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Energy Market, Policy, Regulation, and Financing Analysis

NREL provides objective analytic and technical support to countries to inform design of regulatory and market structures, policies and standards, and financial incentives and financing instruments for advanced buildings, industry, power, and transportation systems.

This includes providing analytic support for more than 350 policy measures in more than 80 countries around the world through the Clean Energy Solutions Center—a global network of over 60 policy, regulatory, and finance experts.

Power System Regulations, Market Design, and Enabling Policies

We provide in-depth expert advisory and analytic support to developing countries for implementing power system market designs, regulations, and policies. This includes assistance with:

  • Innovative market structures and policies for regional system integration and power trading
  • Energy system pricing
  • Net metering and net billing
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Competitive renewable energy zones
  • Cost recovery
  • Standards and incentives for advanced electric vehicle and alternative fuel technologies
  • Many other measures.

We also partner with others on reports and tools on innovations in power system market design and regulations. For a report example, see Next-Generation Performance-Based Regulation: Emphasizing Utility Performance to Unleash Power Sector Innovation.

Distributed Photovoltaic Policies and Regulations

NREL is a world leader in assisting stakeholders with use of state-of-the art policies and instruments to scale up distributed photovoltaic (PV) deployment. Pilot projects are under way in Thailand and Colombia, and there's interest in Ghana, Peru, Cambodia, and Laos. To learn more, see the Greening the Grid Distributed PV Toolkit.

Mini-Grids Standards, Policies, and Business Models

We assist governments, communities, developers, energy system operators, and others with:

  • Designing mini-grid systems
  • Establishing rigorous performance standards
  • Enabling policies
  • Applying effective business models to achieve effective cost recovery and performance.

Our work involves cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development Power Africa and the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership, a Clean Energy Ministerial initiative, to apply NREL's quality assurance framework (QAF) for mini-grids. To learn more about this the QAF partnership, see the Integrated Energy Solutions website.

Financing Instruments

We collaborate with countries to provide assistance with development and application of a variety of clean energy financing instruments. Together with other partners, NREL assists countries with use of financing incentives and specific instruments, such as securitization, use of grant and loan funds, risk insurance, and other mechanisms.

Government, Facility, and Corporate Procurement

We partner with various government agencies, facility managers, and private sector partners to support use of innovative procurement instruments to drive energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment and markets. This includes cooperating with stakeholders on performance contracting and energy service company (ESCO) market development.

We also work with international and in-country corporations on policies and instruments, helping them achieve their clean energy procurement and sustainability goals through the Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, together with Allotrope Partners and World Resources Institute.