U.S. Energy Storage May Be Over-Hyped, Shah Warns
Although the U.S. energy storage market is expected to grow 250% this year and complete 900 MW of deployments by 2019, clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah warned late last month that the technology may be over-hyped.
“The only reason we have storage right now is not because of grid stability, but because there are personalities like Elon Musk saying, ‘this is awesome,’” Shah said in a keynote address to the 2015 Energy Storage Association conference May 27-29. The industry is still sorting out the best applications for its products, he said, and there are policy and regulatory questions to be addressed.
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“First, solar and storage might not actually be BFFs,” Renewable Energy World reports. “While it seems natural to pair energy storage and renewable energy technologies, Shah said the storage industry shouldn’t bank on it,” focusing instead on utility-scale applications that will deliver more reliable business growth.
The storage industry “also needs to take a long hard look at policy,” Cichon writes, to be prepared when states design incentives for the technology.
“I was told this is not a just battery conference, there is thermal, compressed air, pumped hydro—there’s all sorts of people here. Okay, so if there is a storage carve out, who gets it?” Shah asked. “Those are the questions that banks are going to want the answers to before they give you a million dollars.”