Tag: Storage

New Efficient Energy Storage System Extracts Energy from Thin Air

May 3, 2016 – The gap between electricity generation and use could be narrowed with an Oak Ridge National Laboratory system that extracts energy from thin air. Actually, Ground-Level Integrated Diverse Energy Storage, or GLIDES, stores electricity mechanically in the form of compressed gas that displaces water in high-pressure vessels described by co-inventor Wale Odukomaiya as the heart of the system.

GlidesSlider

The GLIDES approach has the potential to change the way energy is stored.

He noted that GLIDES overcomes the site limitations of pumped storage hydroelectricity and compressed air energy, and the higher cost of batteries. Compared to these conventional energy storage systems, GLIDES also features near constant-temperature processes, higher efficiency and more flexible scalability. In addition, the system uses the world’s smallest Pelton turbine, which extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, manufactured at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

 

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2015 HAS BEEN THE ‘YEAR OF THE BATTERY,’ BUT STORAGE CAN DO MUCH MORE

Via RMI Outlet

Report Release: The Economics of Battery Energy Storage

2015 has been the ‘Year of The Battery,’ but it’s time to focus less on cost and more on the value

DOWNLOAD THE ECONOMICS OF BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE from RMI

In many ways, 2015 has been “The year of the battery.” Consider the excitement around Tesla’s Powerwall, or battery energy storage’s 600 percent Q2 growth over Q1, or one of the world’s largest utilities recently proclaiming that batteries will obviate the need for any new gas peaker plants in the U.S. post-2020. But the most important and exciting news around batteries still lies ahead.

To date, the attention has been on cost—how cheap batteries have gotten, and how fast they’ve done so. Now, a new RMI report shifts the focus critically to the other part of the battery equation: value. The report found that batteries can reduce grid costs and customer bills, increase the resilience of the grid, and support a largely renewable electricity system. All that value is available, if we make some critical adjustments.

Batteries are usually deployed today for single, primary uses: think demand charge reduction in California or frequency regulation on PJM’s wholesale electricity market. These single use cases are usually compared against the relative cost of a battery. This sells batteries short: comparing one use case against the cost of a battery is like comparing the cost of a Swiss Army knife to the value you can get from just using the blade. A battery is capable of delivering many services with the same device, just like a Swiss Army knife. But right now folks are buying the knife and only using the blade when they could also be using the pliers, screwdriver, and so on.

So far, batteries deployed to reduce demand charges or defer traditional utility investments aren’t typically used to deliver multiple services. This means batteries might only be used for 1–50 percent of their useful life. And yet, a battery could be used to deliver other services for the other 50–99 percent of its useful life and get paid to do so. Would you build a hotel and only sell 1–50 percent of the rooms? Neither would we. So why do it with batteries?

In our new report, The Economics of Battery Energy Storage, we asked some important fundamental questions:

  1. What services can batteries provide to the grid?
  2. Where on the grid can batteries deliver each service?
  3. How much value can batteries generate when they are highly utilized and services are stacked?
  4. What regulatory barriers currently prevent single energy storage systems or aggregated fleets of systems from providing multiple, stacked services to the grid?

THIRTEEN SERVICES FOR CUSTOMERS, UTILITIES, AND THE GRID

Our research indicates that batteries, when placed behind the meters of residential, commercial, or industrial customers, can deliver 13 services to the electricity system at large. The figure summarizes these services and the stakeholder group that accumulates the lion’s share of each benefit (more detail on these services can be found in our full report).

Batteries deployed further downstream in the electricity system (behind the meter) can technically deliver the maximum number of services to the grid. But as you move upstream in the electricity system—towards large centralized power plants—energy storage loses the ability to deliver some of these services. For example, a battery connected at the distribution level can’t perform customer bill management, while a battery connected at the transmission level won’t be able to defer any distribution-level investments.

