What role does energy storage play in the Dutch energy transition?
Energy storage enables us to correct any mismatches in supply and demand. With the energy transition we will become more reliant on solar and wind energy, for example. How much of this energy can be generated varies from day to day. Especially in winter, there can be extended lulls in the wind and long periods when we hardly see the sun, and yet that’s when we often need energy the most. With energy storage, we can better absorb these fluctuations in the future energy system. Energy storage, in whatever form, serves as a buffer between supply and demand, ensuring the system remains reliable. We also store energy as a ‘strategic reserve’ so that we can continue to supply energy if the regular supply is disrupted for any other reason.
Role of EBN in Dutch energy storage
EBN was set up as a national ‘policy holding’ of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to represent the Dutch State’s social and economic interests in the subsurface resources in the Netherlands. Accordingly, EBN mainly works on underground storage in the Netherlands. For the energy transition, we are investigating large-scale underground storage of hydrogen and hot water. In close collaboration with other parties in the market, EBN is studying how these storage facilities can gradually be developed.
Natural gas storage
EBN is already active in the field of natural gas storage. On behalf of the Dutch State, EBN has a 40% stake in all four Dutch gas storage facilities.
In the context of the energy transition, EBN is involved in research into how large-scale underground storage can be gradually built up for hydrogen. Commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, EBN and TNO have conducted research into the feasibility of underground hydrogen storage, both onshore and offshore.
High-temperature aquifer thermal energy storage (HT-ATES)
It is expected that around 100 to 200 underground high-temperature storage facilities will be needed in the Netherlands in the future to store heat from geothermal sources, for example. There is currently only one operational HT-ATES system in the Netherlands, though several pilot projects are also underway. To address this situation, EBN is working in close cooperation with the sector on the further development of HT-ATES as part of the heat supply chain.