger investment decisions before 2025.” Said Michael Schmöltzer, Chair of the Gas Storage Europe Value of Storage Working Group.

Note to editors

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the voice of the gas infrastructure operators in Europe. Its 70 industry members develop solutions for the security of supply and decarbonisation with transmission pipelines, underground storage and import terminals. They work and innovate with natural, low-carbon and renewable gases, including hydrogen, CCUS and biomethane technologies. Gas infrastructure will evolve through time to support the EU industry and citizens on their path towards climate neutrality by 2050. It is set to be the backbone of a secure, integrated and climate-neutral energy system.