Better battery strategy in emerging markets

Windmills in front of colorful sunset

As lower-income countries turn to wind and solar to build out their electricity grids, they face the challenge of how to maintain reliable power supply when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. Many are looking to batteries as a "green" technology that can time shift renewable energy so it's available when customers need it. But depending too much on the potential of batteries to do this at scale in the near term could put these countries on a risky path that is as yet little traveled even by richer nations.


In a new policy memo published by Energy for Growth Hub, PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber explores what emerging markets can learn from California's ambitious deployment of battery energy storage over the last few years – and why they might want to re-focus their near-term battery ambitions on maintaining power quality and reliability through frequency regulation.