Greening the Islands Foundation

  Highlights

Two critical studies highlight growing demand and significant economic benefits of deploying LDES, a key solution for islands.

The year 2023 offered exciting updates, analyses, and case studies for LDES’ (long duration energy storage) role in the renewable energy marketplace. While countries faced some of their highest temperatures on record, developing economies continue to pave the way towards more ambitious climate goals. LDES technologies remain an optimal and low-cost solution for industrial decarbonization.

 

A prominent study was released in November, ‘Driving to Net Zero Industry Through Long Duration Energy Storage’. Global management consulting firm Roland Berger commissioned the study to analyze the growing use of LDES in the marketplace.

 

Industrial emissions account for roughly a quarter of annual global emissions. Total industrial greenhouse gas emissions were around 12 billion tons CO2e in 2016. Without further interventions, that figure would almost double by 2050. The main takeaway is that LDES technologies offer economic and sustainable incentives paired with renewables that could reduce global industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 65%.

 

Most industrial processes require heat at specific levels. Demand for industrial heat is expected to grow by 34% between 2019 and 2040, with low and medium-temperature heat being the fastest-growing segments. LDES uses specialized technologies to store and discharge electric and thermal energy over 8 to 100 hours or more.

 

The most incentivizing application for LDES technologies is to support firms’ renewable electricity for off-grid projects. A key report by the International Solar Association (ISA) highlighted LDES’ role in expanding solar to ensure 24/7 reliable energy.

 

The case study announced at COP28 studied isolated island utilities within the United States, offering a unique challenge for viability in areas with limited interconnectivity. Detailed modeling of the island system indicated that the lowest cost pathway to 100 percent fulfillment of energy demand by renewable energy employed a combination of Li-ion and LDES. This configuration’s levelized energy cost is 15 percent lower than a pure Li-ion battery system, and 5 percent lower than a pure LDES system.

 

All the research points to LDES becoming a USD 3.6 trillion industry with an installed capacity potential of 4-6TW by 2030. A cost-optimized path to net zero could result in USD 1.7- 36 trillion of deployed LDES capacity and USD 540 billion in system savings per year by 2040.

 

The data in these studies help reflect the urgency that governments worldwide should embrace policies that increase industrial users’ propensity to deploy LDES technologies. 2024 remains a pivotal year of interest, as 80 countries have elections that can influence the trajectory of sustainable technology.

 

Governments continue to set ambitious climate goals to curtail the rising threat of emissions. This year, the European Union announced plans to cut greenhouse gasses by 90% before 2040. These ambitious goals help highlight the importance of pursuing the decarbonisation of the energy system and returning value to customers in a cost-effective way.

Long Duration Energy Storage Council

Long Duration Energy Storage Council

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