Sen. King leads effort for long-term energy storage funding, R&D efforts

Published on August 24, 2020 by Chris Galford

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A bipartisan group of 10 senators, led by U.S. Sen. Angus King (T-ME), wrote to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette last week in a show of support for long-term energy storage funding and greater coordination in research and development efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Part of this took the form of advocating for the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC), a program to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources through development of a cleaner energy economy and the reduction of fossil fuels. It aims to increase coordination within the DOE on all things storage, tapping into expertise and existing funding within the department, national labs, and partners in the academic and private sectors.

“There is broad, bipartisan consensus that energy storage is the key to achieving a clean energy economy,” the senators wrote. “Whether long-duration or mobile, storage will reshape our energy future—through the deployment of a suite of energy storage technologies, we’ll have the ability to integrate variable resources like wind and solar which will increase load balancing and avoid costly transmission buildouts; help electrify our transportation sector; and reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels.”

Signatories also included U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Richard Burr (R-NC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NM) and Martha McSally (R-AZ). All agreed that innovation was needed to keep U.S. leadership in energy storage, and noted their commitment to reducing barriers for grid-scale deployment of the technology.

“Effective and long-lasting energy storage technologies will reduce our carbon footprint, increase the reliability, flexibility, and resiliency of our electric grid, and improve our national security,” the senators said.