Thermal Batteries: Opportunities to Accelerate Decarbonization of Industrial Heat

Thermal batteries present the opportunity to reduce nearly all greenhouse gas emissions from industrial heat, a sizable portion of overall U.S. emissions, by drawing from increasingly abundant renewable electricity sources. Thermal batteries use simple components and storage materials to take clean electricity from grid and off-grid sources and convert it into continuous industrial heat, helping to balance the power grid in the process.

To better understand the potential benefits of and barriers to the use of this technology for decarbonization, the RTC created this report in partnership with The Brattle Group. The report finds that thermal batteries can be cost-competitive in much of the U.S. today, and that the opportunity will likely grow alongside the continued buildout of renewable electricity sources. Based on modeling as well as interviews with industrial energy buyers and thermal battery developers, the report offers a clear view of use cases where thermal batteries will be most cost-competitive for industrial companies and makes recommendations for policymakers and electricity market operators to further unlock the technology by addressing regulatory barriers.

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