The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) aggressively promotes renewable energy. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the DOE has excellent information and programs related to solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, and concentrated solar power (CSP).
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), one of several national laboratories supported by the U.S. DOE, is located in Boulder, CO and is the nation’s primary research and development lab for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is another DOE lab and performs research in a variety of sciences, including solar energy. Texas State and Local Agencies.
State & Local Agencies
GO SOLAR TEXAS was developed by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to increase deployment of solar across Texas. NCTCOG has worked to compile key resources for Texans interested in learning more about going solar, and developed Texas-specific resources on best management practices for local governments. This work, including this website, has been developed in part through support from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) and U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Ready II program.
Various units in the University of Texas system are engaged in research relevant to solar energy:
- The Austin campus has a Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, which works with industry to look at all levels of the supply chain for opportunities to reduce costs.
- At the San Antonio campus, the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute is examining solar forecasting and large-scale PV integration.
Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s municipal electric utility, established the country’s first Green Building program in 1990, internationally renown for energy efficient and sustainable design and construction education.
Private, Non-Profit Organizations
The American Solar Energy Society (ASES), of which TXSES is a state chapter, has been promoting solar since 1954. A nonprofit dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies, its website has it all.
The Texas Solar Power Association is advancing the development of solar electric power generation in Texas. We represent leading companies delivering cost-competitive solar power to customers in wholesale and retail markets across the state.
CleanTX, the nonprofit economic development and professional association for cleantech in Central Texas, accelerates clean tech growth and renewable energy in Texas through information exchange, thought leadership and strategic partnerships.
Public Citizen/Texas, national non-profit advocacy organization headquartered in Austin, promotes cleaner energy, cleaner government, cleaner cars and air, and safe products for all Texans.
The mission of the Solar Foundation is to “increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research and education that transform markets.” One of its programs is an annual census of solar jobs in the United States, broken down state-by-state.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national trade association, works to expand the use of solar technologies, strengthen research and development, remove market barriers, and improve education and outreach for solar.
The Vote Solar Initiative’s mission is to stop global warming, foster economic development, and increase energy independence by bringing solar energy into the mainstream. The organization works on the key policies necessary to bring solar to scale. Vote Solar works with state governments to build sustainable solar markets, remove regulatory barriers, and lay the necessary groundwork for a solar future.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) works to move renewable energy resources into the marketplace, emphasizing education, outreach, stakeholder coordination, technical assistance, workforce development, the adoption and implementation of uniform guidelines and standards, and consumer protection.
The Council’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is THE source of information on solar rebates, financial assistance, net metering, and incentives and policies at the local, state, and national levels.
The Rocky Mountain Institute is a highly respected institution focused on research to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables.
Energy efficiency is a critical complement to solar energy, and so we include in this list the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), which is dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. See how Texas ranks in energy efficiency strategies.