Energy policy is the way the government addresses energy, encompassing laws, regulations, judicial opinions, incentives and strategic objectives at the federal, regional, state local and utility levels.

The Center’s Policy Team works to advance a sustainable energy economy by conducting objective research and analysis and providing education and technical assistance on energy policy issues nationwide. Our staff tracks developments in energy policy and examines the impacts of these on clean energy technologies.  To help support businesses with their clean energy initiatives, we provide information regarding state regulations and tax policies as well as other resources.

Why It Matters

Policy has a huge impact on the market for clean energy technologies, often influencing demand, market access and compensation. Smart policies can accelerate the realization of clean energy benefits, including energy independence and resiliency, financial savings, local economic development, and improved environmental quality. However, policy is constantly changing and can be difficult to understand without spending hours pouring through legislation and regulatory dockets. Our staff provides information on energy policy across the country on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), which is publicly available. This helps homeowners and businesses, the clean energy industry, utilities, policy makers and others understand the nation’s policy landscape.


The Policy Team offers customized research and analysis on energy policy issues, including comparative state policy analysis, tracking of pending legislative and regulatory actions and new market research.  Understanding the policy landscape is critical for clean energy businesses to identify market opportunities and limitations. Policymakers, while familiar with their own state’s laws and regulations, often look to other states when considering policy changes.  These services are directed toward clean energy businesses, investors, advocates, utilities, policymakers and researchers.

The Database of  State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is the most comprehensive source of information on policies and incentives that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. This public resource, which includes summaries of more than 2,600 incentives and policies, is used by over one million different people every year. The Center’s staff is available by request to provide technical assistance to North Carolina policymakers and other stakeholders developing policies regarding renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels.  To get recognized on DSIRE and to read more about sponsorship, please click here.

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The electric power industry is in a period of rapid policy and regulatory change – changes which are often challenging and time-consuming to keep track of. The 50 States Report series is intended to keep industry stakeholders informed of policy and regulatory changes in the clean energy sector with timely, comprehensive and unbiased updates. The reports provide a complete review of quarterly actions, summarized by our team of state policy experts, along with links to primary sources, summary graphics and analysis.

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The Center offers customized policy research and analysis services to clean energy businesses, utilities, advocacy organizations and other industry participants. These services include state comparative policy analysis, research and tracking of pending legislative and regulatory actions and analysis of market opportunities based on policy landscape.

DSIRE Insight provides policy research and analysis services to energy industry professionals. DSIRE Insight is a project of the Center, expanding upon the Center’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency and and 50 States quarterly policy tracking reports. DSIRE Insight’s subscription services focus on distributed solar, grid modernization and energy storage, and electric vehicles, as well as customized energy policy research. The DSIRE Insight team takes advantage of decades of personal and institutional experience to offer a deeper dive into U.S. clean energy policy, with an emphasis on new policies and policy changes under consideration across the country.

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Recent News

Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles & EV Charging Study for Fayetteville Public Works Commission to Help Inform Future Direction

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) staff lended their clean energy expertise in transportation, policy and power to help contribute to  an Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and EV…

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Clean Energy Resources During COVID-19

To help navigate this challenging time, we at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) have put together a list of external and internal resources surrounding energy and sustainability –…

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Get to Know the Policy Team at NCCETC

Each month, we will feature a team at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) to get to know them better! This month, we talked to the Policy Team. NCCETC’s…

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2020 in Review: U.S. Grid Modernization Activity and Trends Webinar

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Community Solar Opportunities for Low to Moderate Income Households in the Southeast

This report was developed following a workshop held on December 11, 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina to explore the opportunities and barriers to making community solar available for low income households. The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center and the North Carolina Justice Center hosted Identifying Benefits, Barriers, and Solutions to Low-Income
Community Solar for Cooperative and Municipal Utilities in the Southeast, an in-person, half-day workshop with 38 attendees from 24 different organizations. The workshop participants represent a broad range of interests needed to address the challenges and opportunities for low to moderate income (LMI) community solar development in the Southeast.


The 50 States of Solar Q2 2020 Update: Executive Summary

A quarterly look at state legislative and regulatory actions related to distributed solar policy and rate design.


The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q2 2020 Update: Executive Summary

A quarterly look at state legislative and regulatory discussions and actions on grid modernization, utility business model and rate reforms, energy storage, microgrids and demand response.



Brian Lips

Senior Project Manager, DSIRE


Autumn Proudlove

Senior Policy Program Director


David Sarkisian

Senior Policy Project Manager


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Enhance your skills or begin a career change with one of our training classes!  The Center offers several training opportunities for professional development and the highest level of continuing education in renewable energy technologies.  Get started today. 

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