US DoE sets a new target for long-duration energy storage

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The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced new a goal for its long-duration energy storage market under efforts to leverage the sector to fully maximise the potential of renewable energy resources for grid reliability.

The goal, announced by the US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm includes reducing the cost of grid-scale, long-duration storage systems by 90% by 2030 and ensuring these systems are readily available, in abundance, and at an affordable cost when needed.

The Long Duration Storage Shot cost targets are part of the DoE’s Energy Earthshot Initiative designed to promote breakthroughs in energy technologies capable of helping the US to achieve its 2050 net-zero goal.

In addition, the project is expected to help expand the use of storage-enabled flexible grid services such as voltage regulation and demand response to enhance grid resilience and minimise power disruptions.

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The Long Duration Storage Shot will consider all types of technologies that can store energy for more than 10 hours at a time including electrochemical, mechanical, thermal and chemical carriers.

Currently, pumped-storage hydropower is the largest source of long-duration energy storage on the grid, and lithium-ion is the primary source of new electricity storage technology deployed on the grid in the US, providing shorter duration storage capabilities, according to a statement.

Secretary 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.”

The new target was developed through the DoE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC), wide-reaching stakeholder engagement activities and input from subject matter experts, according to the DoE.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.