What Are Distributed Energy Resources?
For much of the 20th century, there was one way for most people to get electricity. It was generated at power plants, often by burning fossil fuels, and transmitted long distances over a centralized grid until it arrived at customers’ homes and businesses. In recent decades, however, technologies for generating and managing electricity at the place of consumption have emerged and begun decentralizing the power grid. These technologies are known as distributed energy resources (DERs). Examples include energy efficiency, energy storage, demand response, electric vehicles, grid-interactive efficient buildings, combined heat and power, and renewable energy such as solar photovoltaics.