Hydrogen is poised to play a central role in the UK's journey to net zero. As a clean energy carrier, low-carbon hydrogen offers versatility – providing a pathway to decarbonise sectors that are difficult to electrify and affording flexibility across the energy system. Large-scale underground hydrogen storage (UHS) will underpin the ability to integrate hydrogen into a decarbonised energy system.

Previous studies identified 100s TWh of UHS potential in the UK, our research has revised this down by more than 90%, suggesting that the UK is at risk of failing to deliver the scale of UHS needed to support net zero targets. Given the time and capital taken to deploy large-scale storage projects, and the near-term demand, our research highlights that is a ‘now’ problem, not a future issue. We suggest a series of minimum-regret interventions to overcome the barriers identified.

This research was funded by the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre.

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Assessing the regional demand for geological hydrogen storage