Skip to main content

Solar STAT Blog

The Solar STAT blog discusses state and local efforts to develop solar markets in the United States. With support from the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) authors weekly posts related to events, solar policy analysis, and technical assistance outcomes for the purpose of informing the market in a credible and timely fashion.

RSS Feed Subscribe to the blog feed

Solar Ready Vets for Solar Ready Communities

November 11, 2015 by

Flourishing state and local solar markets demand a skilled workforce capable of meeting industry demands. The solar industry employs professionals across various sectors: manufacturing, installation, sales and distribution, and project development. And, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Job’s Census, job growth in the solar industry has taken off in the past five years with 2014 numbers showing that the solar industry added jobs “at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the overall economy.”

Continue reading

Hot Topics Part Two: Cities, Energy Use, and Local Energy Decision Making

November 4, 2015 by ,

This STAT Chat podcast features Alexandra Anzar, a member of the solar technical assistance team at NREL, talking about the energy areas that cities are prioritizing, how they plan energy-related activities and measure their progress, and why cities adopt these practices to varying degrees.

Continue reading

A Western Perspective on the Clean Power Plan

October 19, 2015 by

After the Labor Day weekend, state air quality officials, energy office personnel, utility commissioners, utilities, and a host of other western regional stakeholders converged in Denver, Colorado for a workshop on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan (CPP) hosted by Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE). The goal of the workshop and previous workshops convened by CNEE, was to build a common understanding among western regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders around the CPP and critical issues that states will face in thinking through compliance.

Continue reading

Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Eliza Hotchkiss

October 12, 2015 by

Eliza Hotchkiss, newly appointed Policy and Technical Assistance Section Supervisor, starts STAT’s new fiscal year by answering six questions about her work.

Continue reading

Hot Topics: Cities, Energy Use, and Local Energy Decision Making

October 7, 2015 by ,

This STAT Chat podcast features Alexandra Anzar, a member of the solar technical assistance team at NREL, discussing how cities are making energy decisions and the extent that cities are using data to make these decisions.

Continue reading

New Regulations, New Technology, and a New Grid? Takeaways from the 2015 NASEO Annual Meeting

October 2, 2015 by

Sunny San Diego welcomed state energy officials and their affiliates to the 2015 National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) annual meeting September 13-16. The theme was “Interconnected: Smart Energy Policies, Clean Energy Investments, and the Cloud.” As an affiliate, I had the opportunity to share information about state and local clean energy  policies as well as the types of technical assistance the Solar Technical Assistance Team  (STAT) provides to state-level decision makers.  Several themes emerged from the whirlwind of presentations, discussions, and one-on-one conversations with participants.

Continue reading

Meet a Solar Expert: Caleb Rockenbaugh

September 28, 2015 by

This STAT Chat podcast features Caleb Rockenbaugh, an engineer for the Technical Assessment and Screening group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He talks about his role and details several of the projects that he’s worked on through the country.

Continue reading

Phrase of the Day: Rate Base

September 16, 2015 by ,

Rate of return regulation is a type of regulation that allows utilities to cover their operating expenses (i.e., variable costs) and ensure a fair rate of return on capital investments. The public utility commission determines the allowable rate of return for each utility. The utility’s rate base is the total value of a utility’s assets (e.g., plant, equipment, working capital, and deductions for accumulated depreciation). Both the rate of return and the rate base are components of the utility’s revenue requirement, which the utility collects from customers in the form of electricity rates.

Continue reading

Phrase of the Day: Peak Load

August 27, 2015 by

Peak load, also known as peak demand, refers to the maximum demand for energy during a given time period, typically a day (EIA, 2015). The figure below shows a fairly typical 24-hour load curve for summer and winter months at one location. The demand for energy in the summer rises throughout the day and peaks in the late afternoon. The pattern is similar, but not as pronounced in the winter due to differences between heating and cooling needs.

Continue reading

Meet a Solar Expert Part Two: Carolyn Davidson

August 21, 2015 by

This STAT Chat podcast features Carolyn Davidson, an economic analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), discussing data-driven market analysis and modeling as part of our Meet a Solar Expert series meant to give listeners a behind the scenes look at the working world of industry professionals.

Continue reading

Subscribe to E-mail Updates