Mapping the future for energy storage

Whether the destination is New York or Newmarket, we use maps to get to where we need to go. Without a route or destination in mind, we are distracted by detours and obstacles.

The field of energy storage is no different. With a broad spectrum of industry and technologies at play, the challenge resides in picking a destination and plotting a course that works for all sectors of the value chain.

Just recently, a significant advancement was made to help coalesce the fractured goals within the sector. NRC’s Energy Storage for Grid Security and Modernization Program, together with MaRS, co-hosted The Canadian Energy Storage Supply Chain Workshop to facilitate strategic conversation about building a stronger sector within Canada.

Workshop participants recognized the growing international market opportunity. As identified in the summary report Developing Stronger Links, they also identified that change is needed to strengthen and integrate the Canadian supply chain to leverage this opportunity. In particular, participants recommended three areas of focus:

  1. Develop a common vision
  2. Collaborate across the supply chain
  3. Look beyond Canada’s borders

These conversations set a direction and identified our challenges on the path ahead. NRC is now working with industry to build a roadmap and the tools we need to move toward our ultimate destination.

The three areas of focus clearly support the need for a Canadian Energy Storage Roadmap and the first chapter is about to be written, in Ontario.

Ontario serves as a natural starting place to build our collective vision. It has been recognized that supporting a home for these innovative technologies can provide economic growth, job creation, a stronger competitive advantage and a more affordable supply of clean and reliable electricity. Therefore, NRC is working with industry and government leaders in Ontario to develop the first chapter of a Canadian Energy Storage Roadmap.

Given the independent management of our electricity infrastructure and the varied supply mixes that occur within each province, it can be difficult to imagine a national view on anything related to electricity. However, many of the benefits that technologies can provide to planners and system operators are ubiquitous, and much of the work that goes into developing a roadmap can be leveraged and emulated from province to province, quickening the succession of the development of each chapter.

A coordinated roadmap for the country requires not just an end goal, path and milestones, but also the requisite tools to make the journey possible.

To this end, NRC and its partners are developing critical tools, such as:

  • The ES-Select™ Canada tool, when launched, will fill the gap for a technology screening tool based on Canadian data, providing decision makers with technology comparison and analysis that has been unavailable to date.
  • The Energy Storage Supply Chain Database, will establish a comprehensive overview of organizations related to the value chain, and a vital link between each sector.

Where will the path lead next? Alberta… where work is underway to find partners to develop the next chapter in Canada’s story.

Together, we’re building a stronger, more robust energy storage sector in Canada. It’s not too late to become involved in the Ontario and Alberta roadmaps, or to use the Energy Storage Select Canada tool. Connect with us today to learn more about the path ahead.

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