PublicationReport The role of storage in the path to net zero

January 26, 2021
Publication Type:
Associated Projects:

In brief

  • Our study explores how the energy tran­si­tion is unfold­ing in the west­ern United States and the role of stor­age to help pro­vide grid flexibility.
  • Col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berkeley’s Renew­able & Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory (RAEL), we assessed four sce­nar­ios to net zero.
  • We found that sce­nar­ios rely­ing on sig­nif­i­cant renew­ables were most cost effec­tive, and that energy stor­age has a crit­i­cal role to play.
  • We iden­ti­fied three imper­a­tives that can help break down bar­ri­ers and fur­ther the adop­tion of energy stor­age, plus rec­om­men­da­tions for stakeholders.

The path to net zero

The tran­si­tion to a low-​​carbon sus­tain­able future is under­way. In the United States, specif­i­cally in the West­ern region, more states and util­i­ties are set­ting ambi­tious clean energy and elec­tric­ity tar­gets. The shape the tran­si­tion will take has yet to be deter­mined. Energy stor­age has been tapped as one crit­i­cal enabler, given its abil­ity to level the vari­abil­ity of elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion, which in turn can increase grid reli­a­bil­ity and stability.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berkeley’s Renew­able & Appro­pri­ate Energy Laboratory’s (RAEL), we con­ducted a study to under­stand how the tran­si­tion is unfold­ing in the West­ern U.S. region and, more specif­i­cally, the role of energy stor­age in pro­vid­ing flex­i­bil­ity to the grid. We used RAEL’s utility-​​sector oper­a­tion and capac­ity expan­sion mod­el­ing capa­bil­ity (SWITCH), along­side our own research and energy stor­age expe­ri­ence, and assessed four sce­nar­ios to net zero in the West­ern Elec­tric­ity Coor­di­nat­ing Coun­cil (WECC) region.

Main Menu

Energy & Resources Group
310 Barrows Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3050
Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085


  • Open the Main Menu
  • People at RAEL

  • Open the Main Menu