Cities are increasingly interested in pursuing a clean energy future. Many are setting ambitious goals to use clean, renewable energy or reduce air pollution from energy consumption. The challenge lies in establishing metrics, prioritizing actions, and targeting scarce resources in the most cost effective and strategic ways. Continue reading
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.
October 09, 2017
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, is launching a training program for city and county staff to learn about putting solar on their facilities, whether it’s on municipal buildings or owned land. Continue reading
September 02, 2016
The U.S. distributed solar market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade.  Over seventy- times the residential solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was installed in the U.S. in 2015 (2,099 MW) as was installed in 2005 (27 MW).  While the significant opportunities for gainful enterprise in the residential PV economy signal solar market health, they have also brought consumer-focused issues to the fore. Policymakers, regulators, advocacy groups, and the solar industry are giving increasing attention to ensuring that consumers receive accurate information and ultimately have good experiences with solar energy installation. A number of new resources are intended to help further residential solar understanding. Continue reading
July 08, 2016
Have you ever searched for solar energy data and didn’t know where to begin? Maps of solar power plants, installed solar capacity growth over time, projections for solar growth—this kind of information can be valuable to state policymakers trying to understand their solar landscape and craft policies to meet jurisdictional energy goals. One source policymakers can turn to for information about all energy sources, including solar, is the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Continue reading
May 02, 2016
This STAT Chat podcast features Phillip Beiter and Anthony Lopez from the Strategic Analysis Center as part of the Meet a Solar Expert series, a behind the scenes look at solar industry professionals. Continue reading
April 19, 2016
What happens to solar panels and materials after their useful life? What role does recycling play in the lifecycle of photovoltaic (PV) systems? Is it possible to design PV in a “cradle to cradle” approach so that materials are designed with the purpose of being reused, upcycled, or recycled to a safe and useable material instead of ending up in landfills? From 2010 to the 2nd-quarter of 2015, the U.S. has cumulatively installed 19,884 MWdc of PV in the residential, non-residential, and utility markets Given the growth in solar installations over the last five years, exploring these questions is prudent for designing a more sustainable energy system. Continue reading
April 13, 2016
This series explains more about batteries and the power-to-energy ratios. This is the second part of a two-part series. Read part one of the series.
As solar and other renewable energy technologies become more mainstream, the public becomes more familiar with the language of photovoltaics (PV). Even if most people don't have a thorough understanding of how it works, homeowners with a PV system may know the difference between the rated capacity of the system (expressed in kilowatts) and the amount of electricity that the system actually produces (expressed in kilowatt-hours). Homeowners may be confident explaining their 5-kilowatt system produces about 7,000 kilowatt-hours per year.Continue reading
March 25, 2016
This series explains the basics of batteries for energy storage as well as providing an overview of relevant topics to help readers understand the applications of batteries. This is the first part of a two-part series. Continue reading
February 03, 2016
As large-scale solar facilities proliferate throughout the country, more communities are considering the potential merits and drawbacks of this new kind of neighbor. Initial reactions to the prospect of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) facilities or solar farms tend to include a myriad of misperceptions. Continue reading
December 09, 2015
Here at the STAT Network, we’re always looking to provide states and local governments with more opportunities to reduce barriers to solar deployment. We’re excited to be a part of a new solar effort.
Our partners at The Solar Foundation (TSF) and International City/County Management Association (ICMA) just launched the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) initiative. YOU may be eligible to receive technical assistance through their program! Continue reading