Hydrogen: Storage

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 20th September 2021.

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Photo of Richard Thomson Richard Thomson Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the need for hydrogen storage to manage fluctuations in (a) production and (b) consumption in supporting the Government’s pathways to net zero.

Photo of Richard Thomson Richard Thomson Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has a preferred option for securing cost-effective UK hydrogen storage; and what assessment it has made of the potential merits of (a) repurposing existing salt caverns, (b) repurposing depleted gas fields and (c) building new storage capacity.

Photo of Richard Thomson Richard Thomson Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential role that the Rough reservoir in the Southern North Sea could play in meeting hydrogen storage demand.

Photo of Richard Thomson Richard Thomson Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what regulatory models he is considering to underpin investment in hydrogen storage.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Hydrogen Strategy, published on 21st August set out that hydrogen storage, for example in salt caverns or depleted gas fields, can support the hydrogen economy in a range of ways that position it as a strategic asset as part of a fully decarbonised, net zero economy.

The Strategy made clear that there is still much work to do to understand, develop and scale up hydrogen storage infrastructure as both supply and demand grow. It committed to a review of systemic hydrogen storage requirements in the 2020s and beyond.

The Government’s review will assess the need for hydrogen storage and what form this might take. It will also consider whether funding or other incentives are needed, and whether further government regulation might be required to ensure that hydrogen storage infrastructure is available when needed.

This work, in addition to other work we are undertaking with technology developers, regulators and other industry stakeholders will help inform future Government policy on hydrogen storage. Government intends to provide an update on its review in early 2022 to facilitate further discussions with stakeholders.

Alongside its Hydrogen Strategy, the Government also published the Hydrogen Business Model consultation. The consultation includes specific questions on the treatment of small-scale storage within the Hydrogen Business Model, as well as on the potential need for a separate Government intervention to facilitate investment in future larger scale storage. Responses to these questions will also help inform our hydrogen storage review.

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