U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., have introduced legislation to encourage energy-storage development and make it easier for intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to reach their full potential.
The Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2011 (STORAGE) provides a 20% investment tax credit (ITC) of up to $40 million for energy-storage systems that are connected to the electric grid and a 30% ITC of up to $1 million to businesses and homeowners for on-site storage projects.
The bill provides tax credits to businesses and homeowners who install energy storage on their own property to help serve their own energy needs efficiently or capture energy from on-site renewable energy generation. The bill does not pick "winners and losers" and allows the market to decide which technologies are the best, according to the senators.
"The missing piece of the renewable energy debate has always been how to make those technologies reliable when the sun doesn't shine or the wind doesn't blow," Wyden says. "Technologies that not only store energy to cover for intermittent output, but also make the existing grid more efficient, could be the very thing renewable energy technologies need to break through to the mainstream."