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ESA chief tasked with championing energy storage in new Biden-Harris administration

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 09:00 -- Paul Crompton

The head of the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) has been given a key role in helping the Biden-Harris Administration push the US’ clean energy future mandate.

The ESA’s former CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman will be the principal deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, the newly inaugurated administration announced on 21 January.

The ESA board has appointed its vice president of policy Jason Burwen to serve as interim CEO, effective immediately, to ensure the uninterrupted advancements for the energy storage industry.

Burwen has led ESA’s policy work since 2015, and previously served in leadership roles at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the American Energy Innovation Council.

John D. Hewa, ESA chairman of the board, said in an open letter: “Our industry— and ESA— have undergone tremendous growth and tremendous change in the last few years. 

“Our industry is at an inflection point. We know that energy storage is essential to the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals to enable a clean, resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable grid for all. We also know that there is much work to be done to ensure that we can deliver on the opportunity energy storage presents.

“ESA looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and the 117th Congress to promote policies that can help us realise the full potential of energy storage for our country. I have full confidence that under the leadership of Jason, the dedicated and incredibly talented team at ESA will continue to carry out its mission ensuring the voice of energy storage is heard in Washington, and by regulators and state lawmakers across the country.”

The BEST Act, shaped by ESA, was passed at the end of last year, authorising $1 billion for federal innovation investments in energy storage technology. 

The ESA has 31 Leadership Circle companies, more than 210 members strong, and a Storage PAC to fund storage-related education in Washington, DC. 

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