State of the States 2009: Renewable Energy Development and the Role of Policy

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


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. Finally, the report discusses contextual factors, aside from policy, that affect renewable energy development. The report concludes with a summary of the main points from each chapter, discussion of next steps, and a list of resources.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages231
StatePublished - 2009

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A2-46667


  • analysis
  • contractor licensing
  • electric utilities
  • equipment certification
  • generation disclosure
  • grant programs
  • green power purchasing
  • interconnection standards
  • line-extension analysis
  • market transformation
  • net metering
  • power generation
  • production incentives
  • renewable energy (RE)
  • renewable energy development
  • renewable energy resources
  • renewable portfolio standard (RPS)
  • state policy


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