Events & Media


A Sustainable Technology Seminar Series:

Policy/Economic Analysis of
Sustainable Chemical/Material Technologies

"Quantifying the Value of Storage Technologies for Solar and Wind Energy"

Jessika Trancik
Atlantic Richfield Career Development Assistant Professor in Energy Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1424

See the complete list of speakers in this series, with brief biographies.

Wind and solar energy industries have sustained high growth rates of approximately 30% per year over the past 30 years, due to a combination of technology cost improvement and public policy incentives. However it remains an open question whether these high growth rates will continue. The answer will depend on whether these intermittent energy resources can be combined with energy storage to be made as attractive to investors as natural gas, hydroelectricity and coal, which supply energy on demand. This talk will cover recent research on quantifying the value of storage today (and of future, improved storage) for wind and solar energy, by capturing important distinguishing cost features of diverse storage technologies. Our results show that storage technologies can increase the value of renewable energy considerably across both wind and solar energy resources. Cost estimates of some technologies fall within a value-adding range but storage cost improvement must keep pace with decreasing solar and wind energy costs to continue to add value. Our results provide cost performance targets that can be used to guide the future development of storage technologies.

Jessika Trancik is an Atlantic Richfield Career Development Assistant Professor in Energy Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Her research centers on evaluating the environmental impacts and costs of energy technologies, and setting design targets to help accelerate the development of these technologies in the laboratory. These projects focus on electricity and transportation, with an emphasis on solar energy conversion and storage technologies. She earned her PhD in materials science from Oxford University and BS in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.


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