Below we offer a quick listing of recent reports and publications from CESA. More resources from CESA and other organizations can be found in the Resource Library.


The EPA Clean Power Plan and State RPS Programs, by Edward A. Holt, Ed Holt & Associates, Inc. This paper is intended to help inform states as they think through how state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policies might interact with the EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP), including consideration of state RPSs in state CPP plans. May 2016

A Summary Guide to Wood Biomass Heating Programs of CESA Members, by Val Stori, CESA Project Director. Advanced wood biomass heaters (also known as hydronic heaters or biomass boilers) are becoming more commonplace in the U.S. market. Several state clean energy programs provide incentives for advanced biomass heaters; most of the programs are in the Northeast and the northern tier of the west coast. This document surveys current and planned activities of CESA member states that are focused on the deployment of modern, high-efficiency, wood heating systems. March 2016.

Vermont Solar Cost Study: A Report on Photovoltaic System Cost and Performance Differences Based on Design and Siting Factors, prepared for CESA and the Vermont Department of Public Service Clean Energy Development Fund by Leigh Seddon, L.W. Seddon, LLC. This report analyzes installation cost and performance differences between different types of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Vermont. It examines solar facilities built on existing buildings, on new structures such as parking lot canopies, and projects built on open pasture land. Cost data is based on solar facilities built between September 2014 and September 2015. February 2016.


Directory of State Clean Energy Programs and Policies for Low-Income Residents. This directory surveys current and planned state activities that seek to bring the benefits of clean energy to low-income residents and communities. It focuses primarily on clean energy generation, but also covers some energy-efficiency initiatives. It does not include low-income weatherization programs. We will update this document periodically to keep it current and useful as a directory of relevant state programs and policies. December 2015.

Clean Energy Champions: The Importance of State Policies and Programs, by Warren Leon, Executive Director, CESA. This report provides the first-ever comprehensive look at the ways in which states are advancing clean energy and suggests how to further encourage growth. The report describes the many important ways that states across the nation are supporting clean energy generation and markets. It highlights 31 case studies from 22 states, covering a variety of state programs such as renewable portfolio standards, rebates for purchasing solar panels, and wind energy tax credits, as well as lesser known ones to build necessary infrastructure, grow small businesses, and protect consumers. June 2015.

RPS Compliance Data Collection and Reporting Practices: Supporting Renewable Energy Policy Implementation through Information Sharing, prepared for CESA's State-Federal RPS Collaborative by Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC. The topic of RPS data management is often overlooked. To enable a closer examination of this important topic, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) conducted a survey of RPS program administrators to gain insight into the collection, use, and reporting of RPS compliance data. Based on the responses, the consulting firm Sustainable Energy Advantage (SEA) then wrote a report summarizing the various states’ collection and reporting practices. The report also identifies some best practices and includes SEA’s recommendations for effective use of RPS compliance data and reports. Information is included on all states with established RPSs. June 2015.

Distributed Generation in State Renewable Portfolio Standards, by Georgena Terry, CESA Research Associate. Many states’ RPSs allow distributed generation to qualify. Depending upon how a state treats distributed generation within its RPS, it may need to set up special provisions for qualifying the facilities and tracking the generation. To learn how states handle distributed generation, CESA Research Associate Georgena Terry sent a survey to program managers for all the states with RPSs. Eleven program managers responded to the survey. They were from CT, DC, HI, MA, MI, NV, NH, OR, TX, WA, and WI. This brief paper summarizes their responses. June 2015.

Renewable Thermal in State Renewable Portfolio Standards, by Samantha Donalds, CESA Program Associate. Although RPSs have historically focused on electricity generation, some states include renewable thermal power for heat generation. Among those 12 states, there is significant variation in (1) the eligible renewable thermal technologies, (2) how energy output is measured and monitored, (3) how REC values are determined, and (4) how the technologies are classified in the RPS. This report provides an overview of how states across the country are incorporating renewable thermal technologies into their RPS programs. April 2015.  

