Energy storage is an essential component of the transitioning UK energy system, a crucial mechanism for stabilizing intermittent renewable electricity supply and meeting seasonal variation in demand. Low-carbon hydrogen provides a balancing mechanism for variable renewable energy supply and demand, and a method for decarbonizing domestic heating, essential for meeting the UK's 2050 net-zero targets. Geological hydrogen storage in porous rocks offers large-scale energy storage over a variety of timescales and has promising prospects due to the widespread availability of UK offshore hydrocarbon fields, with established reservoirs and existing infrastructure. This paper explores the potential for storage within fields in the UK Continental Shelf. Through comparison of available energy storage capacity and current domestic gas demands, we quantify the hydrogen required to decarbonize the UK gas network. We estimate a total hydrogen storage capacity of 3454 TWh, significantly exceeding the 120 TWh seasonal domestic demand. Multi-criteria decision analysis, in consultation with an expert focus group, identified optimal fields for coupling with offshore wind which could facilitate large-scale renewable hydrogen production and storage. These results will be used as inputs for future energy system modelling, optimizing potential synergies between offshore oil and gas and renewables sectors, in the context of the energy transition.
- decarbonizing domestic heating
- geological hydrogen storage
- energy transition
- renewables sector