The Canadian Energy Storage Sector: Where do we go from here?

While 2014 was outstanding for our industry, its progress pales in comparison to the growth anticipated in the coming years. Utilities and regulators around the world have recognized the value of energy storage and have implemented procurement initiatives to modernize and strengthen their power systems. Although international competition in the sector is strong, there is no doubt that Canadian companies have what it takes to compete in the rapidly expanding global market. Certainly, the recent procurements in Ontario and supportive statements from the Ontario Premier and Ministry of Energy go a long way to reinforcing the development of a strong Canadian presence in the sector.

Now that innovative Canadian firms have built a foundation upon which to grow, a critical question arises:

What are the next steps required to harness the potential for growth in the energy storage market along with the need for Canadian manufacturing and resource industries to continue to diversify?

The system-level changes required to develop and deploy energy storage cannot be accomplished by technology suppliers or end users alone. For this reason it is time to cultivate a robust domestic value chain if we wish to seize these inevitable market opportunities, while continually innovating to address the ever-present technological challenges.

This is no easy feat.

Building a strong and integrated value chain is complicated by the fact that the industry is inherently fragmented. Participants are spread across multiple regions, multiple storage technologies, and multiple end-user markets, and range in size from vertically integrated storage system providers to individual material or component suppliers.

As an essential next step in closing this gap, NRC is partnering with key members of the energy storage community to create a Canadian Energy Storage Supply Chain Database and a Canadian Roadmap for Grid-Scale Energy Storage Technologies.  Once complete, these initiatives will represent a major step toward achieving our ultimate Program goals of reducing adoption risk, decreasing system costs and increasing performance of energy storage solutions. These and other opportunities are outlined below and on our Website under the "Collaborate with us" in more detail. Our team encourages you to join these initiatives and become part of the conversation.

As NRC continues to advance stakeholder-focused research and development, it is incredibly important that we understand your needs and work with you to identify those applications, technologies and areas in the Canadian supply chain that have the potential to create lasting value.

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