With the Biden Administration’s proposed investment of $2 trillion to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by FY2050, what role do energy storage companies play in reaching these goals? Quite simply, energy storage is central to America’s modern energy ecosystem. To reach a net-zero emissions economy, America requires resilient, efficient, and affordable grids.
Even when he was a presidential candidate, Joe Biden emphasized the role of energy storage in his platform. His “Build Back Better” plan called for “historic procurement and investments” in storage to realize a goal of 100% clean energy by 2035 for grid operations across the country.
With the Biden administration appointment of Kelly Speakes-Backman, who previously served as CEO of the national Energy Storage Association (ESA), to the US Department of Energy’s senior leadership team, the administration clearly recognizes the importance of energy storage as essential infrastructure for a clean energy future.
President Biden has wasted no time undoing the Trump administration’s efforts to support fossil fuels and deny the existence of a climate crisis. On his first day in the White House, Biden took a series of executive actions including rejoining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, revoking a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline, and placing a hold on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic.
“The era of supporting fossil fuels, even as a temporary bridge to a clean future, is over,” said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group. “The United States has shifted from all-of-the-above to accelerated decarbonization.”
“Energy storage has been tapped as a critical enabler, given its ability to level the variability of electricity production, which in turn can increase grid reliability and stability,” says Accenture in its Path to Net Zero report. In collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory’s (RAEL), Accenture “conducted a study to understand how the transition is unfolding in the Western U.S. region and, more specifically, the role of energy storage in providing flexibility to the grid.”
“In terms of energy storage to date, batteries have dominated the market,” reports Accenture. “They offer unmatched flexibility to address the additional variability inherent in renewables, helping maintain grid stability. Their capability of acting as both a generation resource and point of energy demand, and the speed at which they can respond to operational signals, allows them to provide a wide range of services including peak load shaving, load shifting, demand response, capacity reserve/resource adequacy and ancillary services.”
Energy storage allows electricity to be saved for a later, where and when it is most needed, which creates efficiencies and capabilities for the electric grid — including the ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy storage can integrate solar, wind and distributed energy resources and improve grid efficiency while offsetting the need for power plants that spew pollution.
Globally, energy storage is projected to witness significant growth at a healthy 20.18% CAGR over the forecast period (2019-2026), reports Market Research Future.
The burgeoning demand for energy storage, versus conventional sources including oil, coal and petroleum, sees no diminishment in sight. As our world continues to fight climate change, the energy storage sector’s technology costs continue to fall with rising demand across nearly all industries.