The Ministry for the Economy of the German Federal State North Rhine-Westphalia released a Hydrogen Roadmap today. The roadmap highlights the central role of gas storage for bridging phenomena called dark doldrums and thereby contributes to a nation-wide discussion on developing hydrogen markets.
Dark doldrums mean times of peak energy demand at times when neither the sun is shining sufficiently, nor the wind is blowing. In a carbon-neutral energy system that is largely based on wind and solar power, energy storage will be key to upholding security of supply at these moments. And gas storage facilities play a major role in providing the necessary storage capacities.
Sebastian Bleschke, Managing Director at the Initiative Erdgasspeicher (INES), the German Association of Gas Storage System Operators, therefore believes the North Rhine-Westphalian roadmap to be an important strategy paper: “Gas storage ensures that energy supply is secure even in a fully carbon-neutral energy system. Even times of dark doldrums holding on for days or weeks can be bridged by gas storage facilities. As gas storage is the only way to store clean energies in larger volumes over longer periods of time, it is important that it is addressed by energy transition policies. North Rhine-Westphalia has made this clear, and therefore makes an important contribution to the debate on future hydrogen markets – even on a national level.”