• 4 minutes Will We Ever See 100$+ OIL?
  • 8 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 11 minutes Energy Outlook for Renewables. Pie in the sky or real?
  • 52 mins Shale Oil will it self destruct?
  • 8 hours White House insider who predicted Iran False Flag, David Goldberg found dead in his New York apartment
  • 1 day NYT: Mass Immigration Roundups in U.S. to Start Sunday
  • 1 hour Migration From Eastern Europe Raises German Population To Record High
  • 3 hours Excellent Choice: Germany's Von der Leyen Secures Powerful EU Executive Top Job
  • 13 hours Germany exits coal: A model for Asia?
  • 1 day Carrot And Stick: North Korea Suggests It Might Lift Weapons Test moratorium
  • 1 hour Washington Post hit piece attacking oil, Christians and Trump
  • 23 hours South Korea imports No Oil From Iran in June - First-Half Imports Fall 37%
  • 10 hours Starlink Internet Courtesy of Tesla
  • 14 hours A Silence is heard
  • 2 days U.S. Administration Moves To End Asylum Protections For Central Americans
  • 2 days U.S.- Taiwan: China Says Will Freeze Out U.S. Companies That Sell Arms To Taiwan
Alt Text

Why The Clean Energy Revolution Isn’t Taking Off In Russia

Russia, the world’s second largest…

Alt Text

Clean Energy Is Doomed Without More R&D Spending

Climate change is a growing…

Alt Text

$4.5-Trillion: The Price Tag of A Fossil Fuel-Free U.S.

Decarbonizing the U.S. grid and…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Premium Content

Energy Storage Gains Washington’s Support

When Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced US$30 million in funding for energy storage projects at the beginning of this month, he drew praise from renewable energy-focused media as the latest indication that energy storage is so important and attractive that even fossil fuel-friendly Washington is throwing its weight behind it.

Indeed, the US$30 million that will be used for research into energy storage installations that can provide reliable electricity for periods of 10 to 100 hours is good news for renewables: solar and wind are the first thing that springs to mind when you hear energy storage. It is energy storage that can make them a mainstream method of generating electricity, replacing fossil fuel power plants.

While the praise is deserved, the Department of Energy’s move could be seen from another angle as well: it may not be only about pushing renewables into the mainstream as jumping on the energy storage bandwagon, which is getting bigger and shinier by the day. Everyone is working on energy storage—and not only to increase renewable energy use, but also to make the grid more resilient to peaks and slumps in demand.

What’s more, energy storage systems could make electricity bills slimmer in some places. Ontario is a case in point here: large companies in the Canadian province have seen their electricity bills swell considerably since 2010. In Toronto, bills jumped by as much as 53 percent between 2010 and 2016 because electricity providers passed on to them their Global Adjustment costs stemming from the provision of adequate generation capacity.

So, we’ve got boosting renewables use, improving grid resilience, and potentially cutting electricity bills among the benefits of the government’s funding program. But is this funding as substantial and significant as it may seem to some? Maybe not.

Besides the US$30-million energy storage funding, the Department of Energy recently announced that it was allocating US$60 million for what it calls advanced nuclear technology development. The department has selected 13 projects that will share the funding and has plans to award an additional US$40 million by the end of the year on more nuclear tech projects. That’s more than three times the funding allocated for energy storage.

The DoE is also pursuing coal power plants with a fresh request for information from this week: the department is seeking information about the prospects of small modular coal plants “that provide stable power generation with operational flexibility, high efficiency, and low emissions.” Related: The Real Reason Trump Killed The Iran Deal

The Department of Energy, in other words, is investing in various energy generation projects and is not giving any special treatment to renewables as the preferred direction for investments. This is not bad, however. The renewables industry itself has a way to go towards making its products more attractive for users by combining their generation installation with energy storage.

One company is already doing it. That’s Lightsource, Europe’s largest solar power developer, which recently told Greentech Media that from now on, it will only offer to build solar installations compete with energy storage—the so-called hybrid installations.

Common sense suggests this is what all solar and wind developers should be doing with or without the financial support of the Department of Energy. Deploying more energy storage might also provide further motivation for researchers to get all these new batteries we hear about almost every week out of the lab more quickly.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Bill Simpson on May 10 2018 said:
    Canadians should do themselves a favor, and dam up the Rocky Mountains. What they got, like 500 survivalists living up there? Hire them as dam watchers. Google, 'NAWAPA'. (China would have had NAWAPA finished long ago. Environmentalists can't stop wealth creation over there. That is the only thing good about a dictatorship. They get things done, which is why they will run the world sooner than people think.) Stalin did it in Russia, and today Russia has some of the cheapest electricity on the planet for things like aluminum smelting and electric heat, which Canada certainly needs. Of course, Canada would need contractors, rather than the political slave labor force that Stalin used.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play