Article originally on ClearPath
Bipartisan support for energy storage innovation is strong and growing. On July 14, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of “Long Duration Storage Shot,” part of DOE’s new “Energy Earthshots Initiative” to accelerate breakthrough energy technologies. Storage Shot builds on years of bipartisan initiatives on energy storage, including the Trump Administration’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC), launched in January 2020, the BEST Act (Better Energy Storage Technology), enacted last December as part of the Energy Act of 2020, and a multi-year effort by Republican and Democratic appropriators in both the House and Senate.
To understand DOE’s latest announcement, it’s worth reviewing how we got here. In May 2019, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) authored the BEST Act to accelerate innovative energy storage technologies. Shortly after that, a companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, by Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Sean Casten (D-IL), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). Specifically, the BEST Act authorized energy storage research and development (R&D) programs at DOE and, crucially, called for DOE to invest in at least five energy storage demonstration projects by 2023. The BEST Act received bipartisan, bicameral support, with 23 co-sponsors in the Senate and 102 co-sponsors in the House.
While Congress was working to bolster DOE’s energy storage authorities, DOE was developing a strategic plan to more effectively implement its existing activities. In January 2020, then-Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive strategy to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.
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