Friday, May 2, 2014

Is an Energy Storage Tsunami About to Hit California? : Greentech Media

Is energy storage the new holy grail of a clean energy future? Energy storage can take the form of large batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro facilities, compressed-air energy storage, and many others. However, the exciting "new kid on the block" is battery storage, largely because of its relatively small size, modularity and rapidly declining costs.

California is at the forefront of the storage revolution and policymakers have recognized the potential role of energy storage in a number of new programs. The biggest of these programs is the AB 2514 energy storage procurement program. This law required the California Public Utilities Commission to consider creating an energy storage procurement mandate for utilities. And that's about all the law did, leaving most issues to the discretion of the CPUC. The law did, however, require that any storage that is mandated must also be cost-effective. That is, the mandate couldn't lead to any net costs for ratepayers. (This is a common requirement in California for new programs, despite the common myth that legislators and policymakers don't care about costs.)

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