Energy expert and industry veteran Ed Reid and I wrote this article for the Reason publication Privatization Watch. Punch line: distributed generation could go a long way toward helping us deal with energy infrastructure issues (especially transmission construction) in a cost-effective and flexible manner, but intended and unintended government barriers still exist. Here’s the conclusion:
Government barriers to distributed energy do still exist at both federal and state levels, across many different agencies and regulators. The current unsettled state of the industry is an opportunity for a revised, coordinated regulatory approach that does not create disincentives for distributed energy. FERCís interconnection initiative is a good start at the federal level to create coordination among the states, but many other barriers remain in other federal agencies and in other dimensions at the state level.