For several years, hydrogen has been one of our main areas of business development. Since 2018, it has been an integrated part of our long-term business strategy as we firmly believe that large-scale underground hydrogen storage has a vital role in the future energy system and in the fast deployment of more renewable energy. Underground storage will be important not only for the flexible use of hydrogen, but also as part of the synchronous coordination between supply and demand and potentially reduce peak demand on the electricity grid.
Large-scale underground storages will act as a lung in the hydrogen system and contribute to the entire system, in Denmark as well as across Europe, to achieve the ambitious climate targets.
A future energy market will need effective storages as the production depend of the availability of solar and wind energy and thus, the supply will from time to time be out of sync with demand. Storing large amounts of hydrogen will ensure the continuous availability of those essential renewable resources for the industry and for society as a whole.
Investing in hydrogen allows for a lot of risk. We are willing to take a risk as we believe that storage should be the first established hydrogen infrastructure. We will start construction as soon as all required permits are approved. Our plan it to have the first cavern in operation by the end of 2026.
If you want to know more about the projects, we are involved in, or if you are considering how large-scale underground storage could play in your value chain - don't hesistate to contact us. Our contact information can be found in the right side of the screen.
An asset suitable for hydrogen and with a unique geographical location
For Gas Storage Denmark it is essential to play an active part in the development of a renewable energy system, as a lack of storage capacity or service set-up must not become the bottleneck for the actors of the future energy market.
Therefore, we are currently expanding our knowledge, both technically and commercially, with the ambition of repurposing parts of our existing storage facility in Lille Torup from natural gas to hydrogen.
To begin with, one cavern will be repurposed by 2026, but we expect to add two or more additional caverns as supply and demand will gradually grow in the years to come.
In recent years we have experienced an increase of interest in addressing the values of underground hydrogen storage and how it might play a role in various value chains. And the interest is supported by multiple studies investigating not only the value of underground hydrogen storage but simoultaneously confirm that green hydrogen could supply up to 25% of the world’s energy needs by 2050. However, with the increase of demand comes the increase in storage capacity need. A variety of storage solutions from battery storages to depleted gas fields are possible.
At Gas Storage Denmark we plan to use salt caverns.
Salt caverns have proven its worth as our natural gas storage facility in Lille Torup has safely been in operation for more than 30 years. This has given us a lot of experience with the subsurface and storing of natural gas. We will apply our knowledge and experience with underground energy storage in terms of hydrogen storage.
Our 7 caverns in Lille Torup are situated in a cylindrical salt dome at between 950 and 1400 meters below ground surface. Each cavern is approx. 300 meters high - the same height as the Eiffel tower.
There are a number of advantages for storing hydrogen in salt caverns at Lille Torup:
- Safety: Because of the tightness of the salt cavern, it allows for storing hydrogen safe in large quantities under pressure.
- Durability: Repurposing a cavern requires small adjustments to the wells and some new compressors on the top site. These have quite a short timeline, which means it is quite quick fixes in order to convert a large-scale storage solution.
- Security of supply: Underground hydrogen storage decreases the capacity needs of a backup hydrogen supplier and potentially alternative electricity production capacities.
- Balancing: Salt caverns can quickly respond to the needs of the hydrogen market in regard to injection and withdrawal cycles during the year.
- Kick-start: Underground hydrogen storage enables for a system-level optimization of electrolysis and renewable energy sources, which allows for facilitating the emergence of a hydrogen market.
- Strategic position: Lille Torup is located close to existing and planned infrastructure, which allows it to be included in a pan-European hydrogen infrastructure.
With the position in the mid-northern part of Denmark, and less than 100 km from the west coast of Denmark with enormous amounts of wind power, the Lille Torup storage facility becomes an essential part for the green transition. One of the stepping-stones for the development of our storage facility is that construction is done ahead of time by repurposing before supply and demand are perhaps fully in place. This is a risk we are willing to take as we expect that the development will come, but that critical infrastructure must not come too late. The development of the large-scale underground hydrogen storage happens in close collaboration with the relevant infrastructure partners, but especially also with projects of small and big scale.
One hydrogen project to rule them all?
We cannot predict the future hydrogen system, nor the specific needs for storage - therefore, we seek to take active part in the development. Thus, we have no single hydrogen project but are engaged in numerous projects, collaborations and networks in Denmark and across Europe; to share our knowledge, and to learn.
We are developing our hydrogen business on 4 levels: local, regional, national and political.
The first level of development happens on local level.
Due to our unique location in Lille Torup, we are supporting the development of local hydrogen projects by engaging in private-public collaborations. One of these collaborations is Green Hydrogen Hub Denmark. This type of project is a closed value chain with renewable energy and hydrogen production on the one side and a hydrogen consumer - a green power plant on the other side, with a large-scale storage and compressed air cavern in the middle. With these types of projects, we get insights into the needs for storage in for example circular economy set-ups or closed value chains.
Secondly, we engage in projects on a regional level.
An example of these types of projects is ClusterNortH2. This is a project led by the Danish DSO, Evida. Beside investigating the needs for infrastructure (pipes and storage) in the region around Hobro it also puts together future hydrogen market actors in the area. Here we begin to develop and draw up the future energy system set-up of hydrogen infrastructure on a regional level in mid-Jutland.
The third level of development is the national level.
Our focus is on delivering system services across Denmark and into a European hydrogen infrastructure. An example of these types of projects is the European Hydrogen Backbone, led by Energinet.
The last and final level is the political level, which is both taking place on national and European level. On national level our focus is the development of laws, regulations, and frameworks, by actively making our expertise available to politicians and other authorities. We also engage in open dialogue with our owner, the Danish state, about both the opportunities and consequences short-term and long-term political decisions may have for large-sale energy storage. On a European level we engage with other European storage colleagues and system actors, who we learn from and share knowledge and experiences with. Furthermore, we participate in the non-profit organization Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) and the subgroup Gas Storage Europe (GSE). Together with 60 other members, from TSOs, LSOs and SSOs, we work with a mission on ensuring a safe, reliable, payable, and efficient European gas infrastructure suitable for meeting current and future needs.