A new global CEO-led organisation aiming to accelerate the replacement of fossil-fuel power back-up with zero-carbon alternatives was launched today at COP26.
The Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council — which has 25 founding members, including BP, Siemens Energy, the billionaire-led venture capital company Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and 16 technology companies — will provide advice to governments, grid operators and major electricity users about deploying LDES.
The council is due to publish a strategic report on LDES technologies later this month, with the aim of enabling 11.5-2.5 terawatts of capacity and 85-140TWh of long-duration energy storage globally by 2040 — requiring $1.5-3trn of investment.
LDES is usually defined as any technology that can output stored energy at full capacity for longer than four hours — the typical length of storage for lithium-ion batteries.
“Energy generation with renewables is unpredictable due to the nature of wind and solar power, while energy consumption sees daily peaks around early morning and evening,” the LDES Council explained in a statement.
“These over-supply and over-demand fluctuations create an imbalance in electricity supply that is equivalent to around 10% of all electricity consumed. Today, these fluctuations are largely met by burning fossil fuels because lithium-ion batteries are too expensive for storage beyond eight hours, but could be met by new LDES technologies that capture renewable energy.”
Various LDES technologies are in development or have already been commercialised, including mechanical, electrochemical and thermal solutions.
Regular Recharge readers will be familiar with many of the technologies that have been invented by founding members, including:
- Highview Power's liquid-air solution;
- Stiesdal’s GridScale thermal storage;
- Energy Dome’s CO2 battery;
- Ambri’s liquid-metal battery;
- Echogen’s supercritical CO2 thermal solution;
- Form Energy’s 150-hour iron-air battery;
- Azelio’s molten-aluminium tech;
- Google X spin-off Malta’s molten-salt storage;
- Energy Vault’s gravity towers;
- Eos’ 10-hour zinc-based battery;
Recharge also recently wrote an analysis explaining why cheaper, safer LDES options will soon become the go-to technology for grid storage.
“Long duration energy storage is already increasing momentum with over $3bn invested in technology providers in the last five years,” said the council. “In the near future, building the momentum to reach net zero will require 1TWh of capacity to be deployed globally by 2025 with over $50bn [of] investment. Globally, only around 7% of this required storage capacity exists today.”
LDES founder members utilising mechanical energy storage include Highview Power, Energy Dome, Energy Vault, Quidnet Energy, and Greenko.
Members that store energy using electrochemistry, such as flow, metal-air or hybrid batteries, include Ambri, Enlighten, Eos Energy Storage, ESS Inc, e-Zinc, Form Energy, and Redflow.
Thermal LDES members that store energy as heat in a solid or liquid include Echogen, Malta, Stiesdal and Azelio.
Additional founding members include fuel-cell maker Ceres Power; industrial customer Rio Tinto; utility New York Power Authority; equipment manufacturers Alfa Laval and Siemens Energy); low carbon energy system integrators and developers BP and Greenko; and investor Breakthrough Energy Ventures.