Energy Storage

This map shows the buildout of energy storage compatible with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 in five year increments. Interactive features show both capacity (in gigawatts [GW]) and energy (gigawatt-hours [GWh]) further broken down into utility-scale lithium-ion, long-duration storage, and pumped hydro.

The growth of energy storage closely follows the growth of solar. We find that areas with high wind energy development tend to deploy more electrolysis to produce hydrogen from any overgeneration of electricity. The energy storage technology we see deployed most often with solar is lithium-ion with durations matching the expected period of solar overgeneration in the middle of the day (~8 hours). Pumped hydro storage represents existing facilities already constructed. There may be opportunities for new cost-effective pumped hydro, but opportunities are site-specific and difficult to represent in this national modeling exercise. Our results find that long duration storage is not deployed economically in significant quantities; instead, gas power plants using zero-carbon fuels provide the bulk of reliability services.