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2020 Strategic Analysis of Energy Storage in California


Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program Final Project Report, November 2011.

Prepared for: California Energy Commission.

University of California, Los Angeles authors:
Andris R. Abele, Principal Investigator
Bruce S. Dunn, Ph.D. (IGERT faculty advisor)
Tsu-Chin Tsao, Ph.D.
Rita Blaik (IGERT trainee)
Christopher Lim
David Luong
Leland Smith (IGERT trainee)

The California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program supports public interest energy research and development that will help improve the quality of life in California by binging environmentally safe, affordable, and reliable energy services and products to the marketplace.

The PIER Program conducts public interest research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects to benefit California.

The PIER Program strives to conduct the most promising public interest energy research by partnering with RD&D entities, including individuals, businesses, utilities, and public or private research institutions.

PIER funding efforts are focused on the following RD&D program areas:

•Buildings End-Use Energy Efficiency
•Energy Innovations Small Grants
•Energy-Related Environmental Research
•Energy Systems Integration
•Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation
•Industrial/Agricultural/Water End-Use Energy Efficiency
•Renewable Energy Technologies

Abstract: As California progresses towards its goal of 33 percent renewable electricity generation , the potential for energy storage to help integrate renewable resources and maintain a reliable and efficient electric grid taks on great significance. In 2010, the California Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 2514 (Skinner, Chapter 469, Statutes 2010), directing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to convene a proceeding to define energy storage procurement targets, if any, for investor-owned utilities. Under the statute, similar targets, on a slightly larger scale, would also be required for publicly owned utilities. This report presents a strategic analysis of energy storage for California by 2020. The report assesses current energy storage technologies, discusses the diverse policies affecting deployment in California, and outlines critical technology gaps, future research needs, and policy reforms. It also provides a reference framework for the Energy Commission, CPUC, and other regulatory agencies to use as they develop solutions for how commercially ready energy storage technologies can be cost-effectively applied in California to reduce costs to ratepayers, reduce emissions from fossil fuel generation, and enable and accelerate the implementation of more renewable generation and its integration in California’s electricity system. The report also provides a roadmap for the California Energy Commission to use when allocating public interest energy research funds for developing, improving and demonstrating energy storage technologies.