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Effective community-wide policy technical assistance: the NREL/DOE approach

This document compiles lessons learned and provides a step-by-step process for implementing effective policy technical assistance for developing and implementing clean energy development policies.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have worked with multiple states and localities to provide unbiased policy impact information and assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective clean energy development policies.

Project-related technical assistance gives communities access to tools (e.g. anemometers) and expertise (e.g. engineers with analysis and installation experience) needed to develop clean energy projects. Similarly, policy-related technical assistance provides communities with tools (e.g. other localities’ best practices for effective policies) and expertise (e.g. policy developers with clean energy policy or planning experience) to implement policies that reduce nontechnical barriers and facilitate project development. While the needs and existing policy environments differ considerably between jurisdictions, the pathway for delivering technical assistance has many commonalities.

This document focuses on the process for program and policy development and implementation support of technical assistance. The actual implementation of policies and programs depends on the needs and actions of the community. Policies at the state and local levels are set by policymakers within those jurisdictions.

The policy technical assistance process can help identify barriers to clean energy development, provide policy options and examples for removing those barriers, and project the impacts of those policies on different success metrics—such as job creation, greenhouse gas reductions, impact on energy prices, and the potential for the development of clean energy projects.

Read Effective community-wide policy technical assistance: the NREL/DOE approach.