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Underground caverns to greatly help unlock Australias hydrogen industry

Australias ambitions becoming a major player in global green hydrogen production have obtained a lift with a fresh report from Geoscience Australia confirming the prospect of large-scale, underground storage of hydrogen in salt caverns in the united states.

Image: Geoscience Australia

From pv magazine Australia

Australia has added another key ingredient to its intend to turn into a global green hydrogen superpower, with scientists from Geoscience Australia uncovering underground salt accumulations ideal for high-volume hydrogen storage, for both domestic use and export.

Hydrogen has been touted as a crucial element of Australias renewable future, but a lot of the conversation has centered on the production and applications of the fuel. Geoscience Australia said widespread adoption of hydrogen being an energy carrier may also require large-scale storage options to buffer the fluctuations in supply and demand.

While hydrogen is mostly stored in tanks, either in a gas or liquid state, Geoscience Australia said underground salt caverns provide a safe and cheap large-scale alternative. And the technology, that involves artificial caverns in naturally occurring geological salt deposits, has already been gaining a foothold internationally.

Geoscience Australia said the country also offers the prospect of high-volume underground storage of hydrogen in salt caverns. Resources Minister Madeleine King said Geoscience Australia had uncovered prospect of the development of multiple underground caverns in salt deposits over the Canning Basin in Western Australia, the Adavale Basin in Queensland, and the offshore Polda Basin in South Australia.

We realize that the technology exists to store hydrogen underground and because of this work we have now also understand that Australia gets the right geology to aid the development of an economically viable hydrogen industry on our very own soil, she said.

King added that the discovery demonstrates Australias monumental potential as a hydrogen superpower Large-scale cost-effective storage of hydrogen will undoubtedly be essential in achieving our long-term goals for future years. An individual large salt cavern could supply the same level of energy storage as Snowy Hydro 2.0 with multiple caverns this size possible in exactly the same area.

TheFuture Fuels Cooperative Research Centre in addition has mapped Australias underground hydrogen storage capacity. It said the united states may potentially house 310 million tons (38,000 PJ), a figure approximately 60 times bigger than just what a developed domestic and export Australian hydrogen industry would want.

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