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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.

Communities Are Becoming "SolSmart" (With Some Help From Their States)

May 23, 2018 by Alexandra Aznar and Megan Day

Two years ago, STAT profiled the launch of our sister program, SolSmart, a U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office designation and technical assistance program that aims to help local governments reduce solar soft costs (i.e. non-hardware costs) and become solar leaders. Since then, over 200 communities nationwide have become designated “SolSmart”. Designated communities have improved their policies and practices in areas such as planning, zoning, permitting, inspection, and community engagement that influence local solar market development. Continue reading

Reducing Energy Burden with Solar: Colorado's Strategy and a Roadmap for States

May 14, 2018 by Jeffrey J. Cook

Low-income residents suffer from a higher energy burden, or ratio of energy expenditures to overall household income, than higher-income households. This higher burden can result in a scenario where residents must choose between paying energy bills and purchasing other necessities. In some circumstances, solar photovoltaics (PV) can reduce this energy burden, but low-income residents face a variety of barriers to solar deployment such as homeownership status, housing assistance, and lack of financing. Some states have taken steps to address these barriers and a recent NREL report details Colorado’s low-income PV strategy and offers a blueprint for other states considering this approach. Continue reading