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U.S. Won’t Need Energy Storage to Expand Renewables

While energy storage is “an important solution with big market potential,” available energy supply technologies are sufficient to “achieve much more renewables penetration than we currently have in the U.S.,” cleantech investor Rob Day writes in a commentary on Greentech Media.

“Cost-effective power storage is going to be a big boon when it does come to market,” Day writes. “But it’s time to start pushing back on the rhetoric (from both proponents and, importantly, opponents of renewables) that often slips toward implying that energy storage is the only solution that matters for balancing the grid and renewables. That without such breakthrough innovations, renewables are inherently limited in the near term. Such rhetoric has gone way too far.”

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Utilities, innovators, and investors have “a variety of self-serving reasons” to push a narrative in which large-scale renewables deployment depends on storage. But “the problem of intermittent renewables is overstated, at least at current generation-mix levels,” Day writes. And “there are a wide range of already-available solutions that greatly alleviate this problem anyway, without requiring additional storage innovations.”