An energyshed refers to an area in which energy that is produced locally sustains that area’s energy consumption.
The energyshed concept is similar to that of a watershed—an area in which all rain and snowmelt collects and eventually leads to specific outflow points.
Focusing on an energyshed can provide a way to understand and evaluate electricity supply, use, emissions, as well as reliability and resilience needs. Energysheds can also help show how the costs and benefits of an energy system are distributed within and between geographic communities.
This information can help decisionmakers identify opportunities to use more locally derived energy to improve efficiency and decrease dependence on resources transported from long distances.
“Energyshed is a way of thinking about where energy comes from, which is particularly important when we think about how energy consumption impacts communities over time and across geographic borders. As an integrative planning concept, energyshed planning could be used much like watershed planning—to promote ideas of belonging, inclusion, responsibility, and shared benefits and costs of our energy systems.”
Where can I learn more?
Based on feedback from stakeholders in academia, the private sector, at national labs, and others, the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) developed a report, From Watershed to Energyshed: Determining the Implications of Place-Based Power Generation Workshop and Request for Information Summary Report.
The report addresses five topics:
- Concept and definition
- Tools and analysis
- Planning and operations
- Energy justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion