The Untapped Potential of Energy Storage in Achieving Climate Goals

Energy storage has the potential to revolutionize the way we harness and utilize renewable energy, making it a key player in achieving climate goals. In this article, we explore the untapped potential of energy storage and its vital role in combating climate change.

The Rise of Renewable Energy

Before diving into the untapped potential of energy storage, let’s first understand the significance of renewable energy sources and its current trajectory. Renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power, have witnessed substantial growth over the past decade. In fact, renewable energy accounted for 22% of global electricity generation in 2018, and this figure is expected to reach 30% by 202

While the adoption of renewable energy sources is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, intermittent generation and supply pose significant challenges. Solar panels can only generate electricity during daylight hours, while wind turbines are dependent on wind speed. This variability in energy supply hampers the stability and reliability of the power grid, hindering the complete transition to renewable energy.

The Role of Energy Storage

This is where energy storage comes into play. Energy storage systems store excess electricity produced during times of high generation and low demand, which can be used during periods of low generation or high demand. By bridging the gap between power generation and consumption, energy storage enables a more reliable and stable power supply from renewable sources.

The benefits and advantages of energy storage systems are numerous:

  • Grid Stability: Energy storage helps regulate and stabilize the power grid by balancing supply and demand. This minimizes the risk of blackouts and improves grid efficiency.
  • Renewable Integration: Integrating energy storage with renewable energy sources mitigates the intermittency issue, allowing for a more consistent and reliable power supply. This promotes a smoother transition to a renewable-dominated grid.
  • Peak Shaving: Energy storage systems can reduce peak demand periods by supplying stored electricity during times of high energy usage. This helps in reducing stress on power plants and the grid, reducing overall costs and emissions.
  • Emergency Backup: Energy storage plays a crucial role in providing backup power during emergencies or grid outages. This ensures essential services, like hospitals or emergency shelters, can continue to operate.

The Untapped Potential

Despite the numerous advantages, energy storage still remains an untapped resource. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global installed capacity of energy storage was approximately 158 gigawatts (GW) in 2020, which accounted for only 2% of global power capacity. Furthermore, the majority of installed energy storage systems are pumped hydro storage, while alternatives such as lithium-ion batteries are still in the early stages of deployment.

The potential for energy storage is vast:

  • According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), increasing energy storage deployment to 5% of the country’s total energy capacity by 2030 could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 million metric tons annually.
  • Europe has set a target of achieving 200 GW of installed energy storage capacity by 2030 to support its renewable energy goals and enhance energy security.
  • According to BloombergNEF, the global energy storage market is projected to attract $662 billion in investments by 2040.

These statistics highlight the immense potential of energy storage in achieving climate goals.


Energy storage has the power to transform the renewable energy landscape and play a crucial role in achieving climate goals. By addressing the intermittency issue of renewable energy sources, energy storage systems provide stability, reliability, and resilience to our power grids. The benefits of energy storage, including grid stability, renewable integration, peak shaving, and emergency backup, cannot be ignored.

It is essential for policymakers, governments, and industry players worldwide to recognize the untapped potential of energy storage and invest in its development. Accelerating the deployment of energy storage technologies will not only help combat climate change but also stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities in the clean energy sector.

For more information and updates on energy storage, visit the U.S. Department of Energy website or explore the resources provided by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).