Case Study Analysis of U.S. Policy Solutions to Enable China New Energy Cities

Joseph Simon, Mackay Miller, Tian Tian, Chang Liu

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The United States has extensive experience in developing and deploying renewable energy technologies across the country. Areas with successful investments and installations include various climates, various political environments, urban and rural areas. China is currently seeking to support the successful development of over 100 New Energy Cities across the country. A New Energy City is strategies undertaken by three areas of the United States: New Jersey, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Policies can range from tax credits to payments based on production or payments based on installed capacity, but at their core, each work to increase the financial returns for investors who choose to install renewable energy capacity. The overall impact on the renewable and new-energy market by policies and incentives implemented by the government will depend on the total number and type of policies implemented. This paper demonstrates, through case-studies, that it is important that cities first prepare the market for success, then support the early adopters, and finally lead market expansion through financial benefit. Some of the most successful areas in deploying distributed renewable energy in the US have first established 'Market Preparation' policies, then accomplished 'Market Creation' tasks, and are now pursuing many market expansion topics. When considering the policies appropriate for a New Energy City, it is important to understand how one policy may impact another and whether or not a particular policy encourages the type of technology desired. As discussed above, some policies encourage distributed generation on rooftops while others encourage utility-scale investments in renewable energy. Similarly, some policies focus more on initial deployment and system size while others focus on longer-term energy production. Understanding the current market, the need for subsidies, and the appropriate size of each incentive will help ensure that government investment in the support of renewable energy technologies and New Energy Cities is used as effectively as possible.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages83
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-63529


  • China
  • New Energy Cities
  • photovoltaic (PV)
  • policy
  • solar
  • solar thermal


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