Energy Storage the Focus of Federal Bipartisan Bill
- June 4, 2019
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Energy storage technology and market forces are areas to keep an eye on in terms of technical solutions and tools as the grid evolves and the U.S. energy mix becomes cleaner and more renewable (relying on intermittent sources). Recognizing how much value investment in energy storage at this critical juncture point has, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tina Smith (D-MN) have led a bipartisan group in introducing a bill aimed to improve the nation's energy storage capabilities.
The state goals of the bill, titled the 'Promoting Grid Storage Act of 2019,' are to boost R&D efforts into energy storage technology, complementing the Better Energy Storage Technology Act from last week that supports grid-scale energy storage R&D and grid efficiency. In doing so, the Promoting Grid Storage Act of 2019 would allocate over $1 billion over five years to DOE energy storage research projects, fund DOE grants to assist in energy storage deployment, and provide for pilot storage systems coming out of labs and into the real world.
According to Sen. Collins, "Unlocking the next generation of energy storage technology will unleash the potential of renewable energy and will be a powerful tool to help slow climate change. This legislation takes a holistic approach to advance promising research and support technical assistance for all types of energy storage."
As a supporter of energy storage development, my hope is that this bill is supported in a bipartisan manner and is not simply used as a tool to pander to energy and environment crowds, knowing it won't pass. Perhaps it's my pessimism with the state of U.S. politics, but it does not seem like much in the way of energy legislation has really taken priority and even the excitement of the Green New Deal has dampened and not remained in the focus of lawmakers. Hoping I'll be proven wrong, though!