ESK GmbH is strongly committed to the further development of underground storage technologies. We are members of HYPOS e.V. and participate in this context in research related to integrated energy (sector coupling) and long-term storage of renewable energy by means of green hydrogen.
Currently, we are collaborating with eleven other partner companies and research facilities in the joint research project HYPOS-H2-UGS to enable the regulatory approval and safe operation of salt caverns for hydrogen storage in Germany.
For many years ESK has been active in the field of underground hydrogen storage and has conducted multiple feasibility studies (for example, as part of the CO2RRECT project and in the form of in-house studies for RWE and innogy). ESK has both performed and coordinated fundamental research (e.g., SMRI project ‘Renewable energy storage in salt caverns – a comparison of thermodynamics and permeability between natural gas, air and hydrogen’).
For efficient, short-term energy storage (with storage intervals of several hours to days) we enhanced, in the context of the ADELE project, the underground storage of compressed air. Further key fields for ESK include the development of energy-optimised storage operation modes or installations for recovering compression energy as well as the design of underground storages for alternative gases (nitrogen, helium and coke oven gas). ESK also participated in the projects for carbon dioxide storage at Ketzin, Germany.
In line with current market trends the focus of the technological development is increasingly shifting towards securing the well integrity as well as converting existing gas storage wells for other purposes.