Excitement around the energy storage space has been growing for a number of years, and some of the first storage-centric financings took place in 2017. As renewable energy provides an increasing share of electrical power in the United States, grid operators need better options than they now have for managing the variable output of wind, solar and other alternative energy resources. Storing energy during peak production hours, and drawing on stored power when production has ebbed, are becoming essential elements of electrical system management.
Just since 2014, the total amount of stored gigawatts available in the U.S. has risen by nearly 15 percent. Most of the country’s storage facilities rely on pumped storage hydropower, a technology that has existed since the 1970s but is limited in its application by various factors. Storage other than pumped water, created through a variety of new technologies, has doubled since 2014.
At the Deutsche Bank/Pillsbury Energy Storage Forum, held in New York on March 14, Projects team co-leader Rob James discussed battery technologies and the forces driving an increase in energy storage investment and innovation:
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More than 95 attendees took part in the forum. Partner Peter Baumgaertner organized the event and moderated a panel of industry experts exploring the technological, logistical and regulatory factors affecting storage growth. San Francisco Finance associate Alexandra Brandt provided research support.