Since the US election, naysayers have been envisaging Donald Trump’s negative impact on the energy storage industry— but the Energy Storage Association (ESA) believes there’s nothing to worry about.
Matt Roberts, executive director at Washington-based ESA, believes energy storage is invaluable to any administration, whether it opts for 100% renewable or 100% fossil fuels to generate energy.
Roberts told BBB that regardless of the focal point of an administration’s policy, be it adding renewables or bolstering grid security, the value of energy storage would remain.
He said: “An administration that focuses on renewables will accelerate storage for integration, where as one focused on grid security and infrastructure will drive storage deployments as foundational grid assets.
“The value of storing energy on the grid is intrinsic – whether you run the system 100% on renewables, or 100% fossil fuel, energy storage has an important role to play in reducing system costs, increasing reliability, and enhancing overall performance.”
Energy commentators have leveled criticism at the president-elect about the advisors he surrounds himself with, ranging from climate-change deniers to oil billionaires.
Trump’s critics say this suggests a move from Barrack Obama’s progressive renewables policy to one focused on fossil fuels.
Again, Roberts’ outlook is reassuring. He said energy storage is already used ‘alongside’ fossil fuel – and actually, primarily so because storage works with, and creates, more value for all types of generation on the grid. Adding: “Most projects are installed independent of renewables today.”
He cites the General Electric and Southern California Edison battery storage and gas turbine project as proof. The project, which is set to come on-line next year, combines a 10MW ESS and a LM6000 aerodrive gas turbine.
Roberts says this type of project improves efficiency and operations, and increases revenues for those facilities, just like it does for solar and wind.
He adds: “The benefits of energy storage extend well beyond mitigating climate change.”
This topic will most likely be discussed at ESA’s Annual Conference April 18-20 and at its Washington DC Policy Forum on February 15. More info here: www.energystorage-events.org