Last month, the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries released “Distributed Energy Storage: Serving National Interests,” a white paper which outlines the benefits of distributed energy storage (DES) and its relationship to the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry.

According to the paper, DES systems can increase grid reliability, stability and security because of their “ability to provide… electric supply capacity and energy time shift, ancillary services, transmission and distribution (T&D) system support, electric utility customer energy cost management, and renewable energy integration.” These advantages may be necessary if the U.S. were to increase integration of renewable energy sources, see a proliferation of EV’s, or push smart grid developments.

The paper argues that a robust program to promote DES may result in economies of scale and associated cost reductions for advanced battery technologies. “DES and EV’s can use the same types of advanced batteries or, at a minimum, can use battery systems and controls incorporating a high degree of commonality. By aggregating the demand of both the DES and EV markets, battery manufacturers could potentially achieve economies of scale and lower unit production cost far more quickly than if they had to rely on demand from the EV market alone. As a result the price of both EV’s and DES systems could fall, helping to support higher rates of consumer adoption of EV’s and higher rates of utility deployment of DES systems.”

What kind of supports might government provide to DES technologies systems? What economic, security, or environmental benefits might greater DES deployment and adoption result in?