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The value of gas storage

SoS and important role in transition towards renewable energy

The Netherlands has always been very dependent on natural gas, more so than other countries in Europe. Following the discovery of a huge natural gas reservoir in Groningen in 1959, natural gas production has helped boost the economic prosperity of the Netherlands significantly.

However, the rapid depletion of Dutch natural gas reserves causes the still needed supply to originate from further distances, requiring longer transportation routes. The Netherlands is therefore slowly transforming from a gas exporting country towards a gas importing country. As a result the security of supply (SoS) in winter for heating demand (among others), cannot simply be taken for granted anymore. Gas storage located close to the centers of demand will therefore play a vital role to guarantee this supply.

This security of supply role becomes even more important during the current energy transformation from a fossil fuel driven economy towards a more sustainable economy based on renewables. This transformation is gaining moment with more wind parks build in the Northsea and more installed solar power. However, when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine, a back-up energy source needs to be quickly available to bridge the gap between electricity demand and the renewable electricity output. Gas storages are extremely suitable to fill this gap; it can store a lot of energy (in the form of gas), which it can make available very quickly and is the least polluting of all other fossil fuels.