US DOE launches Energy Storage Grand Challenge


US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette has announced the launch of the Department of Energy‘s (DOE) Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

The aim of the programme is to accelerate the development, commercialisation, and utilisation of next-generation energy storage technologies.

The Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.

Using a coordinated suite of R&D funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships, and other programmes, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge sets the following goals for the US to reach by 2030:

  1. Technology Development: Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals, and a comprehensive R&D portfolio to achieve them;
  2. Technology Transfer: Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools, and targeted collaborations;
  3. Policy and Valuation: Develop best-in-class models, data, and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies;
  4. Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials; and
  5. Workforce: Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st-century electric grid and energy storage value chain.

“Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” said Secretary Brouillette. “Through this Grand Challenge, we will deploy the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to address the technology development, commercialization, manufacturing, valuation, and workforce challenges to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.”

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The vision for the Energy Storage Grand Challenge is to create and sustain global leadership in energy storage utilisation and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing supply chain that is independent of foreign sources of critical materials, by 2030. While research and development (R&D) is the foundation of advancing energy storage technologies, the Department recognises that global leadership also requires addressing associated challenges.

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a cross-cutting effort managed by DOE’s Research and Technology Investment Committee (RTIC). The Department established the RTIC in 2019 to convene the key elements of DOE that support R&D activities, coordinate their strategic research priorities, and identify potential cross-cutting opportunities in both basic and applied science and technology.

As a first step in the Challenge, DOE will soon release requests for information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback on the key questions and issues the Challenge seeks to address. Over the coming weeks, the DOE will host also host a series of workshops with key stakeholders to share information about various storage technologies, learn more about current barriers to deployment, and help shape the work that will bring those technologies to market. This work will inform the development of a coordinated R&D roadmap to 2030 for a broad suite of storage and flexibility technologies. This roadmap will be guided by a set of use cases that describe ambitious grid applications that can be accomplished with advancements in these technologies.

Additional information about the Grand Challenge and upcoming events can be found here.