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Firming Renewable Energy Storage Systems

Action item: Advocate for the creation of an investment tax credit for renewable energy storage systems

Rationale:

  • Solar and wind electricity supply is variable and needs to be firmed with power from fast-responding combustion turbine power plants.
  • An efficient means of firming variable solar and wind electricity supply is with the application of large compressed air energy storage (CAES) facilities that store solar and wind electricity in the form of compressed air. The stored compressed air can then be released on demand to power the combustion turbine power plants, which reduces their natural gas consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 60%.
  • CAES is the lowest cost form of energy storage and is similar to the way the natural gas energy operates with a national network of underground compressed natural gas storage facilities.

The Electricity Storage Association (ESA) has a webpage describing current Congressional activity on this subject at Bipartisan Gibson-Thompson Bill to Create Energy Storage ITC.

What needs to be done:

Contact Congressional representatives (House and Senate) to pass legislation to provide a 20% investment tax credit for energy storage systems designed to firm variations in solar and wind electricity supply.