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Small Wind Policy Comparison Tool: An ASES Small Wind Division Webinar

July 12, 2011

NREL and the American Solar Energy Society Small Wind Division co-hosted the webinar to review initial results from a financial analysis tool designed to identify distributed wind policy best practices as part of a U.S. DOE-funded project that can rank states based on their current incentives and market environments, and calculates impacts on project economics for various levels of a national feed-in tariff (FIT).

"Power Through Policy: 'Best Practices' for Cost-Effective Distributed Wind" helps advocates, utilities, and policy makers to better understand what policy improvements are most needed for small wind turbines up to 100 kW, and where. The tool and accompanying guidebook, to be released in mid-2011, show which policy combinations have the most (and least) impact on the bottom line.

The tool's demo showed how sensitivity analyses can be conducted on various policy options and assumptions to determine impacts and optimal scenarios and guide efficient use of public and ratepayer funds supporting small wind technology.

Case studies were presented to compare and contrast existing policies and "what if" scenarios in one state with another. The webinar highlighted attractive markets and policy targets that offer the quickest return on investment, encouraging states to build on lessons learned with incentives to improve support for small wind.

The webinar was moderated by Trudy Forsyth from NREL. Speakers included Laurel Varnado and Jen Banks, both from the North Carolina Solar Center. Heather Rhoads-Weaver, eFormative Options, LLC, and staff answered questions.

Audio and text versions of the webinar are available (WMV 15.0 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 01:00:07. Text Version (PDF 156 KB) Download Adobe Reader.

—Julie Jones