Daniel Dedrick, our SVP of EPC and Technical Operations, shares his five key takeaways as we enter the next chapter of the global energy transition.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada and participate in #REPlus2023. This event was a great opportunity to gain insight into the state of our industry and meet with the leading suppliers, industry stakeholders and experts. The growth of the energy storage industry was on display with significant announcements regarding technology advancements, US manufacturing and project development, and the conversations I had with key suppliers and storage industry subject matter experts unearthed many additional insights on the state of our industry. Below are five key takeaways to keep in mind as we enter the next chapter of the global #energytransition.
- Lithium-ion continues to be the technology of choice for the majority of the energy storage market, due to continued market performance of operating assets, technological advancements, and cost efficiencies associated with manufacturing capacity growth. The future is bright for energy storage technologies, and a number of next-generation chemistries and solutions are moving towards commercialization – such as solid-state lithium-ion and non-lithium chemistries – which bodes well for ongoing energy storage market growth.
- The supply chain associated with deploying stand-alone energy storage facilities has largely recovered after a couple of years of major disruptions due to the global pandemic and ensuing economic disruption. Lead times for procurement have largely relaxed into reasonable ranges that allow for developers to appropriately sequence goods and align services procurement with the advancement of the project maturity. Going forward, reasonable approaches to trade policy will be critical to avoid disrupting the industry’s progress and reintroducing supply chain issues before US manufacturing is ready. Suppliers need to feel confident in their compliance and pursuit of ESG goals, and an effective supply chain risk policy can help provide assurances for the marketplace.
- IRA provisions that encourage US manufacturing of battery equipment are beginning to produce results. An additional 350 GWh of domestic li-ion capacity was announced in the first half of 2023. Even more capacity will be required to ensure the US stationary energy storage demand is met. As owners and operators of this equipment, we are focused on ensuring that these new facilities are investing in manufacturing quality and testing that will ensure long-term asset performance and safety. At the same time, certain IRS provisions preclude us from reaching our full potential, and further clarification will help to unlock and accelerate additional domestic content production to meet ongoing growth in demand.
- Ensuring safe and sustainable battery facility operations remains a top priority for the industry, in particular as we continue to be engaged in pursuing societal acceptance and regulatory approval in communities across America. In addition to our commitment to the safety of our employees, contractors, partners, and neighbors, we also take steps to protect the environment and human rights in how we sustainably source, construct and operate our projects.
The industry must invest in the next generation of Energy Storage talent in order to meet projected market growth. The global energy storage market is projected to grow 15-fold by 2030, according to estimates by BNEF. Scaling from today’s estimated 72,000 U.S. energy storage workers will require investment in workforce development, training and business process efficiency.