The state of battery storage

Residential customers are leading the charge by using battery storage technologies in their homes. Either pair their existing solar energy systems or use batteries instead of noisy and polluting gas generators. Is that as far as battery storage technologies will go?

A long-term solution

Of course not; the department of energy is investing in larger-scale energy storage technologies thanks to the bipartisan Inflation Reduction Act. And although residential use of battery backup is excellent for the individuals who own the batteries, it won’t reduce emissions from fossil fuels used in our power grid at the rate we need to hit our national and global climate goals. The long-term solution to decarbonizing our grid is long-duration energy storage.

DOE Earthshot Initiative

The Department of Energy (DOE) has created the Energy Earthshots Initiative to help spur industries and technologies with $1.16 Billion in funding to help us achieve our 2050 net-zero goal. Long Duration Storage Shot is the second Energy Earthshot declared on July 14, 2021. The goal is to achieve affordable grid storage for clean power – anytime, anywhere (sound familiar?). And by requiring long-duration energy storage technologies to lower their cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that deliver 10+ hours of duration within the decade, we can achieve that goal! 

What qualifies for the Earthshot?

Long-duration energy storage is an energy storage technology that can dispense electricity over ten or more hours. The Long Duration Storage Shot qualifies all types of technologies, such as electrochemical, thermal, mechanical, or any mix of solutions that achieve the desired storage capacity and costs to implement into the existing grid.

Long-duration storage and 24/7 CFE

Energy storage is vital to continuous renewable energy use, regardless of whether the renewable resource is available. Utilities must fill the gaps when wind and solar sources aren’t producing electricity to achieve 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy. Currently, this means using gas and coal generators. With long-duration energy storage technologies, excess clean energy generation periods are used to charge the storage devices and share across the grid to meet the demand sustainably and effectively.

American Long-duration storage companies

Form Energy

It is an American energy storage technology pioneering iron-air battery capable of storing 100 hours of electricity at costs competitive with fossil fuel plants.

ESS Inc.

Based in Wilsonville, Oregon, and was founded by a team with profound experience in fuel cells, electrochemistry, and renewable energy. ESS technology includes non-corrosive, non-toxic, all-iron flow battery technology.

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Manuel Larrain
Manuel Larrain is a Chilean-born US citizen who studied business and sustainability at Western Washington University. Solar energy is his passion, as it is transforming how Washingtonians power their lifestyle. He believes we can address climate change, environmental justice, and steward a brighter future for all of us through renewable energy.