BATTERIES DEPLOYED BEHIND THE METER CAN BE COST EFFECTIVE TODAY

This finding, though important, doesn’t tell us how much net value batteries can deliver to the electricity system. To estimate this, we developed an energy storage dispatch model to understand the economics of energy storage in four potential real-world scenarios.

Our results were surprising. Batteries deployed behind the meter are “in the money” right now, under prevailing cost structures, without subsidy. This finding comes with two major caveats:

  1. Batteries must be well utilized and deliver multiple services to customers and the grid in order to be cost effective. The prevailing energy storage business model in the U.S., using a battery to reduce a commercial customer’s demand charge, delivers a single service to a single stakeholder and typically underutilizes the battery—sometimes dramatically so. Batteries deployed for demand charge reduction are only used for 5–50 percent of their useful life. That means those same batteries could be re-dispatched to deliver other services to other stakeholders, like utilities and independent system operators/regional transmission organizations, and get paid for them, dramatically changing the economics of energy storage.
  2. Our modeling results assume no regulatory barriers to aggregated, behind-the-meter market participation or revenue generation. As we’ll cover in a moment, a number of regulatory prohibitions currently prevent batteries deployed behind the meter from delivering and getting paid for these services. Our modeling results artificially remove these regulatory barriers in order to understand the economics of energy storage without regulatory restrictions.

Let’s use a case from the report to highlight our findings and the two caveats above. The figure shows how a battery deployed behind the meter for a hotel in San Francisco is used, and what value it generates. As you can see, when the battery is deployed for a single use (demand-charge reduction) it doesn’t pay off (the orange portion of the revenue stack is smaller than the black cost stack in the bar chart) but when additional services layer on top of demand charge reduction, the economics flip in favor of energy storage. The pie chart also illustrates how little of this battery’s lifetime capacity is needed for demand charge reduction: about 53 percent. That means it can be dispatched for the remaining 47 percent of its lifetime time to deliver other services (in this case, resource adequacy for the utility and a suite of wholesale electricity services).

THE ECONOMICS ARE PROMISING, BUT REGULATIONS MUST EVOLVE

Every one of the revenue-generating services in this example is being delivered by some behind-the-meter energy storage systems in operation today. But very few projects are simultaneously providing this full stack of services (or other combinations thereof) with a single device or fleet of devices.

This is because energy storage—and other distributed energy resources (DERs) like smart controls, energy efficiency, and rooftop solar PV—has matured faster than the rates, regulations, and utility business models needed to support them as core components of the future grid. To overcome these barriers and realize the full value of rapidly evolving battery technologies, we recommend the following changes:

FOR REGULATORS

  • Enact regulatory reform to unlock DERs and reduce the cost of the grid. Regulatory proceedings in New York (NY REV), California (IDSM, DRP, and NEM 2.0), Hawaii, Texas, and emerging efforts in other states have begun the long road towards open distribution system planning, utility business model reform, and ubiquitous advanced rate design. But no state or region in the U.S. should be left out of the cost and resiliency benefits that come from DERs, so more work is needed both inside and outside of these leading states.
  • Require that DERs be considered as alternative, potentially lower-cost solutions to problems typically addressed by traditional “wires” investments and/or centralized peaking generation investments.

FOR UTILITIES

  • Prior to considering new centralized assets, consider how storage could be leveraged across utility departments. Utilities have a number of tools at their disposal that could obviate the need for new power plants or distribution upgrades. Distribution planners, grid operators, and rate designers should work together to leverage the full capability of storage and other DERs to get multiple uses out of assets, whether singly or in fleets.

FOR BATTERY AND DER DEVELOPERS

  • Pursue business models that fully utilize batteries
  • Pursue cost reduction efforts for all power-focused elements of energy storage systems (all $/KW components) in order to unlock more markets, faster.

