2021 journal article
U.S. State-Commissioned Energy Storage Studies: A Case Study of Research and Practice in a Rapidly Evolving Field
JOURNAL OF ENERGY STORAGE, 39.
Energy storage comprises a transformative suite of technologies. Questions remain as to how best to integrate these technologies into existing infrastructure under existing policy and market frameworks. As a result, several U.S. states recently embarked, separately, to investigate the role of energy storage in meeting a variety of objectives. These state studies thus provide a series of natural case studies to assess how energy research is being conducted and incorporated, real-time, into policy. We assess three such state studies—Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina—to compare the origin of each study, the methodological approach used, the findings generated by the study, and the eventual reception by policy-makers and other stakeholders. In each of the three energy storage studies evaluated, we observe the influence of state-commissioned processes in facilitating external information directly into policy deliberations. Though the scope, timeline, output, and ultimate policy implications varied across the three studies reviewed, our findings generally validate the benefits of a collaborative, co-production model of engagement. Given the pace of technological change recently experienced and the continued need to facilitate transformative change in energy systems, we anticipate that co-production models of research-policy engagement will be both increasingly common and relevant in the future.