The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of cutting the cost of storage to $0.05/kWh for stationary storage, and $80/kWh for 300-mile range EV battery packs by 2030, in a new roadmap that will guide the agency's plan for researching and developing energy storage technologies.
By adopting a five-pronged approach to achieving this goal, the DOE hopes to develop research, development and manufacturing jobs tied to the energy storage industry within the U.S., as well as ensure storage technologies become cost-competitive with conventional energy sources.
Stationary and transportation energy storagecombined are expected to grow 3-5 times by 2030, with electric vehicles accounting for the majority of that growth, according to a market report that accompanied the roadmap's release on Monday.
Slashing energy storage costs and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. will require a holistic approach, according to Michael Pesin, deputy assistant secretary for the DOE's Advanced Grid Research and Development Division.
The DOE's finalized roadmap, or internal plan, for accelerating the development and deployment of new energy storage technologies, will tackle the challenge with five distinct "tracks" intended to address current industry barriers — technology development, manufacturing and supply chains, technology transition, policy and valuation, and workforce development. Each track will pursue its own success metrics, Pesin said, with the final goal of bringing the levelized cost of energy storage within range of conventional energy resources.
"These goals will be met by leveraging DOE's strong foundation of research and development, the world-class capabilities of the national labs, and the commitment and ingenuity of industry," Pesin said.
According to a cost performance assessment, also released on Monday, for which the DOE has created an interactive website, compressed-air energy storage was the lowest cost option among the various energy storage options evaluated, running $119/kWh; however, it's use requires proximity to naturally occuring caverns to achieve these costs. Ten-hour battery systems ranged $356/kWh to $399/kWh, while today's most widely deployed solution, pumped storage hydro, had a projected cost of $262/kWh for a ten-hour system. Costs for lithium-ion storage systems are expected to fall and may come within range of pumped hydro by 2030, according to the report, but costs associated with lead-acid batteries are expected to remain high due to their shorter life cycle.
In a statement, Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman described the roadmap as a "well delineated plan to accelerate the development, demonstration, and deployment of energy storage."
"By focusing on storage valuation, supply chain and workforce matters," Speakes-Backman said. "the roadmap provides wide-ranging context to guide federal funding and strategic decisions over the next 10 years."
The agency will begin with the technology development track, Pesin said. Work within this track will identify potential uses and requirements for new energy storage systems. Potential use cases will be evaluated through a periodic stakeholder process, according to the roadmap. From there, DOE plans to support a broad portfolio of technologies that support identified use cases through the creation of a collaborative research ecosystem.
As additional tracks come online, DOE plans to support the scale-up of new technologies by reducing manufacturing costs, public-private financing and partnerships, and increased technical education. The department also aims to leverage its own analytical capabilities to provide "data, tools, and analyses to support the energy storage community," Pesin said, through the publication of reports such as the 2020 Grid Energy Storage Technologies Cost Performance Assessment and the Energy Storage Market Report 2020, which were both released on Monday alongside the roadmap.