Energy storage is an incredibly important piece of the renewable energy market and will fully utilize solar and wind energy. It will allow for renewable energy to meet the demand needed and improve the reliability of using Solar, wind, and other intermittent generation resources. So what is energy storage? Here are the basics!
- An Overview
Storage for renewable energy refers to the technology that saves the excess energy produced by solar or other forms of power, converts it to a different form of energy, and then retrieves it for a different time. This technology can help make this energy, whose power output is difficult to control for grid operators, smooth and easily dispatchable when it is needed. During power outages, days with heavy energy demand or other with electrical disruptions, energy storage can act as backup power and can be used for microgrids or portable power units.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that an additional 10 GW of battery storage will be installed by 2023, and as prices come down, storage solutions for renewable power will become more accessible to every American. There are different types of storage technology including batteries, hydropower, compressed air, and thermal energy storage just to name a few, but the ones most closely associated with the solar industry are electrochemical storage, and thermal storage.
- Other Benefits
One of the main benefits of energy storage is its ability to provide maximum use of renewable energy and ensure that less is wasted. Other valuable benefits of energy storage include improved power quality, stability, and reliability of transmission and distribution systems. Decreased costly upgrades, improved availability, and improved value of renewable energy generation. It can also reduce high demand, and those savings could be passed on to customers.
For communities, storage for solar and other forms of energy can help low-income communities and marginalized communities historically overburdened with the impacts of climate change. Energy storage can help maximize savings from using solar if you don’t have the opportunity to enroll in a net metering program.
- The Job Factor
Energy storage installation growth is becoming a global phenomenon and more jobs such as manufacturing, engineering, construction, transportation, and finance are needed and will only become more in demand in the future because of the increasing need for energy storage options. Because one project takes over one-hundred people to make it work, the demand for skilled workers and a new skill set is becoming increasingly important.
California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) has found that in California alone, the storage industry in has created or stimulated approximately 18,410 jobs associated with storage projects in development, or operational over the last ten years, and that number has continued to grow. Even with the current Solar Tariff situation, and supply chain issues, the solar and storage industries do not seem to be slowing down.
- Final Thoughts
For both commercial and community solar, storage is an important part of the industry and will help cities and rural areas maintain power and become less dependent on fossil fuels as climate change continues. If you are interested in a job in energy storage or want to read up on more content from us check out our other blogs, and for specific questions contact us at Jon@inpeakdemand.com.