A Long Duration Storage Shot project has been launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce the costs and accelerate deployment of renewable energy storage technology.

The introductory focus of the agency’s Energy Earthshots Initiative was hydrogen in an effort geared toward reducing the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1/kg in one decade. The new energy storage Earthshot seeks to reduce the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that deliver 10+ hours of duration, also within the decade. The 90% reduction will be based on the baseline of the $162/kWh cost for a 100 MW lithium-ion battery in 2020.

Energy storage has the potential to accelerate full decarbonization of the electric grid. While shorter duration storage is being installed to support current levels of renewable energy generation, longer duration storage technologies are needed as more renewables are added to the grid. Cheaper and more efficient storage will make it easier to capture and store renewable clean energy for use when energy generation is unavailable or lower than demand.

DOE storageDOE storage

The Long Duration Storage Shot 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, DOE said pumped-storage hydropower is the largest source of long-duration storage on the grid. Some utilities and businesses are exploring thermal pumped storage, which stores energy as heat in molten salt or sand and dispatches it as electricity through a heat pump.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com