Evaluating Economic Feasibility of Liquid Air Energy Storage Systems in US and European Markets

TitleEvaluating Economic Feasibility of Liquid Air Energy Storage Systems in US and European Markets
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsCetegen SA, Gundersen T, Barton PI

Liquid air energy storage is a clean and scalable long-duration energy storage technology capable of delivering multiple gigawatt-hours of storage. The inherent locatability of this technology unlocks nearly universal siting opportunities for grid-scale storage, which were previously unavailable with traditional technologies such as pumped hydro energy storage and compressed air energy storage. While the technical viability of liquid air energy storage has been established, its economic viability has not yet been rigorously assessed across diverse electricity markets. In this work, a mixed-integer linear program was used to conduct a high-level economic analysis of this technology in US and European markets. By simultaneously optimizing the design and operation of liquid air energy storage systems to maximize their net present value, a yes/no indication of their economic viability can be obtained. Using this approach, the economic viability of this technology was established for the West load zone of Texas through identification of a system with an optimal net present value of $10.4 million and a levelized cost of storage of $119/MWh. Sensitivity analyses were also performed to elucidate how improved technical performance and economic incentives might affect the economic feasibility and, consequently, the adoption of this technology more broadly in the future.