The widespread adoption of intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar power has spurred a growing demand for technologies to store and manage variable energy supplies. In addition, utilities and other power providers and system operators around the world are deploying various types of energy storage to improve reliability or defer the cost of system upgrades. End-use customers are finding many uses for storage devices “behind-the-meter,” from serving as a reliable back-up supply of power, to reducing customer energy costs by peak shaving and peak shifting, to participating in demand response markets. According to IMS Research, the energy storage sector is estimated to grow from a $200 million market in 2012 to a $19 billion market in 2017.
New mechanical, thermal, and electrochemical technologies are being developed and deployed, along with traditional batteries, pumped storage hydropower, and compressed air, across a wide range of energy storage applications. Regulators in key U.S. and international markets are seeking ways to ensure that inefficient price signals do not interfere with the deployment of the best technologies for each storage application, and large, remote, off-grid energy users such as mines are increasingly making storage a significant part of their energy supply solution. In California alone, investor-owned utilities have been instructed to procure more than 1.3 GW of new energy storage over the next several years. Indeed, many observers of energy storage developments believe that the industry is approaching an inflection point similar to that recently experienced by solar energy.
Across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, K&L Gates’ global storage team members have provided legal and policy advice and representation to industry and thought leaders in energy storage for a decade or more. We have helped early developers of pumped storage hydropower and compressed air storage facilities through the regulatory and transactional aspects of deploying those technologies, and we have helped our clients develop and protect their intellectual property in some of the leading new mechanical, thermal, and electromechanical storage technologies. We have advised on the cross-border acquisition of an energy storage company, including addressing the intellectual property issues inherent in such a transaction. K&L Gates combines this historical perspective with a deep involvement in the traditional and renewable energy sectors, as well as extensive knowledge of the unique energy requirements of the natural resources sector, to assist technology and product suppliers, project developers, contractors, end-users, and policy-makers in navigating the new demands and challenges in energy storage.
K&L Gates is a member of the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Renewable Northwest, and the National Hydropower Association (NHA). Our active involvement in these and other energy organizations keeps us abreast of legislative and policy developments affecting energy storage. Attorneys on our energy storage team are also active moderators and speakers at energy storage events.
How We Can Help We draw on a cohesive team of lawyers from multiple disciplines and global experience to provide strategic advice matched to our clients’ business goals. Our energy storage lawyers help companies secure grants, venture capital, and other sources of financing; establish strategic alliances; oversee project development; commercialize their products through technology licensing; protect their intellectual property; overcome environmental and energy regulatory hurdles; and influence legislative and policy development in the energy storage area.