The Growth of Distributed Energy: Implications for California’s Grid

The use of DERs has grown substantially in California and, while these resources can help make the grid more reliable, resilient, and equitable, DERs represent a shift from the traditional model of central energy resource control and ownership. As many decisions regarding the use of DERs are made by individual customers, regulators and utilities have had to cede some control of the system, which is requiring new flexibility and a new set of policies and incentives to help optimize the potential of DERs on California’s grid. This brief analyzes key DER technologies in California to provide an overview of what they are, how they work, what policies have helped drive growth, and what grid impacts or benefits decision makers need to be aware of as these technologies advance

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