Big Bucks for Batteries?

Should energy storage be part of infrastructure funding?


When most people think of infrastructure repair, they think of roadways, water pipes, and airports. However, the US electrical system is representative of a less visible, but equally critical network in need of modernization. The Trump administration has indicated that it plans to make infrastructure renewal a priority and the energy storage industry is one of several vying to be included in supportive legislation.

52 private companies and organizations delivered a letter to leaders of Congress on April 3, urging them to consider advanced energy storage systems in their plans to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

Electric grids are evolving rapidly, disrupted by regulatory changes, distributed generation, renewable portfolio standards, and evolving technology. Energy storage is uniquely positioned at the heart of all of this change. Download Greensmith Energy's White Paper to learn more about improving economics and demystifying energy storage systems.

“As you consider bipartisan and bicameral policy priorities in the coming months,” the letter reads, “we, the undersigned, encourage that any focus on infrastructure—a priority that President Trump has made clear is one of his goals—include modernization and innovation of the electric grid. Energy storage systems are critical to ensuring a resilient, reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable grid.”

The group feels that with appropriate public policy in place, the US could better support industry growth. It could provide support for research and development, manufacturing, integration, and deployment of the technology necessary for future energy storage-based solutions. It outlines the importance for Congress and the Administration to allocate sufficient resources for storage in energy infrastructure planning.

According to the Energy Storage Association, in 2016 commercial deployment of energy storage systems grew more than 100% from the previous year. Furthermore, the global industry is expected to grow to more than $240 billion annually by 2040. Investing in energy storage systems would mean not only creating a more resilient and reliable electric system, it would ensure that the US remains at the forefront of the industry’s development.

It’s clear that modernizing the electric grid is a high priority for infrastructure renovation in the US. How important is investing in energy storage? What level of priority do you feel it should take?

And speaking of infrastructure, join Forester’s Infrastructure Photo Contest!

If you see infrastructure you feel is in need of repair, rehabilitation, or replacement, take a picture of it and email it to A winner will be determined at the end of Infrastructure Week, May 15–19, 2017.

The winning photo will be published in Forester magazines and on the Forester Network website. (Please submit photos at least 4”x 6” and 300 dpi.) DE_bug_web


  • William Reinhardt.

    Water and Green Energy Infrastructure should be the primary targets for a national infrastructure effort. Road and bridge replacement should be addressed on an as needed basis. Fossil fuel infrastructure, including new roads and bridges where none exist now, should not be included. The latter will only create more climate disruption.


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