Value of Distributed Generation

Clean local energy adds tremendous value by providing cost-effective renewable energy to ratepayers, utilities, and communities. For more information on the value of distributed generation, visit our Resource Hub.

Generating renewable energy in the communities where it is used avoids the expensive and inefficient long-distance transmission of power.

  • Massive transmission infrastructure — which is needed to get energy from large, distant power plants to communities where it is consumed — is expensive to site, build, and maintain.
  • Long-distance energy transmission is inefficient. For example, about 11% of all the energy bought in California is lost during transmission. Generating and distributing energy locally improves efficiency.

Local energy production boosts local economies and communities.

  • Developing clean energy locally creates jobs within the community — and it creates more jobs than developing traditional, centralized power stations.
  • Generating clean energy locally keeps dollars in the community. And it can give residents, businesses, and institutions a path to entrepreneurship in the fast-growing clean energy economy.
  • Developing clean local energy generation turns underused spaces such as parking lots, fields, and rooftops into energy-producing assets — without the controversy and cost involved in building large power plants on undeveloped land.

Clean local energy enhances energy security by providing for a more robust and resilient grid.

  • Our current system of large, centralized power plants is vulnerable to massive outages from severe weather, natural disasters, human error, and acts of terrorism.
  • Incorporating smaller, decentralized power plants diversifies the energy supply and reduces the risk of widespread power outages. Add in intelligent grid technology, and any community can be at least partially self-sufficient and able to keep essential services going even during widespread blackouts.

Updating our power system will boost America’s energy independence.

  • A modern power grid incorporating clean local energy can fully support electric vehicles, reducing our reliance on foreign oil.
  • An intelligent grid can support high levels of renewable energy, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels in favor of clean energy made in communities across America.