IRESN is a community of pragmatic innovators working for a smart and clean energy future.

Our primary themes are local clean energy integration and more effective engagement between local jurisdictions and energy utilities toward development of local energy resources.

In December, 2016, The Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Network (IRESN) and Communities Advancing Distributed Energy Resources (CADER) announced a new partnership. Its aim is to promote accelerated deployment of local energy resources; its strategy is to identify and call attention to cases of exemplary, integrative collaborations. Topics engaging the attention of network members include:

  • Local energy infrastructure integration

  • Net positive on site renewable electricity

  • Energy sector decentralization and democratization

  • Decentralized energy innovation and technology transfer

  • Decentralized energy finance


America in Focus

Utility scale renewable energy deployment is dominant in the United States overall, with building scale deployment gaining traction. Integrated community scale deployment is a strategic gap and so was the primary focus of the 2013-2016 IRESN effort.

Building on the foundation laid by Cal-IRES (2009-2012) and CADER (below), IRESN continues to serve communities and collaborations engaged in integrated energy system research, planning and operation.


empowerING better decisions by placing...

  • Technology in the context of economics and policy (economics in the context of technology and policy trends)

  • Energy systems for cities and communities in the context of regional, building and transportation energy system innovation and infrastructure expansion

  • Energy resources in the context of other critical resources and infrastructure, e.g. land, water, waste and communications

  • Energy supply in the context of trends in energy finance, delivery and energy demand and user behavior




Facilitating Sustainable Community Development through the Deployment of Advanced Distributed Energy Resources

CADER stands for Communities for Advanced Distributed Energy Resources. Initially, the organization was a California Alliance focused on energy conversion technologies.  Then its membership expanded internationally, and it changed its acronym to convey its focus on the very latest, most efficient technologies and how these can be integrated into communities.



Starting in 2001 CADER organized and sponsored the most informative and influential conferences on the subject of distributed energy resources in California, and many believe in the United States. Annually, these conferences featured the top thought leaders in the field  from government, industry, academic, and the non-governmental organizations in the United States and abroad. The thematic focus of the conferences were as broad and varied as the participants and attendees, running the full range of "distributed energy resource" (DER) technologies applicable to industrial, commercial, institutional and academic settings.  In 2010, CADER narrowed and deepened the focus of the conference on integrated DER applications to support robust community energy systems. The focus was in response to new Federal priorities and economic stimulus funding of initiatives intended to increase the nation's energy independence, energy security and environmental quality and to rebuild aging community infrastructure. The capacity of community officials and private development practitioners to optimize these initiatives and funding turns on their capacity to make informed decisions about the integration of DER technologies in their own development projects.



CADER was founded inside the California Energy Commission in 1998. On August 11, 1999, CADER, Inc. was registered with the State of California and the IRS as a non-profit (501(c)(6)) trade organization. Former California Energy Commission Commissioner David Rohy became CADER’s Chair in 2007 and worked with a board of directors to develop and advance CADER’s  focus on community energy systems.  In 2015 the CADER board adopted a transition plan calling for creation of an advisory board.  Also in 2015, utility and solar industry veteran Gerry Braun became CADER’s chair.  In 2016 CADER’s board of directors voted to approve a partnership between CADER and The Integrated Resources Network under the name IRESN.  All CADER board members agreed to continue serving and to join IRESN’s Board of Advisors. Click here for IRESN officer and advisory board member biographical information.



For many years CADER served as an information clearinghouse on efficient technologies and infrastructure systems that improve the quality, reliability and security of community energy supplies while reducing energy costs and environmental impacts associated with power generation. The original structure and content of CADER’s website was intended to build foundational knowledge that development practitioners could use to assess the potential value of DER applications for current and future projects and then to further explore promising applications through direct contact with relevant technology consultants and vendors.  Here links to the main categories of CADER’s website content



The content of this linked file provides answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning DER technologies for community applications. For those unfamiliar with distributed energy resources or with limited time, this is a convenient place to get an overview of their value in the community setting.
Technologies – Files linked in this paragraph contain information on local renewable generationlocal natural gas generation, and combined heat and power technologies.



This linked file contains links to all presentations at CADER’s 2010 international conference as well as to reports on municipal level energy efficiency planning and the important role that energy-smart land use planning and urban design play in optimizing the economic and operational efficiency and use of local energy resources.



CADER developed a national database of municipal energy sustainability consultants, technology vendors and installation firms represent leading professionals in the industry. A more up to date and searchable database is available on the Municipal Sustainability and Energy Forum website.  IRESN has supported MSEF’s work as a member and webinar presenter since 2014. MSEF’s database includes company and practitioner contact information organized by state and industry sector.