A research project for the safe storage of hydrogen in a cavern will commence in Rüdersdorf near Berlin at the beginning of 2021. The energy services provider EWE is building the cavern at a depth of around 1,000 metres in salt rock in order to store 100% pure hydrogen there for the first time.

EWE is cooperating with the German Aerospace Center (DLR – Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) for the project. Among the issues being investigated by the DLR Institute for Networked Energy Systems in Oldenburg will be the quality of the hydrogen during storage and after it has been extracted from the cavern. Construction of the 500 cubic metre test cavern is expected to take 18 months, with initial results expected in autumn 2022.

Entitled HyCAVmobil, the project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) with almost 5.5 million euros as part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Managing Director of NOW GmbH, which is coordinating the funding programme, highlights the advantages that hydrogen as an energy carrier can contribute to the energy system: “With hydrogen, we can easily store renewable energy and use it in a targeted manner when the energy is needed, regardless of the weather situation and thus the yield of the generating facilities. Without easily storable hydrogen, there is no way to achieve the climate targets nor is sector coupling possible. The findings provided by this pioneering project are therefore an important step towards developing a hydrogen economy and thus towards the energy transition.”

The findings that will be collected in the research cavern – which at 500 cubic metres has about the volume of a single-family house and can store five to six tonnes of hydrogen – can be transferred to caverns with much higher volumes. The goal is to use caverns with volumes in the order of 500,000 cubic metres for hydrogen storage in the future.


Further information and images can be found in the EWE press centre: www.ewe.com/de/presse/pressemitteilungen/2020/12/ewe-bernimmt-bei-wasserstoffspeicherung-vorreiterrolle-ewe-ag

An explanatory video is also available (in German): https://youtu.be/yba3vUfK7AU