Veranstaltungen des DIW Berlin/
Events of DIW Berlin

30. April 2013

Berlin Seminar on Energy and Climate Policy Public Policy and Energy Storage: A Case Study of the United States and Germany

Recent developments in electricity markets have prompted renewed interest over the role of energy storage technology. Storage can provide various benefits for the functioning of an electrical grid, including system stability in times of electric interruption, help in meeting peak demand, the deferral or avoidance of adding or updating grid infrastructure, aiding the integration of variable renewable energy, and other functionalities that "improve the stability and resiliency of the electrical grid.

The majority of energy storage technologies, other than pumped-hydro storage, do not exist at a large scale commercially or are in initial stages of demonstration. These technologies include various types of batteries, flywheels, compressed air energy storage, and power to gas technology. The integration of these technologies face numerous obstacles typically encountered by new and/or less-developed technology, including:

  • Deficient market structure;
  • Limited large-scale demonstration;
  • Insufficient technical progress;
  • Lack of standards and models; and
  • Weak stakeholder understanding. 

Given this state, the role of public policy is vital to the development of these technologies. The intention of this paper is to identify and discuss policy efforts, primarily at the federal level, by the United States of America (U.S.) and Germany for less developed storage technologies, at a time when these efforts are particularly critical. This report concentrates on those policies and regulations most applicable to grid-level applications of storage technology, though storage efforts in the automobile industry, for instance for batteries and fuel cells, are likely also relevant for grid-level storage implementation. Public policy regarding research, development, demonstration, and regulation of relevant energy storage technologies are discussed for the U.S. and Germany, followed by a comparison between the two countries, analysis, and subsequent conclusions.

  • Eric Borden, Bundeskanzler-Stipendiat der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung; Gast in der Abteilung Energie, Verkehr, Umwelt am DIW Berlin
  • Ort
    DIW Berlin (Ferdinand-Friedensburg-Raum) DIW Berlin im Quartier 110 Raum 2.2.008 Mohrenstraße 58 10117 Berlin
    im DIW Berlin
    Tel.: +49 30 89789 409