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Energy stored as hydrogen in salt cavities will be the most cost-effective long duration solution for many countries configuring net-zero grids around intermittent renewables. 

Great Britain is a case in point where typical wind intermittency patterns suggest a storage need in the range of several tens of TWh; and where local geology provides sufficient suitable salt layer to accommodate this requirement.

This makes hydrogen storage in salt cavities both a source of potential competitive advantage, and a huge commercial opportunity, as a new industry with new equipment and new infrastructure is developed.

This event, which took place at the Geological Society in March 2023, built on the success of two previous events in 2021 and 2022, with an entirely new list of speakers – including operators of existing salt cavity storage facilities, developers of new schemes and engineers addressing design and innovation challenges.

Event summary

The event covered the following:

  • The technical challenges of storing hydrogen in caverns.
  • The potential in the UK for making salt caverns to store hydrogen.
  • Case studies of hydrogen storage in caverns in mainland Europe and the UK.
  • Status of hydrogen turbines and compressors and challenges around their development
  • A discussion on business models for operating caverns.
  • The requirement for new policies that support and promote the development of hydrogen storage caverns.

The meeting concluded with a thought-provoking discussion panel comprising delegates from government bodies as well as experts from academia and industry.

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