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News – What`s happening in energy research

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In the ANGUS+ project, scientists are examining the potential provided by underground energy storage facilities. For this purpose the researchers want to reconcile the protection of conservation areas for groundwater, flora and fauna with a possible use of the subsurface.
© Sebastian Bauer
Geo-scientific bases
23.07.2013

Measuring the underground storage potential

What is the potential provided by underground energy storage facilities? This question is being pursued by scientists from Kiel University, who are investigating the geo-scientific bases for underground storage systems as part of the joint ANGUS+ project. They are focussing on storing natural gas, hydrogen and pressurised air in cavern and pore storage facilities as well as on storing heat in the shallow subsurface.

It will be necessary to further expand the grid and use energy storage facilities if the surplus energy derived, for example, from solar installations and wind farms, is to be sensibly used. “Given their large storage capacities and proximity to energy producing companies, underground energy storage facilities are set to play a major role,” explains project coordinator Professor Sebastian Bauer from Kiel University (CAU).

ANGUS+ stands for “effects of the use of the geological subsurface as a thermal, electrical and material storage facility in the context of the energy turnaround”. In the first stage computer scenarios are being established that will provide the calculation basis. With the help of on-site experimental work, thermal ground properties shall then be investigated and geochemical knowledge about the ground acquired. Last week the scientists presented ANGUS+ to the public.

In order to determine the storage potential in the ground in Schleswig-Holstein, the researchers want to investigate the geo-scientific bases for underground storage systems. “Here we are concentrating our investigations on storing natural gas, synthetic natural gas, hydrogen and pressurised air in cavern and pore storage facilities as well as on storing heat in the shallow subsurface,” explains Bauer. The possible impacts of these options shall also be examined in relation to the existing surface infrastructure and designated conservation and priority areas.
The experts in the ANGUS+ project now want to ensure the further processing of existing data in combination with information on the use of the respective surface areas.

Flagship project from the Energy Storage Funding Initiative

ANGUS+ is being funded for four years by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which is allocating 7.5 million euros. It is one of the flagship projects that are being supported as part of the German government’s Energy Storage Funding Initiative. Under the management of Kiel University, the researchers are working together with partners from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

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