The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

ESA 2014 Annual Conference a historical success

The energy storage industry is at a launching point. For years, leaders in the sector have been pushing the importance of advanced storage systems as a necessity to accompany variable renewable resources and an invaluable resource in improving grid flexibility and resiliency. The adaptable and reactive power delivery models created by energy storage systems have been attractive to utilities, but they have also largely been out of their price range. The industry is hitting a tipping point.

With the recent rise of safe, eco-friendly lithium ion batteries more energy companies have an opportunity to get into the storage game. This has led to major regulatory efforts to stimulate and, in some cases, mandate energy storage deployments. The industry is set to take a huge step forward in the next few years, and this year's Energy Storage Association Annual Conference was a clear example of the growing importance of sophisticated storage solutions.

What made the ESA 2014 Annual Conference so important?
Like every year, the ESA Annual conference featured a diverse collection of energy industry stakeholders present to discuss the way that energy storage architectures are impacting power delivery in both the North American and global markets. There were countless conversations about government regulations, emerging technological solutions, case studies showing the value of utility-scale storage solutions and discussions about where the sector is going. These issues come up every year at the event, and this year, the 24th ESA Annual Conference covered a wide range of topics.

What made this year's event unique, however, was the scale at which it was attended. Conferences are often a reflection of where the industry going and events that are only attended by competitors or a niche stakeholders are an example of a sector that is either just starting, or losing momentum. At the same time, conferences that are bustling with new activity and new participants are an example of industries that are on the cusp of major changes.

The ESA classified this year's event as a historic conference because it was attended by such a large and diverse group of stakeholders in the energy sector. This clearly showcases how energy storage is evolving into a mainstream solution that utility companies need to take a close look at.

What lies ahead for the coming year?
The various discussions at the conference, which ran from June 4-6, established a clear framework for what is coming – industry growth. Get ready for a busy period of expansion as the energy storage market begins to evolve from a slowly growing industry into a mainstream part of the energy landscape.

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