Assessment of the potential, the actors and relevant business cases for large scale and seasonal storage of renewable electricity by hydrogen underground storage in Europe

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Cross-cutting issues


The ambition of HyUnder is to develop a European Implementation Plan, based on a detailed assessment of six individual Case Studies of the hydrogen utilization options and salt cavern storage potential across Europe. The main actions to be developed in each case study will be: regional storage prototype location analysis, economic scenario type assessment and the introduction of hydrogen underground storage into different markets. A comparative assessment of the individual case studies is expected as an outcome at the end of the project.

Achievements to date

In the administrative and communication side, the kick-off meeting and the Initial Conference of HyUnder project were held during first months of the project. A website has been created to promote the project progresses.

On the scientific and technological side:

  •  A Methodology Approach for the Case Studies has been developed. This methodology will be the base to evaluate the different case studies of each region (Germany, Spain, UK, France, Romania and The Netherlands);
  • The toolkits to provide inputs for the case study development (WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5) are in progress).


The Implementation Plan will be a concrete action plan to develop and move hydrogen storage from the current development phase through the demonstration and finally the deployment phase.

The expected impact of HyUnder project comprises of the following elements:

  • Understand the feasibility, relevance, timelines, chances and limitations of H2 underground storage to facilitate renewable electricity in Europe;
  • Understand the different regional potentials, roles in energy systems and the commitment of H2 underground storage;
  • Understand the European Scope of H2 underground storage;
  • Understand the necessary next steps, including the financing needs and required policy measures of H2 underground storage towards commercialization.


Interest in the use of hydrogen as a universal energy carrier and storage medium has been growing in recent years. This is based on the insight that our energy future, which will require the integration of increasing amounts of renewable electricity generation, chemical methods offer one of the most promising options for storing large amount of energy.

In general, the project has seven major milestones:

  • M1 for the setup of a Document Management System that is common for all partners;
  • M2 for the development of a joint Communication Strategy at the beginning of the project,
  • M3 for the development of a joint Case Study methodology;
  • M4 for the development of a German Case Study serving as benchmark and providing the most detailed insights available now;
  • M5 to compile basic knowledge on hydrogen energy storage;
  •  M6 for the development of the other Case Studies and for comparison of the individual Case Studies with each other;
  • M7 for the development of a European Hydrogen Underground Storage Implementation Plan all reviewed by an external supporting partner group.

The sequence of work follows a set of work packages. WP2 to WP5 are required to provide the fundamental knowledge to carry out the detailed Case Studies (WP6), a feasibility study on the possible integration of hydrogen in each energy market is expected as an outcome of the Case Studies. The final result will be the European Hydrogen Underground Storage Implementation Plan which will top the comparison of results from the individual Case Studies. The following individual work packages are foreseen:

  • WP1. Project coordination and administration
  • WP2. Benchmarking of large scale hydrogen underground storage
  • WP3. Assessment of geologic options for hydrogen underground storage
  • WP4. Geologic mapping of European regions for underground storage of hydrogen
  • WP5. Plant technologies
  • WP6. Representative Case Studies with a focus on salt caverns storage
  • WP7. Dissemination to improve stakeholder awareness
  • WP8. Major conclusions
Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.5.1: Assessment of benefits of H2 for energy storage and integration in energy markets
Project type: 
Supporting action
Contract type: 
Coordination and Support Action
Start date: 
Monday, June 18, 2012
End date: 
Thursday, July 17, 2014
24 months (originally), extended to 25 month
Project cost: 
€ 1,766,516
Project funding: 
€ 1,193,273

Fundación para el Desarrollo de las Nuevas Tecnologías del Hidrógeno en Aragón (Foundation for Hydrogen in Aragon - FHA), Spain

Dr Luis Correas
Other participating organisations: 
Organisation Country
Ludwig-Bölkow – Systemtechnik (LBST) Germany
Hinicio Belgium
KBB Underground Technologies (KBB) Germany
National Center for Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Romania (NHFCC) Romania
DEEP Underground Technologies (DEEP) Germany
E.ON Gas Storage (EGS) Germany
Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) The Netherlands
Shell Global Solutions (Shell) The Netherlands
Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (CENEX) United Kingdom
Solvay Chemicals (Solvay) Germany
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) France


Ioan Iordache , Dorin Schitea , Adrian V. Gheorghe , Mihaela Iordache, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 01/07/2014, 11071-11081, "Hydrogen underground storage in Romania, potential directions of development, stakeholders and general aspects"