The sexy universe of energy storage ... and what it means for you

My latest feature for the East Bay Express explores the importance of energy storage to meeting California's long-term renewable-energy goals, and how the state is beginning to pursue admittedly nascent technologies now -- in part through a first-in-the-nation storage mandate now making its way through the CPUC.

Like our famous RPS goal of 33% renewables by 2020, a storage mandate would direct the state's big utilities to purchase a set amount of energy storage capacity by predetermined deadlines. Storage will in turn improve the reliability of our state's grid as well enable us to shift toward a carbon-free energy grid by the middle of the century. And if we want to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals, that's exactly how to do it. Storage is integral to it all. Many of the technologies are still in development and remain quite costly, but getting out ahead of the game will allow us to be ready when we truly need them.

In my story I speak with some of the state's heavy hitters in the renewable energy and storage world, including Nancy Skinner, Carla Peterman, and Dan Kammen, as well as the head guy in the DOE's storage group, Imre Gyuk. They all have the same message. The story ends with a nice quote from Gyuk about the importance of the United States' leadership in this field. Enjoy!