Energy Storage Has Benefits for Clean Energy and Modernizing Our Electric Grid
The U.S. Energy Storage Association is urging Congress to make stand-alone energy storage eligible for federal Investment Tax Credits (ITCs). The ESA is calling for Congress to pass a 30 percent ITC for energy storage before the end of this year.
CRES Forum has previously described energy storage technology as one of the five ways Congress can modernize the nation’s electric grid. Energy storage is critical in our national transition to clean energy for one simple reason: it decouples generation and use.
With the right storage systems in place, solar facilities can power homes on cloudy days, and businesses can depend on wind farms when the wind isn’t blowing. By storing the generated energy for later use, renewables can better compete with conventional energy sources—and the ITC would help to level the playing field for energy storage technologies.
In the United States, our energy needs have become so complex that the energy sector employs predictive modeling to meet the ever-changing demands of our national grid. Planning out what energy needs to go where is a daunting task, but advanced energy storage would allow power companies to better manage energy transmission to stop and start on a dime, making the entire grid more flexible.
Furthermore, storing energy sustainably strengthens national security. Electrical supply, transmission, and distribution systems need to be able to store energy in a flexible and inexpensive way to provide redundancy and reliability in an emergency or attack.
The cost to store energy has decreased in recent years by 18 percent, and new innovations will help energy to be utilized more economically and create a stable and resilient grid.
And an ITC for energy storage will also help boost our economy and create jobs. According to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor Report, the U.S. storage market almost doubled in 2018 and is projected to double again in 2019.
We’ve already made substantial progress in energy storage in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, our country surpassed 25 GW of electrical energy storage capacity in 2018. Considering that only 0.34 GW was installed in 2012 and 2013, that’s solid progress.
But the ITC could incentivize further investment and help the country optimize its energy storage, which is certainly a policy worth considering for furthering our country’s clean energy needs.