One of the biggest questions about the future of the utility business is how much energy storage will be required to match the availability of renewable sources to loads on the system. The conventional view is that a lot will be needed. But it could be the opposite. Here are a couple of views of some experts recently expressed at an energy conference:
“The smarter the grid, the less storage that will be required”
“Rather than using generation and storage to match a variable load, wouldn’t it be better to match the load to the variable generation?
This raises a number of questions about the reality of making the grid that smart and whether users would accept a greater degree of control of loads. Can that degree of load control be fairly invisible? Or does this just put storage more “behind the meter” rather than as a standalone facility? What new product and service innovations might be stimulated by this kind of development?
This is just one of the provocative topics to be covered at our Tuesday May 7 event: “The Future of the Utility Business and the Opportunities That Presents.” Come join us for this discussion. It will run from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Lunch will be provided and a small fee is charged to cover it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.