Policymakers Must Beware of Technology Lock-in for Energy Storage

Today’s grid-scale battery market is dominated by a single family of technologies. But as ITIF’s David Hart and MIT’s William Bonvillian write for The Hill, long term clean energy innovation will require a diverse array of alternative energy storage technologies. Meeting these challenges, which will demand storage units that are enormous and last a very long time, will be critical to unlock all the benefits of clean energy. Policymakers should take note of this risk and take steps to diversify.

To this end, federal and state policymakers should support a robust and diverse array of demonstration projects that would allow alternative energy storage technologies to prove their value in real-world conditions while providing services to installations like military bases and hospitals. States that have adopted energy storage mandates for their utilities should reserve a small portion of this market for alternatives. Federal policymakers should work with allies to ensure that international trade in batteries is fair and doesn’t undercut innovation at home.