Here Comes the Sun: A State Policy Handbook for Distributed Solar Energy


NCSL press release

Boston—State legislators and energy officials are busy addressing the rapid expansion of solar power by creating policies, regulations and programs that reflect their state’s goals and energy markets, according to a report issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).

The report was released during NCSL’s 43rd annual Legislative Summit in Boston.

“Here Comes the Sun: A State Policy Handbook for Distributed Solar Energy,” is designed for state legislators, legislative staff, energy officials and others who want to learn about and assess their state’s solar photovoltaic policies.

As the U.S. solar market nearly doubled its previous annual record for installations last year, this handbook serves as a relevant and timely tool for policymakers across the nation.

The handbook provides:

  • Innovative approaches states have implemented when it comes to rate design, incentives, solar integration, financing, regulation and workforce development.
  • Tools to investigate options and practices to leverage the economic and reliability benefits of solar energy.
  • References and resources for a deeper exploration of the topics covered.

Solar energy comprises just over 1 percent of total generation in the U.S. However, it is growing rapidly, outpacing new natural gas and wind capacity installations last year. States are playing a significant role in this energy revolution by creating policies, incentives and regulations that continue to transform the solar and power markets. The handbook will prove a valuable tool for policymakers and planners that wish to understand and craft solar energy policy in their states.

Funding for this report was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

To access a copy of the report, click here.



NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.