Power transmission lines stand against a sky of gathering storm clouds in Lansing, Michigan, on August 21, 2003. Source: AP/Al Goldis
Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–December 7, 2015. Energy storage technology has become an integral part of our personal, electrified lives. However, throughout most of the 20th century, technological limitations and high costs have limited adoption of energy storage projects on a large, utility, and commercial scale. That trend has shifted over the past decade, with new investment in research and development of large-scale energy storage systems and growing reliance on renewable resources that benefit most from storing energy when it is created in order to deploy when it is not.
A new report released by the Center for American Progress today looks at how the technological and policy innovations of the past few years are causing energy storage to play an increasing role in U.S. electricity markets and offers important questions that policymakers should consider to better understand the role of energy storage.
“In order to transition to a clean energy economy, we will need to find effective, affordable ways to store low-carbon energy, rather than relying on polluting energy sources,” said Ben Bovarnick, CAP Research Assistant and author of the report. “Energy storage technology helps renewable energy generators provide energy when it is most useful and improve electricity operations. Energy storage will play an integral part in modernizing the nation’s electric infrastructure while helping break our addiction to fossil fuels—making our electricity cleaner, more reliable, and cost efficient.”
Policymakers at the state and federal levels have begun to consider energy storage as a critical part of any large-scale energy system. States such as California have set mandates for energy storage among their utilities, and New York is reforming its regulatory environment and incentives to finance energy storage projects. Business leaders are also beginning to see the benefit to building large-scale energy storage systems. Tesla recently announced that the lithium-ion battery technology it engineered for the electric car industry will translate to residential and utility-scale batteries at significantly lower cost than predicted. It is projected that the cost of such energy storage technology will drop 40 percent to 60 percent below the current price point within the next five years.
Click here to read the report.