Still Charging: Energy Storage Commercialization in Massachusetts
- Jul 31, 2020 2:31 pm GMT
With the mutually reinforcing trends of climate change mitigation and transport electrification, the opportunity for energy storage innovation has never been more apparent. Massachusetts supports a robust community of entrepreneurs who develop and commercialize their inventions in the state.
Recognizing this, the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) and Greentown Labs conducted 25 interviews with a wide array of participants involved in the energy storage innovation ecosystem for ISE’s report, Still Charging: Energy Storage Commercialization in Massachusetts. These interviews focused on barriers, gaps, and strengths of Massachusetts in getting energy storage technologies from lab to the first sale.
Our interviews identified three key barriers:
- Resource Barriers: Developing a new energy storage technology is not only capital intensive, but requires infrastructural resources that are difficult to locate in the state.
- Knowledge Barriers: Energy storage entrepreneurship needs a particular mix of business and technical knowledge that are present but siloed in Massachusetts.
- Policy/Regulatory Barriers: New technologies take time for regulations to adapt and align. In Massachusetts, several regulatory barriers were identified, including the lack of clear permitting pathways, and the risks of lithium-ion lock-in.
From the suggested improvements, the ISE distilled the following strategic goals that should guide ecosystem participants:
- Catalyze More Interactions between Ecosystem Participants: Knowledge silos hamper progress and prevent successful commercialization. One way to tackle this is to encourage ecosystem members to work together meaningfully, as through a centralizing organization and state policy.
- Improve Testing in Massachusetts by Improving Testing Infrastructure: Rapid iteration is the key to innovation. However, in battery development, resource challenges make testing difficult and expensive, hampering innovation. Bringing these small scale testing resources in state and improving the ease of piloting are key.
- Lower Barriers to New and Different Types of Participation: The energy storage ecosystem requires deep technical knowledge, limiting the pool of potential participants.
With these three strategic goals in mind, Massachusetts could cement its place as a global energy storage hub, drawing innovators from across the world to the state.
Much of the current movement to decarbonize the grid involves installing many gigawatts of battery-based energy storage. Lithium-ion technology is leading the way with breathtaking advances that are addressing everything from improved performance..
1) Bloomberg NEF reports 2022 saw $1.1 trillion of investment support for cleantech, mostly in renewable power, EVs, storage and hydrogen, up 31% from 2021. Solar & wind got $495 billion, and EVs received $466. China led countries,..
Accounting for Scope 1 emissions is an important part of carbon reporting. It involves identifying, measuring, and reporting emissions from all sources within an organization. Learn the simple steps to start accounting on your own
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.