The California Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership Program Case Study: Promoting Greener, Better Housing in California, by Samantha Donalds, CESA Program Associate. This case study analyzes data from the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership Program, part of California’s comprehensive statewide solar program, the California Solar Initiative. At the time this study was conducted, the New Solar Homes Partnership Program had installed 14,100 solar energy systems totaling 45 megawatts of capacity. This case study was prepared by the Clean Energy States Alliance for the California Energy Commission. March 2015.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs, by Nate Hausman, CESA Project Manager. The Clean Energy States Alliance has released a new guide to help homeowners navigate the complex landscape of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system financing. The guide describes three popular residential solar financing choices – leases, loans, and power purchase agreements (PPAs) – and explains the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as how they compare to a direct cash purchase. It clarifies key solar financing terms and provides a list of questions homeowners should ask before deciding if and how to proceed with installing a solar system. February 2015.

Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy: A Connecticut Program Viability Assessment. The Connecticut Green Bank commissioned the Clean Energy States Alliance to prepare a report on the legal framework, need for, and viability of establishing a Residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) program in Connecticut. January 2015.




2014 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards: Outstanding Programs Found Here. The State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards recognize outstanding state and municipal programs that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies and strengthened clean energy markets. This report is a collection of case studies of the eight recipients of the 2014 awards. It also serves as an introduction to the innovative projects and initiatives implemented by members of the Clean Energy States Alliance. November 2014.

Planning and Implementing a Solarize Initiative: A Guide for State Program Managers, by Nate Hausman and Nellie Condee, CESA.  The New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership, a coalition of five New England States managed by CESA, has produced a new report on a successful model for reducing solar costs through collaborative purchasing by public agencies. This guide features detailed cases studies of two particularly well-developed and successful programs from New England: Solarize Connecticut and Solarize Mass. Solarize is a group purchasing program for solar PV systems that lowers acquisition costs for rooftop solar installations. As more homeowners join the group purchasing program, the cost goes down, because of a tiered-pricing plan with reduced prices for more participation. The guide will be helpful to program managers and other stakeholders in states across the country seeking to develop their own Solarize programs. September 2014.


Does Energy Storage Fit in an RPS? by Ed Holt of Ed Holt and Associates, and Todd Olinsky-Paul, CESA. States, which have taken the lead in promoting clean energy through Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), may look to increase the value of renewable energy by adopting policies encouraging energy storage. This paper explores the question of whether energy storage is a good fit for an RPS, and assesses alternative ways to encourage storage. The paper attempts to stimulate thinking by posing a series of questions that policymakers and regulators should consider. July 2014.


REC Definitions and Tracking Mechanisms Used by State RPS Programs, by Jan Hamrin for the State-Federal RPS Collaborative. Almost all state RPS programs, as well as state programs to advance renewable energy goals, track compliance using renewable energy certificates (RECs). However, different states have defined a REC slightly differently and there are also differences in the specific environmental attributes that are embodied in a REC. In most cases, the differences are small enough that interstate renewable energy markets have been able to operate smoothly and seamlessly. However, there is some potential for confusion and complications, especially when RECs are transferred from one location to another that uses a different REC tracking system, or when an RPS intersects with a policy that may treat environmental attributes differently, such as a greenhouse gas reduction program.  To provide greater clarity and to help state renewable energy program administrators understand how their state compares to others, Dr. Jan Hamrin has written a report for the RPS Collaborative providing information on the use of RECs by states, on the definitions of a REC, and on the environmental attributes included in a REC. The report also discusses how different regional and state-based REC tracking systems handle these matters. June 2014.


A Model of Collaborative Solar Purchasing: The Alameda County Renewable Energy Procurement Project, by Samantha Donalds, Program Associate, CESA. Alameda County, California, in collaboration with two local non-profit organizations, is facilitating wide-scale renewable energy adoption across a four-county area through a groundbreaking collaborative solar purchasing project among local public agencies. The Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project (R-REP) is the largest multi-agency solar procurement project in the US. Beyond its size, R-REP incorporates extensive workforce development goals, along with several other improvements on previous approaches to collaborative purchasing. This case study provides an overview of the R-REP project, with an emphasis on best practices that can be used as a model by other public agencies and local governments. May 2014. 


Commerce Clause Analysis of People. v. Nazarian and Solomon v. Hanna, by Carolyn Elefant. CESA's State-Federal RPS Collaborative has published a new report on the implications for RPSs of two recent commerce clause cases.  In the past, certain provisions in RPS programs have been challenged in court as violating the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. The RPS Collaborative has previously published an overview paper explaining how states can reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge. Now, two recent cases—one in Maryland and the other in New Jersey—can provide additional guidance to states seeking to retain economic benefits of an RPS. The cases did not focus directly on the states’ RPSs, but rather on efforts to increase in-state capacity resources. Nevertheless, because they involve the electric utility sector and the courts concluded that the programs complied with the Commerce Clause, the cases shed light on ways in which an RPS program can be protected against a constitutional challenge. March 2014.


