US DoE releases draft roadmap for Energy Storage Grand Challenge


The US Department of Energy (DoE) has released a draft roadmap for its Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge, announced in January 2020, is an initiative designed to accelerate the development, commercialisation and use of next-generation energy storage technologies.

The released draft roadmap details the department’s strategy to accelerate innovation across all segments within the energy storage space.

The roadmap is based on three concepts: 

  • Innovate Here – How can DOE enable the US to lead in energy storage R&D and retain IP developed through DOE investment in the United States? 
  • Make Here – How can DOE work to lower the cost and energy impact of manufacturing existing technologies, and strengthen domestic supply chains by reducing dependence on foreign sources of materials and components?
  • Deploy Everywhere – How can DOE work with relevant stakeholders to develop technologies that meet domestic usage needs and enable the United States to not only successfully deploy technologies in domestic markets but also export technologies?

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The draft roadmap focuses on three key challenges, applied to each of the five tracks, to ensure that the US sustains global leadership in the storage industry:

  1. The Technology Development Track will focus DOE’s ongoing and future storage R&D around user-centric goals and long-term leadership. 
  2. The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Track will develop technologies, approaches, and strategies for US manufacturing that support and strengthen U.S. leadership in innovation and continued at-scale manufacturing.
  3. The Technology Transition Track will work to ensure that DOE’s R&D transitions to domestic markets through field validation, public-private partnerships, bankable business model development, and the dissemination of high-quality market data. 
  4. The Policy and Valuation Track will provide data, tools, and analysis to support policy decisions and maximise the value of energy storage.
  5. The Workforce Development Track will educate the workforce, who can then research develop, design, manufacture, and operate storage systems.

Six use cases identified that will help the DoE to R&D and adoption of storage technologies include facilitating an evolving grid, serving remote communities, electrified mobility, interdependent network infrastructure, critical services, and facility flexibility, efficiency and value enhancement.

Secretary Brouillette, said: “The Energy Storage Grand Challenge leverages the unique, extensive expertise and capabilities of the Department of Energy and our National Labs to really push the envelope when it comes to developing next-generation energy storage.

“Coordinating with and receiving input from our stakeholders is critical as we work to position the United States as a global leader in energy storage technologies of the future. While research and development are the foundation of advancing these technologies, the Trump Administration recognizes global leadership also requires a commitment to commercialising technologies from the lab to the marketplace.”

The launch comes after the DoE has invested over $1.2 billion into storage research and development (R&D), or $400 million per year.

The DOE is requesting information from stakeholders to inform the suite of activities proposed in the Draft Roadmap through a formal RFI. Responses to this RFI will be due August 21, 2020. Interested stakeholders can view both the Draft Roadmap and the official RFI on the ESGC website.