Topic: Research

Research Articles

Distributed Energy Can Lead to Smarter Grid Planning

It is typically a costly, capital-intensive challenge to expand traditional transmission and distribution (T&D) grid infrastructure to meet new and existing demand for electricity. Can distributed energy resources – such as solar and wind installations on residential or commercial sites – complement traditional T&D grid infrastructure in cost-effective ways?

Clean-Energy Aggregation Opens States’ Imaginations

By January 2016, New York’s Westchester County will procure clean energy for around 75,000 of its residents, according to Glenn Weinberg, manager of special projects at Joule Assets. Over 15 municipalities are banding together to aggregate their demand for cleaner power sources and lower their energy bills through competitive bidding. This demonstration project is the first implementation of community choice aggregation (CCA) in the state and will serve as a model for local energy control in New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.

Citi Suggests Global Climate Investment Goals

On the surface, Citi’s recommendations of global climate investment goals, published in August in the report “Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth,” look deceptively simple. But a closer look at the patchwork of international regulations, legislation, and carbon markets reveals that financing clean energy in developing nations may be quite challenging to accomplish.

Split Incentives May Not Reduce Commercial Energy Efficiency’s Value

When landlords make decisions about energy efficiency but tenants pay the costs, this creates a motivational problem known as the “split incentive.” Split incentives result in smaller investments in energy efficiency than would be economically efficient otherwise. A working paper, “Energy Codes and the Landlord-Tenant Problem,” explored this issue in April.

Is the White House’s Solar Commitment on Target?

When the White House announced a multipronged solar commitment that benefits low-to-moderate-income communities, the decision did not take place in a vacuum. Although most news coverage has simply focused on the federal statement, a more in-depth look shows this thorny challenge has blocked progress for the solar industry for a long time. According to some researchers, this commitment does not provide a complete solution.

Which Solar Investment Tax Credit Strategy Can Survive the Federal Political Climate?

What are the political options the United States solar industry faces as it seeks to avert the impact of the phase-out of the federal investment tax credit (ITC)? A policy paper produced by researchers at The George Washington University, “Softer Solar Landings: Options to Avoid the Investment Tax Credit Cliff,” explores four potential alternatives to the current plan and assesses their political viability.

Value-of-Solar Study Proposed for Massachusetts

At a public event in Boston on June 11 called "Designing Solar’s Value: A Stakeholder’s Forum," speakers outlined an ambitious proposal to shift the entire framework of solar financing in Massachusetts to a value-of-solar model. The newly founded Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC) cosponsored the event, which was hosted by Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE).