January 7, 2021: The US Department of Energy set out its goals for energy storage with a strategy outlined in its ‘Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap’ (ESGCR), released on December 21, alongside a storage Act that pledges $1 billion for the sector.
The ESGCR is a follow-up to the Grand Challenge announced in January 2020, which ‘seeks to create and sustain American leadership in energy storage’, and emphasizes the need to develop domestic manufacturing and supply chains.
“The roadmap includes an aggressive but achievable goal: to develop and domestically manufacture energy storage technologies that can meet all US market demands by 2030,” the DoE says.
“In addition to concerted research efforts, the roadmap’s approach includes accelerating the transition of technologies from the lab to the marketplace, focusing on ways to competitively manufacture technologies at scale in the US, and ensuring secure supply chains to enable domestic manufacturing.”
The strategy is based on three concepts: ‘Innovate Here, Make Here and Deploy Everywhere’, and among its ambitions are to level the cost of storage for long-duration stationary storage applications to $0.05/kWh, a 90% reduction from 2020 to 2030.
It also aims to reach $80/kWh for battery packs by 2030 for a 300-mile EV, which would be 44% less than the current cost of $143/kWh.
The 155-page ESGCR groups storage technologies into three focus areas: bidirectional electoral storage (stationary and mobile); chemical and thermal storage; and flexible generation and controllable loads.
It also identifies five ‘tracks’ to drive advances in R&D under the headings Technology Development, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Technology Transition, Policy and Valuation and Workforce Development.
Separately, the US Congress in December passed a law authorizing $1 billion to be spent over five years on R&D and demonstrations in energy storage technology.
The Better Energy Storage Act is an amendment to the Energy Storage Competitiveness Act of 2007, and establishes a research, development and demonstration programme for grid-scale energy storage systems among other purposes.
As well as clauses that set out targets for storage duration, recycling, storage in rural areas and improving grid reliability, the act will ‘support research and development of advanced manufacturing technologies that have the potential to improve the US competitiveness in energy storage manufacturing’.
Despite the turbulence of 2020, there was a 240% increase in energy storage deployments in the third quarter, a record high.
“The signs are pointing toward an unprecedented increase in energy storage in the coming months, moving us closer to achieving our 100GW by 2030 vision,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the US Energy Storage Association.
“With continued policy support and regulatory reform at the state and federal levels, energy storage is poised to continue this trajectory and enable a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable electric grid for all.”