2017: The Grid Abides, and Storage Accelerates

Every four years in this nation we strive to maintain our composure and civil discourse as Americans go to the polls and elect our new political leaders, and last week’s election was undoubtedly historic.

Regardless of whom you supported, each election brings with it equal parts anxiety and anticipation, and now that votes have been counted and the victor revealed our attention turns to what lies ahead and the future that new leadership brings.

One thing that all sides can agree on is that the President-elect is unorthodox and unabashed, and will certainly have an enduring impact on our country as he leads his Administration. In the next four years critical decisions impacting the power sector will be made by the new President and Congress.

For every member of the energy storage community there is plenty of uncertainty, but there are two things that we can be sure of today.

First, energy storage is transforming the power sector and its bright future has not changed. Storage has an intrinsic value that is built on its capabilities and performance, and as long as there are competitive market opportunities it can deliver value to all grid stakeholders, lower costs, and create system-wide benefits. The grid abides, it will persist and evolve, grow stronger and more dynamic. And in the rapidly transforming power sector, energy storage will continue to accelerate and find success.

And second, the President-elect is a businessman and the energy storage industry is here to do business. He is not an ideologue who conforms to the rigors of party platforms, and has plainly said that first and foremost he wants American businesses to succeed. Energy storage is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for US businesses to grow our foothold in the global race for high-tech manufacturing jobs and create new economic growth through the deployment of advanced energy systems.

Now more than ever it is important that our industry work together. Our collective efforts to educate and inform policymakers at all levels of government about the value and benefits of energy storage is critical to the industry’s success.

At the Energy Storage Association we will charge forward and represent the interest of the industry at all levels of government. Along with our nearly 200 members – including manufacturers, project developers, utilities, researchers, and companies from across the supply chain – we are able to impact policy and decision making, and put forth a vision of a more flexible, reliable, and sustainable grid.

Energy storage will continue to have bipartisan support in Congress, and we will work with current allies and engage new Members in this august body as they undertake major legislation in 2017. ESA is already working with Members and their staffs on tax reform, infrastructure, and energy policy, and we anticipate each of these issues being taken up in the 115th Congress.

Infrastructure legislation and tax reform in particular present significant opportunities for the storage industry in 2017, and we have already initiated plans and are discussing proposals with Congress and allied stakeholders. Energy storage is uniquely suited to enhance our grid infrastructure and can significantly increase system reliability, better integrate distributed resources and renewables, and create a resilient bulwark to severe weather, physical attacks, and cyber threats.

Over the next four years the new Administration will also appoint or replace all five FERC commissioners – having major impacts on the future of wholesale energy markets. Ensuring market access, defending fair compensation, and advancing new competitive opportunities for energy storage will continue to be our primary objectives at FERC and the ISO/RTO’s.

And our federal strategy is only one facet of ESA’s vision for advancing the industry, and equally important we are greatly expanding our engagement in state advocacy. In 2017 you can expect further outreach, education, and direct advocacy in more than 15 states, and we will also be developing new opportunities for our members to be a part of shaping those dialogues and impacting decision making across the country.

I will continue to update all of you as we move forward and chart a course for the future of energy storage. We appreciate your support – especially in this time of transition – and encourage all of you prepare  your companies, help us grow the energy storage community, and find ways to invest time and resources ensuring that energy storage can continue its meteoric rise.

Thank you for your continued support and all you do for the energy storage industry.

Sincerely,

Matt Roberts

Executive Director

Energy Storage Association