US Energy Secretary Talks Up 90% Reduction In Storage Costs by 2030

Highlights :

  • Any reduction in large battery storage costs for grid-scale use will strengthen the use case for renewable energy in more places.
  • If costs indeed do fall by 80-90%, it will make India’s own energy transition that much easier and possibly, even faster.

US Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm has indicated a target to reduce grid scale energy storage costs by 90 percent by 2030, to create conditions for the amount of storage that will be required by then to ensure stable grids and make the best use of renewable energy production by then.

She was speaking as part of Energy Earthshots, an initiative to support breakthroughs in clean energy that make it more abundant, more affordable and more reliable. Granholm also specified that long duration storage would be storage that lasts 10 hours or longer, something only pumped hydro storage is capable of doing at scale right now.

Her department (DoE) has launched the “Long Duration Storage Shot” and parallel ‘Hydrogen Shot’ as its big targets, as more are identified going ahead.

“This new initiative will create new manufacturing jobs right here at home and make sure clean, reliable, affordable electricity is available to everyone, including Americans living in remote and underserved communities.”

Earlier, during the Trump administration, the DoE had launched the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which combined a multi-million dollar competitive funding opportunity for long-duration storage technologies with a roadmap of cost reduction and technology improvement goals.

Granholm has earlier highlighted the potential of flow batteries for grid storage,

The focus on other battery technologies comes even as lithium-ion battery costs, the mainstay of short duration storage (upto 4 hours) currently, has fallen dramatically over the last 5 years, with further drop predicted by almost all stakeholders. A disadvantage of course is the risk of disruptions for key materials required, especially lithium itself and cobalt, and its relevance mostly for electric vehicles.

The US, like Europe and even China, is investing heavily into research that would make other options available, to ensure energy security in the long term, when storage is expected a play a critical role in grid security.

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