U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Technical Report

Research reports, journal articles, and other technical documents.

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The Impact of Local Permitting on the Cost of Solar Power

Reports show how simpler solar permitting can generate billions for state economies. Streamlined permitting can make solar affordable for 50% of American homes.

Lex Helius: The Law of Solar Energy

This 85-page document covers a variety of solar legal issues including solar access, power purchase agreements, solar development contracts, regulations, permitting, solar financing contracts, and renewable energy credits. Note that this document is not legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances.

Economic Impacts of Extending Federal Solar Tax Credits

This report, prepared for the Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation, includes forecasts on the number of jobs resulting from an extension of the federal solar tax credit.

Utility External Disconnect Switch: Practical, Legal, and Technical Reasons to Eliminate the Requirement

This report documents the safe operation of PV systems without a utility external disconnect switch in several large jurisdictions. It includes recommendations for regulators contemplating utility external disconnect switch requirements.

State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA): An Analysis of Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs in the United States

This report defines a FIT policy, explores U.S. FIT policy design, and highlights a few of the best practices in FIT policy design. It also explores how FITs can be used to target state policy goals and examines policy interactions with other renewable energy policies. An overview of FIT impacts (jobs and economic development) in Europe is included.

Solar PV Project Financing: Regulatory and Legislative Challenges for Third-Party PPA System Owners

This paper summarizes five common regulatory challenges for third party PPA financing, when they occur, and how they have been addressed in five states. This paper also presents alternative to the third-party ownership PPA finance model, including solar leases, contractual intermediaries, standardized contract language, federal investment tax credits, clean renewable energy bonds, and waived monopoly powers.

Trends in Utility Green Pricing Programs (2005)

This report presents year-end 2005 data on utility green pricing programs, and examines trends in consumer response and program implementation over time. The data in this report, which were obtained via a questionnaire distributed to utility green pricing program managers, can be used by utilities to benchmark the success of their green power programs. It is important to note that this report covers only a portion of voluntary markets for renewable energy.

Photovoltaic Systems Interconnected onto Secondary Network Distribution Systems – Success Stories

This report examines six case studies of photovoltaic (PV) systems integrated into secondary network systems. The six PV systems were chosen for evaluation because they are interconnected to secondary network systems located in four major Solar America Cities.

Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Residential Sector Deployment

This report presents the information that homeowners and policy makers need to facilitate PV financing at the residential level. The full range of cash payments, bill savings, and tax incentives is covered, as well as potentially available solar attribute payments. Traditional financing is also compared to innovative solutions, many of which are borrowed from the commercial sector.

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