Panel: State Energy Storage Studies: From Practice to Research to Practice in a Rapidly Evolving Field
(Natural Resource, Energy, and Environmental Policy)

Saturday, November 9, 2019: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Plaza Building: Lobby Level, Director's Row J (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Christopher Galik, North Carolina State University
Panel Chair:  Stephen Kalland, NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Discussant:  Stephen Kalland, NC Clean Energy Technology Center

Energy storage technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we produce and consume electricity. It remains unclear, however, how such technologies fit within the current energy regulatory regime at individual utility, state, and regional trading organization levels (Bhatnagar et al., 2013). Furthermore, energy storage technologies are evolving rapidly and the costs of key technologies like batteries continue to fall at an incredible rate (e.g., Dunn et al., 2011). Collectively, this presents a situation in which practitioners and policy-makers are jointly seeking to make real-time investment decisions while developing and reforming policy to guide deployment in a way that maintains grid performance while providing benefits to both investors and rate-paying consumers.

In light of these challenges, multiple states have produced or embarked on ambitious analyses to evaluate energy storage potential within their borders. Some have been undertaken pursuant to a legislative mandate. Others have been initiated through executive action. Some have been led by academic institutions, whereas others have been conducted by technical consultants. The end result is a series of processes and end-product deliverables that vary widely both in the process under which they were conducted, as well as the types of results they report.

This panel will explore experiences with three state energy storage studies: Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Maryland. The panel will support the conference policy area Natural Resource Security, Energy, and Environmental Policy (ENV) by exploring the multitude of ways state energy storage studies have been completed to date, lessons learned in the particular case of energy systems study, and broader insight into how engaged scholarship can inform technologically complex policy dialogue in real-time, particularly energy options and use. Individual papers will provide insight into the motivation, process, and outcomes of the state studies represented on the panel. The discussant will review commonalities and differences between the studies, fostering conversation between the panelists and the attending audience on potential best-practices for research-informed policy in a rapidly evolving field. More broadly, the panel will contribute to our understanding of the role of stakeholder participation in the knowledge generation process and the mechanisms by which policy recommendations are being deliberated upon and derived (e.g., Willow and Wylie, 2014; Pfenninger et al., 2017).

Bhatnagar, D., A. Currier, J. Hernandez, O. Ma, and B. Kirby. 2013. Market and Policy Barriers to Energy Storage Deployment: A Study for the Energy Storage Systems Program. SAND2013-7606. U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.

Dunn, B., H. Kamath, and J.-M. Tarascon. 2011. Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices. Science, 334, 928-935.

Pfenninger, S., DeCarolis, J., Hirth, L., Quoilin, S., & Staffell, I. (2017). The importance of open data and software: Is energy research lagging behind? Energy Policy, 101, 211-215.

Willow, A., & Wylie, S. (2014). Politics, ecology, and the new anthropology of energy: exploring the emerging frontiers of hydraulic fracking. Journal of Political Ecology21, 222-236.

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