Solar Markets and Policy Analysis

NREL studies trends in existing and emerging solar market segments and examines different financial instruments and policy decisions that affect solar energy adoption.

Two school buildings featuring rooftop solar installations.


  • Analyze market trends for various solar market segments, including low-to-moderate income, residential solar, and midmarket solar
  • Explore new financial and legal mechanisms to support solar adoption
  • Track policies adopted across local and state governments that affect solar adoption, operation, and end-of-life

Key Projects

Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies

The Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies are a series of industry-wide studies that use data-driven and evidence-based methods to identify characteristics, motivations, and barriers to photovoltaic adoption.

Flexible Financial Credit Agreements for Solar Adoption

Along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NREL is leading the discovery, design, and advancement of flexible financial credit agreements to enable solar adoption for low-to-moderate-income customers.

Municipal Franchise Agreements and Clean Energy Objectives

NREL's research on municipal franchise agreements identifies which municipalities have the authority to enter franchise agreements, how many have pursued clean energy objectives through those agreements, and to what effect these objectives have been pursued.