Clean Energy for Resilient Communities, by Robert G. Sanders and Lewis Milford, Clean Energy Group. This report shows how Baltimore, MD and other cities could use clean energy to create a more reliable electric system that protects vulnerable citizens during power blackouts. The report was written by CEG for The Abell Foundation, a leading private foundation in Baltimore, see report is the first in-depth review of national policies and finance strategies to use solar and energy storage to provide more power protection in an urban setting. The report says that critical public facilities like hospitals, fire stations, gas stations, community shelters, and schools should use more resilient power technologies to protect people during power outages. The report also recommends new business models and highlights the emergence of companies that now sell solar with battery storage services to customers—to address the overlooked problem of stand-alone PV systems not working during power outages. February 2014.


Potential RPS Markets for Renewable Energy Generators, by Ed Holt, Ed Holt & Associates, for the State-Federal RPS Collaborative. This report provides information regarding where a renewable energy generator in a particular state or Canadian province can possibly sell its renewable energy certificates in order to meet the demand created by a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The report, which was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation and is a product of CESA’s State-Federal RPS Collaborative, contains data that has never been previously compiled for the entire country. A user-friendly component has been added to this report in the form of an interactive online map, where users can select a state or province and see a list of potential RPS markets. The full report and the interactive map are available for free on CESA’s website: January 2014.


Reduce Risk, Increase Clean Energy: How States and Cities Are Using Old Finance Tools to Scale Up a New Industry, by Robert G. Sanders, Lewis Milford, and Toby Rittner. This paper offers the first in-depth look at how communities are using well established public finance tools to reduce finance risk in clean energy, and creating a new path to reach capital markets to finance the ever increasing demand for clean energy. The Clean Energy and Bond Finance Initiative or CE+BFI (, a project of Clean Energy Goup (which manages CESA) and the Council of Development Finance Agenicies, released this report about the innovative and successful strategies employed by states and cities for financing clean energy projects, especially the creative uses of bonds to reduce the cost of capital. The paper points to particular financing strategies at the state and municipal level that can be adapted and implemented to accelerate the clean energy finance revolution in other states and cities, and at a federal level. August 2013.


The State of State Renewable Portfolio Standards, by Warren Leon, Executive Director, CESA, analyzes state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws as a policy mechanism, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and assessing their impact on the growing national renewable energy market. The report, which was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation and is a product of CESA’s State-Federal RPS Collaborative, highlights several key achievements of RPS policies and discusses five current challenges that could threaten the ability of RPSs to continue to be successful. It also recommends two steps states may take to increase the effectiveness of their RPS laws. June 2013.


Using State RPSs to Promote Resilient Power at Critical Infrastructure Facilities, by Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director, CESA. This short report, prepared for the State-Federal RPS Collaborative, a project of CESA, explores whether RPSs could be used to help address the problem of electric grid failures from severe storms. June 2013.


Environmental Rules for Hydropower in State Renewable Portfolio Standards, by Val Stori, Project Director, CESA. This paper looks at various approaches states have taken in their RPS policies to safeguard the environment when hydropower is developed. It describes the rules for hydropower qualification, especially those having to do with environmental standards. April 2013.


A Learning Investment-based Analysis of the Economic Potential for Offshore Wind: The Case of the United States, by The Brattle Group: Weiss, Sarro, and Berkman. This report prepared by economists at The Brattle Group provides an independent economic analysis of the impact of developing an entire offshore wind industry in the United States. The report was prepared for the Center for American Progress, the US Offshore Wind Coalition, Clean Energy States Alliance, and the Sierra Club.  The study finds that an investment between $18.5 and $52 billion from 2014 to 2030 may be sufficient to enable offshore wind in the United States to compete with conventional and alternative renewable energy sources. Additionally, the investment would produce only modest increases in the average consumer’s monthly bill – in the range of $0.25 to $2.08 if the cost is spread across all electricity consumers in the United States, and between $0.51 and $4.29 if the cost is confined to only those states where offshore wind would be deployed, primarily in the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes region. February 2013.




The Rising Tide of State-Supported Renewable Energy Projects: Results from the CESA Database,1998-2011, by Clean Energy States Alliance and Peregrine Energy Group, is a comprehensive analysis of trends in state clean energy development. Among its main findings, the report confirms that state clean energy funds have remained major drivers of renewable energy development in the U.S., funding nearly 130,000 projects and adding nearly 4.8 new gigawatts of clean power to the grid since 1998. October 2012.


State Leadership in Clean Energy: Seven Exemplary Programs, by Clean Energy States Alliance. This CESA report provides short summaries of the seven 2012 winners of the State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Awards.This year’s winners are New York’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program and On-Site Wind Market Development Program, both administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority’s (CEFIA) CT Solar Lease Program; the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Pilot Program; the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission’s Residential Wood-Pellet Boiler Rebate Program; and two projects by the California Energy Commission: the University of California, San Diego Microgrid, and the Synchrophasor Research and Development Program.  CESA’s SLICE Awards recognize state programs that are most effectively accelerating adoption of clean energy technologies. SLICE Award winners have funded and supported innovative programs, established funds that provide critical capital investment for clean energy projects, and have collaborated effectively with industry partners, utility commissions, and local governments, all crucial ways to expand the clean energy market. October 2012.


Collaborative Procurement of Offshore Wind Energy - A Buyers Network: Assessment of Merits and Approaches, by Mark Sinclair, Melissa Haugh, Baird Brown, and Carolyn Elefant. The Offshore Wind Accelerator Project released a comprehensive analysis of the value of "collaborative aggregated procurement" of offshore wind power. This report describes the concept of a buyers network for offshore wind energy, essentially a consortium of creditworthy purchasers (including utilities, state and federal agencies, and large private commercial and/or institutional entities) that enter into long-term contracts with a developer(s) for a project’s generation. By creating economies of scale, a buyers network can spread fixed costs, such as transmission lines, over larger-scale wind farms; lower construction costs from efficiencies; reduce concentration of risk; and reduce capital costs, resulting in cost-competitive offshore wind power. The report, prepared for the Offshore Wind Accelerator Project, provides recommendations and an action plan for creating a successful buyers network. September 2012.

Clean Energy and Bond Finance Initiative: An Action Plan to Access Capital Markets, by Lewis Milford and Rob Sanders, CEG and Toby Ritter, CDFA.  Clean Energy Group and the Council of Development Finance Agencies have prepared a briefing on a new Clean Energy and Bond Finance Initiative (CE+BFI) that will guide their work with institutional investors, public finance agencies, and public clean energy fund managers across the country, to find new ways to increase clean energy investment by an additional $5 billion to $20 billion in the next five years. September 2012.

CESA Clean Energy White Paper: MA Draft Final Regulations for Biomass Generating Units in the RPS, by Todd Olinsky-Paul, CESA Project Director. On April 27, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released draft final regulations for biomass combustion for purposes of RPS eligibility. The paper summarizes those regulations and includes a brief discussion. May 2012.

Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of a Renewable Portfolio Standard: A Guide for State RPS Programs, by Warren Leon, Senior Advisor, CESA. This CESA report explains some of the issues associated with RPS evaluation and presents four options for how states may choose to proceed. The report begins with an explanation of why RPS costs and benefits are so difficult to quantify, and then go on to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. May 2012.

Rising to the Challenge: Assessing the Massachusetts Response to Climate Change, produced and published by MassInc. This report was researched and written in partnership with Warren Leon and Val Stori of Clean Energy States Alliance. The report lauds the state’s aggressive climate change action plan and the great strides made in energy efficiency and renewable energy, but concludes that the state may fall short of reaching its 2020 goal unless immediate action is taken. Among the report's recommendations: 1) Massachusetts should accelerate the launch and implementation of new initiatives from the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan, which was released in December 2010; 2) The state should appoint a cabinet-level climate administrator to manage all aspects of the cross-agency program; and 3) State leaders should create and implement an effective, transparent progress-tracking and monitoring system. April 2012.


