Environmental Planning & Consenting

Hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage

  • Project title

    Hydrogen and carbon dioxide storage – A feasibility study with SGN

  • Lead handler + team members

    Hannah Page

  • Clients


We were commissioned by gas distribution company SGN to explore the feasibility of hydrogen and associated carbon dioxide storage.

SGN are committed to understanding the use of hydrogen to decarbonise their network to meet national net zero targets.


Hydrogen has been identified as a key component of decarbonising energy, and in particular, heat, with the need to achieve the UK government’s commitment of net zero emissions by 2050, and 2045 in Scotland. One of the key challenges associated with the use of hydrogen in the gas networks relates to weight and volume and in particular how to store the required amounts and manage daily and seasonal variations in demand. It is this requirement to be able to store, but also withdraw, that poses one of the greatest challenges to a hydrogen-based heating sector, particularly when considering large-scale storage requirements.

We advised and delivered on:

  • Building knowledge and understanding of geological and engineering factors for sub-surface storage to inform strategic decision making;
  • Review of storage options (capacity, location, etc.), and comparable international projects to deliver robust options;
  • Identification of environmental constraints and regulatory considerations to understand potential consenting and approval requirements to mitigate potential future barriers;
  • Identification and analysis of potential risks to facilitate efficient delivery;
  • Development of a strategic route map and recommendations for further development to support SGN’s ambitions.

We carried out a baseline study to support the strategic review of suitable geological and engineering constraints of sub-surface and surface storage. This encompassed:

  • Data review to identify geological requirements, prominent geological formations, case studies of existing storage facilities, and innovative methods for hydrogen storage;
  • Regulatory review of UK and Scottish policy in relation to climate change, net zero and planning policy frameworks;
  • Geological criteria for hydrogen and carbon dioxide site selection, taking into consideration key geological criteria for storage, and regions with a high potential for storage;
  • Identified regions of interest were reviewed in terms of geological setting, historic hydrocarbon extraction, potential for hydrogen storage and the storage mechanism (i.e. salt caverns or surface tanks), and prospective areas for carbon dioxide storage.


Hydrogen poses unique challenges when it comes to storage solutions, however, we identified a number of potential options through our research including salt caverns, saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas reservoirs. However, we also put forward more innovative methods, such as hydrogen-based liquid fuels (e.g. ammonia or liquid hydrogen) or Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC’s). Read more about our Carbon Advisory services.