Hydrogen Storage: A Look Back at the Hystories Project

Friday 2 February 2024 - News | Projet

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Hydrogen Storage in European Subsurface research project

The Hystories project, funded by the European Union and led by Geostock, marks a significant contribution in exploring the possibilities of hydrogen storage in the European underground. 

Active from January 2021 to June 2023, the Hystories project has enabled significant advancements in understanding the potential of porous media, such as depleted fields and aquifers, for the massive and safe storage of this decarbonized energy carrier.

The teams working on this project have made technical and scientific progress on the main issues associated with hydrogen storage in porous media, including mapping and estimating this storage potential at a European scale, the impact of the chemical reactivity of stored hydrogen, and the embrittlement of steels. The research work of the Hystories project have also produced socio-economic analyses to support the deployment of this future industry.

The extent of European collaboration in this project is remarkable. Indeed, a large consortium including universities, research centers, and industrial players from 17 European countries was formed. This successful intersectoral and transnational collaboration underscores Europe’s strong commitment to the energy transition and its willingness to overcome obstacles, whether technological, cultural, or organizational.

The project’s final conference, held at the École des Mines de Paris in May 2023, was the culmination of these two years of work. It was primarily an opportunity to present the advances and syntheses of the project, but also a moment of exchange and conviviality among European experts on a subject of utmost importance. This event was also an opportunity to highlight the challenges of regulation and economic models in the desired deployment of hydrogen energy network infrastructures and to discuss the next steps for the European hydrogen industry.

The Hystories project leaves behind a legacy of knowledge and public data, available on its website. This information is of high value to private and public decision-makers, researchers, and industrialists, as it addresses the issue of underground hydrogen storage in porous and saline environments from several aspects: technical, social, or economic. It is also important to acknowledge the efforts and investments of the European Union in such projects, and to hope that these grants or regulatory mechanisms are deployed on an industrial scale to achieve the carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

Hystories constitutes an important milestone towards the realization of a decarbonized European energy infrastructure, where hydrogen storage will play a leading role. The lessons learned from Hystories will serve as a foundation for future initiatives in this field.

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