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

Technical Report

Research reports, journal articles, and other technical documents.

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Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (11th Edition)

This report documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States, focusing on consumer decisions to purchase electricity supplied from renewable energy sources.

Utility-Interconnected Photovoltaic Systems: Evaluating the Rationale for the Utility-Accessible External Disconnect Switch

This report examines the utility-accessible external disconnect switch debate in the context of utility-interactive PV systems for residential and small commercial PV installations. It focuses on safety, reliability, and cost implications of requiring an external disconnect switch.

Feed-in Tariff Policy: Design, Implementation, and RPS Policy Interactions

This report explores the design and implementation of feed-in tariff policies, including a policy definition, various payment structures, and payment differentiation options. The report also discusses the interaction between FIT and RPS policies.

The Impacts of Commercial Electric Utility Rate Structure Elements on the Economics of Photovoltaic Systems

This analysis uses simulated building data, simulated solar photovoltaic (PV) data, and actual electric utility tariff data from 25 cities to better understand the impacts of different commercial rate structures on the value of solar PV systems. By analyzing and comparing 55 unique rate structures across the United States, this study seeks to identify the rate components that have the greatest effect on the value of PV systems.

Interconnecting PV on NYC's Secondary Network Distribution System

To assess ways to improve the interconnection process, NREL conducted a four-part study with support from DOE. The NREL team then compiled the final reports from each study into this report.

New York, New York
United States

Solar Leasing for Residential Photovoltaic Systems

This publication examines the solar lease option for residential PV systems and describes two solar lease programs already in place. As a result of the $2,000 cap on the residential ITC being lifted in 2009, the expansion of the solar lease model across the United States may be slower than anticipated. The lease model, though, still offers homeowners some distinct advantages. This publication helps homeowners revisit the comparison between the solar lease and home-equity financing in light of the change to the ITC.

Community Renewables: Model Program Rules

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has worked closely with The Vote Solar Initiative to develop model program rules for community-scale renewables that consider many of the basic issues facing community renewables programs. IREC’s model program rules address such issues as renewable system size, interconnection, eligibility for participation, allocation of the benefits flowing from participation, net metering of system production, and other essential features of a community renewables program.

The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California

To achieve a sizable and self-sustaining market for grid-connected, customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar will likely need to be competitive with retail electricity rates. In this report, we examine the impact of retail rate design on the economic value of commercial PV systems in California. Using 15-minute interval building load and PV production data from 24 actual commercial PV installations, we compare the value of the bill savings across 20 commercial customer retail rates currently offered in the state.

United States

U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review 2009

Despite the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. solar energy industry grew— both in new installations and employment. Total U.S. solar electric capacity from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies climbed past 2,000 MW, enough to serve more than 350,000 homes. Total U.S. solar thermal capacity approached 24,000 MWth.


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