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IREC Releases Policymaker’s Guide to Help Address Regulatory Hurdles of Storage
In April 2017, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) published a guide that provides state regulators and other decision makers with a framework for addressing advanced energy storage in their markets. The report, Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers, attempts to provide a systematic approach to explore actions and pathways for wider spread storage deployment.
- Storage is a uniquely challenging technology to implement in that its classification (generation or delivery) and its multiple-value streams (energy, ancillary services, etc.) can make it a difficult business model to implement.
- IREC is a non-profit that seeks to expand consumer access to clean energy. It provides objective analysis of best practices and standards to consumers, policymakers, utilities, and the clean energy industry.
- In its guide, IREC provides four foundational policy actions states might consider:
- Clarify how energy storage systems are classified to enable shared ownership and operational functions in restructured markets
- Require proactive consideration of energy storage in a utility-planning effort
- Create mechanisms to capture the full-value stream of storage services
- Ensure fair, streamlined, and cost-effective grid access for energy storage systems
- The report also provides an overview of storage technologies, including their applications and characteristics, an approach for understanding the economics and assessing the value of storage, and key illustrative examples of state regulatory actions occurring.
Though storage market participants have been ready to act, storage is still largely challenged by existing regulatory frameworks, utility planning, and decision-making models. While there is value in some states leading the way in storage-enabling regulatory frameworks, more tools are needed to unlock the full potential in this emerging space.
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