The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced plans to reduce the cost of grid-scale, long duration energy storage by 90% within the decade.
The aim is to deploy “hundreds of gigawatts” of power from renewables onto the grid from energy storage sources that can hold power for more than 10 hours at a time.
The DOE’s secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the ‘Long Duration Storage Shot’ goals to support a low-cost, reliable, carbon-free power grid under the DOE’s Energy Earthshot Initiative.
The ‘Long Duration Storage Shot’ will consider all types of technologies, from electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, chemical carriers, or any combination that meets the necessary duration and cost targets for grid flexibility.
Pumped-storage hydropower is the largest source of long-duration energy storage on the grid, with lithium-ion the primary source of short-duration storage deployed on the grid in the US.
Granholm said: “We’re going to bring hundreds of gigawatts of clean energy onto the grid over the next few years, and we need to be able to use that energy wherever and whenever it’s needed.
“That’s why DOE is working aggressively toward cheaper, longer duration energy storage to reach President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
“This new initiative will create new manufacturing jobs right here at home and make sure clean, reliable, affordable electricity is available to everyone, including Americans living in remote and underserved communities.”
Lead batteries role in storage
The goal is to achieve breakthroughs that make clean power available anytime, anywhere and support more abundant, affordable, and reliable energy solutions.
Trade association Battery Council International (BCI) is pushing for lead batteries to be recognised in the program.
BCI has invested more than $100 million in research and development over the past five years— both as independent company members and in collaboration with DOE’s national laboratory system— to investigate how to improve the performance of lead batteries.
BCI’s executive vice president Roger Miksad released the following statement: “”The lead battery industry looks forward to working with Secretary Granholm and the DOE to achieve the bold goals set within the Long Duration Storage Shot program.
“The nation’s electric power industry depends on a wide spectrum of technologies – including lead batteries – for functions ranging from backup power supply during system disruptions to facilitating the integration of power from variable resources such as wind and solar to the electric grid.
“The lead battery industry is an important partner in a suite of energy storage technologies that are becoming increasingly essential to ensuring a reliable and resilient electric power system.
“A resilient infrastructure needs to have a diverse range of energy sources and given its unique features, lead batteries must be a key part of that mix. In fact, there is no substitute. The lead battery industry, with its unequalled 99% recycling rate, already provides 60% of the worldwide rechargeable battery capacity sold each year.
“Our strong and reliable domestic supply chain has a proven history of providing readily available and economical energy storage across many essential including renewable energy, and is based on American manufacturing without undue reliance on the imports of products and materials, particularly from countries that are diplomatic adversaries, have inferior environmental protection standards, and engage in human rights abuses.”