Multi-criteria site selection workflow for geological storage of hydrogen in depleted gas fields: A case for the UK

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Underground hydrogen storage (UHS) plays a critical role in ensuring the stability and security of the future clean energy supply. However, the efficiency and reliability of UHS technology depend heavily on the careful and criteria-driven selection of suitable storage sites. This study presents a hybrid multi-criteria decision-making framework integrating the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Preference Ranking Organisation Method for Enrichment of Evaluations (PROMETHEE) to identify and select the best hydrogen storage sites among depleted gas reservoirs in the UK. To achieve this, a new set of site selection criteria is proposed in light of the technical and economic aspects of UHS, including location, reservoir rock quality and tectonic characteristics, maximum achievable hydrogen well deliverability rate, working gas capacity, cushion gas volume requirement, distance to future potential hydrogen clusters, and access to intermittent renewable energy sources (RESs). The framework is implemented to rank 71 reservoirs based on their potential and suitability for UHS. Firstly, the reservoirs are thoroughly evaluated for each proposed criterion and then the AHP-PROMETHEE technique is employed to prioritise the criteria and rank the storage sites. The study reveals that the total calculated working gas capacity based on single-well plateau withdrawal rates is around 881 TWh across all evaluated reservoirs. The maximum well deliverability rates for hydrogen withdrawal are found to vary considerably among the sites; however, 22 % are estimated to have deliverability rates exceeding 100 sm3/d, and 63 % are located within a distance of 100 km from a major hydrogen cluster. Moreover, 70 % have access to nearby RESs developments, with an estimated cumulative RESs capacity of approximately 181 GW. The results highlight the efficacy of the proposed multi-criteria site selection framework. The top five highest-ranked sites for UHS based on the evaluated criteria are the Cygnus, Hamilton, Saltfleetby, Corvette, and Hatfield Moors gas fields. The insights provided by this study can contribute to informed decision-making, sustainable development, and the overall progress of future UHS projects within the UK and globally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-157
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2023


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