SEIA forms energy storage advocacy branch

NextEra’s Salt River Battery Storage system in Arizona, US. Image: NextEra

US trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has started a new advocacy programme for the fast-growing energy storage sector.

Called the Storage Advocacy Network, the venture will act as a separate branch of the SEIA and focus on advocating for federal and state-level policies that support the energy storage sector’s development, as well as sector-specific research and events.

SEIA president Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement that solar and storage are “inextricably linked” technologies that, if combined, can further accelerate the US’ net-zero targets.

“We’ll need world-class federal and state advocacy to help us get there,” she said. “There is a massive gap between our energy storage goals and where we are now, and business as usual is not a recipe for success.”

The move was welcomed by some of SEIA’s existing members, who said a dedicated advocacy branch would give the sector “effective national solar and energy storage industry representation” and move both technologies “into the mainstream”.

The Americas region is set to overtake Asia Pacific in energy storage capacity over the next four years, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie, and could even account for half of global capacity by 2030. More than 1.4GW of battery storage capacity came online last year, according to the research group.

Tom Buttgenbach, chief executive and founder of 8minute Solar Energy, said that solar with integrated storage is “the obvious solution” to the current challenges emerging in the clean energy transition, such as adapting the grid to intermittent renewable energy, and ensuring that batteries contribute to cutting carbon emissions.

“We applaud SEIA for its leadership and persistence in expanding our focus to unlock the full potential of solar.”

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