Energy Transition Financial Services

Long-duration energy storage | The hurdles ahead

byEvan MacDonald

Energy storage is gaining traction as an essential component for maintaining load-generation balance in the modern electricity market. Viewed as a promising solution to a widespread challenge, long-duration energy storage (LDES) may be the key to counteracting the pitfalls of variable renewable power generation, especially as we look toward the industry’s aspiration of a zero-emission world. However, these technologies are enduring their own challenges to mass adoption compared to some of the more traditional lithium-ion storage technologies. These include a lack of a revenue-generating framework to drive capital deployment, an undefined long-duration reserve framework forcing competition with short-duration project markets and a lack of commercial-scale development on which to lean to prove successful implementation.

If dependent on a pure energy arbitrage business model, the major needle movers on a project’s balance sheet become capital cost, average spread per cycle and the yearly cycle frequency. Assuming a $72,000/MWh capital cost for a 10 MW/1,000 MWh iron-air project, Enverus Intelligence® | Research (EIR) can derive the required breakeven arbitrage spread required for a 10% return on equity (at various cycle counts per year) and the maximum spread achievable in each market over the past five years. Figure 1 reveals that even with low capital costs, the energy arbitrage model fails to produce a financially promising project across all ISOs, irrespective of cycle count. Thus, EIR looks to a significant widening of seasonal location market pricing spreads or the addition of alternate revenue streams to justify confident investment in these 100+ hour LDES projects.

Click here to read more about how concrete could be used to store energy.

Highlights from Energy Transition Research

  1. Green hydrogen – Pathways to paradise – This report explores the key drivers behind green hydrogen production costs and demonstrates how inputs impact project returns when paired with U.S. incentives.
  2. CCUS project tracker – Make it (CO2) go away – The Energy Transition Research team illustrates the use cases of project trackers in following CCUS activity around the world.
  3. Advancing Canada’s green future – Emissions reductions, CCUS and DLE – This slide deck explores the three frontiers particularly relevant to Canada’s energy transition: the current state of GHG emissions, CCUS and direct lithium extraction.

Energy is changing. Connect weekly with the ideas that are leading the way.

About Enverus Intelligence®| Research
Enverus Intelligence® | Research, Inc. (EIR) is a subsidiary of Enverus that publishes energy-sector research focused on the oil, natural gas, power and renewable industries. EIR publishes reports including asset and company valuations, resource assessments, technical evaluations, and macro-economic forecasts and helps make intelligent connections for energy industry participants, service companies, and capital providers worldwide. EIR is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a foreign investment adviser.  Click here to learn more.

Picture of Evan MacDonald

Evan MacDonald

Evan MacDonald is a senior geology associate at Enverus, working on the Subsurface Innovation Energy Transition team. His major focus is split between developing and maintaining components of the Enverus Energy Transition geology product and producing topical research for institutional and corporate clients with his team members. Evan graduated from University of Alberta with a specialized degree in Geophysics in 2013, and returned shortly after to complete an Integrated Petroleum Geosciences masters degree in 2016 at the same institution.

Subscribe to the Enverus Blog

A weekly update on the latest “no-fluff” insight and analysis of the energy industry.

Related Content

Trading and Risk
ByChris Griggs

In the fast-paced world of energy commodity trading, staying ahead demands more than just raw data. Insightful, actionable intelligence allows you to forecast, plan and respond to global market shifts confidently.

Energy Transition
ByAshmal Dawoodani

This ETT covers EIRs recent report reviewing advanced nuclear technologies.

Trading and Risk
ByAl Salazar

Al Salazar of Enverus Intelligence® Research predicts rising crude oil and natural gas prices, driven by market dynamics, OPEC discipline, and seasonal demand. Learn more about the bullish outlook for Brent crude and Henry Hub natural gas prices.

Oilfield Services Operators
ByJose Neto

In the pursuit of capital efficiency, operators strive to continually improve drilling and completion performance, especially in the challenging landscapes of Canada's unconventional plays.

Energy Transition
BySmayan Sharma

The Inflation Reduction Act spurred a surge of project announcements and developments on the molecules side of the energy transition, creating numerous opportunities for capital deployment.

Enverus Blog - 6 reasons to attend Enverus’ 2023 EVOLVE Conference
Analyst Takes
ByAndrew Dittmar

In a significant move reshaping the U.S. shale landscape, ConocoPhillips has agreed to purchase Marathon Oil for $22.5 billion, marking a shift towards multi-basin operations and promising a robust future for shareholders with enhanced capital returns and increased operational scale.

ByMac Graham

The oil and gas industry is no stranger to uncertainty. Producers contend with a myriad of challenges – everything from supply chain uncertainty, geopolitical shocks, ROI demands from investors and an unpredictable policy environment – so it’s no wonder a...

Energy Transition
ByKevin Kang

The anticipated end of a two-year reprieve on solar panel tariffs from China coincided with unexpected tariffs on other energy transition-related sectors.

ByBryn Davies

Our twelve-member team embarked on the memorable Vltava Relay challenge, covering 360km in 35 hours, with 300 other competing teams.

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Sign up for our Blog

Register Today

Sign Up

Power Your Insights

Connect with an Expert

Access Product Tour

Speak to an Expert