The US Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a report to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that highlights urgent need for grid-scale energy storage in the future of the US electrical grid.
The report outlines the benefits and highlights the challenges for the future and how to address them. It identifies the four challenges of widespread adoption as: developing cost effective technologies; validating reliability and safety; implementing a reasonable regulatory environment; and gaining acceptance by industry. The report notes that with the increasing amount of renewable energy supplies being connected to the grid, the need for storage is imminent.
The Electricity Storage Association (ESA) praised the report in a statement saying: “It affirms that wide-scale deployment of storage technologies in the U.S. and around the world is critical to maintaining a resilient, cost-effective electric grid.”
Darrell Hayslip, Chairman of the ESA says: “The report certainly reinforces our view that storage is an essential component to a more resilient, reliable, and balanced energy grid. ESA believes that it is not a matter of whether storage will be deployed; it is a matter of how fast that occurs. Given the focus indicated in this report, DoE is poised to assist in those efforts.”
The four strategies the DoE has included in the report are:
- Cost-competitive energy storage technology can be achieved through research, resolving economic and performance barriers, and creating analytical tools for design, manufacturing, innovation and deployment.
- The reliability and safety of energy storage technologies can be validated through research and development, creation of standard testing protocols, independent testing against utility requirements, and documenting the performance of installed systems.
- Establishing an equitable regulatory environment is possible by conducting public-private evaluations of grid benefits, exploring technology-neutral mechanisms for monetising grid services, and developing industry and regulatory agency-accepted standards for siting, grid integration, procurement and performance evaluation.
- Industry acceptance can be achieved through field trials and demonstrations, as well as through the use of industry-accepted planning and operational tools to incorporate storage onto the grid.