The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has started a study that aims to explore the potential growth of energy storage technologies and the entire power system.
NREL said Tuesday the Storage Futures Study seeks to address how energy storage technologies will play a role for the U.S. power grid and how they may affect future power system infrastructure investment and operations.
The agency also proposed a framework that aims to help regulators, utilities and developers prepare for the future through the use of projections, analysis and trends.
The first phase of the framework states how short-duration storage could maintain the power grid's supply, while Phase 2 indicates that hybrid system configurations will potentially enhance the cost-competitiveness of battery storage technologies.
Phase 3 focuses on storage technologies that can deliver additional or lower-cost services to reach peak periods, while Phase 4 discusses how seasonal storage approaches can address mismatch of variable resource supply and demand.
"Our four-phase framework is intended to describe a plausible evolution of cost-competitive storage technologies, but more importantly, it identifies key elements needed for stakeholders to evaluate alternative pathways for both storage and other sources of system flexibility," said Paul Denholm, an analyst at NREL.