Supply Chain Opportunities for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

B. Shrager
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),
United States

Keywords: Supply Chain, Grid-Scale Energy Storage


In February 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14017, America’s Supply Chains, directing four executive agencies to evaluate the resilience and security of the nation’s critical supply chains and craft strategies for seven industrial bases that underpin America’s economic and national security. As part of the one-year response to EO 14017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the National Laboratories, conducted evaluations of the supply chains that encompass the Energy Sector Industrial Base (ESIB), with a particular focus on technologies required to decarbonize by 2050. DOE’s Office of Electricity (OE) thus has particular interest in evaluating the supply chain risk and resilience of critical products for the electrical grid. The domestic supply chain of the most prevalent electric grid storage technology (<10 hours duration), lithium-ion batteries, depends upon other countries, primarily China, for most of the raw and processed materials, subcomponents, and the batteries themselves. End-of-life (EOL) recycling and reuse processing is also dominated by other countries, and most used batteries collected in the United States today are exported. In order to meet aggressive decarbonization targets through the deployment of magnitudes more grid storage, addressing key vulnerabilities and opportunities in the supply chain for storage technologies is required. This talk will discuss several storage technologies’ supply chains, from the extraction of raw materials to the production of batteries and other storage systems, and an analysis of the vulnerabilities of each supply chain. To achieve a decarbonized future, both (1) addressing issues in the supply chains of current technologies, and (2) developing and demonstrating innovative, long-duration technologies are needed.