Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the “Long Duration Storage Energy Earshot Initiative,” which will establish an ambitious goal to reduce the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90 percent within the decade. The initiative is part of a comprehensive energy storage strategy created by the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act, legislation authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins that became law last year.
Long duration energy storage – defined as systems that can store energy for more than 10 hours at a time – would support a low-cost, reliable, carbon-free electric grid. Cheaper and more efficient storage will make it easier to capture and store clean energy for use when energy generation is unavailable or lower than demand – for instance, so solar-generated power can be used at night or energy generated by wind can still be used even at times when the wind isn’t blowing.
“Energy storage technology holds great promise in the fight against climate change. Strengthening current technology and advancing next-generation energy storage will allow us to integrate more renewables, such as wind and solar, which in turn will help to reduce emissions,” said Senator Collins. “That’s why I authored the Better Energy Storage Technology Act, which seeks to align U.S. research efforts to promote advancements in energy storage technologies. It is exciting to see the Department of Energy begin implementing this new law through this initiative to substantially reduce the cost of energy storage technologies, improve the efficiency of our nation’s electricity grid, and bring us closer to a clean energy future.”
The “Long Duration Storage Energy Earshot Initiative” will consider all types of technologies – whether electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, chemical carriers, or any combination that has the potential to meet the necessary duration and cost targets for grid flexibility. 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 energy storage technology deployed on the grid in the United States, providing shorter duration storage capabilities.