The U.S. Department of Energy have expedited plans to lower the country’s reliance on foreign sources for lithium-ion batteries by increasing the country’s energy storage capacity with the launch of the agency’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge.
The aim of the challenge is to create a domestic manufacturing supply chain for energy storage that will be independent of foreign sources of critical materials by 2030.
“Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in the agency’s Jan. 8
The challenge will be comprised of research and development funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships and other programs aimed for the United States to meet the following goals by 2030:
- Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals and a comprehensive research and development (R&D) portfolio to achieve them;
- Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools and targeted collaborations;
- Develop best-in-class models, data and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies;
- Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials; and
- Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain.
As a first step in the challenge, DOE will soon release requests for information to solicit stakeholder feedback on the key questions and issues the challenge seeks to address. Over the coming weeks, the agency will also host a series of workshops with key stakeholders to share information about various storage technologies, learn more about current barriers to deployment and help shape the work that will bring those technologies to market.
“This work will inform the development a coordinated R&D roadmap to 2030 for a broad suite of storage and flexibility technologies,” to be “guided by a set of use cases that describe ambitious grid applications that can be accomplished with advancements in these technologies,” the agency stated.
According to Recharge News, China produced 73% of the world’s lithium-ion batteries in early 2019, with the United States in second place at 12%. They explained, “Lithium-ion batteries--which account for around 90% of the world’s battery industry--require raw materials such as cobalt and nickel that are not produced at scale in the United States.”