The Path Forward for Grid Electricity Storage

The Path Forward for Grid Electricity Storage

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Large batteries in the desert
October 15, 2019

Battery storage will play a central role in decarbonizing the nation’s electric grid, yet the rules by which batteries will compete in electricity markets have yet to be agreed upon.

Photo credit: GE

The cost of battery electric storage technology is falling rapidly, creating opportunity for batteries to play a growing role in the nation’s electricity system and in the reduction of the grid’s carbon footprint. Last year, the regulator of the nation’s electricity markets, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, acknowledged the growing potential of storage when it established guidelines for batteries to fully, and profitably, take part in the nation’s electricity markets.

A year later, however, a number of legal and regulatory challenges remain that could slow the growth of battery storage, and make it harder for the technology to achieve the economies of scale it will need to compete with traditional sources of electric power.

Kleinman Center Senior Fellow Ken Kulak takes a look at the role of regulation in defining the future of energy storage and its ability to serve as a complement to carbon free energy. He also previews the upcoming FERC meeting where the agency is expected to rule on U.S. electricity markets’ plans to open their doors to full participation of battery storage.