The emphasis of the two-day summit (San Francisco, 7-8 Dec 2016) was on ways to further develop supportive markets for the PV technology. In the keynote presentation, Shayle Kann, senior vice president of GTM Research, pointed out that events such as the Alisos Canyon gas leak and Hurricane Sandy had tested the current energy distribution system’s resiliency. These events, he explained, had sparked an increased market value for energy storage and catalyzed industry growth. For more info, look Mr. Kann’s presentation at the U.S. Energy Storage Summit 2016: The State of U.S Energy Storage.

Several speakers emphasized the importance of supportive marketplace for energy storage by way of careful policy reform, changing the mechanisms of compensation, asset aggregation, and value stacking.The concept of value stacking brings us to the question of what the technology mix of the future will look like. While there’s no clear, silver bullet answer, diversity, it seems, will be key. With different technologies bringing different values to the table—storage of varying durations and disparate dispatch capabilities—analysts predict a changing landscape as utilities discover the additional value of energy storage technology and recognize the importance of more resources with different characteristics to fulfill demand.

However, the regulatory environment, policy reform, and rate design will all be integral to this equation. Thus, the compensation model itself must evolve in order to create value streams for energy storage. The regulatory structures shaped by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) will have a significant role in developing these new compensation models.