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Financial Policy Analysis

NREL's financial policy analysis team examines the effects that policy has on renewable energy project financing and development. They look at how policies such as feed-in tariffs, clean renewable energy bonds, and power purchase agreements can shape the pace and structure of financing. For more on NREL's analysis of these policies, access the information below.

Key Analyses for 2015

The cover of the Next Generation of Renewable Electricity Policy: How Rapid Change is Breaking Down Conventional Policy Categories report.

Next Generation of Renewable Electricity Policy

A number of policies have been used historically in order to stimulate the growth of the renewable electricity sector. This paper Next Generation of Renewable Electricity Policy: How Rapid Change is Breaking Down Conventional Policy Categories examines four of these policy instruments: competitive tendering, sometimes called renewable electricity auctions, feed-in tariffs, net metering and net billing, and tradable renewable energy certificates. In recent years, however, a number of changes to both market circumstances and to policy priorities have resulted in numerous policy innovations, including the emergence of policy hybrids. With no common language for these evolving policy mechanisms, policymakers have generally continued to use the same traditional policy labels, occasionally generating confusion as many of these new policies no longer look, or act, like their traditional predecessors. In reviewing these changes, this paper makes two separate but related claims: first, policy labels themselves are breaking down and evolving. As a result, policy comparisons that rely on the conventional labels may no longer be appropriate, or advisable. Second, as policymakers continue to adapt, we are in effect witnessing the emergence of the next generation of renewable electricity policies, a change that could have significant impacts on investment, as well as on market growth in both developed and developing countries.

More Publications


Impact of Direct Financial Incentives in the Emerging Battery Electric Vehicle Market: A Preliminary Analysis (Presentation). NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Clinton, B.; Brown, A.; Davidson, C.; Steinberg, D. (2015). 26 pp.; NREL Report No. PR-6A20-63263.

Value of Solar: Program Design and Implementation Considerations. Taylor, M.; McLaren, J.; Cory, K.; Davidovich, T.; Sterling, J.; Makhyoun, M. (2015). 84 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-62361.


California-Wyoming Grid Integration Study: Phase 1 -- Economic Analysis. Corbus, D.; Hurlbut, D.; Schwabe, P.; Ibanez, E.; Milligan, M.; Brinkman, G.; Paduru, A.; Diakov, V.; Hand, M. (2014). 84 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-61192.

Implications of a PTC Extension on U.S. Wind Deployment. Lantz, E.; Steinberg, D.; Mendelsohn, M.; Zinaman, O.; James, T.; Porro, G.; Hand, M.; Mai, T.; Logan, J.; Heeter, J.; Bird, L. (2014). 32 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-61663.


Wind Power Project Repowering: Financial Feasibility, Decision Drivers, and Supply Chain Effects. Lantz, E.; Leventhal, M.; Baring-Gould, I. (2013). 40 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-60535.

2011 Cost of Wind Energy Review. Tegen, S.; Lantz, E.; Hand, M.; Maples, B.; Smith, A.; Schwabe, P. (2013). 50 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-5000-56266.

Continuing Developments in PV Risk Management: Strategies, Solutions, and Implications. Lowder, T.; Mendelsohn, M.; Speer, B.; Hill, R. (2013). 51 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-57143.


Impact of Financial Structure on the Cost of Solar Energy. Mendelsohn, M.; Kreycik, C.; Bird, L.; Schwabe, P.; Cory, K. (2012). 40 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-53086.

Renewable Energy Finance Tracking Initiative (REFTI) Solar Trend Analysis. Hubbell, R.; Lowder, T.; Mendelsohn, M.; Cory, K. (2012). 26 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A20-53531.


Using Revolving Loan Funds to Finance Energy Savings Performance Contracts in State and Local Agency Applications (Revised). Booth, S.; Doris, E.; Knutson, D.; Regenthal, S. (2011). 17 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-7A30-51399.

Guidebook to Geothermal Finance. Salmon, J. P.; Meurice, J.; Wobus, N.; Stern, F.; Duaime, M. (2011). 61 pp.; NREL Report No. SR-6A20-49391.


A Policymaker's Guide to Feed-in Tariff Policy Design. Couture, T. D.; Cory, K.; Kreycik, C.; Williams, E. (2010). 144 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A2-44849.

"Renewable Energy Prices in State-Level Feed-in Tariffs: Federal Law Constraints and Possible Solutions." Hempling, S.; Elefant, C.; Cory, K.; Porter, K. (2010). 68 pp. NREL Report TP-6A2-47408.


Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Residential Sector Deployment. Coughlin, J.; Cory, K. (2009). 66 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A2-44853.

"Renewable Energy Project Financing: Impacts of the Financial Crisis and Federal Legislation." Schwabe, P.; Cory, K.; Newcomb, J. (2009). 27 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A2-44930.

"Solar Leasing for Residential Photovoltaic Systems (Fact Sheet)." (2009). 6 pp.; NREL Report No. FS-670-43572.

"Feed-in Tariff Policy: Design, Implementation, and RPS Policy Interactions." Cory, K.; Couture, T.; Kreycik, C. (2009). 23 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-6A2-45549.


"Innovations in Wind and Solar PV Financing." Cory, K.; Coughlin, J.; Jenkin, T.; Pater, J.; Swezey, B. (2008). 39 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-670-42919.

"Renewable Energy Financing: The Role of Policy and Economics." Cory, K. (2008). 16 pp. presentation; NREL Report No. PR-670-42918.

"Renewable Energy Planning: Multiparametric Cost Optimization." Walker, A. (2008). 10 pp.; NREL Report No. CP-670-42921.

"Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Deployment on Public Property by State and Local Governments." Cory, K.; Coughlin, J.; Coggeshall, C. (2008). 72 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-670-43115.

More Information

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