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GIE study reveals critical 45 TWh target

April 11, 2024

Immediate action is needed
for Underground Hydrogen Storage to meet REPowerEU and net-zero targets

Read the study
Read the recommendations

 

Artelys and Frontier Economics published their study ‘Why European Underground Hydrogen Storage Needs Should Be Fulfilled’. The document delves into the crucial aspect of Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS) capacity requirements for Europe’s net-zero future. GIE developed recommendations to complete the picture.

To answer the question about the optimal level of investments needed for UHS, the model used in the study is based on:

  • the costs of developing and operating UHS technologies,
  • the services UHS can provide to the entire system,
  • other flexibility solutions that UHS can offer.

The study’s simulation results showcase the imperative for optimal UHS deployment: an estimated 45 TWh by 2030, aligned with the REPowerEU scenario, and a staggering 300 TWh by 2050 in a net-zero scenario.

However, the findings also highlight a stark reality – the current slate of announced projects falls short of meeting the developing storage needs of the energy system. According to the www.H2inframap.eu, the projected UHS capacity stands at 9 TWh by 2030 and 21.5 TWh by 2050, underscoring a significant gap that goes from four to more than ten times the UHS capacity needed in 2030 and 2050 respectively.

Several key measures for immediate and long-term action at the EU level:
1. Set an explicit and structured 2030 target of 45 TWh for available UHS capacity;
2. Decomplexify administrative approval processes and promote their digitalisation;
3. Define signalling support mechanisms such as, for example, the creation of Important European UHS Projects;
4. Define a portfolio of financial support mechanisms drawing from relevant EU revenue sources as well as Member State contributions and loans;
5. Monitor the market regularly via EU-wide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within a long-term H2 storage strategy.

Charlotte Roule, President of Gas Storage Europecommented: “The findings of this study underscore the urgent need for strategic action. It is imperative that we address the pressing gaps in UHS capacity to ensure Europe’s energy security and advance our hydrogen ambitions.”

“Investing in underground hydrogen storage significantly decreases the costs of operating the EU energy system every subsequent year of operations. Additionally, it enables the integration of further investments in electrolysers, thereby avoiding curtailment costs and reducing CO2 emissions. The study estimates the cost differential, factoring in operational savings and impacts on fixed operational costs, for a 20-year period, by 32 billion euros in 2030 onwards.” Said Michael SchmöltzerChair of the Gas Storage Europe Value of Storage Working Group.

Note to editors

Who is GIE?

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, gas storage and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking. GIE currently represents 70 member companies from 26 countries. GIE’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.

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