EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

9.1 Learning Outcomes


By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • describe the connections between policy making and renewable energy adoption at the local, regional, and federal levels;
  • define the difference between solar rights and solar access;
  • describe the role of net metering and permitting in solar project development;
  • describe the leading methods for community solar development.

What is due for Lesson 9?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found in this lesson.

Lesson 9 Assignments
Required Reading:

J.R. Brownson, Solar Energy Conversion Systems (SECS), Chapter 11 - The Sun as Commons (Intro through "Framework: Emerging Local Policy Strategies")

S. Bronin (2009) "Solar Rights" Boston University Law Review.

DSIRE Solar Portal: Search by state, focusing on "Solar Access Laws" and "Net Metering" policies.

Wikipedia: "Solar Access"

IREC/Vote Solar (2013) "Solar Permitting Best Practices"

REN21's Renewables Global Status Report (GSR)

J. R. S. Brownson (2013) "Framing the Sun and Buildings as Commons". Buildings 3(4), pp. 659-673; doi:10.3390/buildings3040659.

J. Coughlin, J. Grove, L. Irvine, J. F. Jacobs, S. Johnson Phillips, A. Sawyer, and J. Wiedman (2012) "A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development" USA DoE National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Optional Reading (not required): R. Knowles, "The Solar Envelope: Its Meaning for Energy and Buildings", Energy and Builduings, 35, 15-25 (2003). 
To Do: Learning Activity: Community Solar Gardens

Discussion: National Targets for Electricity Production

No Quiz Assignment this week

Engage in all Try-This and Self-check activities (not graded).
Topic(s): Energy Policy



Solar Rights

Solar Access

Community Solar


If you have any questions, please post them to the Lesson 9 General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum. I will check the forum regularly to respond. While you are in a discussion, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.