For all the discussion of federal incentives for renewable energy and the push, both in the Obama Administration and at regulatory bodies, for policies that can accommodate renewable energy generation, actual implementation remains a very local affair.
Some states are blessed with huge resources, whether hydropower in the Northwestern US, or wind sweeping across Texas plains. Even where resources are plentiful, though, earlier analysis from AOL Energy showed the importance of a conducive regulatory climate as well. See our earlier AOL Energy infographic: At The State Level, The National Energy Future.
One of the most striking conclusions that arise from crunching Federal government data on loan guarantee programs is the extent of the Administration’s bet on solar generation, although the energy source remains very lightly used in the US. Analysis of generation additions to the US electricity sector in the first six months of 2011 demonstrated a preponderance of wind energy additions after the traditional fossil sources, and an overview of existing generation assets in the US reveals a similar anti-solar bias.
It is possible that the nearly $13 billion in loan guarantees to solar projects under the 1705 program will result in what one sector executive called an “accelerating wave” of solar adoption in the coming months and years, but for now the broadly-touted solar sector remains more of a promise than a reality.