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Foster Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Promote Better Energy Storage

Apr 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congressman Steven Knight (R-CA) introduced H.R. 5610, the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act. The legislation would authorize $45 million to support the creation of three public-private partnership projects to develop energy storage technology that is commercially viable and can adequately support the electrical grid. The BEST Act would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish aggressive “moonshot” goals to develop improved capacity and lower costs for grid-scale storage. While the Department of Energy has issued grants to promote better battery storage, funding has not been able to support the research needed for breakthroughs in technology capable of transforming the electrical grid.

“Thanks to sustained funding for federal scientific research, the United States became a leader in technology and innovation. Energy storage is one of the great frontiers in new technology that could transform our country’s energy sector as we move to more environmentally sustainable energy models,” Foster said. “This legislation will provide a much needed boost for research on energy storage that could very well pave the way for the next big development in battery technology to transform our country’s electrical grid. Argonne National Lab already conducts some of the country’s most groundbreaking work on new battery materials and technologies. I introduced this legislation with Congressman Knight to build on the success we’ve already had and continue America’s technological leadership in this critical area. I thank Representative Knight for his leadership on this important legislation.” 

“One of the biggest challenges facing the growth of renewable energy sources like, wind, solar, and other alternative producers is a lack in commensurate development of battery technology,” said Knight. “This bill will consolidate the research in this field to foster rapid development and get this vitally-important tech into the hands of consumers and industry leaders. Programs like this have proven very successful in the past, and I firmly believe this bill will be the kickstart needed to usher in a new era of energy technology. I want to thank Rep. Foster for working with me on this bipartisan legislation.”

The legislation is modeled off the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, which reduced the cost of solar energy by 75%.