2009 Net Impact Conference – Business Opportunities in Energy Storage

Storage plays a key role in moving towards an energy-efficient future. However, energy storage is bound
by technical challenges that have proven tricky to overcome. Listen to four experts in the field discuss the
current state of energy storage technology, and where they think the industry is headed.

Moderator:
Frank DiSalvo, John A. Newman Professor of Physical
Science, Cornell University

Panelists:
Matt Lazarewicz, Chief Technical Officer & VP, Beacon Power
Brian Parsonnet, Chief Technology Officer & VP of Technology, Ice Energy
Bart Riley, Chief Technical Officer & VP of Research & Development, A123 Systems

2009 Net Impact Conference – Energy Storage.

Key takeaways included:

Three keys types of energy storage (and panelist examples):

  1. Chemical (A123)
  2. Mechanical (Beacon Power), and
  3. Thermal (Ice Energy)

Main issues with energy storage include,

  • Implementation issues – differences in methods to store energy are analogous to differences in computer memory (RAM versus hard disk drives versus DVD/optical)
  • current energy grid and industry regulation centered around generation — regulatory barriers to innovation (preventing new technologies from entering the market)
  • energy storage needs separate asset class (for regulatory and investing/valuation purposes)
  • sell challenges include that the buyer does not always get all the stated benefits — other stakeholders benefit from efficiencies but do not pay for that service; increase energy efficiency means less revenue for power generators, causing (macro-level) moral hazard/incentive issues
  • lack of information in industry today (lack of transparency, metrics, etc)
  • need for political / topd0wn leadership
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