There is no doubt energy storage plays a significant role not only in managing our country’s electricity supply but also in our transition to clean, renewable energy. The primary reasons for this are:
- The amount of electricity that can be generated from non-renewable sources remains the same over a period of time, while the demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day.
- Because most renewable energy technologies (including wind and solar) have variable outputs, storage technologies help stabilize and maintain the electricity supply from these sources and ensure that the supply generated matches the demand. That is, energy storage helps balance fluctuations in supply and demand by storing electricity during periods of high production and low demand and then releasing it to the electric power grid during periods of lower production and higher demand.
ESA Report: How to Achieve 35 GW of Storage by 2025
In recent years, the important role of energy storage in permitting the transition of electricity generation from fossil to renewable sources has come into great focus. The Energy Storage Association (ESA) recently published a report outlining energy storage’s critical part in America’s transition to clean, renewable energy.
In the 2025 Vision report, the ESA outlined an actionable pathway to achieve 35 GW of storage by 2025, with a series of policy levers to meet that goal. Here are the ESA’s recommendations for legislators, regulators, and utility companies.
- Conduct energy storage impact studies – Currently, only 10 states have completed these studies, however, more are expected to follow suit.
- Enact deployment targets – 7 states have already enacted combined deployment targets of roughly 11 GW of new storage by 2035.
- Establish incentive programs – In 6 states, more than $1 billion in incentives specifically for energy storage have been made available, while several additional states will soon launch storage incentives.
- Set clean energy standards – A total of 8 states have established by law 100% clean energy futures, which all heavily rely on energy storage. Massachusetts in particular established a Clean Peak Standard that serves as an example of market-based clean energy programs that incorporate storage.
- Identify clear rules for storage – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 841 has created a foundation for market participation of storage at varying levels of interconnection.
- Utilize updated modeling in proceedings – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) set a resolution mandating for system planning that reflects “the full spectrum of services that energy storage and flexible resources are capable of providing.” 7 states now have specific laws or regulations on including storage in integrated resource planning.
- Streamline interconnection standards – 6 states have updated their interconnection rules to specifically improve the treatment of storage, with several other states in progress.
- Expand integrated resource planning (IRP) to include storage – More than 80% of 2018-2019 utility IRPs studied storage in their models, and over 20 GW of storage have been economically selected in IRPs out to 2040.
- Explore new ownership and business models – Utilities and policymakers are exploring ways to drive innovative business models throughout the entire country. Unique “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) storage programs have been set up in 3 states, with more considering them. Maryland is implementing a program to test innovative ownership and operation business models, and California, New York, and Massachusetts have updated regulations to enable multiple-use distributed storage
All industry estimates of energy storage deployments indicate that there will be tremendous growth in the next decade. According to the ESA, a supportive policy framework and a lively green energy economy would drive energy storage growth and set a sure path to achieving a 100 GW storage goal by 2030.
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