California is leading the way. There you'll find the next big idea is not solar panels or wind turbines. It's batteries.

The motivation is not what many believe. The interest in batteries has little to do with storing wind or solar energy. The interest has a lot to do with displacing standby generators.

Today low performing power plants are on spinning reserve to respond to changing demand by supplying incremental energy. Historically this was the only method available to grid managers. The result was wasted fuel and unnecessary pollution.

Batteries can do it better, faster and cheaper. Consequently, grid managers are shifting revenues from old generators and directing funds to battery owners, including SolarCity.

One of the biggest players in the battery space is AES. Yes, SolarCity and Tesla are involved, but IMO their products are toys.

AES is an owner operator. Duke Energy is another owner operator. LG is a manufacturer. Pick your position: Manufacturer or buyer.

Here are "11 innovative companies giving energy storage a jolt".


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