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Energy Storage Industry Leaders Urge Congress to Include Grid Modernization, Resiliency in Infrastructure Deliberations

April 5, 2017
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The Energy Storage Association (ESA) recently joined with 52 private companies and business associations to tell leaders of Congress that any dialogue on enhancing and rebuilding America's infrastructure must include consideration of advanced energy storage systems.

The U.S. is currently the global leader in advanced energy storage innovation, markets, and investment, spurring more than 50,000 domestic jobs and placing the U.S. at the forefront of the advanced energy industry. In 2016, commercial deployment of energy storage systems grew more than 100% over the previous year and installed system costs plummeted another 30%. The global industry is expected to grow to more than $240 billion annually by 2040, and if the U.S. competes to stay at the forefront, it can employ and support hundreds of thousands of Americans.

But it is not just about dollars and cents, the ESA notes. Energy storage deployment enjoys bipartisan support because of the direct and tangible benefits that it delivers on the grid. The National Governors Association recently circulated a study detailing the ability of energy storage to enhance grid reliability while also saving states money, and both Republican and Democratic governors have implemented programs supporting early storage deployments. Members of Congress from both parties have introduced and co-sponsored legislation to support the continued growth of the industry.

ESA notes that the reason is simple - energy storage systems create a more flexible, reliable, and cost-effective electric grid. Storage systems are fuel-neutral, meaning they can make electric grids more efficient regardless of the type of electric generation they host. And every energy storage system installed on the grid benefits everyone, not just the system owner or operator. Yet, even with initial actions by states to reap the benefits of storage and foster the growth of the industry in their states, many barriers remain to using storage as an innovative part of U.S. energy infrastructure.

With appropriate national public policy in place, the U.S. could continue to grow this nascent industry and lead the globe on research and development, manufacturing, integration and deployment of the hardware and software necessary for intelligent energy storage-based solutions. Congress and the Administration could significantly assist states with resources to include storage in energy infrastructure planning and procurement, which the National Governors Association identifies as a key goal. Congress could also assist states in meeting other goals, such as reducing interconnection and permitting barriers, including storage in energy assurance activities, or incentivizing early innovative deployments. And, of course, storage can be an integral part of greater grid modernization efforts that Congress seeks to promote.

The ESA and its co-signatories recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders, urging them to include advanced energy storage in their discussions of future infrastructure investment and jobs. The Association notes that storage represents the cutting-edge intersection of innovation and energy infrastructure, and Congress can ensure American companies and workers stay at the forefront of the rapidly growing global market for storage by laying plans for it in revitalization of U.S. infrastructure.




Source: Energy Storage Association


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