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World's first geological hydrogen storage facility goes into operation

World's first geological hydrogen storage facility goes into operation

Large-volume storage of hydrogen enables energy transition while maintaining security of supply. With “Underground Sun Storage“, the world‘s first hydrogen storage facility in an underground porous reservoir, RAG Austria AG – Renewables and Gas – and its project partners are setting new international standards.

Two years after the start of the project, the underground sun storage facility was opened on April 27, 2023.

In this unique cross-sector demonstration facility, solar energy is converted into green hydrogen by water electrolysis and stored in pure form in an underground natural gas reservoir in Gampern, Upper Austria. The scale of the storage corresponds to the summer surplus of about 1,000 photovoltaic systems on family homes. In summer, this surplus energy is stored and in winter the green energy can be provided again in the form of electricity and heat.

“In Gampern in Upper Austria we are demonstrating what is possible and necessary to ensure a secure supply of green energy throughout the year and thus enable the energy transition.”, Mitteregger emphasizes.

Press Release 27 April 2023

Video: "Underground Sun Storage"

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Sustainable, safe and efficient energy storage

Sustainable, safe and efficient energy storage

RAG Austria AG is Austria’s largest energy storage company, and one of Europe's leading gas storage facility operators. The company has gas storage capacity of about 6.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas, or about 6% of total capacity in the EU. We are storage facility operator of a total of eleven pore storage facilities. These include the storage facilities in Puchkirchen/Haag, Haidach, Haidach 5, Aigelsbrunn and the 7Fields interconnected gas storage as well as the hydrogen storage facilities in Pilsbach and Rubensdorf.

Our core focus is the storage, conversion and needs-based conditioning of energy in gaseous forms.

The storage capacities of the energy storage facilities we operate are marketed by astora, Uniper and RAG Energy Storage GmbH.

The energy storage facilities we operate are among the most modern in Europe, thanks to our decades of experience and the highest environmental and safety standards in planning, construction and operation. Especially in the current energy policy situation, it is particularly important that the storage facilities are optimally maintained and in operation at all times - around the clock - in order to store the energy supplied and make it available at full capacity when it is needed.

Currently used primarily for traditional natural gas, in the future the storage facilities will enable the seasonal storage of green gas such as hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energies such as wind and electricity and thus makes electricity storable. The enormous energy potential and incomparable flexibility of our storage facilities in the former gas reservoirs thus make them essential for a sustainable energy future.

More information about energy storage

Sustainability Report 2019/2020

Sustainability Report 2019/2020

We are delighted to present RAG Austria AG's second Sustainability Report.

European and Austrian climate and energy policies are geared towards combating global warming, a target that is also integral to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the European Commission’s Green Deal. Playing an active part in shaping efforts to achieve this goal is not only a major aspect of our social responsibility activities and our obligations towards future generations; it is also central to our philosophy. RAG’s main strength lies in its capacity to innovate and to act in a way that is both responsible and far-sighted. Everything we do reflects our long-term perspective – coupled with investments intended to last for generations to come – and is anchored in our strategy for the period to 2040.

The past two years have been characterised by our intensive efforts to address the challenges associated with the future of energy, against the backdrop of the climate crisis. We are driving forward initiatives designed to bring the energy sector and related technologies closer to becoming carbon neutral, as well as ensuring affordable energy supplies. A look back at what we have achieved so far clearly shows that we are heading in the right direction.

Online Sustainability Report


Start of the project "Underground Sun Storage 2030"

Start of the project "Underground Sun Storage 2030"

In the lead project "Underground Sun Storage 2030" (USS 2030), the safe, seasonal and large-scale storage of renewable energy in the form of hydrogen in underground gas reservoirs is being developed. In addition, all partners involved in the project will jointly gain valuable technical and economic knowledge for the development of a secure hydrogen supply.

In this research project, the only one of its kind in the world, renewable solar energy is converted into green hydrogen in a climate-neutral way by means of electrolysis and stored in a pure form in former natural gas reservoirs. Until 2025, interdisciplinary technical-scientific investigations for the energy future will be carried out under real conditions at a small former natural gas reservoir in the municipality of Gampern (Upper Austria) under the leadership of RAG Austria AG together with the project partners. A customised research facility will be built for this purpose.

Press release 8 June 2021

More information on the project

"H2EU+Store" – Green Hydrogen for Europe

"H2EU+Store" – Green Hydrogen for Europe

Hydrogen from sun and wind will be produced in Ukraine and stored for seasonal demand in Central Europe in the future

In order to accelerate and ramp up the production of green hydrogen for Europe, which is an absolute must have for a climate-neutral European energy supply, the international industry partnership consisting of Bayerngas GmbH, bayernets GmbH, Eco-Optima LLC, Open Grid Europe GmbH and RAG Austria AG has designed the "H2EU+Store" project. 

"H2EU+Store" will on the one hand create the necessary capacities for renewable electricity and hydrogen production in Ukraine and on the other hand the expansion of storage volumes in Austria and Germany , accompanied by adaptations in the area of gas transport to Central Europe.

Press release 5 May 2021

Start of "Underground Sun Conversion – FlexStore" project

Start of "Underground Sun Conversion – FlexStore" project

Sustainable storage for the renewable energy system of the future

From December 2020, the “Underground Sun Conversion – Flexible Storage” (USC-FlexStore) project will investigate seasonal storage of large quantities of renewable energy to be made available year round.

This innovative international project is aimed at developing a seasonal, high-volume transformation and storage solution for erratic renewable generation. Energy will be stored safely in gaseous form in underground facilities at depths of over 1,000 metres.

The aim of the project is to take RAG Austria AG’s patented “Underground Sun Conversion” (USC) technology (which involves methanation of CO2 and green H2) to the next level, and to design services based on it. Field tests are planned at RAG’s research facility in Pilsbach (Upper Austria).

Press release 22 January 2021

„Zukunft Grünes Gas“: The new platform for a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system transformation

„Zukunft Grünes Gas“: The new platform for a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system transformation

Since 10th November 2020, the new "Zukunft Grünes Gas" platform of the "Österreichische Vereinigung für das Gas- und Wasserfach" (ÖVGW) and the "Fachverbands der Gas- und Wärmeversorgungsunternehmungen" (FGW)  has been online. The new homepage focuses on information about green gas.

A sustainable, safe and affordable energy system transformation will only be possible with climate-friendly green gas. In the years ahead, domestic gas suppliers want to put this change into practice. Green gases such as biogas and hydrogen will become more important in the future.

In order for the energy system tranformation to succeed, all existing potentials of green energy in Austria are needed.

Gas currently accounts for more than 20 percent of total energy demand and stands for 100 percent supply security. Replacing this energy source is neither technically nor economically possible. The solution: green gas that can be used just like the gas we are used to today.