Center for American Progress

Incentives for “Dispatchable” Renewables and Electricity Storage
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Incentives for “Dispatchable” Renewables and Electricity Storage

Establishing a dedicated incentive for deployment of “dispatchable” renewable energy will create demand for electricity-storage technologies and eventually move them into widespread adoption.

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As the nation’s electricity supply relies increasingly on intermittent zero-carbon energy including wind and solar sources, there will be a need for instantly available—or dispatchable—power to maintain system reliability and reduce integration costs. This makes the construction of a more robust transmission grid and coordinated regional grid operations top priorities. But in addition to these needs, energy storage technology that allows for the storage and dispatch of these resources on demand will become increasingly important to the stability of the grid. Many exciting, innovative technologies for energy storage are being researched and developed, including advanced batteries, compressed air, hydraulic storage, and other approaches to storing intermittent renewable energy resources.

Establishing a dedicated incentive for deployment of “dispatchable” renewable energy will create demand for electricity-storage technologies and eventually move them into widespread adoption. Several options exist to create stronger incentives for storage, including a bonus credit for storage solutions within the previously mentioned renewable integration credit as well as a dedicated stream of allowances for storage technologies within a climate bill. A storage incentive could also apply to economic hybrid renewable-fossil plants that use renewable energy as their primary source and fossil fuels to cover gaps.

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