Long Duration Energy Storage promises to transform manufacturing processes

Nicola Brittain

Long Duration Energy Storage systems promise to transform the green credentials of manufacturing processes.

Although the lack of rigorous commitment at the 2023 COP28 Summit disappointed many climate activists, there was at least one positive outcome; all member states agreed that they needed to move away from fossil fuels, and the process industry (and other sectors) are following suit.

One way process engineers are doing this is by looking at long duration energy storage systems (LDES) for their storage needs. LDES are defined by the US government as systems that can store energy for more than 10 hours and are widely touted as a way to resolve the problem of intermittent storage of renewable energy.

A report commissioned by The Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council and produced by consulting firm Roland Berger stated that industrial emissions currently account for around 25% of annual global emissions but that the use of LDES could reduce this by 65%. Similarly, a reliable baseload electric supply will be more likely to future proof a manufacturer’s business leading to improved security and financial stability while navigating a changing business climate.

Current LDES technologies can be divided into electrochemical energy storage, thermal energy storage, and chemical energy storage.  These systems often recycle existing motors, pumps or other equipment that has been used in other industries.


This is a solution that uses lithium-ion batteries with flow batteries as a subcategory. They operate by incorporating liquid electrolyte to function as a source of direct current electricity that runs through an inverter for conversion to alternating current power. Flow battery performance does not degrade, meaning there are fewer limitations on use cases. which exhibit greater performance degradation if they are cycled multiple times per day or used for different applications, the only current commercial flow batteries are based on vanadium and zinc.

Mechanical and geochemical

Mechanical LDES stores potential or kinetic energy in systems for release later as electricity; and chemical solutions store energy through the creation of atomic bonds, released later as electricity.

Thermal storage

Thermal storage uses excess power to charge a thermal battery made of molten salt. With around half of industrial emissions driven by heat requirements for production processes, this kind of LDES solution meets requirements that cannot be addressed by electricity alone. With demand for industrial heat expected to grow by 34% between 2019 and 2040, according to the report, with low and medium temperature heat the fastest growing segments, there is likely to be increasing demand for thermal storage solutions.

The report also explores three industrial situations likely to benefit from LDES storage, these are off grid, easy to electrify heat, and hard to electrify heat.

Click here to read the report.


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