Introduced recently in the U.S. Senate was a bipartisan bill: the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2017. What this legislation would do is expand the definition of “energy property” in the tax code to include “equipment which receives, stores, and delivers energy using batteries, compressed air, pumped hydropower, hydrogen storage (including hydrolysis), thermal energy storage, regenerative fuel cells….” This is an important piece of legislation because it could dramatically improve the trajectory of renewables on the power grid through tax incentives, but more importantly, growth in this technology helps to manage the variability challenges with renewables (i.e. the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow) as compared to other sources.
Make no mistake, storage technology is a game changer. Not only does it provide back up power during times of emergencies and optimizes the variability challenges for clean sources of energy, it enables power supply and demand to be balanced instantly which makes our power networks resilient. Incentivizing storage technology on par with existing renewables generation tax incentives is a story to be watched closely.