Little need for energy storage beyond 6 hours of duration until 2040's on US grid?

Hi folks, I’ve been a lurker for a while, and this is my first post, and when I saw this tweet it immediately got me thinking about the openmod community here:

REL has released report looking at future energy storage needs for US electricity system. It finds little need for energy storage beyond 6 hours of duration until 2040’s when grid reaches 90%+ renewables. Similar AEMO’s ISP modelling for Australian east coast grid.

Source: Tristan Edis on Twitter

These figures seem much more optimistic than I remember having seen for this in Europe, but I’m basing what I know on threads of papers, or papers from a couple of years back - nothing from the last year.

Here’s the underlying report:

I know the costs of storage are coming down precipitously, and I’ve written about it for a magazine at the link below in the context of applying these ideas to the internet.

6 hours of duration seems incredibly low - anyone familiar with the report know how applicable this would be in Europe (particularly Germany, given the size of the economy and RE energy resources)?

Why I’m asking

It’s interesting anyway, but for what it’s worth, I’m specifically trying to figure out what a path to an entirely fossil-free, 24/7 non-fossil energy powered internet would look like[^1], as part of my work with the Green Web Foundation, and the numbers in that report are the most optimistic I’ve seen from a group like NREL.


[^1]: I know energy mostly goes into the grid, that you draw from, so it’s more obviously complicated than that. We outline our approach here for counting digital infrastructure as ‘green’ , and we’ve start trying to help explain how energy grids work to developers, as this post in a series shows. We’d obviously welcome feedback, and for any internet energy wonks we’re also recruiting an advisory board.

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