Category Archives: Policy

Articles about clean energy policy, both of the local, state, and federal level.

solar jobs census 2019 review

An overview of the 2019 National Solar Jobs Census

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week, The Solar Foundation released its annual National Solar Jobs Census. The report provides a comprehensive look at employment in the American solar industry for 2019, from how many solar jobs the industry supported last year to where jobs are located throughout the country and which segments of the industry employ the most people. 

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solar tariff check in

Checking in on the US solar tariffs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In February 2018, the Trump Administration’s tariffs on imported solar goods went into effect. Now, two years on, the US International Trade Commission (US ITC) just released its mid-term review of the impact of the solar tariffs. Pulling from that report, as well as a study from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and an analysis of our own data, here’s a look at how the tariffs have impacted solar shoppers and solar jobs over the last two years. 

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china us solar agreement

Impact of the U.S. – China trade deal on solar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the primary stories in the solar over the last two years has been the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. From tariffs on imported solar panels from China to a sharp decline in imported American polysilicon to China, the political back-and-forth has developed a sense of uncertainty around the solar industry in this country. However, with January 15th’s Phase 1 trade deal, the solar industry can breathe a partial sigh of relief. Here are a few of the immediate ramifications of the deal, and the ways in which this initial trade deal may ease future uncertainty for solar in the US.

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corporate renewable procurements

Corporate renewable energy procurement: an overview

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In today’s current era of renewable energy targets, action is not just limited to political entities such as the federal government, states or individual cities. In fact, many corporations are getting in on the act by promoting corporate sustainability programs or contracting directly with renewable energy developers to build solar and wind farms specifically for their company. As the solar and wind industries continue to grow, corporate renewable procurement and targets will play a substantial role in driving renewable energy to greater and greater heights.

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green jobs program new york

The Green Jobs – Green New York Program

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As clean energy policies and programs begin to stack up throughout the country, one major question remains relating to how states will use any revenues collected from policies like a carbon tax. Will they use the money to incentivize growth in renewable energy, to pay for retraining for employees of the fossil fuel industry, to redistribute as a credit to all taxpayers in the state, or for some other purpose altogether? The Green Jobs – Green New York program provides a great case study for a successful, long-lived program that effectively uses the revenue from a carbon tax to further the state’s economic growth and environmental actions. 

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renewable portfolio standards by state map

Renewable portfolio standards explained

Reading Time: 4 minutesFollowing the 2018 elections, there has been a flurry of state-level action on climate change and clean energy to begin the new year. Outside of proposals at the federal level for a Green New Deal, many states are proposing and passing a suite of climate-related legislation, from emission reduction goals to clean energy procurement targets. Perhaps the most common policy instrument for growing clean energy at the state level is the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

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solar carve-out

Solar carve-outs

Reading Time: 3 minutesMore than thirty states in the United States currently have renewable energy policies. Most of these goals, targets, and mandates allow for compliance from a range of different types of renewable energy technologies. In a few cases, however, states have included a technology-specific mandate as a part of their renewable energy policies. One such policy mechanism is a solar carve-out.

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100 percent renewable targets

100 percent renewable targets

Reading Time: 2 minutesSince Hawaii became the first state in the country to pass a 100 percent renewable energy target in 2015, a number of other states, cities and utilities have followed suit. In fact, more than a dozen states and US territories have gotten in on the action with targets to procure all of their electricity from either renewable or non-emitting resources. As new states pass legislation, we will be sure to keep this list up to date.

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