Tag Archives: Energy Policy / Independence


NEM 3.0: what does it mean for you?

If you look at the best solar & renewable energy markets in the U.S., they all have one thing in common: a strong net metering program. Net metering – or NEM – allows you to earn credits for any excess solar electricity you send to the grid when your solar panel system generates more than you need.

NOTE: NEM went into effect on April 14, 2023, meaning you can no longer lock in NEM 2 rates. Learn how to maximize your solar savings under NEM 3.

After years of back and forth before coming to a proposed decision, on December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously to approve California’s third iteration of net metering, or NEM 3.0. Under the new tariff, NEM 3.0 will significantly reduce net metering compensation rates for new California solar customers (by about 75 percent) – however, you still have through April 14, 2023, to submit a completed interconnection application and lock in NEM 2.0 rates for 20 years. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about NEM 3.0 and the steps you need to take now to guarantee the best solar savings.

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Community solar growth states

Which community solar markets are heating up?

Historically, community solar has been the most popular–and most accessible–in four key states: Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New York. But excitingly, more and more states are jumping on the community solar bandwagon, and new projects continue to pop up each year.

So, what markets are heating up for community solar? And which states can we expect to take the plunge next? 

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State of solar industry

The state of the solar industry: what to know in 2022

It’s no surprise that the American solar energy industry is expanding: solar prices remain low, and there’s never been an easier time to reap the economic and environmental benefits of going solar. Solar capacity from installations in the U.S. grew 33 percent in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020, and we can expect continued rapid growth throughout 2022. However, the exact rate of solar growth in the U.S. will depend on a number of factors, including policy implementation and manufacturing trends. In this article, we’ll examine the state of the solar industry and explain the policies and manufacturing practices that we’re following in 2022. 

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EV charging expansion

Is electric vehicle charging infrastructure expanding in the U.S.?

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 39 percent of Americans say they’re at least somewhat likely to seriously consider buying electric the next time they purchase a vehicle. However, nearly half (46 percent) say they’re not too likely or not likely at all to do so.

While EV ownership in the United States is growing, most Americans still currently drive internal combustion engine (ICE) – aka gas powered – automobiles. In order to make driving EVs more common, EV charging infrastructure must continue to expand throughout the country. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about the expansion of EV charging in the U.S.

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100 percent renewable targets

100 percent renewable targets

Since 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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fight climate change

What you can do to fight climate change?

Climate change is no longer something in the distant future: from severe storms to wildfires to rising sea levels, we’re already experiencing the deadly side effects of a warming planet. While there’s nothing we can do to stop climate change in its tracks immediately, there are actions we can take to mitigate. 

So, as an individual, what can you do? Here are five ways that you can help fight climate change: 

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ILSR guest post

How 30 million solar homes can confront the climate crisis, address racial inequality in the energy sector, and get people back to work

From the street, Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis looks like many other houses of worship across the country. But a birds-eye view of the church reveals the unique connection Shiloh has to the heavens – a connection that allows Shiloh to make an outsized impact on the lives of its congregants and other residents of this historically Black community.

Shiloh Temple has a rooftop solar array that generates enough electricity for the church to lower its energy bills – freeing up money for other critical community needs. The installation and maintenance of the panels also provide good-paying jobs for a diverse workforce. And because the church and its congregants actually own the system, it ensures that decisions about the energy Shiloh generates are retained in the community (it’s literally local power!) 

Now, a group of organizations, businesses, and local officials are engaged in a campaign to bring the benefits of local solar to millions of Americans. In a letter sent to Congress earlier this year, the group – which represents millions of Americans – is calling on Congress to embrace the goal of 30 million solar homes powered by solar in five years.   

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Solar Futures Study

The Solar Futures Study: how we can get to 45 percent solar electricity by 2050

On September 8, 2021, President Biden made a big announcement for the solar industry: solar has the potential to power 40 percent of U.S. electricity by 2035, and 45 percent by 2050 – an increase of over 1,000 percent from where it stands today. Produced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Solar Futures Study served as the basis for Biden’s announcement, explaining the role that solar will need to play in decarbonizing the electric grid and how we can achieve these targets in a cost-effective way. In this article, we’ll answer some of the major questions you might have about this study and what this solar transition could look like. 

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