Last April Tesla Motors unveiled its Powerwall and Powerpack lithium ion batteries for homes and utility-scale applications, which could facilitate an increased role for wind and solar energy resources. Both wind and solar have so far been limited by a need for storage options to address the intermittent nature of their generation.
As well synthesized by Enerkol, a US based regulatory data cloud software company, in its “New Storage Technologies Open Doors for Wind and Solar”, recent studies from GTM Research and ESA project the United States deploy 220 MW of energy storage in 2015, more than three times the 2014 level. By 2019, energy storage is projected to represent a 861 MW annual market valued at $1.5B, with behind-the-meter storage accounting for 45 percent of overall storage market.
• State legislation and regulations are key drivers in the energy storage market.
• California, New York, Hawaii, and Texas have all introduced policy initiatives designed to facilitate revenue opportunities and reduced costs of storage integration and interconnection. These initiatives have opened opportunities for energy storage companies.
• While the focus of distributed energy resources has primarily occurred through state-level policy initiatives, federal legislation and regulations could re-define the market structures that impact energy storage.
• States would have to consider rates for distributed energy resources in an unbundled manner, enhancing consumers’ rights to connect distributed resources to the grid, and ensuring proper compensation for grid owners and operators.
• The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) released in April recognizes energy storage as a key functionality to provide grid flexibility, and it signals a continued focus from the Obama Administration on creating a strategy for flexible storage solutions.