Rep. Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) introduced H.R. 5610, the bipartisan Better Energy Storage Technology Act, on Wednesday, seeking to establish innovation goals to develop large-scale commercially viable energy storage technology.
The concept of the BEST Act is modeled after similar “moonshot” initiatives that have successfully fostered rapid advancements in innovation and technology. In this case, the act would authorize research into cutting-edge battery technology.
Two of the most notable examples are the Department of Energy “SunShot” initiative that reduced the cost of solar energy by 75 percent and the department’s hydraulic fracturing investment that led to the shale oil and gas boom.
H.R. 5610 is co-led by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Illinois).
“One of the biggest challenges facing the growth of renewable energy sources like, wind, solar and other alternative producers is a lack in commensurate development of energy storage technology,” Knight said.
“This bill will consolidate the research in this field to foster rapid development and get this vitally-important tech into the hands of consumers and industry leaders,” he said.
“Programs like this have proven very successful in the past, and this bill will be the kickstart needed to usher in a new era of energy technology and lay the foundation of what will become a $100 billion industry for American businesses,” Knight said. “I want to thank Rep. Foster for working with me on this bipartisan legislation.”
“Thanks to sustained funding for federal scientific research, the United States became a leader in technology and innovation,” Foster said. “Energy storage is one of the great frontiers in new technology that could transform our country’s energy sector as we move to more environmentally sustainable energy models.
“This legislation will provide a much-needed boost for research on energy storage that could very well pave the way for the next big development in battery technology to transform our country’s electrical grid,” he said.
“Argonne National Lab already conducts some of the country’s most groundbreaking work on new battery materials and technologies,” Foster said. “I introduced this legislation with Rep. Knight to build on the success we’ve already had and continue America’s technological leadership in this critical area. I thank Rep. Knight for his leadership on this important legislation.”
Knight serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is vice chairman of the Energy Subcommittee. He is also a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives.