U.S. Energy Department Launches 10-Year Initiative to Establish Global Leadership in Energy Storage

The U.S. Energy Department on Jan. 8 announced a comprehensive program aimed to establish and sustain U.S. leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a domestic manufacturing supply chain that does not depend on foreign sources of critical materials, by 2030.

The initiative, called Energy Storage Grand Challenge, establishes a set of goals to reach by 2030 in the areas of technology development, technology transfer, policy and valuation, manufacturing and supply chain, and workforce. The program will use the agency’s coordinated suite of research and development funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships, and other initiatives to attain the goals.

As a first step, the agency plans to release requests for information to gather input on the key questions and issues the program seeks to address. Subsequently, the department will conduct stakeholder workshops to share information about various storage technologies, explore current barriers to deployment, and establish pathways to commercialize them. These efforts will help develop a coordinated R&D roadmap to 2030 for a broad suite of storage and flexibility technologies.

The cross-cutting effort is overseen by the Research and Technology Investment Committee, which was created last year to convene the agency’s main elements that support research and development, coordinate strategic priorities, and identify crosscutting opportunities. The Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, which was passed in September 2018, codified the efforts of the committee.