Providing reliable and secure electric power to meet the growing demands of this century, and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, is a daunting challenge. The situation has given rise to increased interest in the potential for distributed power systems (DPS): a combination of distributed sources of power production and distributed energy storage. This study examines the economic, environmental, and energy security case for DPS.
Scholars from the Brookings Institution's Energy Security Initiative and the Hoover Institution's Task Force on Energy Policy offer recommendations for ensuring the security and sustainability of our electricity system now and for future generations through the greater deployment of DPS. Their report provides a comprehensive survey of the current technology and policy landscape of DPS and offers suggestions for its most effective use in civilian and military settings, along with warnings on its possible pitfalls. They discuss the current economic, environmental, and energy security costs and benefits of DPS, the policies and regulations currently in place to promote DPS and their effectiveness, the potential benefits of increased penetration of DPS and the barriers to achieving them, and what federal and state governments can do to further encourage DPS.