Electricity storage, a Holy Grail of the power industry, is years from being widely deployed because of market and regulatory barriers.
Though some technology exists, progress in the storage market in terms of wide-scale adoption of storage technology has been stalled, particularly in Britain, due to high development costs as well as a lack of government subsidies and policies such as those to back renewable energy and electric cars. Moreover, power generators, distributors, transmission firms and suppliers have distinct functions, which individually makes it difficult for them to justify a return of investment on storage. Therefore, both the government and the power industry has yet to make a concerted effort in supporting electricity storage.
However, this worrying trend is set to be reversed with countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan staking a vested interest in developing storage technology, with varying projects of different sizes under way. In the United Kingdom, energy regulator Ofgem, supports projects sponsored by the distribution network operators to try out new smart grid technology, operating and commercial arrangements.
Fundamentally, government support such as the issuing of incentives to lower cost will go a long way in ushering in the widespread implementation of storage technology.
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