The U.S. Department of Energy published publications outlining the development routes for improved nuclear reactors, clean hydrogen, and long-term storage.
According to DOE, the Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports are intended to assist business, investors, and stakeholders in making decisions regarding the cutting-edge technologies required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. They emphasise strategies for commercialization and potential answers to the problems facing the technologies.
According to DOE, over $260 billion will be needed to support the commercialization of the clean hydrogen, nuclear, and long-duration energy storage industries over the course of this decade.
According to the storage assessment, the U.S. grid may require between 225 GW and 460 GW of long-duration storage to maintain power markets for a net zero economy by 2060, amounting to $330 billion in capital expenditures. Long-duration storage, according to the DOE, is defined as materials that can deliver uninterrupted energy for 10 to 160 hours.
According to the paper, inter-day storage technology costs need to drop from $1,100/kW to $1,400/kW to $650/kW by 2030 and round trip efficiency (RTE) needs to increase from the 69% seen in best-in-class technologies in 2022 to roughly 75%. By 2030, DOE indicated, costs for multi-day technologies must fall from $1,900/kW to 2,500/kW and 45% RTE to $1,100/kW and 55%–60% RTE.
According to the report on advanced nuclear technology, the country’s nuclear capacity, which is currently at 100 GW, could triple by 2050.
Nuclear power is one of the few tested solutions at that scale, according to DOE’s power system decarbonization modelling, and the U.S. will need between 550 GW and 770 GW of additional emissions-free, firm capacity to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.