!Solar Energy Today
Solar energy is entering an incredibly
exciting and dynamic period, driven
primarily by plummeting solar system costs.
About the Institute
Today, creative new solar business models
are allowing homeowners to go solar with
no money down; multibillion dollar utility
scale projects are starting to provide
baseload power; and growing solar
penetration rates are posing a challenge to
our nation’s electricity grid, electric utilities,
The GW Solar Institute at George Washington University identiﬁes, creates,
and shares pragmatic solutions to the public policy barriers preventing the
adoption and scale of solar energy. Our mission is to revisit and revitalize
national and international solar policies in a world where solar energy is
increasingly affordable, disruptive to traditional business models, and able to
meaningfully contribute to key societal goals.
Relevance and Impact
The GW Solar Institute provides policymakers with
objective, strategic, and accessible analysis on the
many complex issues surrounding solar energy.
Our intricate knowledge of the decision-making
process, proximity to key Washington institutions,
and connections with inﬂuential stakeholders
allows us to be especially impactful. Our insights
However, even as solar reaches price parity
and partnerships are promoting the adoption of
with traditional energy sources, it will likely
innovative new public policies, regulatory
remain a minor portion of the U.S. economy
approaches, and government investments that will
without a concerted effort to level the
playing ﬁeld through well designed and
enable solar energy to reach its full potential for creating jobs and replacing
politically attuned public polices.
fossil fuels. We are also focused on educating and training a rising generation
eager to contribute to a cleaner energy economy.
U.S. Total Installed Solar Electricity Capacity and Generation
More remarkably, these advances are
occurring at the same time as a domestic
natural gas boom and climate change
impacts are upending decades old energy
U.S. Solar Electricity Capacity and Generation
Courtesy of NREL (Sources: SEIA, GTW, Larry Sherwood/IREC)
The GW Solar Institute is led by Amit Ronen, a well-known clean energy
leader and agenda setter. Previously, Amit served as Deputy Chief of Staff to
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell where he
helped author and enact clean energy tax
incentives and legislation that catalyzed
hundreds of billions of dollars of new
energy related investments. Amit also
focused on clean energy policy while
working at the Department of Energy and
the White House and during his graduate
education at Princeton University.
G W S o l a r I n s t i t u t e | 6 0 9 2 2 nd S t r e e t N W, W a s h i n g t o n , D C 2 0 0 5 2
202.994.7597 | solar.gwu.edu | @gwsolar
A central mission of the GW Solar Institute is to engage and facilitate dialogue
amongst solar stakeholders, students, and the public. We regularly speak with the
media and update leaders from the defense, chemical manufacturing, and
semiconductor industries on key technical and policy issues. We are also active on
social media and regularly convene and participate in dozens of clean energy
related events each year.
The GW Solar Institute serves as a clearinghouse for
objective information and analysis, such as providing
testimony for legislative and regulatory bodies.
The GW Solar Institute partners with
leading GW faculty to pursue research
projects in a wide range of disciplines,
including science and technology,
economics, law, and policy. We also
collaborate with academics, industry
leaders, and solar experts from across
Current focus areas include:
• Solar Legislation: Working with
Congress to develop a new clean
energy incentives regime in the
context of upcoming tax reform, as
well as contributing to efforts to
move solar energy related bills.
• Low-Income Solar: Adapting
existing housing assistance
programs and creating new
ﬁnancing models to enable lowincome DC residents to go solar.
• Utility of the Future: Modeling the
potentially profound impacts
distributed generation and selfgeneration could have on the
existing centralized grid paradigm.
• Model States: Analyzing leading
solar states to identify what works
and what can be replicated.
• Solar Jobs: Calculating solar jobs by
state and assessing key data trends.
• Grid Integration: Finding ways to
reduce cloud impacts on output
rates for utility scale solar.
• Energy Markets: Evaluating different
state laws and regulations which
help or inhibit the growth of solar
energy and the transition towards
more accurate price signals.
Our website continually curates important new solar
energy related reports, developments, and events for the
beneﬁt of policymakers, researchers, and the general
public. We are also developing platforms for free, online
courses designed to educate interested parties on
trending solar energy issues.
Since 2009, the GW Solar Institute has gathered energy
thought-leaders to one of the largest annual solar events in
the capital region. Our events share cutting edge research,
offer lessons learned from the policy arena, and provide a
neutral forum for thoughtful discussion amongst solar
leaders, policymakers, and students. Our symposiums
have drawn over a thousand attendees and our archived
materials have been downloaded over 70,000 times.
The 2014 Symposium will focus on ﬁnding innovative new
ways to ensure low-income families and communities can
also realize the many potential beneﬁts of solar energy.
The GW Solar Institute regularly engages with major media outlets and contributes
information and policy analysis for publications like the New York Times, the L.A.
Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, and many other national and international outlets.
Whether interviewed for print, radio, or television, reporters regularly turn to the GW
Solar Institute as an on or off the record source of unbiased information.
As part of the larger George Washington University
community, the GW Solar Institute strives to provide
educational opportunities and training to GW’s diverse
student body. By teaching classes, providing internships,
and helping students with coursework and research
projects, our staff serves as a valuable resource across GW’s
many schools and disciplines. We are also developing a
Solar Certiﬁcate program, a Solar Scholar in residence
opportunity, and internships within the solar industry.
The GW Solar Institute’s work is made possible by the generous support of private, foundation, and corporate donors,
as well as the strong backing of the leadership of The George Washington University.