Modernizing the electric grid will help the nation meet the challenge of handling projected energy needs—including addressing climate change by relying on more energy from renewable sources—in the coming decades, while maintaining a robust and resilient electricity delivery system. This according to a new report on energy storage delivered by the Department of Energy at the request of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
By some estimates, the U.S. will need somewhere between 4 and 5 tera kilowatt-hours of electricity annually by 2050. Those planning and implementing grid expansion to meet this increased electric load face growing challenges in balancing economic and commercial viability, resiliency, cyber-security, and impacts to carbon emissions and environmental sustainability.
This report sets out potential options to improve energy storage. It also presents a number of specific actions that could help maintain both scientific advancements and a pipeline of project deployments. This report does not address new policy actions, nor does it specify budgets and resources for future activities.