DOE EAC: A National Grid Energy Storage Strategy

Posted: January 16, 2014 - 19:35 / DOE EAC / Reports

Since 2008, there has been substantial progress in the development of electric storage technologies and greater clarity around their role in renewable resource integration, ancillary service markets, time arbitrage, capital deferral as well as other applications and services. These developments, coupled with the increased deployment of storage technologies across the transmission and distribution system, have begun to demonstrate the ability of storage to deliver cost-effective performance in select applications and markets. 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has continued to develop its strategy for technology development and demonstration. However, electricity storage is still not a “mainstream” technology routinely considered by the industry in planning, building, and operating electric power infrastructure. Numerous regulatory and financial barriers must be addressed and awareness of the technologies must be increased before storage can be widely accepted and exploited as part of the electricity supply chain as it is in almost every other industrial sector. This document describes several areas in which DOE can address these issues: 

  • Stakeholder outreach and education that encompasses the development and communication of cost and performance assessments for storage technologies in different applications as well as evaluations of the impact of storage on overall system economics and societal outcomes. 
  • Focus on “High Impact Areas” including: holistic design perspectives on the energy logistics value chain, consideration of storage for system reliability and resilience as well as in the development of next generation control systems, development of scenarios for storage portfolio development that offer high confidence levels of overall positive outcomes, sometimes called a “no regrets” strategy, consideration of how storage might facilitate the integration of variable renewable generation and the inclusion of electric vehicles (EVs) as storage resources. Storage must be considered as part of an overall portfolio of scenarios including other new/emerging technologies or enhanced existing technologies including demand response (DR) and enhanced flexibility from conventional resources. 
  • Development of approaches to mitigate technology risk as a barrier to financing, insurance, and the development of storage on a commercial basis. 
  • Policy analysis that considers the impacts of storage on the power sector broadly including the economics of existing conventional resources that are needed to ensure adequate energy supply and grid reliability. 2

The DOE has recently issued a document, Grid Energy Storage, which lays out its strategy and plans for energy storage. This strategy document is intended as a complementary document to the DOE document that addresses additional policy issues at a national level. Specific storage technologies, their state of development/technical potential, and R&D plans are not discussed in this document – these issues are well covered in the DOE document. 

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