Energy Cast Podcast: Understanding the energy storage industry

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Energy Cast is a podcast featuring some of the top experts across all links in the energy industry chain, including hydropower, renewables, generation and more! Jay Dauenhauer created the show and has been hosting Energy Cast for several years.

In past episodes, I’ve called energy storage an “industry within an industry.” There are so many families of technologies out there to help smooth out energy supply that it practically rivals the number of energy technologies that do the actual generation.

For this episode, I wanted to take a deeper dive into both the technology and policy moving energy storage. My guest this week is Jason Burwen, vice president of policy for the Energy Storage Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association with more than 160 members, including some of the world’s largest electric utilities.

Storage is growing exponentially, much like renewables. In five short years, installations have grown from 0.3 GW to 6 GW. The market for storing solar power alone over that same period has expanded from $200 million to $19 billion. That’s a lot of money for new jobs and our guest says that this sector makes both sides of the political aisle happy.

Click below to listen to the full episode:

Storage has had to grow to keep up with the deployment of renewables. Because popular renewable energy sources like wind and solar are intermittent (non-dispatchable), the only other way to regulate their supply on the grid is by firing up dispatchable “peaker” generation. Storage can also absorb energy generation, such as when solar panels produce too much energy in the day time, and release it later.

Burwen and I also spoke at length about the benefits energy storage can provide traditional energy sources. In the last 100+ years, it’s been cheaper to turn on more electric generation than store it. But as energy storage becomes more widespread and cost-effective, we may see a day where the supply curve can remain steady, as generation makes up for peaks and valleys in electrical demand. (This podcast originally aired in January 2019.)


Energy Cast Podcast is hosted biweekly by Jay Dauenhauer.

Learn more about the podcast here.

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Jay Dauenhauer
Jay Dauenhauer is a project manager based in Charlotte, NC. He currently serves as a PM developing transmission projects. For the past 7 years, Jay led water treatment and recycling projects for Oil & Gas operations. Jay's first foray in the energy sector was as a media analyst for TXU Energy during the $45B leveraged buyout of that utility in 2007. He then served as Executive Director of the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas, working with stakeholders to pass clean energy legislation for the state. A Louisiana native and proud graduate of LSU, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Jay hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders.

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