Long Duration Energy Storage Council: Companies join forces, targeting $3trn of investment in sector by 2040

BP, Siemens Energy and Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures are among 25 organisations to have co-launched a new collaboration on long-duration energy storage technologies, which could play a key role in ensuring reliable energy as the transition to clean grids continues.

Long Duration Energy Storage Council: Companies join forces, targeting $3trn of investment in sector by 2040

Image: Form Energy

The Long Duration Energy Storage (LEDS) Council is bringing together technology and equipment manufacturers, renewable energy developers, utilities, grid operators, investors and end customers, in the hopes of mobilising $3trn of investment within the sector by 2040.

Members have based this calculation on a forecast that at least 1.5TW and as much as 2.5TW of long-duration energy storage capacity will need to be installed by 2040, if the world is to meet global targets on decarbonisation and improving energy access. This is equivalent to around 10% of the forecast global electricity demand in 2040.

There is also an interim goal for 2025; the cumulative deployment of at least 1TWh of long-duration storage. Only around 7% of this capacity exists today.

While lithium-ion batteries of grid-scale are beginning to be deployed at scale in markets like the EU, UK and US, the Council is arguing, their use is primarily in storing renewable electricity for durations of eight hours or less, due to the nature of the technology.

Long-duration storage will need to be used alongside short-duration, the Council claims, as the world shifts to a cleaner power mix, in which intermittent generation will affect energy security without appropriate storage systems and other assets that add flexibility to grids.

However, long-duration storage technologies are less mature and more expensive than short-duration ones. The Council is estimating that the costs of scaling though to 2040 will be four to seven times higher than the investments made globally in renewable power generation in 2020.

The LEDS council will publish a more detailed report on its forecasts on 23 November. It has stated that it will assess forecasts for a range of different technologies, including flow batteries, compressed gas, molten salt, pumped hydro and mechanical and kinetic storage.

Energy Dome, Energy Vault, Quidnet Energy, Greenko, Ambri, Enlighten, EOS Energy Storage, ESS, e-Zinc, Form Energy, Redflow, Echogen, Malta, Stiesdal, Azelio, BP, Siemens Energy, Alfa Laval, Greenko, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures are among the founding members of the Council. Ceres Power, Rio Tinto and the New York Power Authority are also signed up.

The Council’s launch took place virtually and coincided with Energy Day at COP26, which is being held in Glasgow. Other announcements from the day include new coal commitments from nations, a new initiative to improve the energy efficiency of lighting and cooling and a coalition of high-emitting companies convening on cleantech investment. You can read edie’s round-up of seven key headlines from the day here.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from COP26 with edie’s Live Blog. 

Sarah George


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