Photo by Solar Mosaic.

In a previous post, I told the story of a discouraging defeat for distributed energy. So I want to follow up to make the point that, despite that one setback, distributed energy is spreading quickly and has enormous potential. (Reminder: Distributed energy is small-scale power sources, usually “behind the meter,” often owned by individuals or companies or community groups instead of utilities, connected by an intelligent grid. Yes, I need a snappier summary.)

One thing that’s frustrated me a little bit about distributed-energy discussions is that, in practice, most of the distributed generation sources in the world are small diesel generators or combined heat and power (CHP) units. Those are interesting in their own right, but what I’m most interested in is distributed renewables.