The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Earthshots Initiative aims to accelerate breakthroughs of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions within the decade. Achieving the Energy Earthshots will help America tackle the toughest remaining barriers to addressing the climate crisis, and more quickly reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while creating good-paying union jobs and growing the clean energy economy.
The Long Duration Storage Energy Earthshot establishes a target to reduce the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that deliver 10+ hours of duration within the decade. Energy storage has the potential to accelerate full decarbonization of the electric grid. While shorter duration storage is currently being installed to support today’s level of renewable energy generation, longer duration storage technologies are needed as more renewables are deployed on 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 – for instance, so renewable sources generated during the daytime like solar-generated power can be used at night or nuclear energy generated during times of low demand can be used when demand increases. 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.