Twelve years ago, the Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Network (IRESN) idea was to direct thoughtful, technically well-grounded attention to renewable integration, especially integration of local energy transitions.  Then large solar and wind power plant investment and integration accelerated. Local energy integration and collaboration is also now gaining traction, thanks to accelerating community solar and microgrid investments in many states.

Here are the highlights of 2022 IRESN analysis and comment:

Rooftop Solar. Last week, the California PUC set the stage for massive future “grid defection.” New rooftop solar array owners will now “sell” solar electricity to a giant for-profit electric utility for twenty five percent of the price the utility charges their neighbors for it.  Or will solar array owners store solar electricity in their own batteries, back it up with electric vehicle batteries and “cut the wire”?  To read more, click here.

Community Choice. California’s publicly owned Community Choice energy industry is accelerating state-wide decarbonization by buying and reselling electricity from large new renewable power projects.  Community Choice revenues that might otherwise be spent locally to improve  local energy security and organize community solar projects are effectively confiscated by the state of California and handed over to, you guessed it, giant for-profit utilities.  Does California Community Choice enabling legislation need a public vs. private fairness update?  To read more, click here and here.

Circular Renewable Energy Economies. What does it mean to “integrate a circular economy approach into the renewable energy transition”?  For one thing, all solar, wind, and battery components and materials will need to be recycled, remanufactured, reused or repurposed.  Will the current leading consumers of renewable energy (China, the US, and California) also become leading circular renewable economy collaborators? Or will Germany, the EU and Japan lead the way?  To read more, click here.

Thanks for reading through, and best wishes for 2023!

Gerry Braun,

IRESN was launched in 2013 as a continuation of the work of the the California Integrated Renewable Energy Systems (Cal-IRES) collaborative, which was created in 2010 as part of the California Renewable Energy Center. IRESN merged with and assumed responsibility for work of the California Alliance for Distributed Energy Resources (CADER) in 2016. IRESN’s board of advisors includes former CADER board members. Gerry Braun, a Davis resident, serves as IRESN’s Chair. His knowledge of energy markets, electricity systems and clean energy supply technologies is rooted in his work over the years with leading firms and agencies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Bechtel, Southern California Edison Company, BP Solar, Standard Solar, the US Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission.