- Hybrid energy systems (HES) involve multiple energy generation, storage, and/or conversion technologies that are integrated—through an overarching control framework or physically—to achieve cost savings and enhanced capabilities, value, efficiency, or environmental performance relative to the independent alternatives. Hybridization is an attractive power sector solution for plants to increase their flexibility, optimize revenues, and/or create other useful products. The increased flexibility offered by integrated hybrid energy systems can expedite the penetration of additional renewable energy into the grid to meet the 2035 zero carbon grid goal. Additionally, hybrids producing thermal energy, hydrogen, or other renewable fuels can specifically target hard to decarbonize applications in the industrial and transportation sectors, which can provide significant additional GHG reductions required to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.
- Working at the staff level, an informal task force on hybrid energy systems was established in 2020, comprising representatives from EERE, OE, NE, and FE as well as nine national labs to take inventory of hybrid-related research supported by DOE to date, and highlight critical issues, gaps, and priorities that cut across multiple technologies and offices – with the ultimate goal of identifying R&D activities that multiple offices can collaborate on to increase impact.
- This report was prepared by DOE and its National Laboratories to establish the state-of-the-art in HES research and highlight challenges that are relevant across HES regardless of their subcomponents. In particular, the report was designed to identify high-priority, near-term opportunities for HES research where multiple DOE program offices could coordinate their efforts to increase impact or reduce duplication. These opportunities do not necessarily reflect entirely new research activities, but rather those that are both high-priority areas for HES and amenable to multi-office collaboration or coordination. The opportunities reported here are categorized into three research areas: markets, policy, and regulation; valuation; and technology development. However, two overarching opportunities—motivations for HES and public data resources—influence and are influenced by activities in all three research areas.