The Intersection of the Environment and Niche Technology: A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis of the Integration of Energy Storage Technologies in North America
The purpose of this paper is to identify regulatory and market barriers to energy storage as a model for the adoption of future sustainable energy technologies in Ontario. This paper examines current barriers and makes recommendations for increased sustainable energy technologies, such as storage, in Canadian markets. Utilizing the Multi-Level Perspective theoretical framework, this paper deconstructs the current state of energy storage technology in North America. An agnostic energy storage technological overview is provided to offer an understanding of where the technology is today and how quickly it is advancing. Three cross-jurisdictional storage markets are reviewed: Ontario, Alberta, and California, along with the American Federal agency, FERC. Each jurisdiction examined is evaluated by highlighting the key regulatory bodies along with the market rules and structures that currently apply to storage. Finally, the paper concludes with a policy overview, a view on the role of consumer engagement, and recommendations for adoption of new energy technologies. The recommendations are offered as a result of the comparative analysis conducted, interviews with energy professionals in Ontario, and a legal and policy review along with a literature review. While it is concluded that major barriers presently exists for energy storage in North America, the paper finds that major transformations are occurring resulting from pressure from consumers and the need to combat climate change.