Credit: Green Charge Networks
Plunging lithium-ion battery costs and better performance have pushed energy storage technologies to the forefront of the decarbonization movement. Lithium-ion is already reducing the need for natural gas generation, according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The group found that some existing natural gas plants could be more expensive than a mix of storage, renewables, efficiency and demand response as early as 2021.
"The department has a bunch of different workstreams on different energy storage technologies. The biggest success story is lithium-ion batteries, which have come down in cost significantly, in no small part because of DOE investment in early-stage research and commercializing those technologies. So these programs are really important," Krishnaswami said.
The DOE program will use "a coordinated suite of research and development funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships and other programs" with an eye to transforming the storage sector by 2030. Its goals include developing new technologies, carrying them from the research phase to private sector adoption and creating a value proposition for these technologies, while also reducing U.S. dependence on foreign raw material and improving the recyclability of storage components.
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