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Taking charge: Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman

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By Andy Colthorpe

Despite making huge strides forward, the energy storage industry’s work in helping stakeholders across the value chain understand the technologies and the roles they can play in a renewable energy future is far from done. Andy Colthorpe speaks with Energy Storage Association chief executive, Kelly Speakes-Backman, at the forefront of the industry’s push into unchartered regulatory, policy and public affairs matters.

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Welcome to the latest edition of PV Tech Power. As we head into a new decade, it would be easier to look back over the spectacular journey solar has walked throughout the 2010s. From nascent technology to a stalwart of power system the world over, the last 10 years will be remembered as the decade of solar’s maturation. But rather than reflect on the journey so far, this edition of the magazine continues to push the envelope and instead glances forward. Indeed, what immediately jumps out is the level of sophistication that can be identified as you flick through the pages of issue 21 of PV Tech Power. This edition’s cover story comes from the deserts of the Middle East, where researchers are getting to grips with the issue of soiling and what can be done to prevent it. And if it’s sophistication you’re seeking, look no further than the issue of bifaciality, which litters the pages of this volume of the magazine. Trade body SolarPower Europe offers a glimpse at how entire swathes of the solar ecosystem is going digital, taking in new developments such as AI and machine learning. Previous editions of this magazine have charted the rise and rise of floating solar, and this has prompted renewed calls for standardisation in the field, as Jose Rojo Martin learns. But this sophistication is not just seen in solar. While recent analysis has shown marked decreases in the price of lithium-ion batteries, longer-duration batteries continue to be of real interest, and our resident energy storage experts Andy Colthorpe and Alice Grundy provide a comprehensive review of new developments in this area.

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