When we consider the rapid rise of energy storage technology that we are witnessing all across the globe, it is key that we remember all of the reasons that this technology is and/or will be a key component in the grid of the future. Today’s energy storage is not just about having a battery backup for a solar PV system (although consumers are using batteries this way in record numbers). No, the rapid increase in energy storage technology is being driven by engineers all along the electricity spectrum from transmission operators who are deploying large-scale grid-connected energy storage to generate electricity when the grid is compromised through to distribution engineers who are using energy storage as a grid management tool to smooth out ramp events that are caused by rapid increases or decreases in electricity produced by solar PV or wind turbines. Further down the line, we find commercial electricity users installing energy storage on their buildings to lower their demand charges and finally there are homeowners who are examining how energy storage technologies might lessen their dependence on the grid or give them greater control over how and when they use grid electricity.
Energy storage is therefore a cost-saving mechanism; a transmission asset; a micro-grid enabler; an efficiency driver and more. That’s why there is so much interest in energy storage today and that’s why this technology is a major component in the grid of the future.
(This Letter from the Editor sets the stage for our March/April 2014 issue, one of our best yet. If you haven’t checked it out yet, why not subscribe today? You can view our 100 percent digital issue on your tablet or computer. Who needs the Sunday Papers when you can sit back and relax with a cup of coffee or tea and Renewable Energy World Magazine? Plus, you can read more about the Nice Grid Project on pp. 36-42.)