As technology improvements and market demand drive adoption of distributed energy, utilities and fossil fuel interests are increasing levels of opposition in state legislative and regulatory proceedings. In an article recently published in Renewable Energy World and North American Clean Energy Magazine, we explored the role that business energy consumers and advanced energy businesses should play in supporting adoption of distributed energy.
The U.S. is poised to invest trillions of dollars of capital over the next few decades in energy generation and transmission. The question becomes: How do we, as a nation, want to invest this capital? Should it be on patching an old, central power plant model (think mainframe computers), or instead on a modern, distributed electricity system that supports entire new industries (think smart phones, the Internet of Things, and the Cloud)?
In many states, utilities and fossil fuel lobbyists are arguing that distributed generation sources should pay increased fixed costs, or that incentives such as renewable portfolio standards should be curtailed. As discussed in our article, it is vital that businesses with a stake in distributed energy make the case supporting the substantial benefits of distributed energy that should also be fully considered in these debates – including reduced costs, job creation, and improved grid reliability and security.
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