Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Jason Coughlin

Oct. 16, 2014 by Sherry Stout

Jason Coughlin, a member of the Solar and Buildings Technologies Group at NREL, answers six questions about his work.

Photo of a male professional in front of a grey backdrop.

Jason Coughlin, Solar Analyst and Financing Expert.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests are solar project finance structures and community solar.

What has been your favorite project since coming to NREL?

My favorite project to date since coming to NREL was being involved in the Solar America Cities program sponsored by DOE. I had the opportunity to work with great people at cities and counties all across the country and help them gain access to technical assistance from NREL.

What is the most interesting issue in solar for you right now?

The net metering and value of solar debates taking place in many markets across the country are really interesting.

What opportunities do you see for solar?

As the cost of solar continues to come down, I think affordable rooftop PV systems as well as utility-scale photovoltaic plants increase in attractiveness and will eventually become a material slice of the energy pie in this country. I also see opportunities for utilities to get more heavily involved in distributed generation solar as well.

What challenges do you see for the solar industry?

I think costs are coming down faster than people realize, so I would like to see more discussions about a post-subsidy world rather than the effort that goes into trying to get incentives and subsidies extended.

What are your non-work interests/activities?

I am a voracious reader of newspapers and have little time for any other reading for pleasure. I love spending time with my two kids and wife, as well as skiing, fly fishing, and running trails.