Battery-based energy storage is a powerful resource capable of reducing grid costs and customer bills, increasing the resilience of the grid, and supporting a largely renewable electricity system. And even though the economics of storage look good today, they’re only going to get better as gigafactories other than Tesla’s come online across the globe and costs come down further. It’s time for utility business models to evolve and for regulations to change in order for the benefits offered by behind-the-meter, battery-based storage to be captured across the U.S.

DOWNLOAD THE ECONOMICS OF BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE from RMI

 

Battery Storage for Your Building – The Revolution is Near

By Dan Gadigian

It seems there are three inevitable laws of nature: death, taxes, and power outages. The latter of those three may not belong next to the other two, but every person in the United States can think of a handful of times they were without power.

Blackouts and brownouts are becoming more commonplace in the United States. Power outages often result from too much stress on the grid, the failure of our plants and/or substations, or destructive forces of nature taking their toll. With these failures in mind, more battery storage solutions have been hitting the market, hoping to change the way we all view and use energy.

Outages

Battery storage is a technology that allows buildings to store energy during low demand hours, and then use that stored energy during peak demand hours. Battery technology has made incredible strides due to what is being called ‘The Battery Revolution’; a heavy investment in battery storage technology has led to solutions that cover all users. Everyone, from utilities to the individual home owner, has something to gain from battery storage.

With their large populations and ‘never asleep’ demands, cities are often viewed as the biggest energy drains to the grid. Demand Energy, an intelligent energy storage solutions provider, has been implementing a battery solution that ‘could change the way cities of the world consume power’. In the video below, ThinkProgress simply details how Demand Energy’s solution works and highlights a case study of a luxury residential building that is already using the battery solution.

Learn more by watching the ThinkProgress video below:

Lithium-ion costs to fall by up to 50% within five years

Courtesy of Energy Storage Update

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology will dominate the commercial market for energy storage in the US in the next three to five years as Li-ion system costs are expected to fall by 30% to 50%, according to Energy Storage Update’s Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report 2015 released on July 8.

Li-ion system costs currently range between $350 and $700/kWh ($1,000 and $2,000/kW) and costs should continue to fall on the back of growing supply from mega battery factories from the likes of Tesla, Alevo, Sharp, LG Chem and Panasonic, and promising growth in electric vehicle sales, the report says.

Technological innovation and economies of scale backed by big balance sheets are helping leading Li-technology battery manufacturers to widen their competitive advantage and lower costs. Li-ion battery system prices have already dropped 33% in the last five years, according to Energy Storage Update’s analysis of recent utility evaluations, and are expected to continue to fall.

Similarly, a recent report by Lux Research estimates that frontrunners such as Panasonic could drive down the price of Li-ion battery packs for electric vehicles by 35% to as low as $172/kWh in 2025. However, only the best-in-class players will achieve that cost threshold, while others will lag at $229/kWh.

Some of the benefits of Li-ion cost reduction could spill over to the stationary storage market, though they will not address added costs like land, construction and integration. According to Lux, installed stationary systems for residential and grid-scale use will hover around $655/kWh and $498/kWh in 2025, respectively.

Falling battery costs are good news for Li-ion systems because batteries are the single most expensive item in a storage system, accounting for about 60% of capital expenditure, followed by power conditioning system (PCS) costs with 20%, and balance of plant (BOP) and controls costs with 10% each, according to the Energy Storage Update report.

The ultra-conservative requirements of the electricity industry, with its emphasis on reliability and least cost, and dependence on highly-regulated market structures, could give Li-ion technologies an additional boost in the stationary market.

“Utilities and merchant storage developers are risk-averse. They prefer to mitigate early technology risk by purchasing highly engineered systems from deep-pocket suppliers and demanding tight warranties, which include strict performance clauses and liquidated damages,” said Jason Makansi, lead author of the Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report.

“Li-ion’s position appears solid as it is represented by a number of companies that are well regarded and have the financial muscle to make good on their warranties.”

Installed capacity
Though many storage technologies exist, the market-ready options for grid-scale storage technologies today are few and limited, according to the report.

