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Who Knows What: Information Barriers to Efficient DER Roll-Out

Published in International Association of Energy, Environment and Economy Journal

While academic research on Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) has been mostly focused on first-best systems, we hypothesize that in reality multiple information barriers to efficient DER roll-out exist. Our paper thus studies the prevalence and importance of information issues arising in the context of deployment of DERs by reviewing the existing engineering and economic literature on distributed resources, analyzing DER-related regulatory proceedings, and surveying the relevant electricity sector stakeholders for their perception of information relevance and accessibility. Our findings suggest that there are substantial information problems, especially faced by DER owners and developers as well as non-profit organizations such as environmental groups. Some of the problems hinder the efficiency of DER roll-out, warranting new regulation, thereby indicating the role of policymakers for the future DER developments.

This project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is a collaboration between the Institute for Policy Integrity and NYU Tandon School of Engineering.