The first quarter of 2019 brought the largest amount of new U.S. energy storage deployment on record, a new report shows.

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Data: Wood Mackenzie report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Storage from batteries and other methods helps to integrate growing amounts of renewable power and dispatch it when it's most needed.

By the numbers: The first quarter saw roughly 150 megawatts of new deployment, a 6% rise from the prior 3 months and a 232% increase from the same period last year, per the report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.

Where it stands: Falling costs and supportive policies in several states are helping to drive growth.

  • Federal policy is also helping because some solar projects that have a storage component are eligible for solar project tax credits.
  • But advocates want lawmakers to approve tax credits for stand-alone storage projects.

The big picture: The report projects the U.S. storage sector will more than quadruple in size to become a $4.8 billion market in 2024.

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Supreme Court won't block Rhode Island's eased absentee voting rules

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

Breaking down Uber and Lyft's threat to suspend services in California

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Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with California’s state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income).

Driving the news: On Wednesday, both companies said that if a court doesn’t overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, they’ll suspend their services in the state until November’s election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure.

Trump announces normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.