I have spent more than 15 years working to advance distributed energy resources (DERs), at this point, and it's clear that DERs are technologically to the point where they have been proven time and time again and can be relied on like any other utility or grid assets. However, it's still very difficult to monetize the value that DERs can provide because there are not mechanisms in place, in most energy markets, to compensate them for what they can do. For startups that are trying to commercialize services that can be provided by distributed energy storage systems like orchestrated behind-the-meter load control and/or solar+storage, it's very frustrating to know that these products can perform as well as traditional utility grid assets, but can't be paid for doing so.
The next area of innovation in clean energy must focus on solving this problem. The technology barriers are not what they once were. DER hardware and software are advanced enough to provide consistent, reliable, utility-grade services. DERs are key to a modern grid. Figuring out how to unlock their value from a market perspective is what needs to happen next and this is what I'm focused on.