Designing the Right RPS: A Guide to Selecting Goals and Program Options for a Renewable Portfolio Standard, by Warren Leon, Senior Advisor, CESA; prepared for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the State-Federal RPS Collaborative. This report will be especially useful to states considering establishing a new RPS, it should also be helpful to states that are considering RPS program modifications. The report draws heavily on a previous study produced for the Vermont Public Service Board and NARUC (see below) and includes more general information. March 2012.




Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy Options for Vermont: The SPEED Program and Renewable Portfolio Standard, produced for the Vermont Public Service Board by Clean Energy States Alliance and Sustainable Energy Advantage.This report aims to provide the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) with information that will help it fulfill a request by the Vermont Legislature to study whether Vermont should continue the Sustainably Priced Energy Development (SPEED) program or implement a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). It is based on stakeholder input, a review of the RPS programs in other states, and economic analysis of the potential costs and benefits of alternative SPEED and RPS designs for Vermont. October 2011.


Fuel Cells: Briefing Papers for State Policy Makers, by Clean Energy States Alliance.This CESA report addresses the merits, policies, and value applications of stationary fuel cells. The series of briefing papers contained in the report are designed to introduce state leaders to the increasing deployment of fuel cells for stationary power applications. Stationary fuel cells are a technology that today is commercially viable, reliable, suitable to a wide variety of applications, declining in costs, and becoming affordable. We hope this report will help you to realize the potential of fuel cell market development in your state through proactive state policies, use of the technology in critical public applications, and by increasing the technology’s public visibility. August 2011.


Fuel Cells and Supermarkets, by Warren Leon, Senior Advisor, Clean Energy States Alliance, and Alexei Ponomarov. This is the final paper in a series of CESA briefing papers on fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to inform state policymakers about the benefits of fuel cells. This paper describes fuel cell applications in supermarkets across the country and why states should target this niche market for support. August 2011.


CESA Annual Work Plan 2011-2012, by Mark Sinclair, Executive Director, Clean Energy States Alliance. This work plan identifies and describes the specific activities of the organization  and describes CESA's mission, proposed project work, and objectives for the coming year. July 2011.

Evaluating Renewable Energy Programs: A Guide for Program Managers, by Warren Leon, CESA Senior Advisor. This CESA report considers program evaluation from the perspective of a program manager rather than an evaluator. It suggests how to ensure that evaluation activities are useful, cost-effective, and well-received by program staff, policymakers, and stakeholders. It discusses how to select an evaluator, and it recommends how to approach and choose among different types of evaluations: needs and market assessments, process evaluations, outcome evaluations, and cost-benefit evaluations. New program managers can use the report as an introduction to evaluation while more experienced managers may want to read relevant sections as the need arises. June 2011


Hydrogen Production and Energy Storage, by Charles Kubert and Warren Leon, CESA. This short, illustrated, five-page paper is designed to give policymakers and others an introduction to how hydrogen for fuel cells is currently produced and stored, and how renewable energy could be used more extensively for hydrogen production in the future. It discusses the adequacy of current supplies and the safety of hydrogen production and storage. If you would a high resolution version of this report, please contact June 2011.


A Visual Impact Assessment Process for Wind Energy Projects, by Jean Vissering, Jean Vissering Landscape Architecture, and CESA. The purpose of this CESA guide is to facilitate the adoption and use of effective state and local policies, practices, and methodologies to evaluate the visual impacts associated with wind development projects. Visual impacts are often among the issues of greatest concern for surrounding property owners and the community. Public acceptance and confidence in wind development are likely to be enhanced when visual issues are clearly and fairly addressed. The guide provides an effective and objective aesthetic impact assessment review methodology that provides clear guidance for developers, planners, and regulatory decision makers and also ensures the protection of important scenic and cultural resources. This guide was made possible with funding from the Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program. May 2011.  

State Support for Clean Energy Deployment: Lessons Learned for Potential Future Policy, by Charles Kubert and Mark Sinclair, CESA. This report, prepared for NREL, reviews the results of state Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE/RE) programs and the specific financial incentives and financing tools used to encourage clean energy investment. Lessons from such programs could be used to inform the future application of EE/RE incentives and financing tools. These lessons learned apply to use of distributed resources and the historical focus of these EE/RE programs. April 2011.


An Overview of Hydrogen Production and Storage Systems with Renewable Hydrogen Case Studies, by Timothy Lipman, PhD. A CESA Report that provides an overview of hydrogen production and storage systems with renewable hydrogen Case Studies. May 2011.


The Commerce Clause and Implications for State Renewable Portfolio Standard Programs, by Carolyn Elefant, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant and Ed Holt, Ed Holt and Associates for Clean Energy States Alliance. This CESA State RPS Policy report explains the applicability and effect of the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution on a state's approach to the design of an RPS. The report also identifies and discusses options available to states for structuring RPS programs in a constitutionally compliant manner. April 2011.


State Clean Energy Fund Support for Renewable Energy Projects: Key Findings from the 2009 CESA National Database, by Clean Energy States Alliance and Peregrine Energy Group. CESA report on renewable energy project deployment from State Renewable Energy Program activities: 2009 Annual and 1998-2009 Cumulative Results. Winter 2011.




CESA 2010 Report: State Efforts to Advance Clean Energy. CESA is pleased to release its newest report that highlights the state program offerings and the results achieved by CESA's members as they work to advance clean energy markets. The report also details key findings from the Renewable Energy Deployment Database and details CESA joint projects, reports, and activities. August 2010.

State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) 2010 Awardees and Program Summaries:




State Clean Energy Fund Support for Renewable Energy Projects: Key Findings from the 2008 CESA National Database, by Clean Energy States Alliance and Peregrine Energy Group. This new report from CESA demonstrates how state clean energy funds have emerged as a major driver of renewable energy projects across the U.S from 1998-2008. Within the past decade, states from Connecticut to California have funded 52,000 projects using the full range of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. The 10-year voluntary investment by states of $1.9 billion has leveraged $10.1 billion in additional project investment and added 2.5 new, clean gigawatts to the grid. June 2010.


State-Based Financing Tools to Support Distributed and Community Wind Projects, by Charles Kubert and Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy States Alliance. This state wind energy program guide was created to help state clean energy fund managers and policymakers examine financial support tools for distributed wind projects. The options range from rebates and loans to bridge financing and renewable portfolio standards, and should be evaluated in light of the availability of tax and other incentives available at the federal level. The report also looks at third-party financing. May 2010.


Supporting On-Site Distributed Wind Generation Projects, by Charles Kubert and Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy States Alliance. CESA has prepared this state wind energy program guide for state clean energy fund managers and policymakers that support the installation of on-site, behind-the-meter wind turbines at private businesses and municipal and other public facilities. The program guide lays out the many policy actions which states can take to encourage the development of these projects, among these are: project feasibility assessment support, grant and other incentive programs, interconnection and net metering policies and model zoning ordinances. The guide also provides case studies of the leading state clean energy funds providing support to this market. May 2010.


Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Briefing Papers. Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has developed this report series to provide state policymakers, clean energy fund managers, and other interested persons with basic information on 1) Fuel cell technologies, economics, and applications; 2) The value of fuel cells as a reliable power source for critical facilities; 3) State policies to advance the fuel cell industry and installations; 4) Production and storage of hydrogen for fuel cell use. May 2010




State Clean Energy Program Guide: A Review of Emerging State Finance Tools to Advance Solar Generation (pdf), by Charles Kubert and Mark Sinclair. This report provides an overview and specific examples of three creative finance tools that any state can use to support PV in the context of an existing RPS: solar set-asides, feed-in tariffs, and reverse auction mechanisms. These tools are primarily targeted at commercial- and utility-scale projects, and use of any of them can reduce the need for states to provide direct rebates and incentives to PV projects. These tools, if smartly designed, can allow states to build sustainable solar markets with programs that are economically efficient, reward PV system performance, allow for program continuity, advance market transformation and avoid rebate dependency. The authors contend that providing special treatment to PV projects in the context of an RPS is important if states are to build and maintain public support for their RPS programs, particularly in cases where solar is the most widely accessible in-state renewable energy resource. March 2010.



Distributed Renewable Energy Finance and Policy Toolkit, by Charles Kubert and Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy States Alliance. This report describes the many financing options available to state energy offices, municipal governments, and other energy agencies for utilizing public funds for clean energy project support. December 2009.


Smart Solar Marketing Strategies: Clean Energy State Program Guide, by Lyn Rosoff, SmartPower and Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy Group. This report provides marketing best practices on how to address barriers to solar market growth. According to the report, by acting more like retailers selling a product, state solar programs have the potential to sharply increase PV purchases and installations. August 2009.


