Hydrogen UK report shows hydrogen storage is critical to boost energy security

According to a recent industry assessment, a Hydrogen Storage Business Model—a crucial tool that will increase the UK’s energy security—is urgently required, with interim steps in place before 2025.

As the UK strives to become more energy resilient, the paper, produced by Hydrogen UK and its members, examines the capabilities and gaps of hydrogen storage.

The groundwork for a robust hydrogen sector has been laid in the UK. However, other nations, including as the EU and the US, are advancing policy to assist the development of hydrogen technology through the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act.

To obtain the more than £1.1 billion in private financing that is planned to be spent in the UK’s hydrogen economy, the UK Government must continue to set aggressive deadlines. Supporting the early development of hydrogen storage is part of this. This increase and the acceleration of hydrogen production projects will depend heavily on the execution of the Hydrogen Storage Business Model and pre-2025 interim measures.

After the Government’s consultation on transport and storage was recently completed, Hydrogen UK’s research looks at the necessary short-term steps to close the gap between supply and demand for hydrogen. The UK’s energy system will be more independent and resilient if the reforms are supported by both business and the government.

Renewable energy production frequently exceeds the network’s capacity, forcing producers to shut down their facilities at a cost of £507 million to British consumers and 2.3 TWh of lost electricity to energy providers in 2021. The ability of hydrogen to balance the future net zero electrical grid must therefore be fully utilized in the UK.

Several processes can be used to manufacture hydrogen, one of the most versatile energy carriers, including natural gas reforming and carbon capture (Blue), electrolysis using renewable energy sources (Green), and electrolysis using nuclear energy (Pink).

This implies that excess electricity generated from renewable or low-carbon sources can be transformed to hydrogen and stored for later use rather than being reduced at a cost to consumers and producers.

The paper is the first in a series covering the whole hydrogen value chain that Hydrogen UK will release throughout 2023. It will contain modeling and recommendations that can help harness hydrogen’s economic potential.