New Tools for Navigating Renewable Energy Incentives

The tools for navigating the bewildering array of renewable energy incentives in the U.S. just got a bit better.

There are thousands of such incentives, and their purpose is to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the United States. There are so many incentives, and they change so often, that it can be a full-time job to keep up with them, potentially undercutting their effectiveness.

That’s where the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE, pronounced “desire”) comes in. This Department of Energy-funded project attached to North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University operates a web site that provides continuously updated information on renewable energy incentives and policies at the federal, state local and utility levels.The information is searchable and browsable and serves a diverse array of users including homeowners, businesses policymakers and researchers.

The site receives some 200,000 unique visitors per month–ten times the level of 4 or 5 years ago–as well as some 200 e-mail inquiries monthly, according to Rusty Haynes, who works on DSIRE at the Solar N.C. State Solar Center.

What’s new is that in response to requests from commercial users of the information, DSIRE recently launched myDSIRE, a set of customized information services–XML fees, RSS feeds, and a policy tracking service–that are available to commercial users for a fee.

This is a great development. Making this data available programatically should make it more useful and, in a small way, help lower the barriers to the advancement of renewable energy in the U.S. 

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Filed under biofuels, incentives, solar, sustainability

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