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Solar STAT Blog

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

How Solar is Contributing to Renewable Portfolio Standard Compliance

January 13, 2016 by Jenny Heeter

Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) allow renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and biomass to contribute toward a state’s renewable energy goals. However, many states have set minimum thresholds for the amount of solar or distributed generation that must be used to meet the RPS (called “solar carve-outs”). These carve-outs are typically, though not always, fulfilled using in-state solar projects (both distributed solar as well as commercial and utility scale). Continue reading

Which Communities Lead in Solar Energy Generation?

January 06, 2016 by Megan Day

Surprise! It’s not wealthy enclaves or college towns but often small communities with solar farms leading the way.

Recent NREL research analyzed the installed solar capacity in municipalities across six states and found that the communities generating the most solar energy per capita are smaller communities with fewer but larger solar installations. In addition, the study found that these leading solar communities are generally at or below state averages in education attainment and income levels—dispelling a common perception that wealthy or highly educated communities generate more solar energy.

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