Wind does not blow all the time, nor does the sun shine consistently. Battery storage has, therefore, become an essential component of a transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewables, from utility-scale installations to the individual home and vehicle. While hydro, biomass, and thermal are all examples of energy storage, the battery is currently the key component that will make electricity derived from clean and renewable but intermittent sources like solar and wind available where and when it is needed.

Energy storage is also critical in meeting electricity demand during peak times, such as on hot summer days when air conditioners are blasting or at nightfall when households turn on their lights and electronics. Energy storage allows greater grid flexibility as distributors can buy electricity during off-peak times when energy is cheap and sell it to the grid when it is in greater demand. For a look at the status of five energy storage technologies go here.

Energy storage will play a crucial role in meeting aggressive renewable-energy targets, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA. These include a mandate to derive as much as 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. “Storage will help to integrate clean energy into the grid,” and also “stabilize supply during peak electric usage,” according to NYSERDA.

Battery storage can reduce demand on the grid, provide emergency backup for residential electricity, and deliver 100-percent clean energy if charged by solar panels or another renewable source, replacing the need for fossil fuel-fired “peaker plants” that operate as needed to meet peak energy demand.

State-level mandates like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Community Solar and Storage Program, announced in February, 2021, will “drive down costs and scale up the market for these clean energy technologies.”

The price for lithium ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, remains high, however, even as prices for solar and wind diminish. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems. The size of the energy storage market is predicted (as of 3/14/2020) to be $620 billion in investment by 2040.

The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion


Battery Storage for Fossil-Fueled Peaker Plant Replacement: A Maine Case Study

Across the country, more than a thousand fossil fuel burning peaker power plants sit idle, waiting to be called upon by electricity grid operators. These plants are designed to fire up quickly in response to…
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Battery storage is essential; recent fires show that safety is, too

By Julie Tighe 03/04/24
New York generates more power from renewable energy than any state in the Eastern United States. Clean hydropower provides 21% of the state’s energy generation, with another 8% from wind capacity and 5% from solar…
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New York proposes 15 safety recommendations for battery energy storage facilities

By Kavya Balaraman 02/08/24
An inter-agency fire safety working group put together by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, D, following multiple fires at battery storage facilities in the state last year, on Tuesday issued an initial list of draft…
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How Arizona sends solar power to your light switch, long after the sun goes down

By Andy Tobin 01/30/24
Markets that have more choice and competition are better for consumers. The energy market is no different. In the past, our choices were mostly limited to a handful of fuels — coal, oil, natural gas,…
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The US’s largest solar + battery storage project just came online

By Michelle Lewis 01/25/24
The US’s largest solar + battery storage project, Edwards & Sanborn, has come online in Kern County, California.
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LG Energy unveils 10 grid-scale battery storage projects for 2024

By Lamar Johnson 01/08/24
The portfolio of facilities will help avoid the equivalent of 16 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, the company calculated using the EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.
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Residents meet to air safety concerns about proposed battery storage unit in Holtsville

By Mark Harrington and Carl MacGowan 10/25/23
Residents concerned about a proposed battery storage facility being built in Holtsville are holding two meetings to air their grievances. The PSC on Oct. 12 gave formal approval to the $110 million project, which includes…
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Old West Virginia Steel Mill Becomes a Green-Energy Powerhouse

By Scott Patterson 09/18/23
For decades, iron ore was shipped into a sprawling steel mill on the banks of the Ohio River near Pittsburgh. Iron deliveries will resume soon at the 55-acre site, this time as a key ingredient…
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Sodium-ion batteries are gaining traction thanks to a ‘game-changing’ new partnership: ‘The battery of the future’

By Ben Rake 09/17/23
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers BYD and Huaihai Holding Group have announced a partnership to become world leaders in producing sodium-ion batteries for small EVs.
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Graham Palmer: “Energy Storage and Civilization: A History”

By Nate Hagens 09/06/23
On this episode, Nate is joined by Graham Palmer, a scholar and engineer in the field of energy. While this show frequently covers the importance of energy itself, this discussion focuses on how the ability…
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Mineral crisis looms over U.S. clean energy transition

By James Osborne 08/16/23
The United States is facing a looming shortfall of nickel, copper and cobalt, materials critical to the manufacturing of battery systems needed for electric vehicles and to balance wind and solar on the power grid.
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Governor Convenes Working Group After Fires at Three BESS Facilities

By Tom Gogola 08/02/23
Just days after the Southampton Town Board’s recent decision to enact a six-month moratorium on battery energy storage systems proposed in the town, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of... more
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Energy Storage Reports and Data

The following resources provide information on a broad range of storage technologies.

