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This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) Draft Roadmap and a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on the Draft Roadmap and the current and potential market environment for mobile and stationary energy storage industries.

The ESGC is a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage. 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.

Over the Fiscal Years 2017-2019, DOE has invested over $1.2 billion into energy storage research and development (R&D), or $400 million per year, on average establishing an agency-wide, long-term strategy to address energy storage. The vision for the ESGC is, by 2030, to create and sustain U.S. global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing base and supply chain that is independent of foreign sources of critical materials. The Draft Roadmap provides planned activities for each of the ESGC five tracks:

  1. The Technology Development Track will focus DOE’s ongoing and future energy storage R&D around user centric goals and long-term leadership. 
  2. The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Track will develop technologies, approaches, and strategies for U.S. manufacturing that support and strengthen U.S. leadership in innovation and continued at-scale manufacturing.
  3. The Technology Transition Track will work to ensure that DOE’s R&D transitions to domestic markets through field validation, public private partnerships, bankable business model development, and the dissemination of high quality market data. 
  4. The Policy and Valuation Track will provide data, tools, and analysis to support policy decisions and maximize the value of energy storage.
  5. The Workforce Development Track will educate the workforce, who can then research develop, design, manufacture, and operate energy storage systems.      

OTT is responsible for developing and managing the Technology Transition Track, which seeks to address the business and integration challenges facing the shift from early-stage technology to market adoption. Those interested in this track should navigate to section 3 of the RFI. OTT is especially keen to compile and assimilate the state of the art in the energy storage marketplace, as well as any challenges and opportunities facing this rapidly evolving sector.

Additionally, the Draft Roadmap identifies six use cases derived from high-level energy or infrastructure goals of communities, businesses, and regions, which will be translated into a set of technology-neutral functional requirements. The ESGC use case topics include facilitating an evolving grid, serving remote communities, electrified mobility, interdependent network infrastructure, critical services, and facility flexibility, efficiency, and value enhancement. These broad specifications will help identify new and augmented research and development paths for a portfolio of energy storage and flexibility technologies that meet emerging needs.

This Draft Roadmap focuses on three key challenges, applied to each of the five tracks, to ensure that the U.S. sustains global leadership in energy storage: 

  • Innovate Here – How can DOE enable the United States to lead in energy storage R&D and retain IP developed through DOE investment in the United States? 
  • Make Here – How can DOE work to lower the cost and energy impact of manufacturing existing technologies, and strengthen domestic supply chains by reducing dependence on foreign sources of materials and components?
  • Deploy Everywhere – How can DOE work with relevant stakeholders to develop technologies that meet our domestic usage needs and enable the United States to not only successfully deploy technologies in domestic markets but also export technologies?

DOE is requesting information from stakeholders to inform the suite of activities proposed in the Draft Roadmap through a formal RFI. Responses to this RFI will be due August 31, 2020. Interested stakeholders can view both the Draft Roadmap and the official RFI on the ESGC website.