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New Opportunities for Solar Through Grid Modernization

April 1, 2017

Lawmakers and utility regulators in California and New York have been extensively engaged in efforts to modernize the electric distribution grid. This paper draws on the experience of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) staff in each jurisdiction and explains how these efforts are creating new opportunities for solar power. The paper describes the policy and political landscape in each state and summarizes the ways in which regulators are currently addressing grid modernization. We identify common elements of these efforts, which include: 1) updating utility system planning; 2) identifying alternatives to traditional utility investments; 3) establishing robust cost benefit frameworks; 4) modifying compensation frameworks to drive investments in distributed energy resources (DER), and 5) making utility investments in technologies that bring new functionality to the grid itself. Future papers will drill down into the details of these issues and discuss the pace of change, whether grid modernization efforts are bearing fruit, and obstacles to implementation.

Accelerating U.S. Clean Energy Deployment: Investor Policy Priorities

August 1, 2015

International investment to mitigate climate change is far below levels needed to reach the two-degree target. The International Energy Agency estimates that an average of an additional $1 trillion in incremental financing for clean energy is needed to meet the temperature target. In September 2014, over 350 investors representing $24 trillion in assets issued the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, calling on governments to create an ambitious global agreement that includes a meaningful price on carbon -- the "Clean Trillion."This paper connects the Clean Trillion goal to the current United States climate and clean energy policy framework, which is a mixture of federal, state, and local initiatives. The paper outlines the 2015 U.S. policy priorities of the Policy Working Group of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of more than 110 institutional investors primarily based in the U.S., focused on investment risks and opportunities associated with climate change.