Full Title: States Energy Storage Policy: Best Practices for Decarbonization
Author(s): Will McNamara, Howard Passell and Todd Olinsky-Paul
Publisher(s): Sandia National Laboratories and Clean Energy States Alliance
Publication Date: February 23, 2023
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Decarbonization of electricity generation is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and energy storage is a key enabling technology for scaling up renewables to meet state decarbonization goals. Yet the most effective approaches to energy storage policymaking are far from clear. This report, published jointly by Sandia National Laboratories and the Clean Energy States Alliance, summarizes findings from a 2022 survey of states leading in decarbonization goals and programs. It also summarizes findings from a 2022 survey of energy storage developers; and it provides a “deep dive” into key state energy storage policy priorities and the challenges being encountered by some of the leading states, in the form of a series of case studies. The report highlights best practices, identifies barriers, and underscores the urgent need to expand state energy storage policymaking to support decarbonization in the US.
The report is based on the idea that dramatic expansion of renewable energy resources is essential to the decarbonization of the US power sector, and that the inherent variability of many renewable energy sources, like photovoltaics and wind, will demand vast amounts of strategically sited energy storage systems. These energy storage systems will enable variable resources to become more dispatchable and to shift electricity from times of high generation to times of high demand. Because clean energy policy and regulation are largely implemented at the state level, effective state energy storage policies will be crucial to achieving greater decarbonization nationwide. Taken altogether, the elements comprising this report provide important perspectives on how the leading states are approaching energy storage policy to support decarbonization goals. The authors’ intent is to highlight best practices, identify barriers, and underscore the urgent need to expand state energy storage policymaking to support decarbonization in the US.