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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.

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

The Spot for Clean Energy: A One-Stop Shop for State-by-State Solar Market Analysis

May 09, 2016 by Jeffrey J. Cook

Given the nature of the United States' solar market—with each of the 50 states forging independent paths—the number of distinct solar policies and programs is overwhelming.  For those attempting to wade through all of this data and conduct state-by-state policy and market analyses, the task can be quite cumbersome and intimidating. Until now. Continue reading

Hot Topics: Voluntary Green Power Markets

March 07, 2016 by Alexandra Aznar

This STAT Chat podcast features Eric O’Shaughnessy, an analyst at the Strategic Energy Analysis Center, talking about voluntary green power markets. Continue reading

Reflections on NASEO's 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference

March 01, 2016 by Alexandra Aznar

Some major events provided the backdrop to the National Association of State Energy Officials’ (NASEO's) 2016 Energy Policy Outlook Conference in the District of Columbia February 9-11.  Many state legislative sessions that began in January and February (Fig. 1) have already produced an array of energy legislation on topics such as tax incentives, renewable portfolio standards, siting and permitting, and community solar. What caused the most stir among state decision makers at the conference, however, were two announcements made on February 9:

1) The Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan.

2) President Obama’s clean energy budget proposal

As a NASEO affiliate, NREL representatives attended the conference to inform state decision makers about the state and utility solar technical assistance NREL can provide.

Continue reading

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

Meet a Solar Expert Part Two: Carolyn Davidson

August 21, 2015 by Erin Nobler

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

STAT Chat: Jenny Heeter on Renewable Portfolio Standards

June 17, 2015 by Erin Nobler

This STAT Chat podcast features Jenny Heeter, a policy analyst with the Strategic Energy Analysis Center, discussing the changing landscape of renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), as part of our Hot Topics series, which addresses current issues in the solar industry. Continue reading

Market Watch: Renewable Portfolio Standard Legislation 2013-2014

December 30, 2014 by Joseph Chavez

With 2014 coming to an end, it seems like a good time to take a look back on the past two years of solar policy headlines related to renewable portfolio standards. These state-level policies set a goal for electricity generation from renewable resources, usually given as a time-bound percentage of total electricity generation, such as 25% renewable generation by 2020. Continue reading