November 10, 2020
To “Build Back Better,” Deploy Energy Storage at an Unprecedented Scale
Jason Burwen, VP, Policy
By electing Joe Biden as President, Americans have sent a strong message of support for accelerating toward a clean energy economy. Investments in energy storage deployment, manufacturing and innovation are fundamental to recovering from the economic damage of COVID-19, rebuilding our infrastructure to meet 21st century demands, and decarbonizing our economy to fight climate change.
As outlined in our 2030 Vision, at least 100 GW of energy storage is needed over the next decade to support the buildout of higher shares of wind and solar power, as well as distributed energy resources and electric vehicles. Energy storage will also be increasingly critical for frontline communities to have electric service resilient to extreme climate events, like heat waves, wildfires, storms, and hurricanes, as well as reducing our reliance on fossil-fuel power plants located in or near communities historically burdened by air pollution. And energy storage will provide this clean and resilient power while reducing peak demands on the power system, thus saving money for utilities, businesses, and homes, while serving as a foundation for a new domestic industry with a large international export market.
ESA and our members urge the 117th Congress and the Biden/Harris Administration to fulfill the promise to “build back better” by
1. promoting domestic energy storage supply chain, finance, and innovation;
2. promoting equitable electric system resilience; and
3. establishing market designs that value and compensate grid flexibility.
Our policy recommendations for the next Congress and Administration include new legislation, such as making stand-alone energy storage eligible for investment tax credits with a direct pay option, similar to those enjoyed by other clean energy technologies; passage of previously proposed legislation to invest in manufacturing, demonstration and R&D for energy storage innovation, such as supported broadly and on a bipartisan basis in the American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA); and increasing federal investments in electric system resilience. We also call for action on energy storage available under existing federal authorities, such as requiring federal facilities to time-match clean energy deliveries with demand, removing tariffs on energy storage imports, and updating IRS guidance for ITC eligibility of storage retrofits.
The energy storage industry is ready to make a clean and resilient power system available to all. ESA looks forward to continuing our bipartisan work with President-Elect Biden and Members of Congress to make it a reality.