to ultracapacitors both in capacity and manufacturing costs reductions will create new markets forthem especially in new industrial and commercial construction.Chemical battery storage represents a critical component for several smart grid applications atseveral levels along the value chain. Bulk price arbitrage, central generation capacity efficiency(peak shaving), transmission capacity/transmission congestion relief and the integration of variableoutput sources such as wind and solar are all crucial applications of storage in a successful smartgrid. The need for storage to integrate solar and wind cannot be over emphasized. Thirty stateshave renewable energy mandates that average 17-percent integration of renewable energysources by 2010-2025. Only with a significant amount of electrical storage can this level of windand solar be integrated into a stable electrical grid, so the value proposition of new forms of electrical storage is difficult to overestimate.
Quick Tour of Opportunities in Smart Grid Storage
The importance of the electrical grid is difficult to overstate. The percent of overall energyconsumption in the form of electricity has risen form 10 percent in 1940, to over 40 percent today,and this is projected to be the fastest growing source of end-user energy supply throughout theworld in this century. The term "smart grid" is a still-evolving, catch-all term to describe all of theimprovements currently being made and proposed to the current electrical grid that will increaseefficiency, reliability and security.Components of the evolving smart grid include smart metering of electricity, smart materials toenable higher current overhead lines and self recovery during outages, intelligent components(substation components can communicate with the wider smart grid), plug and play components(new components will actively insert themselves in the intelligent network), reconfigurablecomponents (can reroute power effectively and automatically when outages occur) and storage of electricity for quality and peak shaving applications.There are several drivers to upgrade the electrical grid infrastructure. For producers, there is atwo-fold incentive. First, as the recent spike in fossil fuel prices shows, feedstock prices arevariable and can wreak havoc with energy producers and their ability to provide affordable power.There is also an increasing incentive to use the existing power-generating resources moreefficiently--both as a more effective use of capital and because the regulatory impediments to