Grantee/Partner News

Freeing The Grid

November 3, 2011

Grantee News From Grace Communications Foundation

Now in its fifth year of publication, Freeing the Grid  shows that states nationwide are continuing to embrace best practices and drive further improvements in the core renewable energy policies of net metering and interconnection. In 2011, 17 states received top “A” grades for their net metering policies, up from 5 in 2007. The Vote Solar Initiative, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, The North Carolina Solar Center and the Network for New Energy Choices teamed up to produce the 2011 edition.

Freeing the Grid uses a scoring methodology that awards points for the use of the best practices in these two sets of policies. These scores are tallied and each state receives a letter grade.  The report’s methodology was recently adopted for use in the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of going solar by 75% before the end of the decade.

Vote Solar’s Adam Browning says, in an opening note to the 2011 edition, “This is what world-class net metering rules and interconnection programs do. They provide the smooth roads that transition us from dependence on centralized, dirty power generation to a system that embraces clean, distributed resources… as the price of renewables aligns with that of grid supply, good net metering and interconnection policies are going to be more important than ever.”

Experience has proven that the policies of net metering and interconnection are among the least cost, most effective renewable energy market-building tools available to state lawmakers, a particularly important consideration given the crippled economy and tight budgets facing state leaders. These state policies enable individuals, businesses and other energy consumers to invest in renewable energy today without waiting for utility or federal progress. There is a real, timely need to defend these policies in states nationwide, drive continued improvement, and reshape model policies to meet the evolving opportunities of the maturing renewable energy market.

Scott Cullen
GRACE Communications Foundation

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