Two Trends are Driving the Rise of Behind-the-Meter Distributed Energy Resources


Technology and Intellectual Property attorneys Whit Johnson and Andrew Wasden contributed an article to POWER magazine titled “What’s Driving the Rise of Behind-the-Meter Distributed Energy Resources,” published October 1, 2019. The article discusses how growing energy demand, combined with limits to options for adding new energy sources through traditional approaches, is fueling the growth of behind-the-meter distributed energy resources (DERs).

The authors note that two trends are emerging and driving the rise in behind-the-meter DERS – increases in behind-the-meter generation and in the availability of energy storage.

Initial attempts by utilities to meet energy demand through “net metering” (purchasing power from owners of behind-the-meter photovoltaic solar sources, for example) ran up against technological limitations. However, improvements in photovoltaics and supporting technologies, as well as to business models for deploying the technologies, have addressed many of those limitations.

Improvements in and increased availability of behind-the-meter storage resources may also be abetted by the rise in the number of electric vehicles (EVs). According to the authors: “AI and machine-learning technologies are optimizing charging and discharging of batteries to enhance battery life and value, raising the willingness to participate in aggregated EV storage DERs.”

Johnson and Wasden conclude: “As improved technology meets requirements for safely and reliably accepting behind-the-meter generation, utilities will increasingly consider and come to rely on behind-the-meter generation as critical DERs.”

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