Fact Sheet: Energy Storage (2019)

Due to growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and the capacity and resilience of energy grids around the world, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. Indeed,…

Energy Storage

In response to increased State goals and targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, meet air quality standards, and achieve a carbon free grid, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), with authorization from the California…

How Energy Storage Works

Emerging storage facilities will allow us to store energy generated from wind and solar resources on shorter time frames to smooth variability, and on longer cycles to replace ever more fossil fuel. By charging storage…

Renewable Energy Storage

The largest of the current renewable energy storage projects utilizing hydrogen that are currently in operation are facilities located in Germany at Grapzow [81] in the province of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in Falkenhagen [82] in Brandenburg.…

Pairing Wind with Energy Storage Is Critical for Renewable Energy Future

A new report from Navigant Research examines the use of energy storage for wind integration, covering existing and upcoming projects, the competitive landscape, and expected market growth.

There’s a Simple Way to Store Renewable Energy, And We Already Have The Technology

The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large…

Energy Storage—A Trillion-Dollar Holy Grail

The science of renewable energy is remarkable—the ability to harness nature to magically power our modern world is a seductive vision. And yet, the actual business of renewable energy is late to establish itself as…

Energy storage

Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery. Energy comes in multiple forms including…

Energy Storage

One of the distinctive characteristics of the electric power sector is that the amount of electricity that can be generated is relatively fixed over short periods of time, although demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the…

Technologies Of energy storage

A wide array of storage technologies have been developed so that the grid can meet everyday energy needs.

Utility-Scale Batteries Innovation Landscape Brief

This brief is part of the IRENA project “Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future”, which maps the relevant innovations, identifies the synergies and formulates solutions for integrating high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) into…

U.S. Grid Energy Storage Factsheet

CSS has developed a growing set of factsheets that cover topics including energy, water, food, waste, buildings, materials, and transportation systems.

U.S. utility-scale battery storage power capacity to grow substantially by 2023

Utility-scale battery storage units (units of one megawatt (MW) or greater power capacity) are a newer electric power resource, and their use has been growing in recent years.


Tesla prioritizes installation cost cuts, storage integration in solar ‘market leader’ quest

By Emma Penrod   01/29/21  
Tesla's solar business had its best quarter since 2018 during the final months of 2020, according to CEO Elon Musk. After turning his attention to Model 3 production for a time, Tesla now has "a…
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A circular economy for batteries to underpin renewable energy growth

By Tansy Robertson-Fall   12/01/20  
As the renewable energy sector grows, high-capacity long-life battery storage is fundamental to its success. How these batteries are designed and made will define their environmental impact for generations to come. Creating a circular economy…
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Top six countries with the largest lithium reserves in the world

By Andrew Fawthrop   11/19/20  
Lithium is growing in demand, but many of the countries with the biggest-known reserves have yet to successfully commercialise the resource at scale.
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To batteries and beyond: Compressed air, liquid air and the holy grail of long-duration storage

By Kavya Balaraman   10/14/20  
In 1991, generation and transmission cooperative PowerSouth — then known as the Alabama Electric Cooperative — started operating a 110 MW compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant in McIntosh, Alabama.
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FERC Opens Electricity Markets to Distributed Resource Aggregators

By Bud Earley   09/22/20  
The FERC approved a final rule that will enable distributed energy resource (DER) aggregators to compete in organized wholesale electricity markets. DERs are located on the distribution system or behind the customer meter and include…
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China ‘dominating’ the lithium-ion battery supply chain, says industry report

By James Murray   09/17/20  
China’s success has come as a result of its large domestic battery demand, alongside its control over 80% of the world’s raw material refining.
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DC Circuit upholds landmark FERC storage order, rejecting claims it violates state authority

By Catherine Morehouse   07/13/20  
A three-judge panel of the court said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's 2018 Order 841, intended to expand the ability of storage to participate in wholesale power markets, does not surpass the commission's jurisdiction with its…
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Cold storage: Organic proton batteries show disposal, solar pairing advantages in advance to market

By Lynn Freehill-Maye   05/11/20  
Scientists in Sweden are stepping up in the global race to efficiently store renewable energy with an all-organic proton battery whose capabilities surprised even the researchers. Among them, the battery can be recharged directly from…
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The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium Ion

Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high.
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US energy storage ‘surges in Q4 2019’

The US energy storage market installed record capacity the fourth quarter of 2019, deploying 186MW and 364 megawatt hours of storage, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest data.
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ESA: More records set for US energy storage installs in Q4, massive growth forecasted

By Eric Wesoff   03/10/20  
According to the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) and Wood Mackenzie, Q4 2019 marks the largest-ever quarter for storage deployments across all U.S. market segments.
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Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge

By Herman K. Trabish   03/02/20  
Here are three things power sector policymakers are reaching agreement on: The mid-century goal is a zero emissions economy; wind and solar alone cannot do that; and green hydrogen may be a solution.
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Flow Batteries: Energy Storage Option for a Variety of Uses

By Tisha Scroggin-Wicker and Kieran McInerney   03/02/20  
Energy storage is becoming increasingly important to the power industry. Lithium-ion battery technology has been implemented in many locations, but flow batteries offer significant benefits in long-duration usage applications and situations that require regular cycling…
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Forward-thinking US states charge ahead on energy storage

