On January 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of its Energy Storage Grand Challenge (the Grand Challenge). A comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies, the Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request. U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette states that the Grand Challenge will address the creation and sustainability of U.S. global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, with a secure and independent manufacturing supply chain. Through a series of research and development (R&D) funding opportunities, prizes, partnerships, and other programs, the Grand Challenge aims to achieve the following goals by 2030:
- Technology Development -- through the establishment of a comprehensive R&D portfolio;
- Technology Transfer -- through the acceleration of the technology pipeline from research to private-sector adoption;
- Policy and Valuation -- through the development of best models, data, and analysis to inform effective value propositions and use cases for storage technologies;
- Manufacturing and Supply Chain -- through design of new technologies that will strengthen U.S. manufacturing, recyclability, and independence from foreign sources; and
- Workforce -- through training the next generation of American workers to meet 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain needs.
As its first step in the Grand Challenge, DOE plans on releasing requests for information (RFI) on the key questions and issues the challenge seeks to address in the near future. Also in the coming weeks, DOE intends to host a series of workshops with key stakeholders to share information about various storage technologies, barriers to their deployment, and overcoming these barriers to bring technologies to market.