CESA Best Practice Briefing Papers - March 2009: Developing An Effective State Clean Energy Program


State Clean Energy Fund Support for Renewable Energy Projects: Key Findings from the CESA National Database 1998-2007, January 2009.

"State Leadership in Clean Energy" (SLICE) Awards 2009. On January 13, 2009, CESA presented awards to the five winners of the 2009 SLICE Awards at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. See the press release, fact sheet and summary case studies of the five winning programs below:



Mainstreaming Solar Electricity: Strategies for States to Build Local Markets, prepared by Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy Group and Steve Weisman, Peregrine Energy Group. This report describes the key policies and program strategies that have emerged as effective tools for states to advance wide-spread solar deployment. The report’s recommendations are based on the input and lessons learned of the members of the Clean Energy States Alliance. April 2008.



State Strategies to Foster Solar Hot Water System Deployment, by Mark Sinclair. A CESA State Program Guide. This report describes a number of straightforward strategies that states can implement to support adoption of solar hot water technologies, including provision of financial incentives, training for installers, and education to help customers make informed decisions. December 2007.

Using the Federal Production Tax Credit to Build a Durable Market for Wind Power in the United States, by Ryan Wiser, Mark Bolinger, and Galen Barbose. This article was recently published in The Electricity Journal, and was funded in part by the Clean Energy States Alliance. Among the most significant drivers of the recent growth in renewable generation in the U.S. is the federal production tax credit (PTC).The purpose of this article is to review the developments from the PTC over time, assessing its impact on the wind power market, highlighting the potentially positive implications of a longer-term extension of the PTC, and discussing some possible changes to the design of the PTC that might help overcome some of its limitations as presently structured. November 2007.

CESA Memo Summarizing the National Research Council Report on Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects, Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy States Alliance. This memo provides a briefing analysis of the May 2007 NAS National Resources Council Report on The Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Project that evaluates the trade-offs between the benefit of new wind-energy projects and the risk of adverse environmental impacts. May 2007.

The National Academies Report in Brief, May 2007

Visual Impacts Assessment Process for Evaluating Wind-Energy Projects, CESA Best Practice Recommendation, Mark Sinclair, CESA. August 2007.

CESA Memo on California Energy Commission Staff Report on Eligibility Criteria and Conditions for Incentives for Solar Energy Systems, Senate Bill 1, Mark Sinclair, August 2007.


LBL and CESA release new Case Study, "Designing PV Incentive Programs to Promote Performance - A Review of Current Practice," by Galen Barbose, Ryan Wiser, and Mark Bolinger, LBNL. This report examines the approaches used to encourage PV system performance - including, but not limited to, PBI's - used by 32 prominent PV incentive programs in the U.S. October 2006.

CESA and LBL release the updated: The Impact of State Clean Energy Fund Support for Utility-Scale Renewable Energy Projects, by Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wiser, LBNL. This case study seeks to comprehensively summarize the support that state clean energy funds have provided to utility scale energy projects, detailing - among other things - the amount of funds obligated and the number, capacity, and resource type of projects supported. The database that supports this case study can be found at May 2006.

Exploring the Economic Value of EPAct 2005's PV Tax Credits, prepared for CESA by Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wiser, LBNL, and Edwin Ing, Law Offices of Edwin T.C. Ing, March 2006. Updated February 2007.

Clean Energy State Program Guide: Strategies to Foster Solar Energy & Advanced Efficiency in Affordable Multi-Family Housing, Prepared by Clean Energy Group and Peregrine Energy Group, Inc. February 2006.

Supporting Photovoltaics in Market-Rate Residential New Construction, by Galen Barbose, Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger, LBNL.  CESA and LBL release a new case study summarizing programmatic experience and lessons learned from the state clean energy funds. February 2006.


Financing Affordable Housing: A Primer for the State Clean Energy Funds. Prepared for CESA by Roger Clark, TRF Sustainable Development Fund. The goal of this primer is to provide the staff and managers of the state clean energy funds with information about the various public and private programs and strategies being used to finance affordable housing projects. October 2005.

Northeast RPS Compliance Markets: An Examination of Opportunities to Advance REC Trading. Prepared for CESA by CEEEP - Rutgers, NJ Clean Energy Program, and Clean Energy Group. October 2005.

