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Long duration energy storage companies form council to accelerate carbon neutrality

The Long Duration Energy Storage Council is being formed by 24 technology companies, users, and investors to achieve grid net-zero by 2040. This will see ~10 per cent of all energy being stored in 8 hour+ storage technologies, requiring 85-140TWh of deployed capacity 

The launch of the Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council was announced at COP26 with a mission to replace the use of fossil fuels in meeting energy imbalances with zero-carbon alternatives. The Council has united to provide guidance to governments and grid operators, and will publish a strategic report on LDES technologies, with the aim of enabling the 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. 

“The formation of the Long Duration Energy Storage Council today is a strong step in the right direction,” Amit Gudka, Founder of Field said. “I’m encouraged by their ambitious calls for $3tn of investment by 2040, and I hope this will help give battery storage the platform we need to massively accelerate its build-out. There is still a long way to go, but I’m excited to see where things go after some small but important breakthroughs.”  

The LDES Council is a CEO-led organization being established by 24 founder members including Alfa Laval, BP, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, ESS Inc., Form Energy, Highview Power and Siemens Energy. The LDES Council comprises technology providers, equipment providers, renewable energy companies, utilities, grid operators, investors, and end-customers. 

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 alternate solution by storing renewable electricity but become too expensive for long storage durations beyond eight hours. The LDES Council has thus been formed to support Governments, grid operators and major electricity users in the most cost-effective adoption of energy storage to replace the use of fossil fuels. 

On November 23 2021 the LDES Council will publish its first annual report on the need for long duration energy storage to reach NetZero carbon emissions. The report, based on extensive research and collaboration of Council members, concludes that 1.5-2.5 TW and 85-140 TWh LDES could be deployed globally by 2040. This will cover around 10 per cent of global electricity consumed, require between USD 1.5 and 3 trillion in investment, and 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. Long duration energy storage is already increasing momentum with over USD 3 billion invested in technology providers in the last five years. In the near future, building the momentum to reach NetZero will require 1 TWh of capacity to be deployed globally by 2025 with over USD 50 billion investment. Globally only around 7 per cent of this required storage capacity exists today. 

“The world is not on track to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5° Celsius,” explains Ramya Swaminathan, CEO, Malta Inc., a founder member of the LDES Council. “To achieve the necessary decarbonization, 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 decarbonization and will need to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. Long duration energy storage is the lynchpin to decarbonization as it can inexpensively store the electricity from wind, solar and other renewables and make it available when needed.” 

While supporting the deployment of long duration energy storage, 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 to mechanical energy storage. Through is research and communications the LDES Council will also provide guidance to governments and grid operators on the appropriate solutions for specific applications. 

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