Quick Reads

The distributed PV (DPV) toolkit offers resources and guidance to support developing countries address barriers to safe, effective, and accelerated deployment of small-scale, photovoltaic systems connected at the distribution-level. This page contains a list of resources which quickly address multiple barriers and opportunities to DPV growth.

Accelerating Deployment of Distributed Photovoltaics in Partner Countries

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2020

There is a significant opportunity to help developing countries quickly augment DPV programs, and a wealth of international experience and  expertise to draw upon to do so. USAID has launched a multi-year program to assist countries across the DPV spectrum. The National  Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is supporting USAID (and drawing on Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and others) in developing and implementing pilot projects in selected USAID partner countries, collaborating with these countries to accelerate DPV market development.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory and USAID, 2019
As jurisdictions around the world initiate or revise distributed photovoltaic (DPV) policies and regulations amid changing market conditions, they may benefit from understanding the interaction of compensation mechanisms and installed capacity caps—two important aspects of DPV program design. This brief discusses common practices, design options, and lessons learned pertaining to these two topics. It includes examples largely derived from the experience of U.S. jurisdictions.

Exploring New Models for Utility Distributed Energy Resource Planning and Integration: SMUD and Con Edison

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2018

As countries experience increasing levels of distributed energy resources (DERs), utilities have begun experimenting with novel ways of incorporating these resources. The efforts of two utilities in the United States, SMUD in California and Con Edison in New York, are highlighted in this paper. SMUD undertook a thorough planning study to understand the effects of DERs on the grid, which included 1) forecasting adoption of DERs; 2) modeling impacts of DERs at the distribution and bulk power system level; and 3) estimating revenue impacts. To delay expensive traditional grid expansion investments, Con Edison developed a program to employ “nonwire alternatives” such as demand response, DERs and energy efficiency programs to meet growing demand in their network.

Grid-Connected Distributed Generation: Compensation Mechanism Basics

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2017

DG owners can be compensated in different ways for the electricity their systems generate. This short report defines compensation mechanisms for grid-connected, behind-the-meter DG systems as instruments that comprise three core elements: (1) metering & billing arrangements, (2) sell rate design, and (3) retail rate design. This report explores metering & billing arrangements (net energy metering (NEM); buy all, sell all; and net billing), with some limited discussion of sell rate design.

Distributed Generation to Support Development-Focused Climate Action

National Renewable Energy Laboratory and USAID, 2016

DG can play a role in sustainable, low-emission, climate-resilient development worldwide. This report identifies the benefits of DG deployment in development scenarios through energy access, greenhouse gas emission mitigation, and climate resilience as well as specific actions that may enhance or increase the likelihood of climate and development benefits. Additionally, several brief case-studies of DG deployment in developing communities are included.

Grid-Integrated Distributed Solar: Addressing Challenges for Operations and Planning

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2016

Integrating DPV on a distribution system poses both unique challenges and opportunities. This factsheet reviews the barriers and provides best practices when operating and planning for distributed solar.

Distributed Solar PV for Electricity System Resiliency: Policy and Regulatory Considerations

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2014

DPV can be designed to supply electricity during grid outages. This paper presents approaches that specifically support resiliency through design of PV systems utilizing community energy storage, solar-diesel hybrid systems, and micro-grids. The paper also considers policies and regulations to support resiliency.

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