Distributed Energy Resources - Sharing Lessons Learned


The amount of distributed energy resources (DER) on the customer side of the electric grid is steadily increasing in all countries that are undergoing an energy transition. This development represents a challenge for policymakers, grid operators and electric utilities alike. Several countries like Germany have gained substantial experience with deploying and integrating distributed energy resources such as photovoltaic and wind power, whereas other countries are about to start this transformation. This therefore creates an opportunity for carrying out a policy and technology assessment based on the experience accumulated by frontrunners.

Research goals

Policy makers are aware of the major trend of decentralization but their attention in terms of grid development is usually skewed towards the high-voltage transmission grid. This usually consists of large overhead lines and often creates acceptance problems. The overwhelming majority of the DER capacity, however, is connected to the distribution grid – in Germany it is around 90% of the renewable capacity.

Hence, this project aims to investigate DER integration in today’s real-world electricity grids in frontrunner countries through analysis of the operators’ practice of integration (technical, organizational etc.) within the present regulatory context. Currently, we are tapping into Germany’s wealth of knowledge with DER by collecting empirical data in an interview series with relevant distribution grid operators. We ultimately aim to establish pathways for contextualising this practical and actionable knowledge to other countries.   

Relevant publications

  • Bayer, B. (2015): Current Practice and Thinking with Integrating Demand Response for Power System Flexibility in the Electricity Markets in the USA and Germany. - Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports, 2, 2, p. 55-62.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s40518-015-0028-7
  • Matschoss, P., Töpfer, K. (2015): The Innovation Fund: A Complementary Financing Mechanism for Renewables and a Model for Future Infrastructure Financing? - IASS Study, November 2015.
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.2312/iass.2015.025
  • Schäuble, D., Matschoss, P., Bayer, B. (2015): Kommentar zum Grünbuch „Ein Strommarkt für die Energiewende“ (in German).
  • Jacobs, D., Schäuble, D., Bayer, B., Peinl, H., Goldammer, K., Volkert, D., Sperk, C., Töpfer, K. (2014): Civic participation and cost efficiency. Key points for the financing of renewable energies and enabling demand response. - IASS Study, April 2014. 
    DOI: http://doi.org/10.2312/iass.2014.011


Function: Research Fellow

Function: Project Coordinator
Phone: +49 331 28822-415

Function: Research Scientist

Function: Project Manager - Coordination Office Kopernikus Projekt -Navigation System for the Energy Transition (ENavi)
Phone: +49 331 28822-473