Welcome to the CARES Toolkit – guiding you through the process of developing a renewable energy project.
Over the past decade, states have played an increasingly important role in providing financial support to renewable energy projects, with funding often derived from state-established public benefit funds. The financial support tools for renewable energy projects have ranged from rebates to competitive grants to loans. Complementing these tools has been a set of public policies— tax incentives, net metering and interconnection rules, renewable portfolio standards—passed by state legislatures and regulators. Recently, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) also provided significant funding to states to support clean energy investments.
The purpose of this report is to describe the many financing options available to state energy offices, municipal governments, and other energy agencies for utilizing public funds for clean energy project support. The report analyzes their strengths and weaknesses and identifies best practices. One key finding is that, while each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, the use of these tools as a portfolio of approaches creates the most robust, effective programs.