BP, Breakthrough Energy Ventures in Long Duration Energy Storage Council, launching at COP26

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Iron-air battery start-up Form Energy, which claims its technology can achieve cost-effective energy storage with up to 150 hours duration, is one of the council’s founder members. Image: Form Energy.

A new CEO-led organisation representing a broad range of long-duration energy storage technologies and their role in achieving global energy system decarbonisation has launched today. 

The formation of the Long Duration Energy Storage Council (LDES Council) is being announced at COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, with 25 founder members including energy tech, end-user and investor organisations.

The most high profile of those perhaps are oil & gas company BP and Bill Gates’ impact investment group Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which has invested in numerous long-duration storage tech companies, including several of the council’s members. 

There are long-duration energy storage companies across mechanical, electrochemical, chemical and thermal technology types in the organisation (see list below), many of which have been covered on Energy-Storage.news. 

There are also major equipment manufacturers like Alfal Laval, Baker Hughes and Siemens Energy, renewable energy developer Greenko, industrial end-user customers NEOM and Rio Tinto and utility company New York Power Authority (NYPA) in its membership. 

The council said its mission is to “replace the use of fossil fuels in meeting energy imbalances with zero-carbon alternatives”. 

It aims to enable the deployment of between 85TWh and 140TWh of long-duration energy storage worldwide by 2040, which in turn would allow renewable energy to displace fossil fuels to the extent of reducing power sector emissions by 10 – 15% and an elimination of up to 2.3Gt of CO2 annually. 

An investment of between US$1.5 trillion and US$3 trillion could be required to achieve this, with as much as 1TWh of capacity — representing more than US$50 billion investment — needed to be deployed by 2025 to set the world on-track to reach net zero. 

LDES Council noted that fossil fuel energy, largely natural gas, is being used to cover the shortfalls in supply of electricity that result from the variable nature of wind and solar power generation. While lithium-ion is an effective and increasingly popular solution to this problem, the council said that the advanced battery technology becomes “too expensive for long storage durations beyond eight hours”. 

The targeted terawatt-hour scale long-duration installed base would be between about four and seven times the amount of lithium-ion battery storage installed today, and the investment required about five to 11 times the amount of money invested in renewable energy worldwide in 2020.  

The organisation will publish the first edition of an annual report outlining the need for long-duration energy storage in the drive to net zero emissions on 23 November. Among its planned activities going forward will be providing guidance and information for governments, grid operators and other stakeholders that it claimed will be fact-based. 

Long-duration energy storage technology companies announced as founder members of the council are listed here. Click company name for Energy-Storage.news’ most recent article on each, where applicable:

Company nameTechnology type
Energy DomeMechanical
Highview PowerMechanical
Quidnet EnergyMechanical
AmbriElectrochemical
CellCubeElectrochemical
EnlightenElectrochemical
Eos Energy StorageElectrochemical
ESS IncElectrochemical
e-ZincElectrochemical
Form EnergyElectrochemical
RedflowElectrochemical
Ceres PowerChemical
AzelioThermal
Echogen PowerThermal
Malta IncThermal
Stiesdal Thermal

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