Clean Energy Storage Facts

Clean energy storage systems capture renewable energy when it is abundant, store it and then release it when more power is needed on the grid. This means cleaner and more reliable energy for California homes and businesses at all hours of the day.

There are many different types of clean energy storage. Gov. Newsom has called for California’s storage system to include a mix of technologies and solutions in order to meet our climate and clean energy goals. This includes batteries, compressed air energy storage, pumped storage, hydrogen conversion and fuel cells.

Clean energy storage systems capture renewable energy when it is abundant, store it and then release it when more power is needed on the grid. This means cleaner and more reliable energy for California homes and businesses at all hours of the day.

There are many different types of clean energy storage. Gov. Newsom has called for California’s storage system to include a mix of technologies and solutions in order to meet our climate and clean energy goals. This includes batteries, compressed air energy storage, pumped storage, hydrogen conversion and fuel cells.

To maintain reliability, electric grid operators must ensure there is always enough energy available to meet demand.

Renewable resources are intermittent by nature – solar panels and wind turbines only produce energy when the sun shines and the wind blows – making it difficult to match supply with demand.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and the California Energy Commission agree that the state’s rapid shift to renewable energy has created a new need for balancing technologies like clean energy storage to continuously manage the supply of electricity on the grid.

To maintain reliability, electric grid operators must ensure there is always enough energy available to meet demand.

Renewable resources are intermittent by nature – solar panels and wind turbines only produce energy when the sun shines and the wind blows – making it difficult to match supply with demand.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and the California Energy Commission agree that the state’s rapid shift to renewable energy has created a new need for balancing technologies like clean energy storage to continuously manage the supply of electricity on the grid.

Short duration energy storage like batteries typically releases energy on a four-hour cycle. Long duration energy storage can provide energy for at least eight hours. One example of long duration energy storage is pumped hydro, which uses excess electricity available on the grid when renewables are abundant to pump water uphill, then releases that water downhill to power turbines when renewable sources are not available. Another example is compressed air energy storage, which uses excess electricity to compress and store air that is then released to power turbines and generate electricity when it is needed.

Short duration energy storage like batteries typically releases energy on a four-hour cycle. Long duration energy storage can provide energy for at least eight hours. One example of long duration energy storage is pumped hydro, which uses excess electricity available on the grid when renewables are abundant to pump water uphill, then releases that water downhill to power turbines when renewable sources are not available. Another example is compressed air energy storage, which uses excess electricity to compress and store air that is then released to power turbines and generate electricity when it is needed.

(Source: California Energy Commission)

The decisions we make today will determine how we live tomorrow. Each day we delay building new clean energy storage solutions increases the risk that we won’t meet our climate and clean air goals. Storage projects can take nearly a decade to construct and integrate with our power system. According to the ISO, the grid is already experiencing serious potential reliability and integration challenges.[1] The state must put the necessary tools in place now if we are to remain on course to achieving our clean energy future.

[1] CAISO, “Renewable Integration Update,” June 2018.

The decisions we make today will determine how we live tomorrow. Each day we delay building new clean energy storage solutions increases the risk that we won’t meet our climate and clean air goals. Storage projects can take nearly a decade to construct and integrate with our power system. According to the ISO, the grid is already experiencing serious potential reliability and integration challenges.[1] The state must put the necessary tools in place now if we are to remain on course to achieving our clean energy future.

[1] CAISO, “Renewable Integration Update,” June 2018.

(Source: California Energy Commission)