RP1.1-04 Underground storage of hydrogen: mapping out the options for Australia

Executive Summary

Australia’s massive opportunity for underground hydrogen storage

October 2021

For Australia to adopt hydrogen as a widespread energy carrier, millions of tonnes of storage options will be needed to buffer the fluctuations in supply and demand, both for domestic use and for export. Future Fuels CRC’s latest research maps out the high-level availability of potential sites in Australia and develops a method for selecting suitable storage sites that match hydrogen production needs.

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About underground hydrogen storage

Once the scale of storage at a site exceeds tens of tonnes, underground hydrogen storage is the cheapest and safest large-scale storage option for industrial-sized purposes. Although underground hydrogen storage is already used globally to support existing industrial uses of hydrogen, it is highly dependent on the suitability of local rock formations. This research looks beneath Australia’s surface to identify the opportunities under our land and waters.


To present the researcher Future Fuels CRC held a free webinar on 29 October 2021 to share and discuss the research.


Dr Jonathan Ennis-King joined CSIRO in 1999 to work on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. Jonathan’s general research interests are the modelling and simulation of multiphase flow in porous media, and the coupling of that flow to thermal, mechanical and chemical processes. He has specifically applied this to understanding the behaviour of carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the subsurface. Before joining CSIRO he held positions at the University of Melbourne, Lund University, Sweden and the Australian National University. Jonathan has had a key role in the reservoir engineering and simulation of the CO2CRC’s Otway project, the first demonstration of underground storage of carbon dioxide in Australia.


David Norman, CEO Future Fuels CRC (Host)
Dennis Van Puyvelde, Energy Networks Australia
Ashley Roberts, Woodside
Tim Aujard, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group



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Commencement / End Date April 2020 to March 2021
Outcomes / Impact
  • State and federal governments and agencies can use the high-level assessment of underground storage done in this project to support more detailed development of storage options, and to develop legislative and regulatory frameworks that will enable such projects to proceed.
  • Industrial partners involved in the production and transport of hydrogen can scope out particular underground hydrogen storage options relevant to their needs and locations.
  • Researchers build upon the high-level assessments to investigate site-specific needs for underground hydrogen storage.
Partners CSIRO, ENA, APA, Woodside, AGIG
Research Contact

Dr Stephen McGrail