Why The Future For Energy Storage Just Got Brighter
The energy storage market is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting spaces in all of renewables. Unlike solar, wind, coal, and natural gas power which are all substitute forms of generation, there really is no other mechanism to perform the function of energy storage outside of batteries. There have been various suggestions made about the size and structure of batteries to be used in grid scale storage, but there seems to be little doubt about the need for the storage itself.
Two major developments in the energy storage space highlight its growing viability in the markets. First, even that the most dysfunctional of American institutions, the Congress, is getting interested in energy storage.
Recently, a bipartisan group of legislators announced they are forming the Congressional Battery Storage Caucus to help support the industry and persuade colleagues of the importance of passing legislation to aid the emerging market. “Battery storage technology paired with renewables such as wind and solar has the power to transform the energy landscape,” said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) at the official Caucus announcement.
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The goal of the Caucus is to “promote some good science [and] encourage the continued investment in research” according to Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). The most likely results from the Caucus are potential for special tax subsidies for the battery storage industry and potentially Federal dollars earmarked for research into the science underlying storage batteries.
There are massive opportunities to improve fundaments of this science in particular, since much of the industry is still in nascent stages which makes effecting change in the standard operating practice of the industry easier.
Adding to the viability of the Caucus, other members joining the Caucus include Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-OH) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Representatives from Johnson Controls (JCI) and AES (AES) were at the Caucus announcement suggesting that both firms expect to see some benefits from the new organization and more broadly, view grid scale energy storage as an important driver for their businesses in the future.