Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) are hunting for bipartisan backing for an energy storage investment tax credit they plan to introduce in Congress this week.
The 30% credit for businesses and homes, modelled on the existing U.S. tax credit for solar energy, “would taper off starting in 2020,” Greentech Media reports.
“Given the parallels we’ve seen with adoption of solar technology, I think the tax credit approach has the potential to help storage grow quickly while attracting bipartisan support,” Heinrich said. “It’s something that really helps utilities, and at the same time there’s a growing consumer demand, and you have a growing commercial and industrial piece.”
So “it doesn’t seem to have this partisan edge to it that previous clean energy technologies got labeled with over time.”
GTM Research expects the U.S. storage industry to expand from $111 million in 2013 and $441 million in 2015 to $2.9 billion by 2021, but even that torrid growth rate could be amped up by government support.
“Even though storage doesn’t generate energy in the way solar and wind assets do, it can play a vital role in integrating variable renewables by holding onto surplus power for consumption later on, both at the household scale and at the grid level,” Greentech notes. “The ability to store and discharge energy at will also helps utilities meet peak demand and react to short-term frequency regulation needs.”