Besides Li-ion, all other small-grid oriented technologies have currently slowed down in their commercial efforts, are pursuing niche market and functional opportunities or are expected to remain in the R&DD phase in the short-term.

Li-ion systems dominate among small-grid storage technologies with 60%, compared to 22% for flywheels, 12% for lead acid and 6% for NaS, according to US utility evaluations of 30 projects of up to 100 MW installed between 2010 and 2015 for which cost data is available (see Figure 1).


Figure 1: Distribution of small grid oriented storage technologies in recent utility evaluations. Source: Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report 2015.

Among bulk storage technologies, compressed air energy storage could make inroads and challenge the dominance of pumped-hydro storage (PHS), according to the report.

Conventional storage such as PHS will remain a key part of the system in the long run, but increasingly it “may have operational hours cannibalized by smaller-scale, Li-ion technologies that can be aggregated to provide a similar response to grid events,” said Nick Heyward, project director for Smarter Network Storage at UK Power Networks.

Non-pumped hydro energy storage installations were up 40% in the US in 2014, driven mainly by utility-scale deployments of lithium-ion batteries. In 2014, the US completed 180 individual installations with a weighted average system price of $2,064/KW, according to GTM Research.

Over 70% of the grid-scale storage deployments in 2014 were lithium ion. “Other” technologies were second with 27%, largely due to one 16 MW flywheel project installed in 2014. Vanadium flow batteries, lead-acid batteries and sodium chemistries each added 1% to the technology pie.

The significant share of Li-ion batteries in the current pipeline of installations suggests that Li-ion technologies will continue to compete effectively against other technologies in the short term, Heyward told Energy Storage Update.

“This provides increasing reassurance of integrator experience and repeatability of installations, which creates a virtuous cycle with customers – more megawatts on the ground provides a good reference base for further installations,” he said.

Can Li-ion hold ground?
According to Heyward, in the medium and long term, there are likely to be other technologies that gain a good foothold, but the flexibility and R&D investments that are going into the Li-ion sector are going to be hard to match, provided the latter meets performance expectations and avoids safety and fire incidents.

Currently, flywheels cost $2,100-2,600/kW while NaS battery systems cost roughly $3,500-$6,000/kW. The limited number of commercial suppliers means capital costs are still high compared to Li-ion technologies (see table below).


Figure 2: Costs of storage options. Source: Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report 2015.

There are promising developments with other battery technologies, though they are still to be tested in the open market. Earlier this year, SunEdison announced it would purchase up to 1,000 flow batteries from Imergy Power Systems for rural electrification systems in India.

Imergy says its third-generation vanadium-flow battery aims to compete with lithium and lead-acid batteries at the grid scale on a cost basis, but finding markets will be a challenge.

The market demand for grid-scale storage in the US is growing, especially for storage systems in the 10 MW-100 MW range, where Li-ion has proven to be the most versatile generic battery option.

At least one merchant storage company, AES, is also offering battery systems in the 100 MW-200 MW range and is constructing a 100 MW Li-ion system for electric utility Southern California Edison.

Particularly at the small end of the capacity application range (1 MW-50 MW), the economic evaluation will likely be among lithium-ion suppliers and how a lithium-ion grid-scale system compares with traditional options for providing the same identified grid functions/services, the report says.

Normal upgrades on the grid and conventional fossil fuel solutions at existing power plants are in many cases cheaper than investing in new energy storage systems.

“Owner/operators will evaluate these storage options against other, more conventional ways of accomplishing the same thing,” Makansi said. “There are examples of utilities pushing the limits of, and modifying, conventional assets all over the country with the intention of achieving more flexibility and faster response typical of storage.”

“A utility in the Midwest, for example, is deeply cycling their existing fossil units to accommodate wind energy, and they will probably do that until they can’t possibly do it any more before they spend more capital dollars for a storage system.”

