DSIRE includes a number of resources for developers, policymakers, researchers, and the general public. Follow the navigation to access the DSIRE database in various formats, monthly archives of the DSIRE database, publications and presentations prepared by DSIRE staff, detailed summary maps, energy-related resources maintained by the federal government, and other information on renewable energy.
DSIRE writes and co-authors many publications concerning the renewable energy industry. These publications include reports, technical articles, and presentations, and are available for free to the public. Access a list of DSIRE publications from 1997 and on.
DSIRE creates color-coded summary maps to provide a geographical overview of policies that promote the expansion of renewable energy. Our available policy maps today include net metering, third-party solar power purchase agreement policies, renewable portfolio standards, and energy efficiency resource standards. The maps are updated on a quarterly basis.
There are a number of reputable organizations, websites, and tools dedicated to expanding and providing education about renewable energy. This section includes links to access more than 100 recognized resources, including federal resources, public energy tools, and organizations devoted to regional, state, federal and international renewable energy markets.
Learn About Renewables
Renewable energy provides many benefits and is an ever-increasing part of our overall energy mix. Here are the most popular renewable energy sources, and resources to learn more about them:
Solar energy is power from the sun. It is typically harnessed using photovoltaic solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into usable electricity. There are many federally-funded projects and companies committed to advancing solar technology, decreasing the costs of installations, and accelerating solar adoption throughout the U.S.
Do you have questions about going solar? One of the main factors that people consider is the solar panel cost in their area. Depending on property type, location, and many more factors, a solar panel installation will offer a varying level of solar savings. Federal and state solar rebates and incentives provide solar-interested consumers with opportunities to bring costs down further (like the federal ITC).
Resources to learn more about solar energy:
- Ranking of some of the best solar panels available
- Glossary of terms in the solar industry
- More information on solar batteries
- Common solar misconceptions to watch out for
- Overview of the exciting new Tesla Solar Roof
Wind energy is electricity generated with large turbines that are spun by the wind. Just like solar, the U.S. government (through the Department of Energy) invests in several R&D projects around the country to help expand the use of this important power source.
Unlike solar energy, wind power is usually only applicable at very large scales. As such, offshore wind farms are beginning to be a true solution for utility-scale power. Distributed wind power exists, but rarely at a residential scale (like rooftop solar).
Resources to learn more about wind energy:
Other renewable energy sources
There are many more renewable energy resources that exist, such as biomass and tidal power. Outside of wind and solar energy, two other prevalent sources of renewable energy in the U.S. are hydropower and geothermal energy.
Hydropower is the renewable energy source that contributes most to the U.S. energy mix. By taking advantage of the power contained in flowing water, we can spin turbines at massive scales and generate electricity. The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington is the largest single producer of hydroelectricity in the U.S., with an energy capacity of over 6.8 gigawatts (GW).
We can also harness energy from the heat radiating out from Earth’s core, known as geothermal energy. Geothermal power plants pump water deep into the earth where it can heat up, change to steam, and then spin turbines to generate power. Geothermal energy can also be used in residential heating and cooling systems. A few feet underground, the temperature is constant. This constant heat can be used to either capture or release heat energy with a transfer fluid.
Resources to learn more about hydropower and geothermal energy: