Long-term hydrogen storage

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Hydrogen can also bring flexibility and resilience to an energy system expected to become deeply electrified over the coming decades. Hydrogen’s true competitive strength lies in its unique ability to store energy for long periods of time and in large quantities. As clean hydrogen displaces fossil fuels in some end uses, hydrogen storage could become increasingly critical to energy security, just like natural gas storage is today in many regions. Yet, there are differences between natural gas and hydrogen storage. Natural gas is stored mostly to meet (seasonal) variation in demand. Hydrogen demand, in contrast, is likely to be more constant, at least in the early years of the hydrogen market scale-up, when the bulk of demand is likely to come from industrial customers (primarily steel, ammonia and high-value chemicals).

Long-term hydrogen storage is important in countries with significant seasonal differences between power demand and renewable power generation. For example, Germany has 30% higher energy demand in winter than in summer, but its current renewable energy sources generate about 50% less power in winter than in summer. Hydrogen could thus be produced in summer to help meet the winter demand.


Hydrogen storage will be needed primarily to meet variation in supply, not demand, as green hydrogen is made with variable renewable energy sources. Long-term hydrogen storage can play an important role to increase energy security and the resilience of a system.