State Clean Energy Policies Analysis (SCEPA): State Tax Incentives

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


As a policy tool, state tax incentives can be structured to help states meet clean energy goals. Policymakers often use state tax incentives in concert with state and federal policies to support renewable energy deployment or reduce market barriers. This analysis used case studies of four states to assess the contributions of state tax incentives to the development of renewable energy markets. State tax incentives that are appropriately paired with complementary state and federal policies generally provide viable mechanisms to support renewable energy deployment. However, challenges to successful implementation of state tax incentives include serving project owners with limited state tax liability, assessing appropriate incentive levels, and differentiating levels of incentives for technologies with different costs. Additionally, state tax incentives may result in moderately higher federal tax burdens. These challenges notwithstanding, state tax incentives that consider certain policy design characteristics can support renewable energy markets and state clean energy goals.The scale of their impact though is directly related to the degree to which they support the renewable energy markets for targeted sectors and technologies. This report highlights important policy design considerations for policymakers using state tax incentives to meet clean energy goals.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2009

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A2-46567


  • financial incentives
  • market barriers
  • policy design
  • policy tools
  • renewable energy deployment
  • renewable energy development
  • renewable energy markets
  • renewable energy policy
  • state clean energy goals
  • state policies
  • state tax incentives


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