Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Sarah Booth

July 17, 2014 by Sherry Stout

Sarah Booth, an energy analyst and India analysis project lead, answers seven questions about her work at NREL.

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Sarah Booth, Energy Analyst & India Analysis Project Lead

What are your primary research interests?

I'm focusing on two main areas right now: 1) increasing access to policy data to help state and local policymakers make informed decisions that best meet the needs of their constituents and 2) renewable energy policy and deployment in India.

What were you working on this morning?

I was thinking through potential expansions to the new State and Local Energy Data (SLED) website that we developed for the DOE Integrated Deployment Program. By just entering your zip code, the tool provides information on electricity costs, fuel used for generation, renewable resource potential, transportation fuel costs, and applicable policies and incentives.

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

I'm closely following the conversation around how to fairly quantify the value of distributed solar generation and to incorporate the costs of externalities into all types of generation.

What opportunities do you see for solar?

There really are many opportunities for solar, and I'm particularly interested in its application for providing electricity in off-grid communities to increase opportunities for economic development.

What challenges do you see for solar?

Solar grid integration will be a challenge as utilities figure out what technical issues exist as penetration levels increase. We can look to utilities that are already experiencing higher levels of solar penetration, like Hawaii's utilities, to learn from their experiences.

What is your favorite thing about providing technical assistance?

I really enjoy providing technical assistance because it gives me the opportunity to work directly with the state and local policymakers whose actions are leading to an increase in clean energy deployment.

What are you reading outside of work? What are your non-work interests?

I'm currently reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. Outside of work, I really enjoy being outdoors, whether it's working in my vegetable garden, camping, or swimming in a lake.