A new tool published by the independent Interstate Renewable Energy Council, "Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers," provides regulators and other decision makers with guidance on issues for policy consideration, including foundational policies for advanced energy storage.

The council says that despite its "game-changing potential to transform the electricity system," energy storage is "vastly underutilized" in the U.S. electricity sector. Its deployment remains hampered by the current features of regional, state, and federal regulatory frameworks, traditional utility planning and decision-making paradigms, electricity markets, and aspects of the technology itself.

The council says that Charging Ahead provides a discussion of actions to take to support viable energy storage markets that enable states to take advantage of energy storage capabilities. Four "foundational" policy actions are presented:

1. Clarify how energy storage systems are classified to enable shared ownership and operation functions in restructured markets,

2. Require proactive consideration of energy storage in utility planning efforts,

3. Create mechanisms to capture the full value stream of storage services, and

4. Ensure fair, streamlined, and cost-effective grid access for energy storage systems.

The guide was released April 19 at the Energy Storage Association's 27th Annual Conference and Expo in Denver, Colo.