German energy company Uniper has received funding notification of €2.375 million (£2m) for its industrial-scale hydrogen pilot project at a disused natural gas storage site.
Uniper – which received a €15 billion (£12.7bn) bail-out from the German Government last week – is building a new salt cavern specifically for hydrogen storage on a large scale and in a real-world environment at the natural gas storage facility in Krummhoern, which has not been used commercially since 2017.
It will examine the equipment and materials for hydrogen compatibility, with the facility storing up to 250,000 cubic meters of green hydrogen by 2024.
The ‘KRU2’ project will focus on how green hydrogen can be produced on site using an electrolyser and stored in small quantities to meet a plant’s own demand for heat, mobility and electricity.
It aims to provide information across the entire value chain on how the gas can be stored and how equipment and materials react to hydrogen.
Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Olaf Lies said: “The climate crisis and the war against Ukraine are forcing us to push ahead with the energy transition at top speed. It has long been clear that the energy transition cannot be achieved with electrons alone. Hydrogen will be a central element for the success of the energy transition. We need it to become independent of fossil fuels and to decarbonise our energy sector and industry.
“The advantage of hydrogen is that it can be stored. In order for it to develop this advantage, we need storage facilities, including caverns. I’m pleased that Uniper wants to use cavern storage for hydrogen here in Lower Saxony. We are happy to support this path. It’s in all our interests that we go forward quickly.”