Traditional energy storage techniques that compete with grid-scale storage range from $25-$50 per kW for putting a synchronous condenser on a conventional power plant to $1,000-$1,500 per kW for reciprocating engine/gen sets. Other solutions exist, though every competitive option is limited in its ability to solve specific grid issues (see Figure 3 below).


Figure 3: Options that compete with storage. Source: Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report 2015.

For detailed lifecycle cost analysis of Li-ion and CAES systems and insight into the expected evolution of storage costs, check out the Energy Storage Cost and Performance Report 2015.

By Nadya Ivanova

Bright Power Wins RISE:NYC Competition with Innovative Resilient Power Hub

BrightPower

New York City, NY (PRWEB) May 01, 2015

New York City-based energy management provider, Bright Power, has been awarded funding to implement their Resilient Power Hub by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). The RISE:NYC competition, from NYCEDC, awards innovative solutions that drive business resiliency and which will better protect New York City from the impacts of future storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change. Bright Power’s Resilient Power Hub is a small-scale, storm-proof power plant, that will be deployed at three New York City locations using the prize money.

Stemming from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, RISE:NYC is a $30M competition administered by the NYCEDC to aid in the recovery and disaster prevention efforts of NYC’s small businesses. “Rise:NYC is part of the City’s comprehensive suite of initiatives to mitigate the effects of severe weather and climate change on New Yorkers, and all of the winning technologies will help support and strengthen small businesses across the city,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “Each of the 11 innovative winning technologies will make the City a safer, stronger and more resilient place, creating economic support and additional opportunities for New Yorkers and small businesses.”

The competition not only inspires innovation that targets the significant vulnerabilities in New York City’s buildings and infrastructure networks that the storm revealed, it also ensures that the highest impact, most scalable and replicable projects are implemented. Over 200 applications from 20 countries were submitted, finalists were announced in September 2014 and displayed their technologies at a demo night in October 2014. The 11 winners were selected by a panel of esteemed advisors and announced at an awards ceremony on April 29, 2015.

“Competitions like RISE:NYC bring out the best in our creative, technical minds and allow us to dream up powerful solutions to widespread problems. With so many impressive ideas from the finalists, it’s an honor to be selected as an award recipient. We are thrilled that the competition has recognized our Resilient Power Hub as a potentially transformative technology for our city,” said Jeff Perlman, President of Bright Power.

Bright Power’s Resilient Power Hub is a small-scale power plant that provides buildings with instantaneous back-up power to critical systems when the grid goes down, as well as energy savings the rest of the time. It can operate as part of or independent from the utility grid. The technology combines solar photovoltaics (PV), combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and energy storage under one automated system that is easily scaled and replicated in various building types. Partners include Thread Collective, a sustainable architecture firm, as well as Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (Geli), a provider of the Geli EOS software solution for energy storage and microgrid systems.

“Geli is excited to work with Bright Power and Thread Collective to bring their Resilient Power Hub microgrids and microgrid networks solutions to local businesses”, added Ryan Wartena, Geli CEO. “Designing microgrid systems based on building-specific requirements will be the way to scale energy solutions that provide maximum benefit to both the project host and the grid through Geli’s Internet of Energy platform.”

About Bright Power, Inc.
Bright Power provides strategic energy solutions to building owners and operators in New York and across the nation. Specializing in multifamily apartment buildings, Bright Power’s suite of services saves clients energy, money and time. Bright Power’s energy management solutions include EnergyScoreCards benchmarking software, energy audits, energy procurement, solar energy, green building, and construction management of energy improvements. For more information please visit http://www.brightpower.com.

About Geli
Gelit, short for Growing Energy Labs, Inc., provides software and business solutions to design, integrate, network and economically operate energy storage and microgrid systems. At its core, the Geli EOS (Energy Operating System) is a software platform that brings together energy storage, distributed generation, EV charging and building controls as part of the Geli Internet of Energy platform. For more information please visit http://www.geli.net.

