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Renewable Energy Policy in the U.S. Southeast

In its Southeast Regional Clean Energy Policy Analysis, NREL presents the following key findings on renewable energy development policies in the southeastern United States:

  • The most common policies to support renewable energy development are personal and corporate tax incentives and loans.
  • North Carolina and Missouri have implemented Renewable Portfolio Standards to encourage clean energy development.
  • While many of the states in the region have net-metering and interconnection policies, built-in limitations reduce their effectiveness in stimulating development. Raising the installation size limits and program participation caps, as well as clarifying and standardizing the application process and contracts would encourage further development.
  • Encouraging biomass co-firing in existing coal-fired power plants could reduce emissions in the near term and support the early stages of a biomass market.
  • The region has optimum zones for production of dedicated biomass crops.¬†Dedicated energy crops could also be grown on Conservation Reserve Program Lands. Assistance for biomass growers and generators would support further development of a dedicated energy crop market.
Table 1. State-Level Renewable Energy Development Policies and Incentives

 

Alabama

Arkansas

Georgia

Kentucky

Louisiana

Missouri

Mississippi

North Carolina

South Carolina

Tennessee

Access Laws

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

Bonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Construction & Design

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

X

 

Contractor Licensing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Tax Incentives

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

Equipment Certification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generation Disclosure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grants

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

Industry Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Interconnection

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

Line Extension Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loans

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Net Metering

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Personal Tax Incentives

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

Public Benefit Funds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebates

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Required Green Power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewable Portfolio Standards

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

Sales Tax Incentives

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

Updated from sources as of October 1, 2010
Note: State incentives only. Does not include utility, local, or nonprofit incentives.
Source: DSIRE

Table 2. Renewable Portfolio Standards in the Southeast

 

North Carolina

Missouri

Final Rules Adopted

February 2008

June 2008

Standard

Investor-owned utilities – 12% by 2010

Municipal and co-operative utilities – 10% by 2010

Investor-owned utilities – 15% by 2021

Interim Standards

2010: 0.02% from solar

2010-2014: 3%

2015: 6%

2018: 10%

2021: 12.5%

2011-2013: 2%

2018-2020: 10%

2020 and thereafter: 15%

Eligible Technologies

Solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, solar thermal process heat, PV, landfill gas, wind, biomass, geothermal electric, CHP/ cogeneration, hydrogen, anaerobic digestion, small hydro (up to 10 MW), tidal energy, wave energy

Solar thermal electric, PV, landfill gas, wind, biomass, municipal solid waste, anaerobic digestion, small hydro (up to 10 MW), fuel cells using renewable fuels

Efficiency Eligible

Yes

No

Technology Set-Asides

Solar: 0.2% by 2018

Swine waste: 0.2% by 2010

Poultry waste: 900,0000 MWh by 2014

Solar electric: 2% of annual requirement

Multiplier

None

In-state generation = 1.25

Credit Trading Allowed

Yes

Yes

REC Trading and Verification Required

Yes: North Carolina Renewable Energy Trading System (NC-RETS)

Yes: North American Renewables Registry

Cost Recovery

Utilities may recover the incremental cost of renewable resources and up to $1 million in alternative energy research expenditures annually from customers. The cost per customer account is capped.

Yes, the PSC must develop rules for cost recovery. No cost cap for customers is specified, but the RES is subject to a maximum average retail rate increase of 1%.

Sources: North Carolina Utilities Commission, and Missouri Public Service Commission

Also see the key findings on energy efficiency policy in the U.S. Southeast.

More Information

For more information, see the full report, Southeast Regional Clean Energy Policy Analysis.

As policies change frequently, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for information on the policies that currently exist in your state or locality. DSIRE only tracks a limited number of local policies, but it tracks more than any other program or organization.