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Energy storage: Enabling clean alternatives and job creation in coal-dependent regions

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Energy storage is particularly relevant to carbon-intensive and coal regions, as it provides a cleaner alternative to hard-to-abate industries and traditional fossil-fuel-powered thermal plants for flexibility services. Currently, fossil-fuel power plants, such as gas and coal plants, largely provide flexibility services for energy systems. As fossil fuels are phased out, alternative methods for providing this flexibility will be needed. Energy storage is a key source for system flexibility services. It can replace coal plants in ensuring grid stability and the adequacy of power systems by supporting the ability of available electricity supply to meet demand throughout the year and providing system flexibility by matching energy supply to demand.

Energy storage projects can also create employment opportunities for former coal or carbon-intensive workers in Just Transition Fund (JTF) regions. These technologies require extensive value chains, involving research labs, raw materials providers, manufacturers, project developers, installers, and numerous other entities. Strengthening local value chains for energy storage will create new jobs in the energy sector. Analyses show that over 10 million people were employed in the global advanced energy industry in 2017, spanning various backgrounds, disciplines, and skill levels. Market growth could support 24 million jobs by 2030.

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