In Part 1 of this series, we considered the prospects for wind and solar as upstream sources of primary energy supply. Overall, we saw compelling economics driving sustained double-digit growth rates for new renewable power installations, in the US and globally. But to realize their potential, renewables need to be paired with complementary technologies.
In this briefing, we describe how electricity storage and ‘power-to-x’ (P2X) technologies will help fill the intermittency gap of wind and solar generation, and enable the clean electrification of buildings, industry and transportation.
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is stimulating a wave of new clean technology investment in the US. The potential has never been greater for technologies that store and transform surplus electricity to disrupt traditional energy value chains.
- Decarbonization targets, energy security concerns and falling technology costs are fundamental drivers for a rapid expansion of domestic clean energy. But despite favorable economics, a further evolution in the US regulatory landscape will be needed for renewables to expand at their highest potential.
- While end-use electrification, storage and hydrogen will all see rapid growth, the market share for each in the future energy system is far from settled. In this paper, we explore the role for emerging electricity ‘midstream’ technologies in a cleaner, more efficient energy system.