EU Strategies for Hydrogen and Sector Integration Acknowledge Gas Storage

Almost four weeks after the German National Hydrogen Strategy was presented, the European Commission published the EU Strategies for Hydrogen and Sector Integration today. With its strategies, the Commission also addresses the role of gas storage facilities for a carbon-neutral energy system.

„We welcome the new EU Strategies and the general debate on green gases as a promising energy source. In contrast to the German government, the EU Commission in its strategy explicitly acknowledges the role of gas storage,” Sebastian Bleschke, Management Director of the Initiative Erdgasspeicher (INES) comments. “This is an important step forward as gas storage is an indispensable part of the energy transition. Storage system operators have been developing solutions for a green energy system for years and are now trying to upscale their technologies now.”

From a gas storage point of view, the EU Strategies especially address the following aspects:

EU Hydrogen Strategy:

  • In the short and medium term not only green, but also blue and turquoise hydrogen are considered. That pushes the market development of hydrogen technologies in general.
  • The Commission develops a clear image of technologies and definitions for hydrogen. To ensure comparability, a certification for different types and products of hydrogen is plausible. These should also allow for a distinct perspective for blue and turquoise hydrogen.
  • Gas storage facilities and their contribution to the energy transition are explicitly acknowledged. However, not all their contributions are addressed. Especially the potential of porous rock facilities are missing. Moreover, gas storage is mainly referred to as a seasonal flexibility instrument. Their short-term flexibility potential is left out entirely.

EU Strategy for Sector Integration:

  • The development of a market framework is very important for a sustainable transformation of the gas sector. It is positive that direct measures such as reforming network tariffs as well as levies and charges are suggested in the Strategy.
  • However, it is not acceptable that gas infrastructure for large-scale storage are referred to as “may be needed”, although the Commission itself calls for long-term storage options for hydrogen in its Hydrogen Strategy.

Gas storage facilities are a key part of the energy supply and contribute to a successful energy transition on a national and European level. “Gas storage pushes the energy transition by providing a storage solution for carbon-neutral gases. We urge the Commission to resolve the contradictions posed in its Strategies and acknowledge the importance of gas storage explicitly,” Sebastian Bleschke says.

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