#California has big clean energy ambitions, and is looking for better energy storage to realize them RSS Feed

California has big clean energy ambitions, and is looking for better energy storage to realize them

Lithium-ion batteries have dominated the storage space for the last decade, largely due to declining costs caused by global build-out of storage manufacturing capacity for electric vehicle markets, according to Burwen. The technology is also familiar to the financial sector and investors.

But California’s ambitious clean energy goals cannot be met only with current storage technologies, according to the CEC, due to inadequate energy density, longevity and pricing for them to be feasible at a larger scale across the state. As California increases its share of renewables on the grid, the state will need more cost-effective and high performing storage systems, which would require branching out to emerging technologies, the agency said in its solicitation.

“The timing is right for supporting emerging technologies that can out-perform existing energy storage technologies because a substantial amount of the energy storage in California was installed in the last few years and will need to be upgraded or replaced in the next [seven to] 15 years,” the CEC said.

The CEC is offering funding to storage projects that are still in the research and development stage. The first group of non-lithium ion projects could include technologies like flow batteries, flywheels, thermal storage and compressed air systems — developers will have to demonstrate how their facilities improve energy density, and promote resiliency, reliability and affordability vis-a-vis current technologies. In particular, the CEC is looking for storage technologies that provide longer durations, have a longer life cycle, and are operationally safer than lithium-ion batteries, according to Burwen.

“Duration, I think, is probably the primary characteristic that motivates the CEC’s solicitation and for that matter, a lot of interest in next generation storage technology,” he said.

Read full article at Utility Dive