Geological Storage of Hydrogen

The energy industry in the UK faces a challenge to decarbonize to support reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. In nearly all scenarios emission reductions are characterized not only by energy demand reductions, but also the decarbonization of electricity and heating. The use of hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas is one proposed solution, where renewable hydrogen is either blended into the gas grid or used directly. To ensure continuity of supply large scale hydrogen storage will be needed to meet this demand.

Hydrogen has been stored in small volumes (<25GWh) in salt caverns at various locations onshore in the United Kingdom since 1959, primarily for industrial usage. In order to meet the demand for energy related hydrogen storage an increasing number of new and potentially larger storage options will be needed. Engineering of larger salt caverns for a hydrogen energy system will require caverns optimally located with respect to both the hydrogen production facility and the distribution networks. The Permian and Triassic salt of the Southern North Sea and the East Irish Sea offer vast areas for potential cavern development. To date there have been few detailed geophysical and geological studies on the hydrogen storage potential offshore.

This project will characterise potentially suitable storage sites locations using extensive existing 2D and 3D seismic data and well data.


This PhD project is funded through the GeoNetZero CDT