By Sara Baldwin   03/02/20  
How some states are illuminating the path ahead with trailblazing regulatory, policy and market frameworks.
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“Big Battery” making Big Bucks Down Under

By Peter Sinclair   02/29/20  
Tesla’s “big battery” utility-scale Powerpack system at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia has yielded more than doubled the savings to consumers in 2019 than the year prior as it dominates fossil fuel generators…
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There’s a Simple Way to Store Renewable Energy, And We Already Have The Technology

By Antoine Koen & Pau Farres Antunez   02/26/20  
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large…
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Seasonal Pumped Hydropower Storage Could Solve the Renewable Energy Storage Challenge

Seasonal pumped hydropower storage (SPHS), an already established yet infrequently used technology, could be an affordable and sustainable solution to store energy and water on an annual scale, according to new IIASA research published in…
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Could water solve the renewable energy storage challenge?

Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study.
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Here’s How Energy Storage Kills Coal, One Factory At A Time

By Tina Casey   02/13/20  
When recently impeached US President* Donald Trump tapped an auto industry lobbyist to lead the US Department of Energy last fall, eyes rolled back into heads. Well, it looks like the wrong eyes rolled.
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EDF Asks D.C. Circuit to Uphold FERC Energy Storage Order

By Sharyn Stein   02/10/20  
EDF is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to uphold an order that permits energy storage to compete fairly in wholesale power markets.
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New York Power Authority: New energy storage demonstration project supporting further integration of renewable power sources into grid

The New York Power Authority announced a collaboration with a leading-edge energy storage company to develop a demonstration energy storage system, using new zinc-air energy storage technology, in New York. The project, selected as a…
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California has big clean energy ambitions, and is looking for better energy storage to realize them

By Kavya Balaraman   01/06/20  
Lithium-ion batteries have dominated the storage space for the last decade, largely due to declining costs caused by global build-out of storage manufacturing capacity for electric vehicle markets, according to Burwen. The technology is also…
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Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage

By Wayne Hicks   01/02/20  
An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it’s also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy…
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To Store Renewable Energy, Try Freezing Air

By John Fialka   01/02/20  
The system that supplies clean electricity to Vermont is not exactly a model of Yankee ingenuity. In 2011, the state adopted a plan to get 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2050. That…
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5 Tangible Advances for Long-Duration Energy Storage in 2019

By Julian Spector   12/30/19  
The big wins for long-duration storage always seem to be just around the corner. This year brought concrete signs of progress.
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The Energy Storage Path to a Clean California

By Donald Balfour   12/03/19  
Over the last two decades, the energy industry has been in a constant state of transformation, catalyzed by dramatic increases in clean energy and a multitude of technology innovations. In California, the spotlight has been…
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Which new energy storage technologies might outcompete lithium-ion in the 2020’s?

By Chris Wedding   10/22/19  
Today, lithium is king of batteries. Plain and simple. That is, for now…Wood Mackenzie reports that lithium-ion batteries made up 99% of all [chemical] battery deployments in Q4 2018. Technology dominance is an understatement. But…
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Are Concrete Blocks the Next Batteries?

By David Grossman   10/14/19  
In August 2019, the Japanese multinational holding firm SoftBank invested $110 million in Swiss company Energy Vault. It was a major boon for the company, which has a somewhat unique take on renewables: It stores…
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Getting to 100% renewables requires cheap energy storage. But how cheap?

By David Roberts   09/20/19  
One of the most heated and interesting debates in the energy world today has to do with how far the US can get on carbon-free renewable energy alone. One faction believes that renewables can supply…
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How Inexpensive Must Energy Storage Be for Utilities to Switch to 100 Percent Renewables?

By Prachi Patel   09/16/19  
MIT researchers list the energy storage technologies that could enable a 100 percent renewable grid.
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Why Energy Storage Is Proving Even More Disruptive Than Cheap Renewables

By Jeff Mcmahon   08/02/19  
The falling price of renewable energy has been dominating the headlines, but more dramatic change is happening behind the scenes, where battery storage is disrupting the way utilities provide power.
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Southampton Makes Big Strides on Sustainability

By Christopher Walsh   07/18/19  
The report is a requirement of the town’s 400+ sustainability plan, adopted into its comprehensive plan in 2013. Southampton, like the Town of East Hampton, is a bronze-status municipality — a designation based on a…
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$55 Million for Energy Storage

By Christopher Walsh   07/11/19  
The announcement is part of Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal clean energy jobs agenda, which is intended to move the state toward carbon neutrality.
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Three Large-Scale Energy Storage Technologies That May Hold the Keys to Unleashing an All-Out Renewable Energy Transition

By Andrew Burger   04/15/19  
Recent developments to do with pumped hydro, liquid air and kinetic energy storage technology hold out the promise of inexpensive, widely available energy storage. If realized, deployments could be the catalyst that fuels growth of…
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Tesla reveals the future of the power grid

A partnership between Tesla and KIUC's (Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative) -- is vast -- 45 acres of solar panels situated among rolling green hills. Panels dip and rise with the contour of the land, feeding…
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