CESA Scoping Document: Encouraging Photovoltaic System Installations in "Green" Affordable Multifamily Housing, Prepared for CESA by Peregrine Energy Group. April 2005.

CESA Scoping Document: Encouraging Photovoltaic System Installations in New Single-Family Market-Rate Housing. Prepared for CESA by Peregrine Energy Group. April 2005.

Comparative Information on State and Utility Rebate Programs. Berkeley Lab recently developed a simple database of state and utility cash incentives for solar PV. The principal purpose of this effort was to put incentive levels on a comparable basis among programs (taking into consideration the fact that programs base their incentive payments on different definitions of installed wattage, and that some programs provide payment based on production). February 2005.


CESA and LBL release: A Survey of State Clean Energy Fund Support for R&D Projects, This paper surveys state clean energy fund support for earlier-stage technology R&D, principally focusing on renewable energy but also touching on fuel cells. The purpose of this case is simply to briefly describe - not to analyze or critique - the various efforts of state funds. October 2004.

CESA and LBL release "A Survey of State Clean Energy Fund Support for Biomass", by Garrett Fitzgerald, Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wiser, of LBL. This survey reviews efforts by CESA member clean energy funds to promote the use of biomass as a renewable energy source. August 2004.

Northern Exposure: An Overview of Canadian Clean Energy Fund Activities, by Garrett Fitzgerald, Ryan Wiser, Mark Bolinger, of LBL and Allison Schumacher, Clean Energy Group. LBL and CESA release a new report in their Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy series. This case study profiles the activities of the following clean energy funds: the Green Municipals Funds (GMEF and GMIF), the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF), the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). It also explores other federal and provincial incentives that have a significant impact on Canada’s renewable energy market. While there are numerous energy efficiency programs and funding mechanisms in Canada, the scope of this case is limited to funding for clean energy production technologies in Canada. June 2004.

Low-Income Renewable Energy Programs: A Survey of State Clean Energy Funds, by Garrett Fitzgerald, Mark Bolinger and Ryan Wiser. LBL. This survey reviews efforts by CESA member clean energy funds to promote the use of renewable energy technologies in low-income residential buildings or communities. Only programs specifically targeting low-income applications are covered. Funds providing support to low-income households for other purposes (e.g., weatherization programs) fall outside the scope of this survey, as do programs offered by non CESA member funds. May 2004.

A Survey of State Support for Community Wind Power Development, by Mark Bolinger. LBL and CESA release a new report in their Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy series. Though historically confined Europe, "community wind" projects, i.e., locally owned, utility-scale wind projects interconnected on either side of the meter, are a topic of increasing interest in the US, not just among farmers and other potential local investors, but also among state policymakers interested in renewable energy. Several states are currently supporting community wind in a variety of ways, leading to the development of different types of projects. With policy support from an increasing number of states, community wind in the US may be approaching a "tipping point". March 2004.


The Experience of State Clean Energy Funds with Tradeable Renewable Certificates. LBL and CESA release a new report in their Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy series. Tradeable renewable certificates (TRCs), also commonly referred to as green tags or renewable energy credits (RECs), represent the non-energy attributes for electricity produced from renewable sources. Several state clean energy funds are exploring their respective roles regarding TRCs. This case study summarizes these activities. The states that are covered include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. November 2003.

CESA Small Wind Project Overview Report, By David Cooperman, CESA Intern and edited by Roger Clark, CESA Project Director for Wind Projects. CESA surveyed existing small wind programs and related initiatives to evaluate how they address a dozen issues. In 2004, CESA will host a meeting of state fund managers to discuss the report finding, lessons learned from the various state fund programs, and will assemble the best practices of these program in a report to CESA member. October 2003.

Green Buildings: The Expanding Role of State Clean Energy Funds, a new report for the "Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy" series from Berkeley Lab and the Clean Energy Group. "Green" buildings are typically designed to minimize environmental impacts in multiple areas (e.g., energy, water, materials), and to maximize the health and quality of life of building occupants. For a variety of reasons, green buildings can provide a niche market for renewable energy technologies. This case study examines the efforts of several state renewable energy funds to specifically promote renewable energy use in green buildings. These efforts fall into two categories: targeted funding for renewable energy systems used specifically on green (or at least energy-efficient) buildings, and general green building promotion. The states that are covered include Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  September 2003.

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