Scaling Up Equitable Distributed Energy Workshop
The effort to enhance electricity consumers’ production of services for the grid is now decades old. States such as New York, California, and Hawaii have rolled out “prosumer” initiatives that aim to make consumers both producers and consumers of electricity, providing small-scale alternatives to centralized generation and new transmission investments. These distributed prosumer activities include, among others, rooftop and community solar; home batteries and electric vehicles; and demand response activities, in which consumers reduce electricity use to offset the need for peak generation. The potential benefits of these activities are numerous: they typically reduce carbon emissions—a current priority of energy policy. They can also lower electricity rates and sometimes avoid investments in expensive transmission infrastructure. But there are substantial hurdles, too, to the implementation of distributed prosumer activities, and this workshop explores two of these major hurdles. First, implementation of some prosumer initiatives has been slow and limited in scope—often ending at the pilot project stage. Second, distributed energy initiatives have tended to benefit higher-income populations, failing to consistently reach low-income consumers who would benefit most from these initiatives. This workshop explores these hurdles in the implementation of prosumer, distributed energy projects and explores how these projects could feasibly be scaled up and made more equitable.
A group of distinguished professors, former government representatives, and industry leaders will share their perspectives on legal and technical impediments to achieving scale and equity in the distributed (localized) energy space and will explore solutions to these challenges. Speakers include:
Sara Bronin, Professor, Cornell Architecture Art Planning & Associated Member, Cornell Law School
Zoey Burrows, Program Manager DAC-SASH/SASH, GRID Alternatives HQ
Joel B. Eisen, Professor, University of Richmond School of Law
David Meyers, CEO, Polaris Energy Services I Gridtractor
Felix Mormann, Professor, Texas A&M University School of Law
Kenneth D. Schisler, Regulatory and Government Affairs, CPower Energy Management
The workshop will be virtual and will consist of presentations followed by 40 minutes of moderated discussion. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions through the Q&A feature, and the moderator will ask the panelists his or her own questions and some questions from the audience.
This event is eligible for Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education credit and is sponsored by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Center for Energy Law and Policy, and Penn State Law.