More than 35 gigawatts of new energy storage could come online in the U.S. by 2025, according to a new report by the Energy Storage Association. To get there, however, all stakeholders need to work toward what the report called a “disruption-proof grid.”
The strategy lies in a flexible, dynamic approach, the report said. The report, which was created in conjunction with Navigant Research, charts 35 GW of new installations across all energy storage technologies from 2017 to 2025.
The report said energy storage advancements are improving to accommodate the shift away from coal while improving reliability, resilience and system performance. These qualities make up what the ESA called the disruption-proof grid — a flexible and adaptable system.
While deployments are predicted to accelerate around the country, 34 percent is expected in the Southwest and Hawaii — 12.4 GW — due to factors such as aggressive renewable energy goals and regulatory mandates. The report predicts 2.3 GW in the Northwest, 4.8 GW in the Central and Midwest regions, 6.7 GW in the Southeast and 10.2 MW in the Northeast.
With respect to energy storage market drivers, the report said that electrification of transportation, data centers, HVAC, communications, industry and manufacturing are driving the need for a more flexible, resilient grid. At the same time, disruptive forces such as peaks, variations in demand and supply gaps require a solution to cut costs and increase resilience.
Reaching the estimated 35-GW build-out will take work from all sides, the report points out. To create a disruption-proof grid, policy makers and other stakeholders need to think differently about the grid. The report sets forth recommendations for stakeholders.
Legislators should conduct energy storage impact studies, enact mandates or targets, establish incentive programs and set clean energy standards. Regulators need to establish clear rules for storage, use updated modeling in proceedings, streamline interconnection standards and consider the effects of rate design, the report said.
Utilities have a role to play, too, the report said. Utilities must update the approach to asset classification, include storage in integrated resource planning, and explore new ownership and business models.
In a recent interview with the American Public Power Association, ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman outlined her priorities and detailed some of the ways in which public power utilities can benefit from energy storage. She also discussed the group’s 35 GW of storage by 2025 vision.
The white paper is available here.