UK-based Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has awarded a study contract to Global Engineering and Construction Group, an offshoot of Swiss conglomerate Foster Wheeler.

The study, which will be executed by Foster Wheeler in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, will assess the financial viability of flexible power generation systems, which involves the production of hydrogen from coal, biomass or natural gas.

ETI will commission and fund the five-month-long study, which will try to map suitable hydrogen storage salt cavern sites, in and around Britain.

The sites with sufficient size, depth, location and quality will be considered for hydrogen storage, the company noted.

The study, which is part of the ETI’s Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) Programme, aims to help ETI to develop a better understanding of the requirements for such energy systems.

The flexible power generation systems will contribute to the future energy mix in Britain and also capture and store carbon dioxide, according to ETI.

ETI CCS Programme manager Andrew Green stated: "This project is a first step in a long journey, which could ultimately see such systems as a key part of a future low carbon, flexible and affordable energy system. If successful, the benefits could potentially be huge."