About the Thread Collective
Thread Collective is an architecture firm that explores the seams between building and landscape, and stitches together the patterns of the built environment with its natural and social context. Their philosophy of understanding building and site as an integrated whole, woven with artistic, functional, and financial consideration creates the fabric from which poetic and sustainable architecture and public space emerge. For more information please visit threadcollective.com

via Bright Power Wins RISE:NYC Competition with Innovative Resilient Power Hub.

The distributed energy storage industry described in one chart

Battery-based energy storage can play a valuable enabling role when it comes to renewable energy adoption, but storage can also do much more. Services such as peak shifting, backup power, and ancillary grid services are a small subset of the larger matrix of potential future values batteries can provide, but storage is still too expensive to cost-effectively provide these services in most U.S. markets.

However, energy storage may be reaching a tipping point. Analysts at GTM project that 318 MW of distributed solar plus storage may be installed by 2018, for example. Also, California’s mandate to procure 1.3 GW of storage, combined with the Tesla gigafactory and the general trend of moving towards prosumer-based electricity markets, is a testament to the size of the potential market.

Thanks to these projections and no shortage of media coverage (by our count, over forty energy storage articles have been released over the past two months alone), an outsider could be led to believe that distributed storage, by participating in several different kinds of electricity markets using a number of different product configurations, is capable of solving many of our electricity system ills.

However, we’re not quite there yet. In reality the current state of the industry in the U.S. is still simple enough that it can be captured in a single chart that illustrates the two major challenges the energy storage industry is currently facing: high costs and limited avenues for capturing value.

In the following figure we’ve illustrated:

  • Installed cost for an energy storage system (blue bars on the left) based on current system pricing and a 20-year system lifetime
  • How much money you can make using that energy storage system for the four primary use cases we see right now.

Click image to enlarge

EXPANDING STORAGE’S NET VALUE

Any orange bar that climbs above the dotted black line indicates a profitable business case under current cost and rate structures. For any orange bar below the dotted black line, it’s currently not profitable to pursue that business case. For anyone following the energy storage industry, this makes intuitive sense: the frequency regulation market in PJM territory and the demand charge reduction market for commercial customers in California both currently offer cash-positive scenarios for energy storage companies like STEM and Coda. But other opportunities, such as self-consumption in Arizona and rate arbitrage in California, current have system costs that are too high and use case revenues that are too low to deliver a compelling value proposition.

But here’s the reason this chart explains the state of the entire U.S. energy storage industry: if you remove the green subsidy bar (here we use California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and pretend it can be used in different states for various use cases) or move beyond regions with extremely generous compensation mechanisms (such as the PJM frequency market), none of these current business models offer anything close to a cash-positive scenario. This means that energy storage is either too expensive for widespread application or the revenue opportunities for energy storage simply aren’t big enough for the technology to capture value right now.

Following closely on the heels of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Battery Balance of System Charrette, our team is now working to attack both the cost and value sides of this equation in order for that blue bar to get a lot smaller and for more and more of those orange bars (and we’d like to see many more of these, not just the four dominant ones we see today) to climb well over the dotted black line in new markets across the U.S.

DECREASING COSTS

Right now, you can spend $29,000 (or $21,500 after incentives) for a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack … and you also get a car, since Li-ion batteries at those prices and sizes are found in today’s electric vehicles (e.g., the Nissan LEAF). Alternatively, you can spend nearly $34,000 for a similar battery pack without wheels. It could also take over 100 days for the utility to green-light you to use that wheel-less battery pack and your local jurisdiction might require a water-based fire extinguishing system to be installed (even if all that will do is fry your entire battery system).

During the charrette, we identified a host of similar, “easy to solve” challenges that could reduce costs as well as an array of more fundamental challenges, including:

  • the lack of standardization in a variety of key elements,
  • boutique interconnection protocols (how a battery is connected to the grid, and what it is allowed to do), and
  • lack of interoperability with other systems (how multiple batteries talk to each other, and how batteries talk to other things, like your solar system or home energy management system).

