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The Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) will focus resources from across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in energy storage. The Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump's Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.

As a first step in the Challenge, DOE has released a Draft Roadmap and Request for Information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback on the key questions and issues the Challenge seeks to address. The Draft Roadmap outlines a Department-wide strategy to accelerate innovation across a range of storage technologies based on three concepts: Innovate Here, Make Here, Deploy Everywhere. DOE also engages with key stakeholders through workshops to share information about various storage technologies and current barriers to deployment, and to help shape the work that will bring those technologies to market. 

The vision for the Energy Storage Grand Challenge is to create and sustain global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing supply chain that does not depend on foreign sources of critical materials, by 2030. While research and development is the foundation of advancing energy storage technologies, the Department recognizes that goal leadership requires addressing associated scale up challenges, including manufacturing, workforce development, valuation, and technology transfer.

Using a coordinated suite of research and development funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships, and other programs, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge sets the following goals for the United States to reach by 2030:

  • Technology Development: Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals, and a comprehensive R&D portfolio to achieve them; 
  • Technology Transfer: Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools, and targeted collaborations;
  • Policy and Valuation: Develop best-in-class models, data, and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies; 
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals; and
  • Workforce: Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain.

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a cross-cutting effort managed by DOE’s Research and Technology Investment Committee (RTIC). The Department established the RTIC in 2019 to convene the key elements of DOE that support research and development cross-cutting opportunities in both basic and applied science and technology.  

DOE established the RTIC in response to the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, which was enacted in September 2018. The Energy Storage Subcommittee of the RTIC is co-chaired by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Electricity and includes the Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Technology Transitions, ARPA-E, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy, the Loan Programs Office, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. 

As the Grand Challenge develops, DOE looks forward to engaging with stakeholders to develop a complex-wide strategy to position the U.S. for global leadership in energy storage.