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| 1 minute read

Could climate extremes pave the way for long duration energy storage?

Energy Storage is showing remarkable growth around the world, with more and more attention on improving energy security and better supporting grid stability during the clean energy transition. 

At the moment, short-duration storage (typically <4 hours) is king, primarily through accessible, cost-effective lithium-ion batteries. Customers are seeing huge revenue opportunities, particularly when twinned with cheap solar, making it a no brainer for many.

There's no doubt that this will remain a dominant technology for the foreseeable, but as the demand for lithium batteries grows (with increased EV and home storage) we can expect some changes in the technology mix, and that includes duration!

It is now predicted that long duration energy storage (typically 4 - 10 hours, but in some cases 10+ hours), will come into consideration for many customers. One of the key drivers behind this is the increasing extremes in seasonal demand. If you look at the US as an example, winter conditions are becoming more extreme and are lasting longer and electric heating is on the rise - with less solar generation available, this means an increased peak demand for energy storage and for longer durations!

In fact, the US' National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predicts around 9.5GW of 10-hour battery storage to be deployed over the next 25 years.

LDES, comes in many forms and chemistries with the most common being thermal, electrochemical, and mechanical so one key question is 

Which LDES technology will lead the way?

Well in truth, I'd like to see a diverse mix of technologies so give us greater energy security and the best chance of achieving the results we want. 

Pumped hydro has already proven popular, particularly in large land mass regions across USA, Asia, and Latin America. Having worked with many start-up innovators, I've seen the changing landscape of newer technologies first hand, whether it be redox flow batteries, thermal storage systems, or growing innovation like iron-based or sodium-based batteries that offer 4+ durations (in some case 8 or 10+ hours).

With the market needs for LDES clearly emerging, it is now crucial that the technology meets the demand by overcoming the historic challenges of cost, capacity, and scalability. 

Keep a close eye on this space!

As extreme weather conditions increase and we electrify more building heating systems, peak demand is becoming more significant in the winter than in the summer. Demand peaks in winter also tend to be longer. This is particularly true at night when solar energy is not available. Solar deployment will accelerate the shift to net winter peaks through much of the country, adding an incentive for longer-duration storage development.


batteries, energy storage