Solar Q&A

The Solar Q&A is a central source for the most commonly asked questions about solar energy. Our content synthesizes information from multiple sources to provide straightforward, easy to understand information that is relevant for audience members new to solar, as well as experienced policymakers, project developers and investors, and researchers and analysts.

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Solar 101

 

Solar 101

A primer on solar energy and the US solar industry trends.

Community solar

 

Community and Shared Solar

Solar energy projects that are owned or leased to many households or businesses receiving credit on their utility bills for the energy output.

electric grid

 

Electric Grid Integration

The integration of solar and other emerging energy sources into the US electric grid, including issues related to distributed and intermittent generation, peak power, and smart grid investments.

capital

 

Federal Solar Policies

Solar related policies that have been or could be adopted by Congress or the Executive Branch, including federal tax incentives, agency leadership, and R&D investments.

Microscope

 

Solar Technologies

Assessments of various solar energy technologies, including photovoltaics, solar thermal, concentrated solar power, storage, and state-of-the-art solar technologies.

underserved markets

 

Underserved Markets

Issues unique to less accessible market segments, such as lower income communities that are more likely to be renters, live in multi-family units, and have difficulty financing a project.

utility scale solar

 

Utility Scale Solar

Information about large-scale solar arrays typically mounted on the ground delivering electricity to high voltage transmission lines for sale to customers on a usage basis. 

Commercial solar

 

Commercial Solar

Information about medium-sized installations typically on large commercial and industrial buildings that are connected to the local distribution grid.

Economics and Cost trends

 

Economics and Cost Trends

Solar energy price and cost trends, including balance of system costs, and relative competitiveness with other energy sources.

financing

 

Financing

Financing methods, models, and mechanisms for developing and installing solar projects.

house

 

Residential Solar

Information about small household installations typically mounted on a rooftop that are less than 10 kilowatts in capacity and connected to the local distribution grid.

state

 

State and Local Solar Policies

Solar related policies that have been or could be adopted by state and local policy makers, including state-based incentives, solar portfolio standards, and net-metering legislation.

scales

 

Utility Regulatory Policies

Solar related regulations developed and enforced by FERC and state utility regulatory bodies, including electric rate structures, utility investment decision criteria, and the regulated value of solar.