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  • Energy Climate Policy

A Promising Energy Storage Outlook Under a Biden Administration

Maria Chavez
Dec 08, 2020

Guidehouse Insights

Since the beginning of his campaign, Joe Biden has signaled a more progressive platform for tackling issues surrounding climate change and a green energy transition. Some of these plans, such as rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, are more broad and abstract in intention, though still popular. In terms of energy, the president-elect has outlined strategies that aim to drive the economy toward greener alternatives. 

The new administration has proposed a $1.7 trillion investment into clean energy and innovation over 10 years. This investment includes the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate (ARPA-C), a research agency that will focus on accelerating the innovation of carbon-reducing technologies. Additional proposals include driving down costs for clean energy technologies and working with state and city governments to add 500,000 public charging outlets.

How Will Energy Proposals Affect Storage Markets?

Although the Biden campaign did not go into detail about how energy storage markets would specifically be addressed in the new administration, there seems to be a strong commitment to investing in clean energy technologies and driving down costs. A solid advancement of decarbonization in the transportation and electric sectors would help drive storage market opportunities forward. For example, any infrastructure upgrades to the grid will need storage technology to balance demand and provide other services for renewables integration. 

A more centralized approach to clean energy investments, specifically, would accelerate an already robust market. Guidehouse Insights’ report, Market Data: Utility-Scale Energy Storage Market Update, expects the US energy storage market to reach $5.3 billion in 2029. Technologies such as long-duration storage, which are in high demand, could experience significant cost reductions that would place them in a more competitive landscape with their fossil fuel alternatives. From a political perspective, the energy storage market has continued to receive overall bipartisan support. Advancement of and support for storage innovation could act as an effective foot-in-the-door technique to a more progressive energy transition in the future. 

What’s Missing?

Although the new climate platform is popular, some critics believe these proposals are not aggressive enough. A primary concern is that the Biden team expressed overwhelming support for the natural gas industry, which makes up 39% of US power generation in 2020. The new administration has also expressed an intention to prioritize environmental justice issues, and although a transition from gas to renewables is not a quick fix, it’s important to keep in mind the environmental effects faced by communities near gas peaker plants. Attention to a transition from fossil fuel technologies, which disproportionately affect underserved communities, should be at the forefront of Biden’s new platform and would continue to drive forward energy storage markets.