A major report released by the Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council has revealed the extent by which renewable energy storage technologies could contribute to global industry reaching net zero targets by 2040.

LDES Council, a CEO-led organisation formed during COP26, produced the report with McKinsey & Company to detail the application of LDES technologies, the flexibility requirements demanded by high-renewables future power grids, and the necessary investment.

To form the report, the 24 founding Council members worked together to reach a conclusion that states 85-140 TWh (Terrawatt-hour) of long duration energy storage (>8 hours) can be deployed on a global scale to create a carbon net-zero power grid. 

The report also revealed that 1.5 to 2.3 Gt (Gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced on an annual basis could be mitigated using renewable sources. 

The possibility for the UK to become a net-zero power system by 2035 could be bolstered by large-scale investments, such as a $3bn invested in LDES technology companies in the last five years. 

This is set to increase to $50bn to support a global deployment of 25-35 GW/1TWh of capacity by 2025. 

The work undertaken in the report is based on advanced power systems modelling using more than 10,000 real datapoints supplied by its technology providers. This modelling attempted to identify the lowest cost way to transition to net-zero power systems. 

It was discovered that the 2040 goal of net-zero power grids will require a global deployment of 1.5-2.5 TW and 85 – 140 TWh of LDES, in addition to account for 10% of worldwide electricity consumption – four to seven times the total TWh global lithium-ion battery storage deployment today. An investment of $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion will also be required – five to eleven times the total investment in renewable power in 2020. 

Stating that LDES technologies reduces our exposure to the unpredictability of wind and solar power, Claudio Spadacini, CEO, Founder, Energy Dome, added, “While renewable energy generation is rapidly increasing it does not match the variations in demand such as peaks in the morning and evening of each day.” 

“LDES technologies can store electrical energy for hours, days and even weeks to fulfil energy supply needs in critical junctures for the grid, all whilst scaled and at a competitive cost in a time currently when electrical energy consumption is continually on the rise.” 

The report also outlines certain LDES technologies and their storage abilities when power supply exceeds demand, as well as technology cost and capex reductions. 

“We have seen lots of commitments at COP26 and high ambition levels, though how we achieve this is sometimes unclear. The LDES Council’s report highlights how we can make these commitments real through a wide set of new data, and the need for immediate action,” said Thomas Moller, Energy President, Alfa Laval.