Energy Storage News – US rejoins Paris Agreement on Climate Change: The Energy Storage Industry View

Joe Biden took over as President of the US a month ago and last week he and his team brought the country back into the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Before he took up his post, had asked national Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman what the energy storage industry in the US — and the world — could expect from the new president.

Speakes-Backman said that Biden had been the first US President-Elect to acknowledge the importance of energy storage and that his plan to invest in the economy and on infrastructure largely focused on the clean energy economy and essential grid infrastructure.

What needs to happen for the plans to pay off

Nicole Bulgarino, executive VP for federal solutions at energy efficiency and renewables integrator Ameresco, says that battery storage can be the “link” between renewable energy and electric utilities in the US. Bulgarino’s work with Ameresco Federal Solutions already shows federal government entities how they can reduce their energy costs and increase energy efficiency in tandem with increasing renewable energy penetration and using battery storage is a key part of this.

“More push for federal buildings, for state, for large corporations to be carbon neutral, I think will lead these facilities to do more energy efficiency, do more on site renewables, where battery will definitely become hand-in-hand with that.”

Bulgarino gave the example of Massachusetts state-level legislature where the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) programme already mandates battery storage be deployed with solar installations. We will be likely to see more direct policy initiatives of this type in more states and from more utilities, she says and the growth of renewables will spur a growth in battery storage.

“I think it’s already starting with some of these executive orders that are recently signed,” Bulgarino says. Ameresco is hoping to see the investment tax credit (ITC) rolled out to standalone battery energy storage installations, which Bulgarino says would be “really good and helpful,” in the way it has stimulated the growth of solar (and solar-plus-storage) in the US in the past few years. It would certainly be one way to support reaching climate goals, she says.

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Energy Storage News
By: Andy Colthorpe