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Monday, June 03, 2013

Energy Storage: Congress Gets On The Bandwagon

Previously, we've written about how storage is a key element in solving our energy problems. You can read those articles here, here and here.

Congress is getting on the storage bandwagon now. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Angus King, I-Maine, last week introduced S. 1030, the Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy (STORAGE) Act of 2013, a bill to encourage the development of renewable energy through the deployment of energy storage technologies.

The STORAGE Act of 2013 would create a 30% investment tax credit for the use of technologies that can store energy during non-peak hours and distribute it to meet peak electricity demand. In addition, the STORAGE Act would provide a 20% investment tax credit of up to $40 million per project for grid-scale storage systems. The bill proposes capping the total amount available for these projects at $1.5 billion. The STORAGE Act would also provide a 30% tax credit to homeowners who install energy storage on their property.

This bipartisan bill could go a long way toward taming the cost of energy in the USA.

In Australia, where massive amounts of rooftop solar panels have been installed, the demand curve for electricity during the former peak hours of midday electrical usage has slumped dramatically due to solar power production. The peak usage time has shifted to evening hours now. This is a dramatic change and by storing that solar power during the times of peak production of power, the evening hours are likely to see a similar drop in conventional electrical production as well. This is likely to dramatically lower the need to burn fossil fuels. And, it just might eliminate the need for punitive taxes on carbon in the natural way: via the Law of Supply and Demand.