NREL-State of the States 2009: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy
"As U.S. states increasingly focus on developing renewable energy resources, there is a need to track the progress of development, as well as the policies and support mechanisms being implemented to encourage this development. Beyond tracking, the evaluation of policy measures is necessary to determine their effectiveness, guide future efforts, and efficiently allocate resources. This report addresses each of these needs. It provides a detailed picture of the status of renewable energy development in each of the U.S. states using a variety of metrics and discusses the policies being used to encourage this development. The report then explores the context in which renewable energy development occurs by discussing the factors that can affect the uptake of power generation technologies. The analysis offers suggestions on how policies can be used to address these variables, which leads to tailored policy support that considers the specific circumstances within each state. The analysis presents results of several quantitative evaluation methods that have been designed to explore the link between policy implementation and actual development. These analyses are an attempt to move beyond designed-based policy evaluation and develop performance-based evaluation methods instead. Finally, the report discusses contextual factors, aside from policy, that affect renewable energy development. Understanding contextual factors, which create the framework for renewable energy markets, is essential for effective policy design and implementation. The report concludes with a summary of the main points from each chapter, discussion of next steps, and a list of resources."