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NREL Conduit Blog

The NREL Conduit Blog discusses research relevant to state, local, and tribal governments. Contributing authors provide posts related to events, policy analysis, and decision support outcomes to inform the market in a credible and timely fashion.

New Report Estimates the Carbon Abatement Potential of City Energy Actions

December 27, 2016 by Eric O’Shaughnessy

Cities, as the primary enforcers and implementers of policy at the local level, are uniquely positioned to drive reductions in energy costs and local greenhouse gas pollution within the building and transportation sectors. U.S. cities are already taking action to reduce energy consumption, expenditures, and associated greenhouse gas pollution. Now, in a new report, Estimating the National Carbon Abatement Potential of City Policies: A Data-Driven Approach , NREL estimates the carbon abatement potential of six commonly implemented city actions: building codes, building energy efficiency programs, smart growth, public transit, solar photovoltaics (PV), and municipal “lead-by-example” actions (see descriptions in Figure 1). Continue reading

FERC Ruling Paves Way for Increased Local Renewable Energy Generation

December 26, 2016 by Alison Holm

In June 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling that paves the way for municipal and cooperative utilities to procure additional, local renewable energy generating capacity. Continue reading

State RPS Policies in Focus: Assessing RPS Policy Activity during the 2015-2016 Legislative Session

December 07, 2016 by Jeffrey J. Cook

The 2015-2016 legislative sessions are coming to a close across the states and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) have had renewed policy activity (See Figure 1). Since the start of 2015, six states have enacted new or more stringent RPS policies, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont (See Figure 1). Continue reading

Three Things State and Local Governments Could Do To Grow Midscale (100kW-2MW) Solar PV

December 07, 2016 by Jenny Heeter

The midscale market for solar photovoltaics (PV), defined as behind-the-meter systems between 100 kilowatt (kW) and 2 Megawatt (MW), has grown more slowly than other PV market segments in recent years. However, there is room for significant expansion of the midscale solar market, with a new NREL analysis showing that offices, hotels, and warehouses offer more than 100 Gigawatt (GW) of techno-economic potential (Figure 1).[1] Continue reading