The Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council, whose launch has been announced at COP26, is intended to bring about replacement of the use of fossil fuels in meeting energy imbalances with zero-carbon alternatives. The Council has got together 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% of total emissions in today’s power sector.
The LDES Council is a CEO-led organisation being established by 24 founder members including Alfa Laval, BP, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, ESS Inc., Form Energy, Highview Power and Siemens Energy. The Council comprises technology providers, equipment providers, renewable energy companies, utilities, grid operators, investors, and end-customers.
The shortfall in electricity supply caused by the intermittency of renewables 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 therefore 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% 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% of this required storage capacity exists today.
While supporting the deployment of long duration energy storage, the LDES Council is independent of any specific technology and its members span a wide spectrum of innovation from low-cost flow batteries to compressed gas solutions to mechanical energy storage. Through its research and communications the LDES Council will also be able to provide guidance to governments and grid operators on the appropriate solutions for specific applications.