The nation’s power grid will undergo a significant transformation over the next 10 years due in large measure to the emergence of cost-effective energy storage, according to a new study released today by Mortenson.
The nation's energy infrastructure will undergo a significant transformation over the next 10 years due in large measure to the emergence of cost-effective energy storage, according to a new study by Mortenson, a recognized North American leader in energy and transmission infrastructure. While it will require considerable regulatory changes, energy storage - and battery energy storage, in particular - is seen as a disruptive technology that will flourish and help transform how electrical power is generated, distributed, and consumed in the U.S.
Professionals predict energy storage will see its greatest advancement when paired with renewables and distributed generation, both of which they believe will continue to grow. Industry experts also see increased competition and an altered role for utilities in the future with eighty-nine percent stating that they believe the electric power industry will look and operate differently a decade from now. Significant challenges still must be overcome according to the study. Storage costs must come down, viable business models must be developed and confirmed, and the regulatory environment must change to fairly reward storage providers.
"We're entering a period of rapid transformation for the U.S. energy industry," said Brent Bergland, general manager at Mortenson. "While energy storage is not universally cost effective across the U.S. today, there will be this ‘quantum leap' moment when technology costs drop and the regulatory environment and policies improve, and then the market just takes off. That moment has not yet arrived but it's coming."
Global utility-scale, grid-connected battery storage is forecast to grow to 12 GW by 2024 according to a 2015 industry study. Driving this activity is increasing renewable energy generation and supportive policies and regulations, and growth of smart grids and energy infrastructure.
Mortenson spoke to 165 industry professionals at the Energy Storage Association Annual Conference and Expo. Sign-up to receive the full report at http://www.Mortenson.com/storage2016. A podcast on the topic is also available at http://www.mortenson.com/company/news-and-insights/bwn-energy-storage-study-podcast.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction and development services company. As one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of construction services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management and design-build. The company also is a leader in real estate development, developing all asset types.
Mortenson has operations across North America with offices in Chicago, Denver, Fargo, Iowa City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and in Canada. For more information, visit mortenson.com.