This Comment breaks down the working parts of America’s energy infrastructure, assessing how the current model could be converted into one that is more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally sustainable. It looks beyond general energy legislation, focusing specifically on chartered, proposed, and failed energy legislation in California. Part II of this Comment examines the weaknesses of America’s current energy infrastructure, looking at the history of the energy industry and the nation’s resulting reluctance to adopt renewable technologies despite the shortcomings of the current model. Part III presents DG and expands upon the potential it possesses to empower Americans in a democratic movement to reinvent their energy infrastructure. Part IV explores how energy policy and its legal implications at all levels have hindered the success of DG, and how those policies could be improved to better support DG development. Part V examines the roll of California’s agencies in promoting and enforcing the State’s DG policies, focusing on specific successes and failures. Part VI looks to other countries that have successfully integrated distributed generation into their national energy strategies, and suggests specific legal and structural changes necessary to make DG successful in the United States. The Conclusion presents an overarching goal for the future of DG, renewable energy, and energy infrastructures both in the United States and abroad.
Distributed Generation: How Localized Energy Production Reduces Vulnerability to Outages and Environmental Damage in the Wake of Climate Change, 6 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L.J. 183