Our Research

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California's Solar Success Story: How the Million Solar Roofs Initiative Transformed the State's Solar Energy Landscape

California's Million Solar Roofs Initiative has successfully transformed the state's solar energy landscape. A future in which solar energy is increasingly abundant and cost-competitive was the goal envisioned by policymakers a decade ago when California adopted the landmark Million Solar Roofs Initiative. It was designed to pave the way for a clean energy future – bringing solar energy within reach of more California residents and businesses. It worked: California’s solar photovoltaic capacity has increased more than 12-fold thanks to the Million Solar Roofs Initiative. The growth in solar energy in California is helping the state meet its goals for reducing emissions of global warming pollutants while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and spurring a new and vibrant clean energy economy.

(July 2015)
Path to the Paris Climate Conference: American Progress in Cutting Carbon Pollution Could Pave the Way for Global Action

The United States is responsible for more climate-changing pollution in the atmosphere than any other country. As the fight to avoid the worst effects of global warming intensifies, American pollution-cutting efforts are setting an example for the world.

Deeper cuts are needed at home and abroad, but by fully implementing policies already enacted at the state and federal levels – including the Clean Power Plan, the first national policy to limit climate pollution from power plants – the U.S. can prevent as much as 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution annually by 2025.

(June 2015)
Shining Rewards: The Value of Rooftop Solar Power for Consumers and Society

Net energy metering has been instrumental in the rapid growth of solar energy in the United States, making it more affordable for people to “go solar” and enabling solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid and to society at large. The 11 studies reviewed in Shining Rewards demonstrate that the value created by solar energy – in avoided energy losses, reduced need for capital investment in the grid and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – is often higher than the compensation solar panel owners earn through net metering. 

(June 2015)
Progress on Hold: The Freeze on Ohio’s Clean Energy Law Could Mean Big Costs and Dirtier Air

Ohio has a great deal to lose from the freeze and rollback of the Clean Energy Law – and stands to lose even more if the law is permanently frozen or repealed. In just the second year of the freeze, according to this report’s analysis, Ohioans will miss out on energy savings worth as much as $218 million, while the state will produce up to an additional 3.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution. If the freeze is left in place, the costs will rise, leading potentially to an extra 27.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2025.

(June 2015)
Who Pays for Roads?: How the "Users Pay" Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America's Transportation Problems

Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been the case, and it is less true today than ever. Increasingly, American taxpayers are bearing more of the burden of paying for building, maintaining and operating our roads, regardless of how much they drive. Who Pays for Roads? exposes how long-running myths about how America pays for transportation continue to distort transportation policy, and argues for thorough reform of how the United States raises and spends transportation funds.

(May 2015)