A Caltech Library Service

Long-Duration Energy Storage in Reliable Wind and Solar Electricity Systems


Dowling, Jacqueline Anne (2023) Long-Duration Energy Storage in Reliable Wind and Solar Electricity Systems. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/gyzn-4n98.


Several U.S. states mandate zero-carbon electricity systems based primarily on renewable technologies, such as wind and solar. Reliable and affordable electricity systems based on these variable resources may depend on the ability to store large quantities of low-cost energy over long timescales. This thesis combines techno-economic analysis with materials chemistry to advance long-duration energy storage in reliable wind and solar electricity systems. Our macro-energy model incorporated multi-decadal weather datasets and revealed unique long-duration energy storage roles, such as seasonal and multi-year storage, that increase the affordability of wind- and solar-based electricity, informing technology investments and policy. We find that low-cost energy storage, such as underground hydrogen, is valuable even if the charge/discharge cost is expensive. In U.S. wind and solar systems, hydrogen energy storage and conversion capital cost improvements are more valuable than efficiency improvements. Low-cost earth-abundant catalysts may be acceptable replacements for precious metal catalysts in proton exchange membrane electrolyzers despite lower efficiency for storage applications in wind and solar systems. We synthesized earth-abundant manganese antimony oxide catalysts via a new chemical vapor deposition route and assessed their long-term electrochemical durability for oxygen evolution. Multi-day tests confirmed the activity-stability tradeoff across the Mn:Sb composition space.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:long-duration energy storage; macro-energy systems; wind and solar electricity; hydrogen; catalysis; electrochemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Minor Option:Environmental Science and Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
Thesis Committee:
  • Gray, Harry B. (chair)
  • Hunt, Melany L.
  • Kornfield, Julia A.
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
Defense Date:16 May 2023
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0022087
Gift from Gates Ventures LLC to the Carnegie Institution for ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Southern California Gas CompanyFellowship (Low Carbon Energy Science and Policy)
Resnick Sustainability InstituteFellowship (Zeller-Resnick)
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0004993
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06042023-203620894
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 1 adapted for Chapter 2 research article - contributed work research article - contributed work research article - contributed work research article - contributed work research article - contributed work
Dowling, Jacqueline Anne0000-0001-5642-8960
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16082
Deposited By: Jacqueline Dowling
Deposited On:06 Jun 2023 15:03
Last Modified:13 Jun 2023 18:41

Thesis Files

[img] PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page