Monday, September 28, 2009

Electric Power Storage

This Congressional Research Service Report (R40797) dated, September 8, 2009, summarizes the technical, regulatory, and policy issues that surround implementation
of electric power storage (EPS).

Electricity storage is one of several non-traditional technologies and methods of meeting power demand that are of current Congressional interest (others include distributed generation, renewable power, and demand response). EPS and these other alternatives do not fit the traditional power industry paradigm, which involves reliance on large scale central power plants and long distance transmission lines to meet demand. This raises the question of how quickly and effectively the power industry and its regulators will be willing to pursue and deploy new
approaches. Electricity storage is also currently a relatively high cost technology, another factor which could delay its deployment.

The report identifies several areas for possible cfongressional oversight, including:
• Power industry and state regulator acceptance of storage technologies.
• Integration of storage into transmission system planning, including integration of
renewable power into the electricity grid.
• Federal executive agency focus on EPS as a solution to power system needs.
• The application of incentives for electric power storage development included in
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5).

The report discusses how the provisions of several pending bills relate to the development of electric power storage, including S. 1091, the Storage Technology of Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2009 (STORAGE Act); H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES); and S. 1462, the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (ACELA).

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