Long Duration Energy Storage Council launched

The launch of the Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council has been announced today at COP26, aiming to achieve grid net zero by 2040.

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Formed by 25 technology companies, users and investors, the mission of the LDES Council is to replace the use of fossil fuels in meeting energy imbalances with zero-carbon alternatives. 

It will provide guidance to governments and grid operators, and will publish a strategic report on LDES technologies with the aim of enabling global deployment of 85-140 TWh of long duration energy storage by 2040.

This would see dispatchable renewable energy used to eliminate the 1.5 to 2.3 Gt of CO2 produced annually from fossil fuels to meet grid energy imbalances, equivalent to 10-15 per cent of total emissions in today’s power sector.

Founder members of the LDES Council include BP, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, ESS Inc., Form Energy, Highview Power and Siemens Energy. It comprises technology and equipment providers, renewable energy companies, utilities, grid operators, investors and end-customers.

Welcome to The Engineer’s Net Zero fortnight

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. This misalignment creates periods of shortfall in electricity supply which is currently largely met by burning fossil fuels, especially natural gas.

Lithium-ion batteries offer an alternative solution by storing renewable electricity, but become too expensive for long storage durations beyond eight hours. 

The LDES Council has been formed to support governments, grid operators and major electricity users in the most cost-effective adoption of energy storage to replace use of fossil fuels.

On November 23 2021, the council’s first annual report will be published based on research and collaboration of council members. It concludes that 1.5-2.5 TW and 85-140 TWh LDES could be deployed globally by 2040 covering around ten per cent of global electricity consumed, requiring between USD 1.5 and 3 trillion in investment. 

This would represent between four and seven times the total TWh global lithium-ion deployment today and between five and 11 times the total investment in renewable power in 2020, the LDES Council stated.

“The world is not on track to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C,” explained Ramya Swaminathan, CEO, Malta Inc., a founding member of the council. “To achieve the necessary decarbonisation, significant efforts must begin immediately to reduce emissions across all sectors.

“The power sector, which accounts for roughly one-third of global emissions, will be central to global decarbonisation and will need to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Long duration energy storage is the lynchpin to decarbonisation as it can inexpensively store the electricity from wind, solar and other renewables and make it available when needed.”

The LDES Council is independent of any specific technology and its members span the spectrum of innovation from low-cost flow batteries to compressed gas solutions and mechanical storage.