Research and Best Practices Resources

To view resources for a specific renewable energy technology, please click on one of the following links.

All Technologies

Document Title Entity or Author Description
RB-1 2011 Energy-Efficient Community Development in California: Chula Vista - PIER Final Project Report California Energy Commission
This research project provided findings on how community leaders and builders can integrate land use, transportation, and urban design features and certain building energy technologies to produce energy efficient development projects in California. Researchers modeled these technologies and design features for two development sites in Chula Vista, California, and assessed their impact on the environment and the existing electric and natural gas utility infrastructure. Additionally, researchers examined market and institutional barriers that prevent municipalities and the development industry from adopting these types of communities.
RB-2 2008 National Renewable Energy Laboratory
This document analyzes the energy generation market opportunities for small-scale biomass combined heat and power (CHP) applications smaller than 20MW. The document discusses the benefits, opportunities, and challenges for small-scale biomass CHP; and identifies the primary characteristics of potential markets for small-scale biomass (CHP).

Solar Technology

Document Title Entity or Author Description
RB-3 2007 California Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) Resource Assessment and Growth Potential by County California Energy Commission
The objective of this project was to determine the potential size of the rooftop photovoltaic (PV) market in California, by county, for both residential and commercial applications for three cases: (1) current market without the California Solar Initiative incentives, (2) using the California Solar Initiative incentives, and (3) using new or improved business models. The results were further broken out by retrofit versus new construction installations.
RB-4 2011 SunRun
On this webpage, there are two reports that contain recommendations to reduce solar PV soft costs nationally. The Impact of Local Permitting on the Cost of Solar Power, and Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis of Residential Solar Permitting Program are industry reports identifying and quantifying barriers to lowering the cost of PV systems, as well as recommendations for the federal government to reduce or eliminate them (generally through streamlining or standardization).
RB-5 2011 Reducing Local Barriers to the Installation of Solar Power Systems Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter
Provided on this website, are the results of Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter's Global Warming and Energy Committee studies comparing local government solar PV fees on residential and commercial installs across different cities. Results of the studies showed a large disparity in fees between local jurisdictions, which lead to many Californian cities to reduce their fees.

Wind Technology

Document Title Entity or Author Description
RB-6 2011 Improving the Accuracy and Cost-effectiveness of Pre-Construction and Operations Monitoring Efforts for Bats and Birds at Wind Energy Facilities in California - Fact Sheet California Energy Commission
This fact sheet discusses better avian wildlife monitoring at wind generation sites. PIER-funded research to monitor and more accurately estimate bat and bird fatalities at wind generation sites. Will allow for "better predictions of site-specific impacts at proposed wind energy facilities and will help determine appropriate mitigation measures."
RB-7 2009 Range Management Practices to Reduce Wind Turbine Impacts on Burrowing Owls and Other Raptors in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, California California Energy Commission
"The East Bay Regional Park District studied the impacts of wind turbines on raptors at its properties in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. Several studies were conducted to provide information useful to reducing impacts to raptors due to construction or repowering of wind farms. The objectives included determining whether vegetation height can be managed to affect the distribution of small mammals near wind turbines to reduce risk to raptors, determining the effectiveness of seasonal wind turbine shutdowns to reduce raptor collisions with wind turbines, relating burrowing owl population size to mortality, determining factors that affect raptor behavior and spatial distribution, estimating scavenger removal rates of bird carcasses, and assessing wind turbine repowering scenarios."
RB-8 NA The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative
This website includes guidelines to wind siting in several states (not including California), wind energy case studies, and several technical and environmentally focused publications related to wind siting.
RB-9 2008 The Energy Foundation
As a community wind primer for policymakers. This paper looks at:
  1. community wind examples;
  2. overviews wind power economic benefits overall and community wind's enhanced benefits;
  3. demonstrates community wind's benefits for the power grid and wind power growth;
  4. examines obstacles facing community wind developers and details effective state and federal policies to overcome them; and
  5. points to ways federal power management authorities and consumer-owned utilities can join to develop wind.
RB-10 2010 Wind Energy Planning: Results of the American Planning Association Survey American Planning Association
As the first phase of developing a guidebook on community planning strategies for successful wind energy implementation, this survey assesses current state of wind energy (attitudes, experience, current practices, and successes); identifies planning, regulatory, and implementation challenges for planners of wind energy facilities; and asks what resources would be most helpful for planners.