Everyone understands that storage will play an important role in the energy transition, as we move from conventional thermal power plants that can be dispatched at will to energy systems predominantly supplied by variable renewables.
But important questions remain: how much storage will be needed? What type of storage is best? When will storage be most important? There hasn’t been a lot of great scholarship on these practical implications for deploying storage across the grid so far, but a multi-year project called the Storage Futures Study that was just completed by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) advances the literature considerably. The seven component reports of the Storage Futures Study explore when and where a range of storage technologies are cost-competitive, depending on how they're operated and what services they provide for the grid, as well as the role and impact of relevant and emerging energy storage technologies in the US power sector across a range of potential future cost and performance scenarios through the year 2050.
In this episode, we’re joined by Nate Blair, principal investigator of the study, to explain its findings and how their modeling was done. Nate is the Group Manager of the Distributed Systems and Storage Analysis group at NREL, and draws upon almost 30 years of experience in energy systems modeling and energy analysis, including nearly two decades of work at NREL where he held roles developing the System Advisor Model and PVWatts system modeling tools, as well as the ReEDS electric grid planning model. He has deep expertise in this type of modeling and walks us through all of the findings of this important new study.
Nate Blair is the Group Manager of the Distributed Systems and Storage Analysis group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. Nate has almost 30 years of experience in energy systems modeling and energy analysis. Before NREL, he worked at the Univ. of WI – Solar Energy Laboratory, Global Energy Partners, and Thermal Energy System Specialists, Transsolar, CSTB (France) and at Sandia National Laboratories. His 19 years at NREL include roles developing the System Advisor Model (SAM) and PVWatts system modeling tools, as well as the ReEDS electric grid planning model. He currently manages a growing capability around distribution technology and storage analysis. Recently, he worked on assignment at the ESMAP program within the World Bank from 2015-2016 providing technical support on renewables and specifically variable renewable grid integration.
On Twitter: @n8blair
On the Web: Nate Blair on LinkedIn
Recording date: February 18, 2022
Air date: March 16, 2022
Geek rating: 9