With Germany’s progressive energy revolution and its transition to fluctuating renewable energy sources large scale energy storages will be required. Storage power plants may play an important role for storing excess wind or solar energy converted to compressed air (CAES) or hydrogen. However, large volumes can only be accommodated in the geological subsurface. Because of its thermo-mechanical stability, its low tendency to react chemically with the stored medium and its flexible operation modes, salt caverns represent the preferred storage option.

The focus of the InSpEE project is to provide basic geological and geotechnical data, to compile criteria for the establishment of salt caverns as well as to estimate the total renewable energy storage potential of salt structures in the North German Basin. In this collaborative project, existing expertise in salt geology, rock mechanics and cavern design principles are brought together by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Leibniz University of Hanover – Institute of Geotechnical Engineering/ Department of Underground Construction (IGtH), and KBB Underground Technologies GmbH. The project’s results are integrated into a publicly accessible geo information system called “Salt”. Within this paper we present an overview of salt structures in the North German Basin and their internal compositions.


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