States' policies are important to wind and solar energy development and in reducing energy use, says a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
‘This report shows the importance of state and local policy in encouraging clean energy market development,’ says Mike Pacheco, vice president of deployment and market transformation at NREL. ‘Specifically, state policymakers may be more effective at driving clean energy investment using a suite of policies and keeping the policies in place longer.’
Building on an emerging body of literature identifying connections between state policy and renewable energy, the ‘State of the States 2010: The Role of Policy in Clean Energy Market Transformation’ report quantifies the connection between state clean energy policies, renewable energy development and actual reductions in energy use. Renewable energy use increased 3% across the U.S. in 2010, the report says.
Even though state policies might apply to a wide variety of renewable energy resources, the analysis shows that most often there is a relationship between policy and wind and solar development.
To track the progress of the states and regions toward a clean energy economy, NREL also provided the analysis and findings for the DOE's 2009 U.S. State Clean Energy Data Book. The data book, published in October 2010, summarizes the status of state-level energy efficiency and renewable energy developments and supporting policy implementation.