Reconsidering Regulatory Uncertainty: Making a Case for Energy Storage

71 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2013 Last revised: 29 Sep 2015

See all articles by Amy L. Stein

Amy L. Stein

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: October 2, 2013


This Article begins the complex dialogue that must take place to address the emerging technologies providing energy storage for our electricity grid. Energy storage has the capacity to be a game-changer for many facets of our grid, providing better integration of renewable energy, enhanced reliability, and reduced use of carbon-intensive fuels. Energy storage faces a number of obstacles, however, including technological, financial, and regulatory uncertainty. This Article focuses on the regulatory uncertainty, and defends the proposition that not all regulatory uncertainty is created equal. It argues for differential treatment of this uncertainty, depending on its context, scope, and source and applies this framework to the uncertainty surrounding the classification of energy storage. It finds that this uncertainty operates against high baseline levels of uncertainty in the energy industry, is limited in its scope, and is intentionally embraced by the federal regulators in an effort to realize the benefits of regulatory uncertainty. This Article asserts that this form of uncertainty is one that can be managed in a way to avoid stifling the development of this important technology. This Article sets forth strategies for regulators and regulated entities to continue to function, even within this zone of regulatory uncertainty.

Keywords: energy storage, regulatory uncertainty, federalism

JEL Classification: Q4

Suggested Citation

Stein, Amy L., Reconsidering Regulatory Uncertainty: Making a Case for Energy Storage (October 2, 2013). 41 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 697 (2014) , University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 15-15, Available at SSRN:

Amy L. Stein (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0953 (Phone)

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