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Distributed Energy Resource Growth

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Note from the editor

Distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles, are experiencing significant growth in the U.S. as the power sector evolves to a cleaner, less centralized future.

That growth is expected to provide enough cumulative capacity by the early 2020s to flatten power sector peak demand, according to GTM Research.

It also presents tremendous opportunities for utilities if they can act quickly, a recent Boston Consulting Group report found.

But what's propelling the rise of distributed resources and what are the obstacles to more growth?

This trendline examines the experiences of various utilities, vendors, states and grid operators to provide a comprehensive picture of a burgeoning field at the heart of the energy transition.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

As conflict rises over utility DER ownership, a Duke Florida program could offer a way forward

Regulators must decide how to separate regulated and private markets as both see ownership of rooftop and community solar.

Ensuring DER inclusion in capacity markets may require a rethink of resource adequacy

The growth of customer-owned resources is forcing system operators and aggregators to see their value as reliability tools and rethink the concept of resource adequacy.

Increasing renewables and DER demand new reliability approach, but California is falling short, groups say

Resource adequacy's planning reserve margin worked when supply and load were stable, but new system realities demand a more dynamic approach to protect reliability, groups say.

Diminishing returns: Why an upcoming Utah rate case may signal the end of net metering

A move to end the compensation approach for rooftop solar owners has sent sales plummeting. Many other states are also looking at successor tariffs.

Microgrid of the future emerges in Washington as Avista preps transactive DER project

New building control systems and a pair of solar+storage systems will test the business case for greater integration of distributed energy resources.

Winning in a more distributed energy world: 3 steps to utility success

A billion-dollar retail opportunity awaits utilities that turn reluctant customers into partners.

Utility buy of DER providers: A perfect match or a problematic combination?

For utilities, it may be buy-in or be disrupted. But DER providers and their customers need an up side.

New Hampshire settlement moves 'cutting-edge' utility BTM storage pilot forward

The Liberty-led pilot will be the second regulator approved program for utility-owned behind-the-meter storage, and phase 2 will be the first to include the private sector.

As solar-plus-storage surges, can smart devices help overcome deployment barriers?

As utilities move to reap the benefits of solar-plus-storage, manufacturing and interconnection barriers threaten to impede growth.

Utilities, charger vendors find interconnection best practices to propel EV growth

Collaboration and transparency pioneered in solar interconnections can fast-start delayed transportation electrification ambitions