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News | 25.7.2013
Geo-scientific principles

Measuring underground storage potential

In the ANGUS+ project, scientists are attempting to unleash the potential of underground storage. To achieve this, researchers want to ensure the potential use of the subsoil is in keeping with nature reserves and the ground water, flora and fauna.
© Sebastian Bauer

What is the potential for underground energy storage? Scientists at the Kiel University are looking at this issue and examining the geological conditions for underground storage in a joint project, entitled ANGUS+. The focus here is on storing natural gas, hydrogen and compressed air in cavern and pore storage facilities and storing heat underground but near the surface.

Greater grid expansion and the use of energy storage facilities are necessary to be able to use excess energy productively, for example from solar systems or wind farms. “Underground energy storage facilities will play a major role here due to their potentially large storage capacities and proximity to the energy producing companies,” explains project coordinator, Professor Sebastian Bauer of Kiel University.

ANGUS+ stands for “Auswirkungen der Nutzung des geologischen Untergrunds als thermischer, elektrischer oder stofflicher Speicher im Kontext der Energiewende“ (effects of the use of geological subsoil as a thermal, electrical or physical storage facility in the context of the energy revolution).The first stage is to determine computer scenarios which then serve as a basis for calculations. Experimental work is then carried out on site to examine and gain an understanding of the thermal properties of the soil. Last week (17 June 2013) the scientists presented ANGUS+ to the public.

To examine the storage potential in Schleswig-Holstein soils, researchers want to explore the geological foundations for underground storage facilities. “We will focus our research on storing natural and artificial gas, hydrogen and compressed air in cavern and pore storage facilities, and storing heat underground but near the surface,” explains Professor Bauer. In addition, any possible effects of these options are to be linked with existing infrastructure on the surface and designated nature reserves and priority areas.
Experts in the ANGUS+ project now want to further process the existing data in connection with information about the use of the corresponding surface area.

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag

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