Paths to the Long Duration Storage Earthshot

The DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge launched Storage Innovation 2030 (SI 2030) at the September ESGC Summit. The objective of SI 2030 is to develop specific and quantifiable RD&D pathways to achieving the targets identified in the Long Duration Storage Energy Earthshot, which seeks to achieve 90% cost reductions for technologies that can provide 10 hours or longer duration of energy storage within the coming decade.

DOE has or currently supports over 30 distinct energy storage technologies, including specific methods of storage via electrochemical, electromechanical, thermal, flexible generation, and controllable loads, as well as power electronics. Many of these energy storage technologies have the potential to enable the Long Duration Storage Shot targets. Achieving these aggressive targets will require resolution of key barriers throughout value chain, from basic and applied research through analysis, demonstration, manufacturing, and full integration into the power and end-use sectors. 

Through Storage Innovations 2030, DOE is seeking to understand the specific innovations required to unlock the potential for long duration applications in a variety of these technologies. To obtain community input, SI 2030 is launching four components: the SI 2030 Prize, SI 2030 Flight Paths, SI 2030 Framework, and SI Liftoff.

SI Liftoff

SI Liftoff is envisioned as a major opportunity to immediately leverage the strategy developed in SI 2030 with R&D funding. SI Liftoff aims to build upon the work of SI Flight Paths by leveraging the collaborative listening session conversations to launch R&D partnerships and perform pre-competitive R&D projects that have the potential to benefit an entire industry.

OE is considering issuing a $15 million FOA, planned to launch in summer 2023, which would be a call for collaborative “consortia” of entities that each consist of one or several energy storage technology industries. Each consortium would be led by a central organization or a single member who would act as the primary recipient, and at least one other participating entity who would receive funds by applying with the lead as a project partner. Each participating company must be based in the United States. The consortia developed in response to this possible announcement would collaborate with two primary goals: 

  1. Consortia development: Entities would organize by coordinating with each other, engaging in meetings and discussions, and setting up lasting channels of communication to effectively collaborate through this award period and afterwards. 

  1. Pre-competitive R&D: Consortia would receive funding to perform work which could include work at one or multiple DOE National Laboratories (such as through a “lab voucher,” direct funding or other mechanism). Such work should fall under “pre-competitive R&D,” which includes activities that are of interest to multiple or all entities in the consortia. These R&D activities should propel an entire technology industry forward.

SI 2030: Flight Paths

SI 2030 Flight Paths is an opportunity for the storage community to identify which R&D innovations and opportunities are best suited for collaboration and partnerships.

The primary objective of Flight Paths is to identify key RD&D barriers to greater deployment of long duration storage technologies, and the opportunities for collaborative, pre-competitive activities to advance the state of the industry. Following pitch sessions featuring many of the 30+ storage technology areas identified in the ESGC Roadmap, the following nine technologies were selected for industry “Listening Sessions,” a forum for deeper dives into R&D opportunities and partnerships:

  • Flow Batteries
    Industry Listening Session held January 12, 2023
  • Zinc Batteries
    Industry Listening Session held January 24, 2023
  • Li-ion Batteries
    Industry Listening Session held January 26, 2023 
  • Thermal Energy Storage
    Industry Listening Session held February 9, 2023 
  • Lead-acid Batteries
    Industry Listening Session held February 16, 2023
  • Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH)
    Industry Listening Session held February 23, 2023
  • Sodium Batteries
    Industry Listening Session held March 2, 2023
  • Compressed-Air Energy Storage (CAES)
    Industry Listening Session held March 9, 2023 
  • Supercapacitors
    Industry Listening Session held on March 16, 2023
  • Crosscutting Issues in LDES
    Listening Session: April 13, 2023 from 1 – 3 p.m. Register to Attend.

The responses from these sessions will be used to inform a 2023 Office of Electricity report, and comments/findings will not be attributed to specific individuals or companies.

SI 2030: Framework

Complementary to Flight Paths, the second component of SI 2030 is an industry-focused Framework, which aims to quantify the impact of DOE RD&D activities on future storage cost targets. An analysis of ten technologies will be performed, which consist of the nine listed above plus Hydrogen Energy Storage.

Results from this framework analysis will be shared in a 2023 Office of Electricity report.

SI 2030: Prize 

The SI 2030 Prize is an opportunity for storage teams to propose transformative, emerging technology ideas for grid-scale energy storage solutions. This prize aims to gain insight on emerging energy storage technologies to incentivize creativity and innovation that expand beyond the current state-of-the-art.

Read the SI 2030 Prize winner announcement.