The Holy Grail: An Update on Energy Storage


Jim Kelly, Former Senior Vice President, Southern California Edison
James Jessop, Business Advisor, Storage and Conversion of Energy, Hydro-Québec Research Institute
Steve Sullivan, Former Executive, Southern California Edison
Jeff Reed, Director of Emerging Technologies, Sempra Energy Utilities
Go Takizawa, Chief Representative, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) Silicon Valley Office

Practical and effective energy storage has been regarded as “The Holy Grail” of the electricity industry for at least a decade. With it, renewables make much more sense for grid operators and customers. In theory, the problem of matching supply and demand in real-time with increasing amounts of inherently variable supply resources – the wind and the sun – becomes manageable if you can store energy when it’s available, and dispatch it when it’s needed. In many ways, 2014 was “the year of storage” in California.  With Commissioner Peterman’s historic order mandating the purchase of an unprecedented amount of energy storage by California’s IOUs, municipal utilities followed suit with their own ambitious targets. Interest in storage is at an all-time high. Can we deliver large amounts of energy storage, of all different sorts and with different purposes for the grid, in the next few years? What is happening with technologies that will “answer the bell” in a safe, practical, reliable and cost-effective way for California’s customers? 


Holy Grail: An Update on Energy Storage