What is Distributed Generation?
Distributed generation (DG) refers to generating energy close to where it is consumed, rather than forcing communities to rely on faraway fossil fuel plants and inefficient long-distance power transmission. An energy system built around DG is decentralized and more resilient when compared to centralized generation, which relies on a few large power plants located far from the communities that consume the energy.
What is Wholesale Distributed Generation?
Wholesale Distributed Generation (WDG) refers to DG systems that connect to the local distribution grid and sell the electricity they produce to the local utility. The clean local energy produced by WDG is used to serve local energy demand.
What are the Benefits of Wholesale Distributed Generation?
- WDG serves only local load and avoids the expensive, inefficient, and environmentally harmful effects of long-distance transmission infrastructure.
- WDG projects keep energy dollars close to home and grow local economies, driving economic stimulation, including job growth.
- WDG projects come online quickly and avoid the lengthy and expensive process of building new, large, centralized power plants and transmission lines.
- WDG projects democratize access to clean local energy by giving more parties the opportunity to participate, and not just homeowners or large corporate entities.
The future of Wholesale Distributed Generation
WDG is an underserved market segment in the United States. For comparison, WDG comprises 90% of renewables that have been deployed in Germany and provides similar significance to other leading renewables markets around the world, including California (see chart below).
Serving as the global clean energy leader, Germany is providing clear lessons for the rest of the world. If the United States wants to save time, energy, and money in its transition towards a cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable power system, we must learn from their successes.