New York is well positioned to establish itself as a manufacturing force for the energy storage industry, according to a recently released report from the American Jobs Project in partnership with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST).
“Amplifying the role of local manufacturing in New York’s energy storage industry could provide stable employment for thousands of middle-class workers while creating follow-on benefits for the broader labor market,” said Kate Ringness, managing director of the American Jobs Project. “New York’s leaders are creating strong policies to ensure there will be local demand for energy storage. We want to support these efforts by ensuring a healthy ecosystem that supports local job creation in manufacturing, as well as deployment.”
The American Jobs Project’s independent analysis finds that New York’s energy storage industry could support 27,400 manufacturing and installation jobs by 2030, backing the state’s 30,000 jobs target.
The sector is in a growth stage. While it's currently an $11.8 billion global market, is estimated to grow 8.4% each year through 2022.
And New York is already well on the way to become a hotspot for this field as it's home to nearly 100 energy storage companies with expertise in hardware manufacturing, advanced materials, software development, and project management.
Additionally, the state ranks fifth in the nation for energy storage patents due to its research across its universities, national lab, and businesses. The sector also has the strong support of statewide business/technology development resources from NYSERDA, Empire State Development, and NY-BEST.
The report recommends ten policies to follow to achieve these goals:
Policy 1: Establish an Innovation Voucher Program
New York has significantly invested in state-of-the-art testing facilities to support energy storage technology development; however, early-stage startups face a dilemma of requiring both
prototype testing to build investor confidence and funding to afford testing resources. Through an innovation voucher program, New York’s leaders could enable small businesses to better
access testing and consultation services at state-supported facilities.
Policy 2: Strengthen the Entrepreneurial Culture at Universities
New York’s universities excel at fundamental energy storage research and having a strong focus on entrepreneurship and commercialization could multiply the economic impact of this cutting-edge research. University leaders could build a strong entrepreneurial culture on campus by adopting policies and programs, such as including technology transfer as a criterion for tenure
and promotion, allowing faculty leaves of absence for entrepreneurial ventures, facilitating faculty entrepreneur mentorship programs, and establishing pre-negotiated relationships with
local service companies frequently used by spin-offs.
Access to Capital
Policy 3: Facilitate Startups’ Access to Educated Investors
Because energy storage encompasses many diverse technologies and use cases, potential investors who lack industry expertise and want quick returns may be unable to see the value
proposition of individual businesses. To overcome this information barrier, New York institutions engaged in the energy storage startup ecosystem could host industry-specific investor
education events and startup-investor networking opportunities throughout the state.
Policy 4: Establish Connections to Patient Capital
Although New York offers a wealth of financial resources, energy storage manufacturers still struggle to access capital because of low funding levels, reimbursement-based grants, private
match requirements, and short-term funding. To facilitate more patient capital for local companies, public and private sector leaders could engage philanthropic foundations and broker
program- and mission-related investments in the state.
Policy 5: Conduct an Energy Storage Workforce Development Study
Coordinated stakeholder discussions on short- and long-term workforce needs are critical to ensure sustainable energy storage industry growth in New York. State leaders could assemble a
stakeholder group of industry players, education and workforce training providers, labor organizations, community-based organizations, and key government agencies to conduct an in-depth study on the types of jobs needed for energy storage manufacturing and deployment as well as the appropriate timescale for preparing the workforce.
Policy 6: Expand Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training
New York’s energy storage industry will require a skilled and ready technical workforce; however, clean energy businesses still struggle to find qualified job candidates and many
job seekers lack the educational foundation to access technical training programs. Community colleges could expand Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) programs to help
students develop basic math and literacy competency while preparing for electrical, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing career pathways.
Policy 7: Build a State-Level Network of Qualified Energy Storage Contractors
As energy storage becomes mainstream, New York will require qualified contractors to ensure safe installations, boost customer confidence in the technology, and strengthen the local market.
Similar to its requirements for solar PV contractors, NYSERDA could identify and help build relevant credentialing paths that make a contractor eligible to participate in the qualified energy
storage contractor network and engage in its energy storage programs.
Policy 8: Establish an Energy Storage Job Board
Building career awareness will be critical to helping New Yorkers take advantage of the thousands of jobs that the energy storage industry could support. New York’s leaders have the
opportunity to create an industry-specific job board that showcases what jobs are available and serves as a resource for local businesses, jobseekers, training providers, employment agencies,
Policy 9: Map the Local Energy Storage Supply Chain
Supply chain mapping is key for understanding what industry assets exist and what gaps remain for businesses and jobs to thrive in the state. New York’s leaders could build upon NY-BEST’s
online supply chain map to create a comprehensive and interactive resource that can help businesses facilitate connections with potential suppliers and customers as well as help
policymakers and economic development organizations attract investment and recruit businesses.
Policy 10: Bolster Foreign Direct Investment in the Energy Storage Industry
Foreign direct investment (FDI) could support energy storage industry growth by strengthening in-state manufacturing, filling critical supply chain gaps, and bringing new jobs and capital into
the New York economy. State and local leaders could make a concerted effort to bolster FDI outreach by identifying business recruitment targets, better marketing New York’s energy
storage assets, leveraging connections with international energy storage clusters and research institutions, hosting leading energy storage conferences, and dedicating funds for business