According to a new report, distributed energy resources (DERs) could create jobs and keep energy prices low in Texas. DERs could also strengthen the Texas electric grid and address energy poverty. The study, prepared by the Environmental Defense Fund, proposes expanding rooftop and community solar, energy efficiency, demand response, and energy storage technology.
With Texas’ energy demand set to grow, the EDF believes DERs offer an alternative to the construction of expensive power plants. The study points to data from the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance. According to this data, consumers could save $5.4 billion over the next decade by switching to DERs.
“Texas has led the nation on electricity competition, and customers are ready for the next frontier: demand side and distributed energy resources,” argued John Hall, lead author of the report. “We’re past the days when clean energy was just about the environment. Demand side and distributed energy resources clean our air, strengthen the grid, create local jobs, reduce energy costs and give electricity customers more choice and control.”
To back up these claims, the report notes that clean DERs already account for around 205,000 jobs in Texas. Most of these jobs are in energy efficiency (170,000). Grid storage and zero emission vehicles account for 13,200 and 17,300 jobs respectively. However, with just 1,050 megawatts of installed capacity, the EDF authors point out that DERs remain a minor contributor to the energy grid with substantial prospects for growth.