Distributed Energy Resources: Policy Implications of Decentralization

This whitepaper, written as part of America’s Power Plan, describes the role of distributed energy resources, also known as ‘the internet of electricity,’in the electricity sector and how its emergence alters the sector’s traditional centralized structure. It recommends three options for expanding distributed energy resources so that a renewable electricity future can be achieved. These recommendations include 1) analyzing the costs, benefits, and trade-offs associated with distributed energy resources; 2) level the playing field between new distributed resources and traditional centralized energy by adapting utility business models and wholesale market structures to become more competitive, and 3) encourage innovation in technology and services to expedite the adoption of distributed and renewable resources.