LDES report on net-zero heat: long duration energy storage to accelerate energy system decarbonization

LDES net-zero heat report

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Right in the face of COP27, the Long Duration Energy Storage council publishes its newest report on net-zero heat with vast contribution from ENERGYNEST and many other council members.
Download the report here.

Key talking points:

  • Heat decarbonization will be critical to realizing net-zero as heat represents ~45% of energy-related emissions
  • Thermal energy storage (TES) already offers a cost-efficient decarbonization solution to most heat applications
  • TES provides a long duration energy storage (LDES) solution to electrifying and firming heat by enabling long duration heat storage supplied by (clean) electricity or waste heat
  • LDES costs are likely expected to drop significantly with 25-50% cost reductions for novel power LDES and 5-70% cost reductions for TES by 2040
  • LDES can secure up to 540 billion per year of system-level savings for a net-zero energy system through 2-8 TW of installed capacity by 2040, supported by USD 1.7-3.6 trillion cumulative investments
  • Business leaders, policymakers, and investors have an important role in helping unlock the TES potential, mainly by creating a supportive ecosystem for flexibility use cases such as TES
  • TES technologies are already commercially available and address a wide range of storage durations and temperatures

The report, “Net-Zero Heat: Long Duration Energy Storage to accelerate energy system decarbonization” was the result of a yearlong effort by LDES Council members with McKinsey & Company as knowledge partner. According to the 2022 LDES benchmark results, thermal energy storage can enable cost-efficient electrification and decarbonization of the most widely used heat applications (namely steam and hot air). The benchmark results also indicate that firming heat can be cost-efficient when the final demand is heat.

The report finds that TES can double the global LDES capacity potential and expand the overall installed capacity potential of LDES to 2 to 8 TW by 2040 (versus 1 to 3 TW without TES). This translates to a cumulative investment opportunity of USD 1.6 to 2.5 trillion. These findings establish the need for thermal storage to be part of an integrated energy system that includes electrical and molecular storage in order to further accelerate a decarbonized energy system.

This integrated energy system perspective builds on earlier LDES Council reports by highlighting the critical role that long duration energy storage technologies play and the increasing relevance given the global decarbonization momentum and ongoing energy crises.

More on the LDES council and its work can be found here.


About the LDES Council

The LDES Council is a global, executive-led non-profit membership organization, comprising technology providers, equipment providers, renewable energy companies, utilities, grid operators, investors, and end-consumers. It strives to accelerate decarbonization of the energy system at lowest cost to society by driving innovation, commercialization and deployment of long duration energy storage. The LDES Council provides fact-based guidance and information to governments, industry and broader society, drawing from the experience of its members which include leading energy companies, technology providers, investors and end-users.

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