Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter

Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Distributed generation, Decarbonizing, Photovoltaic solar energy, Thermal energy


For individuals, the heating and cooling of buildings is the second largest source of U.S. CO2 emissions after transportation. This chapter suggests pathways to help deploy the two most promising categories of U.S. distrib­uted renewable energy resources to reduce these emissions—photovoltaic solar matched with storage and ther­mal sources for hot water and for heating and cooling buildings. Distributed generation is probably the energy source most impacted by different levels of government and nongovernmental actors. However, distributed generation is also most immediate to consumers, especially with new technologies or rate structures that give them feedback about their own individual generation and consumption patterns. This, along with exciting new leaps in distributed generation technologies, suggests there are opportunities for distributed generation to play an increasing role in significantly decarbonizing U.S. energy.

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