What is long-duration energy storage?

In a new Energy Storage Insights series, Azelio breaks down everything you need to know about storage technologies. In part one, we tackle the big question: what is long-duration energy storage?
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Most of us understand the importance of stored energy as a principle. Whether we’re charging our mobile phones, driving our electric vehicles, or replacing the batteries in our TV remote control, storing and releasing energy helps power our daily lives.
Where does the stored energy come from, and how does that impact our use of it? These are interesting questions in today’s world, where not everyone has direct access to reliable electrical grid power. Take South Africa as a prime example. An ongoing electricity crisis is restricting businesses and end-users in their everyday activities. But this is a problem all over the globe. People living in areas under served by the grid need affordable energy that doesn’t involve burning a polluting fossil fuel.
Harnessing the power of nature
Enter long-duration energy storage, or LDES, which is an important technology for all of us. LDES does exactly what it sounds like. It stores energy for an extended period. When the energy we’re storing comes from renewable sources that we normally can’t rely on to give us power 24/7, LDES provides an exciting possibility! Renewable energy can be controlled and harnessed in a sustainable and cost competitive way. When the wind stops blowing or the sun disappears, energy is dispatched from the storage as clean power, in the form of heat, electricity, or both.
No more interruptions
Making wind and solar available around-the-clock is a game changer for people and industries. LDES can supply clean energy on demand, in communities that have grown used to blackouts and interruptions. Imagine a rural dairy farming operation that needs reliable power for refrigeration so that it’s produce isn’t wasted. Clean power day and night leads to reduced costs, increased food security, and a sustainable business.
Long-duration energy storage works with solar and wind, and maximises our access to renewable energy.
Long-duration energy storage works with solar and wind, and maximises our access to renewable energy.

How long is long-duration?
Here’s a popular question when talking about LDES: what length of time can long-duration technologies store energy for? Different definitions of long-duration exist, but here’s a useful starting point.
  • SHORT-DURATION: Solutions like typical battery systems mainly provide power for quick start-up between 4-6 hours.
  • LONG-DURATION: These systems typically serve the growing need for 8-18 hour flexibility.
  • BEYOND: Some solutions store energy for weeks or even on a seasonal basis.
Next time in Energy Storage Insights
In part two of our series we dive deeper into the global drivers for LDES. Why do we need it in our society?
Find more insights on energy storage on our website.
  • Mc Kaka

    65 w

    Such insights ✌️

    • Peter Kamau

      67 w

      Quite enlightening.Thanks for sharing

      • Gea Vox

        71 w

        Electrolytic Hydrogen, now that seawater electrolysis is becoming technically feasible and technology promises safe, sustainable H2 storage...

        • Sarah Chabane

          71 w

          Super interesting! Thank you for sharing, I am learning a lot about long duration storage and passing the knowledge around 🤓

          • Jengaj John

            71 w

            Storing energy so it can be used later, when and where it is most needed, is key for an increased renewable energy production and for energy security.

            • Tabitha Kimani

              71 w

              Azelio, you are doing an amazing job to influence seamless clean energy transition.

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