Energy storage, like batteries and flywheels, represents the next big frontier in clean technology. It’s essential for everything from electric vehicles to a decarbonized electricity supply. And with the 2010 passage of AB 2514 (Skinner), which created the foundation for the 2013 electric utility mandate to procure 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage technologies, California is leading the charge (no pun intended). As the Energy Collective reports:
As of mid-2014, more than 2,000 megawatts of energy storage projects have applied to interconnect with the state’s grid, according to recent data from state grid operator California ISO (PDF). In other words, project developers have received the market signal of a 1.3-gigawatt mandate and proposed enough storage to provide nearly double that amount over the coming years.
The article describes the challenges of operating a grid with a lot of intermittent renewable energy — and how energy storage can address those difficulties.
The market activity we’re seeing from energy storage developers is reminiscent of the early days of the renewable energy mandate in California, which has ultimately led to successful deployment with declining costs. If the same cost reductions happen with energy storage, California will not only be well-positioned to decarbonize our economy while saving on health and consumer costs, the state will become an international leader in the next wave of clean tech.