To help overcome these challenges and reduce the cost and time to market for energy storage systems, RMI is taking the lead on developing an energy storage cost roadmap framework in order to help industry, utilities, and customers understand how much storage costs now, outline what an industry-wide “should cost” target looks like (analogous to similar targets in the PV, solar system, andsemiconductor industries), and map the various initiatives and research that will need to take place in order to reach the cost targets. Furthermore, we’re taking a hard look at the EV industry’s effort to develop a standard EV plug to better understand how the energy storage industry could develop similar standardized physical interfaces for their products at the building and product levels.

CREATING MORE AND LARGER VALUE STREAMS

Solving one side of the energy storage equation—reducing costs—won’t automatically lead to the creation of a thriving energy storage ecosystem. In addition, our electricity system needs to evolve and allow energy storage systems to compete with other energy resources on a level playing field. Unlike a residential solar PV customer, energy storage customers of all shapes and sizes are compensated differently depending on the market they participate in—if they’re even compensated at all. This, in spite of the fact that energy storage can or will be able to provide various grid services to millions of customers at a lower cost of service than today.

To help incubate a thriving energy storage ecosystem in the U.S. and more broadly, RMI is exploring partnership opportunities with regulators, utilities, and energy storage companies to fully understand the costs and benefits of energy storage (analogous to the effort RMI embarked upon two years ago with our similar study on distributed PV). Over the next year, we hope to help utilities better understand how distributed energy storage can reduce costs on distribution systems in order to drive regulatory change and open up entire new markets for distributed storage.

Cost-effective distributed energy storage is capable of helping electricity systems transform into low-carbon, secure, and reliable backbones of communities large and small. By focusing on the cost and value sides of the energy storage industry, we hope to help this technology reach unprecedented scale and contribute to RMI’s vision of the electricity future. We encourage you to check in on RMI’s efforts in the energy storage space here on our blog and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Download the Battery Balance of System Charrette: Post-Charrette Report Here.

via The Rocky Mountain Institute Blog: The Distributed Energy Storage Industry In One Chart.

US Energy Storage Technology Outlook

The last 12 months have seen considerable progress in energy storage across the United States. California’s world-leading energy storage ambitions, encompassed in the California Public Utilities Commission’s Assembly Bill 2514 (AB 2514) approved in October 2013, are now turning into projects on the ground.

Elsewhere, states ranging from Hawaii to New York to Texas have all started to emerge as potential alternative markets for energy storage technology. But which one? After all, the term ‘energy storage’ covers a wealth of widely differing options.

Batteries, compressed air, pumped hydro, flywheels, and others all work in vastly different ways and have different advantages and disadvantages. The kind of energy storage capability offered by a battery pack is very distinct from that provided by a pumped hydro plant.

When it comes to end users, from residential customers to major utilities, some of these capabilities are bound to have higher value than others.

That is important, because at this stage of the game energy storage in general remains a costly resource, so much so that in many cases it is still to be seen whether it will make sense at all.

Given the early stage of deployment of many of these technologies, it is still too soon to tell which variants and applications will provide greatest value within energy storage.

It is also the case that these technologies and applications may vary depending on the market concerned, on account of differences in factors such as incentives, energy mix, or even geographical characteristics.

Nevertheless, developments over the last year are beginning to provide early pointers on the nature of the more developed markets in the US. While exact figures may still be largely a ​matter of conjecture, it is now becoming possible to perceive likely trends and possibilities.​

This report examines present thinking around these issues, reviewing:

  • „„The current state of major energy storage markets in the US.
  • The status of the major technologies being considered for commercialization.
  • „„The applications that are yielding greatest value and encouraging adoption.

Click the link for the  US Energy Storage Technology Outlook PDF