Distributed Energy Storage (“DES”) technologies that allow households and businesses to store substantial amounts of electricity on site are rapidly advancing and could soon have dramatic impacts on the nation’s electricity generation, transmission, and distribution markets. These technologies could provide numerous benefits, including enhanced energy security, grid stability, and greater support for renewable generation technologies, but several obstacles are slowing their adoption throughout the country. Among these obstacles are stubbornly high manufacturing costs and the potential impacts of DES development on utilities and the traditional energy regulatory framework. Fortunately, policymakers in California, New York, Hawaii, and some other states are beginning to proactively address these challenges through an innovative array of programs, consortiums, partnerships, and regulations designed to incentivize more widespread adoption of DES systems. This Article explores these states’ approaches and offers suggestions for improving upon them to better incentivize DES development and clear the way for these important technologies to revolutionize electricity generation and distribution in the twenty-first century.
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